Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University


The process of obtaining products and services via a contract or license.

acquisition plan
The artifact that is typically used to document the acquisition strategy

acquisition strategy
A plan of action for achieving a specific goal or result through contracting or licensing for products and services.

application engineering
    An engineering process  that develops software products from partial solutions or knowledge  embodied in software-related assets

architectural view
A representation of a set of system elements and the relationships among them.

attached process
The process associated with a core asset that tells a product builder how the core asset will be used .in the development of products.

business case
A tool that helps one you make business decisions by predicting how they will affect an organization. Business cases are used among other things to determine if pursuing a product line approach will be beneficial and to determine if a given product line scope makes business sense.

To contract with another party to build a product or provide a service.

A unit of software composition with contractually specified interfaces and explicit context dependencies only. A software component can be deployed independently and is subject to composition by third parties.

concept of operations
Description of an organization's structure, roles, responsibilities, communication mechanisms, processes, practices, and policies that all detail the way the organization operates.

configuration management
A discipline for evaluating, coordinating, approving or disapproving, and implementing changes in the artifacts that are used to construct and maintain software systems. An artifact can be a piece of hardware or software or documentation.

core asset
A reusable artifact or resource that is used in the production of more than one product in a software product line. A core asset may be an architecture, a software component, a domain model, a requirements statement or specification, a document, a plan, a test case, a process description, or any other useful element of a software production process.

core asset base
The complete set of core assets associated with a given software product line.

customer interface
The description of an organization's connection to its customer(s) including the people involved, the information flow, the communication content, and any applicable polices and procedures.

A generic word used to describe how software comes to be.

An area of knowledge or activity characterized by a set of concepts and terminology understood by practitioners in that area.

domain analysis
A process for capturing and representing information about applications in a domain, specifically common characteristics, variations, and reasons for variation.

domain understanding
Extensive insight and experience in the domains relevant to an organization's software and/or system endeavors.

externally available software
Existing software that can be used free, licensed, or purchased. The options for externally available software include commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software, open source software, freeware, and Web-based services.

Framework for Software Product Line Practice
An online product line encyclopedia that describes the essential activities and practices in which an organization must be competent in order to reap the maximum benefit from fielding a software product line. The framework was developed and is maintained by the SEI.

market analysis
The systematic research and analysis of the external factors that determine the success of a product in the marketplace.

Finding, analyzing, and rehabilitating a piece of an existing software system to serve in a new system for which it was not originally intended.

organizational management practice areas
Those practice areas necessary for orchestrating the entire software product line effort.

A word some use to mean the software assets in a product line core asset base.

practice area
A body of work or a collection of activities that an organization must master to successfully carry out the essential work of a software product line.

Deployed software-intensive system or software.

product constraints
The set of common and variant features and behavioral attributes associated with the products in the product line scope.

product line
A set of products that share a common, managed set of features satisfying the needs of a particular market segment.

product line adoption
An organization's change to a software product line approach, which involves developing a core asset base, supportive processes, and organizational structures; developing products from that asset base in a way that achieves business goals; and preparing itself to institutionalize product line practices.

product line adoption plan
An organizational plan that describes how product line practices will be rolled out across the organization.

product line approach
The technical and business practices necessary to build a family of products as a software product line.

product line architecture
A core asset that is the software architecture for all the products in a software product line. A product line architecture explicitly provides variation mechanisms that support the diversity among the products in the software product line.

product line scope
A description of the products that will constitute the product line or that the product line is capable of including.

production plan
The guide to how products in the software product line will be constructed from the product line's core assets.

production constraints
Any restrictions on the timing, development environment, processes, or developer skills associated with development of the products in a software product line.

production capability
The core asset base, supportive processes, and tools that enable the development of the products in a software product line.

production method
The overall implementation approach that specifies the models, processes, and tools used in the attached processes across core assets.

production process
The process used for building all products in a software product line. The production process is defined by the set of attached processes with the necessary process "glue" to join them together into a coherent whole.

production strategy
The overall approach for realizing both the core assets and products in a software product line.

A temporary endeavor aimed at creating a unique product or service. Typically a project has its own funding, accounting, and delivery schedule.

requirements engineering
The use of systematic and repeatable techniques to elicit, analyze, specify, verify, and manage system requirements.

Using an item more than once.

An activity that bounds the behaviors and features of a system or set of systems. In a product line approach, scoping is the activity that defines the product line scope.

software architecture
Structure or structures of the system, which comprise software elements, the externally visible properties of those elements, and the relationships among them.

software engineering practice areas
Those practice areas necessary for applying the appropriate technology to create and evolve both core assets and products.

software product line
A set of software-intensive systems sharing a common, managed set of features that satisfy 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.

software product line practice pattern
A description of an organization's context, the product line problem it is trying to solve, and how a set of practice areas can be used in concert to solve the problem.

strategic reuse
Planned, systematic reuse that implements tightly connected business and technical strategies.

technical management practice areas
Those practice areas necessary for managing the creation and evolution of the core assets and the products.


technology forecasting
Looking at future technologies that will either support internal software development or affect features or capabilities embedded in an organization's products.

Further your product lines knowledge with the help of the SEI’s product line training options. Courses, certificate programs, and workshops are available to the software engineering community.