Inferring variability from customize standard software products

PL4X Conceptual Solution

Systematic variability management is an important prerequisite for successful software reuse. However, it requires significant effort and extensive domain knowledge to document and maintain information on variability. In this paper we present a tool-supported approach which supports semi-automatically inferring variability information from customized standard software products. The approach does not only enable the identification and documentation of variability information based on existing products, it is also capable of incrementally updating this information. To guarantee quick access to reusable code artifacts (e.g. requirements, features or software components), the presented solution stores these artifacts together with related requirements and a generated variability model in an asset repository. The tool-supported approach has been applied to customizations of Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP systems. Our experiences highlight the potential and benefits of our approach compared to manually gathering information on software variability.

The paper was presented at the 18th International Software Product Line Conference 2014 in Florence. The paper is available at ACM digital library

Similarity Analysis within Product Line Scoping: An Evaluation of a Semi-Automatic Approach

Abstract: Introducing a product line approach in an organization requires a systematic scoping phase to decide what products and features should be included. Product line scoping is a non-trivial activity and traditionally consumes a lot of time and resources. This issue highlights the need to complement traditional scoping activities with semi-automatic approaches that allow to initially estimate the potential for reuse with small efforts. In this paper we present an evaluation of a tool-supported approach that enables the semi-automatic analysis of existing products in order to calculate their similarity. This approach is tailored to be used within the configuration-based systems domain, where we have used it to identify similarity within two types of industrial standard software products. The results of this evaluation highlight that our approach provides accurate results and leads to time savings compared to manual similarity analysis.

Thessaloniki, Greece

The paper was presented at CAiSE’14 (26th International Conference on Advanced Information Systems Engineering) Thessaloniki, Greece. Get the paper from Springer

2nd International Business and System Conference, Riga 2013

BSC is co-located with the 6th Working Conference on the Practice of Enterprise Modeling PoEM in Riga (Latvia)


A Lightweight Approach For Product Line Scoping

Noebauer M., Seyff N., Groher I., Dhungana D.,

Many organizations providing products with common features wish to take advantage of that similarity in order to reduce development and maintenance efforts. Their goal is to move from a single-system development paradigm towards a product line approach. However, this transition is not trivial and requires a systematic scoping phase to decide how the product line should be defined, i.e. what products and features should be included and thus developed for reuse. Currently available product line scoping approaches require huge upfront investments in the scoping phase, consuming a lot of time and resources. Our experience has shown that small and medium enterprises require a lightweight approach to decide how the existing products are related to each other so that their potential for reuse can be estimated more easily. In this paper we present a conceptual solution and early tool support enabling companies to semi-automatically identify similarity within existing product configurations.


The paper “A Lightweight Approach for Product Line Scoping” was recently presented at the Euromicro Conference on Software Engineering and Advanced Applications in Cesme (Turkey). The paper can soon be found in ieeexplore.

Radisson Blu Conference Hotel

The Beach at Radisson Blu Conference Hotel in Cesme

VaMoS 2012 Paper: Managing variability of ERP ecosystems

The paper is about variability in ERP ecosystems, especially the situation of Dynamics AX partner companies. We present an idea how partner companies could manage the variability in their solutions to set up a product line. The paper can be found at the ACM Digital Library

Battle of Nations Monument

Battle of Nations Monument near Leipzig

Conduction Research in an SME Company: A Discussion of Success Factors and Risks; Nöbauer M., Seyff N., EPIC 2011

SME companies in the ERP domain are facing several challenges such as the functional growth of systems. Solving these problems is sometimes difficult as no off-the-shelf solutions exist. This also means that selected prob-lems provide an excellent opportunity for applied research. In this paper, we de-scribe the S³C research project which was conducted by an SME company in the ERP domain. We present the objectives and the outcomes of the project but also focus on a discussion on how the project was conducted. Particularly, the contribution of this paper is a discussion of lessons learned from conducting re-search in SME companies. We highlight success factors and risks which pro-vide a guideline for SME companies in conducting research.

Presented at 3rd Workshop on Leveraging Empirical Research Results for Software Business Success; EPIC 2011 in Brüssel. EPIC’11 Workshop

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Passed MB5-858 Sure Step

I’ve passed the MB5-858 exam, Managing Microsoft Dynamics Implementations Smiley


Some thoughts about MB5-858

  • Attending a course is good idea
  • The official training materials aren’t usefull to learn for the exam (IMHO)
  • You should already know Sure Step
  • Don’t spend too much time on the agile project type