Publication (Journal publications)

Agile Product-Line Architecting in Practice: A Case Study in Smart Grids

Díaz Fernández, Jessica; Pérez Benedí, Jenifer; Garbajosa Sopeña, Juan
Context Software Product Line Engineering implies the upfront design of a Product-Line Architecture (PLA) from which individual product applications can be engineered. The big upfront design associated with PLAs is in conflict with the current need of “being open to change”. To make the development of product-lines more flexible and adaptable to changes, several companies are adopting Agile Product Line Engineering. However, to put Agile Product Line Engineering into practice it is still necessary to make mechanisms available to assist and guide the agile construction and evolution of PLAs. Objective This paper presents the validation of a process for “the agile construction and evolution of product-line architectures”, called Agile Product-Line Architecting (APLA). The contribution of the APLA process is the integration of a set of models for describing, documenting, and tracing PLAs, as well as an algorithm for guiding the change decision-making process of PLAs. The APLA process is assessed to prove that assists Agile Product Line Engineering practitioners in the construction and evolution of PLAs. Method Validation is performed through a case study by using both quantitative and qualitative analysis. Quantitative analysis was performed using statistics, whereas qualitative analysis was performed through interviews using constant comparison, triangulation, and supporting tools. This case study was conducted according to the guidelines of Runeson and Höst in a software factory where three projects in the domain of Smart Grids were involved. Results APLA is deployed through the Flexible-PLA modeling framework. This framework supported the successful development and evolution of the PLA of a family of power metering management applications for Smart Grids. Conclusions APLA is a well-supported solution for the agile construction and evolution of PLAs. This case study illustrates that the proposed solution for the agile construction of PLAs is viable in an industry project on Smart Grids.
Type of Publication:
Journal publications
Agile product-line engineering, Agile product-line architecting, Product-line architectural knowledge, Change impact analysis, Case study
Information and Software Technology