Configuration Management for E-Commerce

Andreas Johansson, Claes Strannegård, and Helmut Weberpals
Research period: 1999-2000

If you are visiting an e-commerce site to buy a computer, you are offered the possibility to customise the computer to suit your particular needs. Most e-commerce sites, however, put the burden of making a consistent choice on you, the customer. So you might end up with a computer that cannot be delivered. Therefore, the e-commerce site must guide you through the customisation process in order to really satisfy you.

This is the domain of configuration management: Establishing and maintaining the consistency of a product's attributes and performance with its design and requirements throughout its life. Within this project we developed a Java based prototype of a configurator with a graphical user interface that guides the customer through the selection of available or unsuitable or inaccessible components. Whether you choose a general description or a technical specification, consistency is guaranteed.