Empirical Software Engineering

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 411–448 | Cite as

Assessing software product line potential: an exploratory industrial case study

  • Heiko KoziolekEmail author
  • Thomas Goldschmidt
  • Thijmen de Gooijer
  • Dominik Domis
  • Stephan Sehestedt
  • Thomas Gamer
  • Markus Aleksy
Experience Report


Corporate organizations sometimes offer similar software products in certain domains due to former company mergers or due to the complexity of the organization. The functional overlap of such products is an opportunity for future systematic reuse to reduce software development and maintenance costs. Therefore, we have tailored existing domain analysis methods to our organization to identify commonalities and variabilities among such products and to assess the potential for software product line (SPL) approaches. As an exploratory case study, we report on our experiences and lessons learned from conducting the domain analysis in four application cases with large-scale software products. We learned that the outcome of a domain analysis was often a smaller integration scenario instead of an SPL and that business case calculations were less relevant for the stakeholders and managers from the business units during this phase. We also learned that architecture reconstruction using a simple block diagram notation aids domain analysis and that large parts of our approach were reusable across application cases.


Software product lines Domain analysis Business case 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heiko Koziolek
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thomas Goldschmidt
    • 1
  • Thijmen de Gooijer
    • 1
  • Dominik Domis
    • 1
  • Stephan Sehestedt
    • 1
  • Thomas Gamer
    • 1
  • Markus Aleksy
    • 1
  1. 1.ABB Corporate ResearchLadenburgGermany

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