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One promising approach to more effective software development is the concept of product platform originated from mechanical engineering, aiming at architectural product families instead of a portfolio of separate products. The concept was also offered for the development of software applications. Based on our literature review we argue that the presented "sofware platforms" intermixed the product and process platform approaches, leaving the borderline to re-use and component oriented software engineering methods unclear. We propose a new application frame concept that conserves the original objective of the product platform. To manage the complex interaction with the software process we propose that the software application frame should be taken as a strategic issue, where three software application sub-strategies are aligned (integrated). These are the structural (application architecture), the process (underlying technology), and the software application leverage. We propose effectiveness criteria and generic alignment processes for the frame strategy and discuss implications of the new framework for software development practices.
Date of Conference: 2002