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The Power of Software Product Lines

A software product line is a set of software-intensive systems that share a common, managed set of features satisfying the specific needs of a particular market segment or mission and that are developed from a common set of core assets in a prescribed way. Companies of all sizes and in all kinds of application domains are discovering that developing their systems as a software product line can yield order-of-magnitude improvements in product cost, time to market, and quality, as well as bring new-found flexibility to an organization's market presence. Developing software as a product line requires a skillful blend of technical, organizational, and managerial practices.

This talk will:

  • introduce the basic concepts behind a software product line
  • describe the three essential activities in software product line development
  • present case studies of software product line successes
  • examine some of the specific practices a product line organization must master
  • introduce some product line practice patterns

About the Speaker

Dr. Paul Clements, SEI

Dr. Paul Clements is a senior member of the technical staff at Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute, where he has worked for 8 years leading or co-leading projects in software product line engineering and software architecture documentation and analysis.

Clements was a co-author of "Software Product Lines: Practices and Patterns" (2001), and is the co-author of three practitioner-oriented books about software architecture: "Software Architecture in Practice" (1998, second edition due in late 2002), "Evaluating Software Architectures: Methods and Case Studies" (2001), and "Documenting Software Architectures: View and Beyond" (2002). He is co-author and editor of "Constructing Superior Software" (1999), written in conjunction with the University of Texas Software Quality Institute. In addition, Clements has also authored dozens of papers in software engineering reflecting his long-standing interest in the design and specification of challenging software systems.

He received a B.S. in mathematical sciences in 1977, and a M.S. in computer science in 1980, both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He received a Ph.D. in computer sciences from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994.

He lives and works in Austin, Texas, where he spends an inordinate amount of time working on his small ranch near Dripping Springs.
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