On the Role of Architectural Design Decisions in Software Product Line Engineering
An increased attention to documenting architectural design decisions and their rationale has resulted in several approaches and prototype tools for capturing and managing architectural knowledge. However, most of them are focused on architecting single products and little attention has been paid to include design decisions in the context of product line architectures. This paper reports our work on analyzing the existing work on architectural design decisions for the specific needs of software product line engineering. We have studied two existing tools for managing design decisions to identify the changes required in these tools for supporting product line specific requirements. Based on this study, we report the extensions required in the data models of the tools and propose a unified data model to guide the tool development research for supporting explicitly the relationships between design decisions and variability models for software product line engineering.