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Current state and potential of variability management practices in software-intensive SMEs: Results from a regional industrial survey
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Information Engineering.
2010 (English)In: Information and Software Technology, ISSN 0950-5849, Vol. 52, no 4, 411-421 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Context

More and more, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are using software to augment the functionality of their products and offerings. Variability management of software is becoming an interesting topic for SMEs with expanding portfolios and increasingly complex product structures. While the use of software product lines to resolve high variability is well known in larger organizations, there is less known about the practices in SMEs.

Objective

This paper presents results from a survey of software developing SMEs. The purpose of the paper is to provide a snapshot of the current awareness and practices of variability modeling in organizations that are developing software with the constraints present in SMEs.

Method

A survey with questions regarding the variability practices was distributed to software developing organizations in a region of Sweden that has many SMEs. The response rate was 13% and 25 responses are used in this analysis.

Results

We find that, although there are SMEs that develop implicit software product lines and have relatively sophisticated variability structures for their solution space, the structures of the problem space and the product space have room for improvement.

Conclusions

The answers in the survey indicate that SMEs are in situations where they can benefit from more structured variability management, but the awareness need to be raised. Even though the problem space similarity is high, there is little reuse and traceability activities performed. The existence of SMEs with qualified variability management and product line practices indicates that small organizations are capable to apply such practices.



Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 52, no 4, 411-421 p.
Keyword [en]
SME, Software engineering, Survey, Variability
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-14243DOI: 10.1016/j.infsof.2009.10.009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-14243DiVA: diva2:384428
Available from: 2011-01-10 Created: 2011-01-10 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf