, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 427-451
Date: 27 Jun 2009

A model-driven traceability framework for software product lines

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Abstract

Software product line (SPL) engineering is a recent approach to software development where a set of software products are derived for a well defined target application domain, from a common set of core assets using analogous means of production (for instance, through Model Driven Engineering). Therefore, such family of products are built from reuse, instead of developed individually from scratch. SPL promise to lower the costs of development, increase the quality of software, give clients more flexibility and reduce time to market. These benefits come with a set of new problems and turn some older problems possibly more complex. One of these problems is traceability management. In the European AMPLE project we are creating a common traceability framework across the various activities of the SPL development. We identified four orthogonal traceability dimensions in SPL development, one of which is an extension of what is often considered as “traceability of variability”. This constitutes one of the two contributions of this paper. The second contribution is the specification of a metamodel for a repository of traceability links in the context of SPL and the implementation of a respective traceability framework. This framework enables fundamental traceability management operations, such as trace import and export, modification, query and visualization. The power of our framework is highlighted with an example scenario.

Communicated by Prof. Richard Paige.