Rick Rabiser, P. O'Leary, Ita Richardson,
"Key Activities for Product Derivation in Software Product Lines"
, in ScienceDirekt, in Journal of Systems and Software, Serie 84, Vol. 2, ScienceDirekt, Seite(n) 285-300, 2-2011
Key Activities for Product Derivation in Software Product Lines
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More and more organizations adopt software product lines to leverage extensive reuse and deliver a multitude of benefits such as increased quality and productivity and a decrease in cost and time-to-market of their software development. When compared to the vast amount of research on developing product lines, relatively little work has been dedicated to the actual use of product lines to derive individual products, i.e., the process of product derivation. Existing approaches to product derivation have been developed independently for different aims and purposes. While the definition of a general approach applicable to every domain may not be possible, it would be interesting for researchers and practitioners to know which activities are common in existing approaches, i.e., what are the key activities in product derivation. In this paper we report on how we compared two product derivation approaches developed by the authors in two different, independent research projects. Both approaches independently sought to identify product derivation activities, one through a process reference model and the other through a tool-supported derivation approach. Both approaches have been developed and validated in research industry collaborations with different companies. Through the comparison of the approaches we identify key product derivation activities. We illustrate the activities? importance with examples from industry collaborations. To further validate the activities, we analyze three existing product derivation approaches for their support for these activities. The validation provides evidence that the identified activities are relevant to product derivation and we thus conclude that they should be considered (e.g., as a checklist) when developing or evaluating a product derivation approach.