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Product line engineering and plug-in techniques pursue different but complementary goals. Software product line engineering strives for modeling the variability of software systems on different levels of abstraction, whereas plug-in systems support software extensibility, customizability, and evolution. We present an approach demonstrating the benefits of integrating those two areas and discuss the integration of a plug-in platform for enterprise software with an existing product line engineering tool suite. The plug-in platform provides extensibility as well as runtime reconfiguration and adaptation mechanisms on the .NET platform. Automatic runtime adaptations are attained by using the knowledge documented in variability models. We discuss several usage scenarios developed in cooperation with our industry partner illustrating the need of our approach in the enterprise software domain. Finally, we validate the approach on a commercial ERP system of our industry partner.
Date of Conference: 25-29 Feb. 2008