Same Same But Different: Interoperability of Software Product Line Variants

  • Ferruccio Damiani
  • Reiner HähnleEmail author
  • Eduard Kamburjan
  • Michael Lienhardt


Software Product Lines (SPLs) are an established area of research providing approaches to describe multiple variants of a software product by representing them as a highly variable system. Multi-SPLs (MPLs) are an emerging area of research addressing approaches to describe sets of interdependent, highly variable systems, that are typically managed and developed in a decentralized fashion. Current approaches do not offer a mechanism to manage and orchestrate multiple variants from one product line within the same application. We experienced the need for such a mechanism in an industry project with Deutsche Bahn, where we do not merely model a highly variable system, but a system with highly variable subsystems. Based on MPL concepts and delta-oriented oriented programming, we present a novel solution to the design challenges arising from having to manage and interoperate multiple subsystems with multiple variants: how to reference variants, how to avoid name or type clashes, and how to keep variants interoperable.


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This work is supported by FormbaR, part of AG Signalling/DB Raillab (; EU Horizon 2020 project HyVar (, GA No. 644298; and ICT COST Action IC1402 ARVI (


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ferruccio Damiani
    • 1
  • Reiner Hähnle
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eduard Kamburjan
    • 2
  • Michael Lienhardt
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorinoTorinoItaly
  2. 2.Technische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

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