Business Case for a Product Line of Legacy Application Data-Middleware

M. López H. and M.C. Bastarrica (Chile)


Software product lines, business case, data middleware


Legacy applications remain as software solutions for many organizations and businesses. These applications have been implemented using different IT platforms. Moreover, few of these applications have been standardized or migrated to newer versions to fulfill new requirements. Thus, there are heterogeneous applications running in different platforms, even within one organization. On the other hand, the need for interchanging strategic information between organizations or legacy applications is more common than a few years ago. Data interchange among these heterogeneous legacy systems is usually a major project. The solution is not unique and there might even be many solutions for every pair of legacy applications. We call data-middleware a product for interchanging information between two legacy applications. In order to develop a reusable and non-legacy implementation dependent solution, this product could be developed using the software product line paradigm. The development of this product as part of a software product line includes new practice areas that must be defined in a Business Case. A Business Case (BC) is a tool for making a business decision, because it predicts the organizational consequences of this decision. We describe a BC with three core practice areas: how the organization should be structured, the base architecture as the main initial asset, and how the data-middleware product line organization is launched and institutionalized.

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