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Preparing for Automated Derivation of Products in a Software Product Line

September 2005 Technical Report
John McGregor

This 2005 report provides an end-to-end view of the activities that are needed to support the automatic derivation of products within a software product line.


Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number


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Organizations that adopt a software product line strategy often have business goals that concern improving their ability to produce products by lowering product development costs, by reducing the time to bring a product to market, or through other production improvements. Business goals such as these make automated product derivation an appealing strategy to a software product line organization. Automating production requires up-front investment, including the creation of both the core assets that will be assembled as products and the core assets that will perform the assembly. A software product line provides the ability to amortize the cost of the infrastructure over a set of products. This report views the process for automating the production of products in the context of a product production system. The process begins with the decision to automate, proceeds to the selection of the automation approach, and continues with the operation and management of the automated production capability. The process is illustrated by a case study automating the production process in the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute's pedagogical product line.