European researchers have devised a new software development paradigm using an assembly line-style development process. “Think of this as a sandwich shop, where you have different products coming from a product line that shares ingredients, which customers can pick and choose,” says AMPLE project coordinator and Lancaster University professor Awais Rashid. The asset base features modular software elements that establish a Software Product Line (SPL), within which is managed the entire software lifecycle from design and development through deployment and maintenance. The AMPLE team created analyses tools that guide users on system development. Rashid says the results of the AMPLE tool analyses match those of human software experts, but the AMPLE software is capable of much faster assessment and can be used by non-experts. Other tools in the chain let companies generate their own modular software components, to put them together for a specific job, and to test and validate the resulting application. Another key element is the maintenance, repair, and modification of both the SPL and the software it creates.
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