Practices of Agile Software Product-Line Engineering: A qualitative assessment of empirical studies
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This thesis elaborated on the how Software Product-Line Engineering is combined with Agile Software Development to improve Software Engineering, through investigating published case studies and performing interviews in several companies. This combination are often described as Agile Software Product-Line Engineering and our study aimed to describe what agility is for software product lines and find out more on how this approach could be realized. Agile Software Product-Line Engineering could reap benefits from the best of the two software engineering approaches combining long term strategic efforts with short term agility. By following a specified research method that combines qualitative research methods we were able to ensure validity in our analysis and generalize the findings of this study. We used both semi-structured interviews and textual analysis techniques. The companies under study seem to combine Software Product-Line Engineering and Agile Software Development with success, reducing initial investment and exploiting reuse, and we found several practices that are interesting for further study. Based on these practices we present our view of a top-down approach to Agile Software Product-Line Engineering starting with several characteristics and a proposal for a definition of the field. Further, a framework for implementing the approach based on our research is presented, before we describe our thoughts on how the practice areas of Software Product-Line Engineering can be combined with Agile Software Development practices. We think that this thesis could be used as a guideline for further study and implementation of Agile Software Product-Lines. We believe that the data we cover is comprehensive based on the small existing research field and covers the general ideas of both the fields included in the combination.