Concepts for a product line knowledge base & variability
This paper presents the basic ideas of constructing a product line content & knowledge base on top of arbitrary configuration management system. Its need stems from the fact that evolving product lines arise a number of significant challenges, which can only be mastered with sound information base. The complexity of a product line engineering and its sheer number of additional artifacts and methods aggravates the intellectual control of a product line and its change over time. Management activities like product design, building of road maps or effort estimation become more difficult than for single product engineering and ask for more sophisticated information. We think that the problems can be solved with the explicit depiction of product line content & knowledge. Only then we can understand and control how a product is constituted from single software artifacts, what are their dependencies and relations, and how changes on shared assets affect the products in a product line. The product line content & knowledge base is a prerequisite for product line management services and processes, which makes it possible to manage the evolution of a product line and to control its consistency and completeness.