Experiences Initiating Software Product Line Engineering in Small Teams with Pulse

H.M. Mærsk-Møller and B. Nørregaard Jørgensen (Denmark)


Software Engineering, Reusability, Software Methodologies, Software Product Lines, Software Design


Small teams of software engineers are represented both in small companies and semi-independent fractions in medium and large companies. Even though some results and experience papers have been published in the context of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), there is a lack of experience papers and collective results on Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) in the context of small teams. This paper remedies this situation by providing experiences from a successful approach of applying software product line engineering in a small team. We conduct a transition from single-system production to Software Product Line (SPL) in the domain of greenhouse climate control systems. The domain contains inherent variabilities and extensive commonalities between the products in scope, which makes it a prime candidate for SPLE - besides having good business prospects. The transitioning to SPLE is generally made more difficult due to the inherent characteristic of being a small team – resulting in the requirement of keeping the overhead of the transitioning process to an absolute minimum. Another requirement in our case was keeping the production online. We targeted these requirements by tailoring an existing methodology, PuLSE™, drew advantages of NetBeans Rich Client Platform, and based the product line on the existing application.

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