Business Models of Store-Oriented Software Ecosystems: A Variability Modeling Approach

  • Sebastian GottschalkEmail author
  • Florian Rittmeier
  • Gregor Engels
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 356)


In the last years, store-oriented software ecosystems are gaining more and more attention from a business perspective. In these ecosystems, third-party developers upload extensions to a store which can be downloaded by end users. While the functional scope of such ecosystems is relatively similar, the underlying business models differ greatly in and between their different product domains (e.g. Mobile Phone, Smart TV). This variability, in turn, makes it challenging for store providers to find a business model that fits their own needs.

To handle this variability, we introduce the Business Variability Model (BVM) for modeling business model decisions. The basis of these decisions is the analysis of 60 store-oriented software ecosystems in eight different product domains. We map their business model decisions to the Business Model Canvas, condense them to a variability model and discuss particular variants and their dependencies. Our work provides store providers a new approach for modeling business model decisions together with insights of existing business models. This, in turn, supports them in creating new and improving existing business models.


Software ecosystems Business models Variabilities 


  1. 1.
    Bosch, J., Bosch-Sijtsema, P.: From integration to composition: on the impact of software product lines, global development and ecosystems. J. Syst. Softw. 83(1), 67–76 (2010). Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bouwman, H., Carlsson, C., Carlsson, J., Nikou, S., Sell, A., Walden, P.: How nokia failed to nail the smartphone market. In: 25th European Regional Conference of the International Telecommunications Society (ITS) (2014)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Chesbrough, H.: Business model innovation: it’s not just about technology anymore. Strategy Leadership. 35(6), 12–17 (2007). Scholar
  4. 4.
    Porter, M.E., Heppelmann, J.E.: How smart, connected products are transforming competition. Harvard Bus. Rev. 92(11), 64–88 (2014)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gonçalves, V., Walravens, N., Ballon, P.: How about an app store? Enablers and constraints in platform strategies for mobile network operators. In: Ninth International Conference on Mobile Business and Ninth Global Mobility Roundtable (ICMB-GMR), pp. 66–73. IEEE (2010).
  6. 6.
    Holzer, A., Ondrus, J.: Mobile application market: a developer’s perspective. Telematics Inform. 28(1), 22–31 (2011). Scholar
  7. 7.
    Jansen, S.: Measuring the health of open source software ecosystems: moving beyond the scope of project health. Inf. Softw. Technol. 56(11), 1508–1519 (2014). Scholar
  8. 8.
    Jansen, S., Bloemendal, E.: Defining app stores: the role of curated marketplaces in software ecosystems. In: Herzwurm, G., Margaria, T. (eds.) ICSOB 2013. LNBIP, vol. 150, pp. 195–206. Springer, Heidelberg (2013). Scholar
  9. 9.
    Jazayeri, B., Platenius, M.C., Engels, G., Kundisch, D.: Features of IT service markets: a systematic literature review. In: Sheng, Q.Z., Stroulia, E., Tata, S., Bhiri, S. (eds.) ICSOC 2016. LNCS, vol. 9936, pp. 301–316. Springer, Cham (2016). Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jazayeri, B., Zimmermann, O., Engels, G., Kundisch, D.: A variability model for store-oriented software ecosystems: an enterprise perspective. In: Maximilien, M., Vallecillo, A., Wang, J., Oriol, M. (eds.) ICSOC 2017. LNCS, vol. 10601, pp. 573–588. Springer, Cham (2017). Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jazayeri, B., Zimmermann, O., Engels, G., Küster, J., Kundisch, D., Szopinski, D.: Design options of store-oriented software ecosystems: an investigation of business decisions. In: Shishkov, B. (ed.) BMSD 2018. LNBIP, vol. 319, pp. 390–400. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  12. 12.
    La Rosa, M., van der Aalst, W.M.P., Dumas, M., Milani, F.P.: Business process variability modeling. ACM Comput. Surv. 50(1), 1–45 (2017). Scholar
  13. 13.
    Lee, S.M., Kim, N.R., Hong, S.G.: Key success factors for mobile app platform activation. Serv. Bus. 11(1), 207–227 (2017). Scholar
  14. 14.
    Manikas, K., Hansen, K.M.: Software ecosystems - a systematic literature review. J. Syst. Softw. 86(5), 1294–1306 (2013). Scholar
  15. 15.
    Menychtas, A., et al.: 4CaaSt marketplace: an advanced business environment for trading cloud services. Future Gener. Comput. Syst. 41, 104–120 (2014). Scholar
  16. 16.
    Metzger, A., Pohl, K., Heymans, P., Schobbens, P.Y., Saval, G.: Disambiguating the documentation of variability in software product lines: a separation of concerns, formalization and automated analysis. In: International Requirements Engineering Conference (RE), pp. 243–253. IEEE (2007).
  17. 17.
    Müller, R.M., Kijl, B., Martens, J.K.J.: A comparison of inter-organizational business models of mobile app stores: there is more than open vs. closed. J. Theor. Appl. Electron. Commer. Res. 6(2), 13–14 (2011). Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nickerson, R.C., Varshney, U., Muntermann, J.: A method for taxonomy development and its application in information systems. Eur. J. Inf. Syst. 22(3), 336–359 (2013). Scholar
  19. 19.
    Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y.: Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers. Wiley, Hoboken (2010)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Parker, G., van Alstyne, M., Choudary, S.P.: Platform revolution: Platform Revolution: How Networked Markets Are Transforming the Economy - and How to Make Them Work for You. W.W. Norton & Company, New York and London (2016)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Roma, P., Ragaglia, D.: Revenue models, in-app purchase, and the app performance: evidence from Apple’s app store and google play. Electron. Commer. Res. Appl. 17, 173–190 (2016). Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tuunainen, V.K., Tuunanen, T., Piispanen, J.: Mobile service platforms: comparing Nokia OVI and Apple app store with the IISIn model. In: International Conference on Mobile Business (ICMB), pp. 74–83. IEEE (2011).
  23. 23.
    van Gurp, J., Bosch, J., Svahnberg, M.: On the notion of variability in software product lines. In: Conference on Software Architecture (CSA), pp. 45–54. IEEE (2001).
  24. 24.
    Zhang, B., Becker, M., Patzke, T., Sierszecki, K., Savolainen, J.E.: Variability evolution and erosion in industrial product lines. In: 17th International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC), pp. 168–177. ACM (2013).

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Gottschalk
    • 1
    Email author
  • Florian Rittmeier
    • 1
  • Gregor Engels
    • 1
  1. 1.Paderborn UniversityPaderbornGermany

Personalised recommendations