Experience from Implementing a Complex Eclipse Extension for Software Product Line Engineering

, , , and . Proceedings of Eclipse Technology eXchange (ETX '15), page 13-24. ACM, (2015)http://dx.doi.org/10.1145/2846650.2846654.


Software Product Line Engineering (SPLE) is a systematic reuse approach for the development of related software products. These products share a common infrastructure but vary with respect to their individual capabilities, called variabilities. Variability management is a key discipline in SPLE and is responsible for developing, combining and configuring such variabilities. As these activities are inherently complex, SPLE significantly benefits from tool-support. In this paper, we introduce EASy-Producer as a customizable Eclipse extension for SPLE. The tool consists of around 38 plug-ins that extend the Eclipse IDE by the capability to support the creation and management of software product line projects. To provide this capability, EASy-Producer utilizes the extension concepts of the Eclipse platform and integrates additional frameworks, like Xtext. We describe the application of these technologies and, in particular, how we realized specific capabilities of our tool using the Eclipse framework. Based on our experience, we provide lessons learned regarding managing workspace information and conflicting build mechanism as well as using Eclipse extensions outside of Eclipse as an input to the Eclipse community.

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