Supervised Master's theses

Jacob Gradén, Anna Stĺhl:
Managing product variants in a component-based system,
summary, report, November 2009.


Today's markets are fast-paced, with many different customers and requirements on products. More than ever before, it is necessary to be able to provide each customer with a tailor-made product, corresponding to just that customer's needs. At the same time, maintaining different products is costly and strains resources. By reusing code and producing tailored variants of the same basic product, the customer's requirements can be met while keeping costs under control.

Component-based systems are becoming a popular way of managing product variants and promoting code reuse. Component-based systems are based on stand-alone components which can be combined in various ways to produce different product variants - essentially using the same building blocks to construct different products.

However, the many different requirements and product variants introduce complexity which needs to be managed while retaining flexibility, so that creating product variants is facilitated. This means that not only components and products must be managed, but also information pertaining to them, such as technical relationships between components and business requirements on products.

This master thesis suggests a support tool to help in creating and managing the different components and products, and outlines the capabilities such a tool should have and the opportunities it would present.

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