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Volume 26 / Issue 10

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Have Variability Tools Fulfilled the Needs of the Software Industry?

Ana Paula Allian (State University of Maringá and University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Edson OliveiraJr (State University of Maringá, Brazil)

Rafael Capilla (State University of Maringá, Brazil)

Elisa Yumi Nakagawa (University of São Paulo, Brazil)

Abstract: For nearly 30 years, industry and researchers have proposed many software variability tools to cope with the complexity of modeling variability in software development, followed by a number of publications on variability techniques built upon theoretical foundations. After more than 25 years of the practice of software variability, there are not many studies investigating the impact of software variability tools in the industry and the perception of practitioners. For this reason, we investigate in this research work how existing software variability tools fulfill the needs of companies demanding this kind of tool support. We conducted a survey with practitioners from companies in eight different countries in order to analyze the missing capabilities of software variability management tools and we compared the results of the survey with the scientifoc literature through a systematic mapping study (SMS) to analyze if the proposed solutions cover the needs required by practitioners. Our major findings indicate that many tools lack important qualities such as interoperability, collaborative work, code generation, scalability, impact analysis, and test; while the results from the SMS showed these such capabilities are, to some extent, found in some of the existing tools.

Keywords: interoperability, scalability, software variability tools, systematic mapping study

Categories: D.2, D.2.11, D.2.13, D.2.2