Product Line Hall of Fame

HomeAway: Online Vacation Rental Marketplace

HomeAway.com is the world's most complete vacation rental marketplace with property listings in more than 90 countries across the globe. The company’s genesis was startup by accretion – eight companies in the web-based vacation home rental market were acquired and merged. The technical solution during the merger and acquisition phase was to assimilate the software functionality of each of the eight companies into a one-size-fits-all application that could be configured with runtime settings to support the look-and-feel of the original eight.

HomeAway’s development organization faced a spectrum of complexity challenges as the company continued to absorb existing websites, as well as create new site products in a variety of “flavors” and with different combinations of features including specific brands, company identities, languages, geographic locations, and other feature sets. As the company’s rapid growth goals pushed the one-size-fits-all approach beyond its limits, HomeAway transitioned to a second generation software product line (SPL) approach using the BigLever 3-Tiered SPL Methodology and the Gears SPL Lifecycle Framework.

HomeAway achieved significant technical and business benefits from the transition to SPL practice within 60 days of implementation. Major technical outcomes included reduced software footprint and hardware requirements, less complexity leading to greater control, more effective testing, reduced deployment times, and higher overall site product quality. Most importantly, HomeAway’s SPL approach enabled the development team to design and deploy new site products with significantly less time and effort; thus, the company could target and cultivate new market segments faster, more efficiently, and with greater profitability.

References

HomeAway’s Transition to Software Product Line Practice: Engineering and Business Results in 60 Days. Charles W. Krueger, Dale Churchett, & Ross Buhrdorf.
12th International Software Product Line Conference Proceedings. Limerick, Ireland. September 2008.

About This Product Line

HomeAway was inducted into the Product Line Hall of Fame at The 13th International Software Product Line Conference (SPLC 2009).

Software Engineering Institute link to the Software Engineering Institute link to Carnegie Mellon University