Towards Variability Management in Business Document Types using Product Line Engineering

C. Pichler, C. Huemer:
"Towards Variability Management in Business Document Types using Product Line Engineering";
Vortrag: 1st International Workshop on Software Architecture Variability (SAVA 2011), Essen, Germany; 13.09.2011 - 16.09.2011; in:"Proceedings of the 5th European Conference on Software Architecture, ECSA Companion Volume", ACM International Conference Proceeding Series (2011), S. 1 - 5.

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Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) is based on the standardization of business document types. Usually, a standard business document type is defined in an all-embracing manner covering all elements needed in any business context, such as geopolitical context, industry context, and others. Before exchanging business documents in a particular business context, business partners have to agree on an implementation guide resulting in a subset of the standard document type. Different subsets of a standard document type may also be considered as variants of the standard document type. Since no agreed methodology for building variants of standard documents types exists, the domain of EDI may learn from Software Engineering. In fact, we are facing the need for managing variants which is typically addressed in Software Configuration Management. In this position paper, we propose utilizing concepts from Product Line Engineering (PLE) for managing variability in business document models. Therefore, we present the challenges encountered in managing variability in business documents. Furthermore, we provide a profound discussion why concepts from PLE are promising for managing business document variants.