International Workshop on Variability Management for Modern Technologies (VM4ModernTech 2022)
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Engineering projects involve a variety of artifacts such as requirements, design, or source code. These artifacts, many of which tend to be interdependent, are often manipulated concurrently. To keep artifacts consistent, engineers must continuously consider their work in relation to the work of multiple other engineers. Traditional consistency checking approaches reason efficiently over artifact changes and their consistency implications. However, they do so solely within the boundaries of specific tools and their specific artifacts (e.g., consistency checking between different UML models). This makes it difficult to examine the consistency between different types of artifacts (e.g., consistency checking between UML models and the source code). Global consistency checking can help addressing this problem. However, it usually requires a disruptive and time consuming merging process for artifacts. This article presents a novel, cloud-based approach to global consistency checking in a multi-developer/-tool engineering environment. It allows for global consistency checking across all artifacts that engineers work on concurrently. Moreover, it reasons over artifact changes immediately after the change happened, while keeping the (memory/CPU) cost of consistency checking minimal. The feasibility and scalability of our approach were demonstrated by a prototype implementation and through an empirical validation.