However, most configuration systems
in practice are interactive systems because users want to be guided in their decision processes: they are not able to specify all requirements in advance but need to see the effects of each decision on the alternatives for the remaining variables--which values are no longer allowed or which values are direct and indirect consequences, respectively.
The procedure phases (Figure 2) are intended to help impose some structure on the task of developing and implementing a configuration system
. By following this procedure it should be possible to: bring out the business requirements for a configuration system
to be created; delimit and define knowledge which is to be incorporated into a configuration system
; analyse and describe a complete product range and rules for designing a customer specific product; express product knowledge in an appropriate form for incorporation into a configuration systems
* Development of an open framework for product (material product or service) configuration systems
While the accompanying article by Bachant and Soloway focuses specifically on the technical issues underlying XCON and the other configuration systems
, we take a more holistic, integrative approach in this article and attempt to put the aforementioned concerns into a coherent perspective.
often achieve this goal only partially since the amount and complexity of options presented by the configurator outstrip the capability of a user to identify an appropriate solution (configuration).
The recent development of IT technology enabled the software based product configuration systems
that support the process of customized product development.
A function that is already supported by the most of all available configuration systems
on the market (Holthofer & Szilagyi, 2001).
Recall that RIME was intended to provide guidance for the engineering of the evolving expert configuration systems
A current main focus of the research on the field of product configurators is the involvement of the customers into the configuration process by the use of configuration systems
based on the Internet (for example Hansen et al 2003, Leckner 2003).
Along with the growing complexity of configurable products, the required supporting software systems (configuration systems
) have been improved and successfully applied in industrial environments (Fleischanderl et al.