Lucent Technologies (7th Case)

Company Background

Lucent Technologies designs and delivers the systems, services, and software that drive next-generation communications networks, like telephony or data communication.


Most of the telephone connections in the USA are established by the 5ESS™ switch from Lucent. The 5ESS™ switch has been in use since 1982. It has been advanced to accommodate emerging requirements, e.g. the Internet.


In 1994 Lucent launched the Domain Engineered Configuration Control (DECC) project to standardise the configuration control software and to establish a software product line. The configuration control software monitors the run-time configuration of hardware components and maintains their status. For example, before removing one of the hardware components, the configuration control software has to check if there is a backup component. Furthermore the DECC developed a configuration process and tool for generating new software based on the core assets. The idea was to translate new specifications automatically into working code driven by a tool with a graphical user interface.


In 1996 the DECC team started a trial use in comparison to a traditional project. The software product line had comparable run-time performances. Because of this experience, the DECC team invested a small amount of reengineering effort and started the first successful real project only a few months later. The switch maintenance domain showed productivity improvements by factors of 3 to 5 as a result of introducing product line engineering.


  • M. Ardis, P. Dudak, L. Dor, W.-J. Leu, L. Nakatani, B. Olsen, and P. Pontrelli; "Domain-Engineered Configuration Control", In: Proceedings of the First Software Product Lines Conference (SPLC-1), Denver, Kluwer, 2000, pp. 479-493.
  • SPLC2 - Product Line Hall of Fame (Website)