Software for embedded systems faces some special constraints not found in other domains. One of these constraints is a hard limitation on available RAM/ROM, processing power, and other resources. To cope with these limitations without losing the reusability of the software components, product line technologies are a promising approach. However, adequate tools for variant management are still rare.
In the demonstration we will apply Pure::Consul, a tool which supports the description of problem and solution domains of product lines, software families, or other variable artifacts in a highly flexible manner, to a realistic application scenario: a weather station product line running on a small 8 bit microcontroller with only a few KBytes of memory.
Problem domain modeling with Pure::Consul is based on extended feature models. The tool allows for integration of many different variability realization techniques through its customizable transformation backend. Thus, it is able to incorporate frame processors, code generators, or arbitrary other tools.
The implementation of the presented product line is based on AspectC++, an aspect-oriented extension to C++. We will demonstrate that by applying aspect-oriented software development, the number of configuration points in the code can be reduced. Both tools together form an ideal tool chain for embedded software product line development as one reduces the configuration complexity on the source code level, while the other helps to manage the variability on the abstract feature level and provides a mapping of features to aspects, classes, or other modularization units.