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Generative programming methods provide some significant advantages for the repeated deployment of product line architectures. The paper considers XML as a tool for building and describing applications that use generative programming methods. It describes techniques for the creation of a generative framework, presents a case study and discusses the results of practical application of these methods in a real world, enterprise scale, product line architecture. The paper presents the advantages of using an XML descriptor that can be easily transformed to generate both static and dynamically configurable software components for direct deployment in an application framework. Two implementation approaches are considered: an indirect approach using XSL for the transformations; and a direct approach where the XML descriptor is parsed and dealt with programmatically. The relative advantages of these two approaches are discussed. The paper provides practical examples and presents lessons learned from the application of the techniques.
Date of Conference: 26-29 Nov. 2001