Feature-Oriented Evolution of Automation Software Systems in Industrial Software Ecosystems
Sprache des Titels:
23rd IEEE International Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA 2018)
In the domain of industrial automation many companies nowadays need to serve a mass market while at the same time customers demand individual customer-specific solutions. Such customizations often apply to individual products only but may also be needed at the level of product lines for whole market segments. To handle this problem, development is frequently organized in software ecosystems (SECOs), i.e., interrelated software product lines involving internal and external developers. This paper introduces an approach supporting feature-oriented, distributed development and evolution in industrial SECOs. It is common industrial practice to first derive initial products from a product line, then adding and adapting features to satisfy individual customer requirements, possibly followed by merging back these changes into the original product line. Our approach goes beyond this practice and also allows to share new or updated features by transferring them to other product lines in the ecosystem. This is for instance useful when a feature developed in an individual customer project becomes relevant for another market segment or when updates of features need to be transferred to related products in the ecosystem. We describe and motivate research challenges based on the industrial ecosystem of an industry partner. We outline the key elements and operations of our approach, including an implementation in our FORCE 2 development environment. We demonstrate application scenarios from the well-known Pick-and-Place Unit (PPU) system as a proof of concept.