MARKET MAKER Software AG (8th Case)

Company Background

MARKET MAKER Software AG develops and provides Europe's most popular stock market software that helps private and professional users to keep track of the stock market.

Products

In 1999 MARKET MAKER decided to enter the new market of Internet services. The small development team was faced with different customer needs. Different operating platforms had to integrate different databases and content-producing software. The product had to be able to serve different requirements, such as showing different information in different representation formats based on different customer needs.

Platform

The variety in the online version of the product led to the decision to apply the software product line engineering paradigm. By reusing the desktop version of the stock information system as a common core, a small team of six developers realised the additional software product line requirements for the online market in 36 person months. An additional requirement, for example, was that products of the software product line had to be integrated into different customer environments, which was achieved by separating the data and the application layers.

Experience

Each instance of the software product line must be built in accordance with customer requirements, installed, and tested on the customer's own platform. This takes as little as three days. During the boom time of the New Economy in the late 1990s, MARKET MAKER could realise a short time to market as a major advantage over its competitors. After the end of the boom time, MARKET MAKER survived because of its small, efficient team required for maintaining the running systems. The development time for creating a new product is reduced by more than 50% and costs are reduced by roughly 70%.

References

  • P. Clements and L. Northrop; Software Product Lines - Practices and Patterns, Addison-Wesley, 2001, pp. 485-512.
  • K. Schmid; "A Comprehensive Product Line Scoping Approach and Its Validation", In: Proceedings of the 24th International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2002), Orlando, Florida, ACM Press, 2002, pp. 593-603.
  • O. Flege and T. Kiesgen; "Börseninformationssysteme bei der Market Maker AG" (in German), In: G. Böckle, P. Knauber, K. Pohl, and K. Schmid (eds.), Software-Produktfamilien - Methoden, Einführung und Praxis, dpunkt, 2004, pp. 207-220.
  • Software Product Lines (Website)
  • SPLC2 - Product Line Hall of Fame (Website)