University of Twente Student Theses


An investigation in qualities of software variability

Brand, A. (2009) An investigation in qualities of software variability.

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Abstract:Océ Technologies provides a range of wide format printing systems. Several of these printers run similar software to provide a remote control web interface. One of the modules of this software is a job submitter, which lets customers quickly submit print jobs. This range of software is created using a basic software product line setup. A product line separates the common and variant parts of software products. During product derivation, a speci¯c variant of the product is chosen and the variant and common parts are combined again. Océ uses one out of several techniques to separate the variant parts from the common parts of the product. These so-called variability realization techniques might have consequences on development efficiency and maintenance and on the efficiency of the final products. However, it is not yet clear how each technique affects these qualities. Therefore, this thesis focuses on six variability realization techniques (VRTs). We collected these VRTs from literature and reformulated them in a design pat- tern style. We performed the DESMET feature analysis survey to assess the quality of the description of the techniques, the impact on efficiency of the development process and the e±ciency of the final application, and the impact on the maintenance process in an industrial setting. Several software experts at Oce have taken part in this survey. Based on the outcome of this assessment, two VRTs have been selected and implemented in a prototype software product. This thesis contributes: ² The six variability realization techniques in a design pattern style; ² The setup, execution and results of the feature analysis survey; ² The implementation description of two of the six techniques; ² Discussion on the consequences of each technique, relating the results of the survey, consequences from literature and implementation experience. This thesis concludes with answers on how each VRT supports the introduction of variability, extensibility with respect to a new external component,adaptation of an invariant part and preventive maintenance on a variant part, based on the qualities that each VRT a®ects. These answers can be used to select a technique with desired features.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:54 computer science
Programme:Computer Science MSc (60300)
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