Philips (Telecommunication Switching System)

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Philips: Telecommunication Switching System, Philips

The PKI tss (Telecommunications Switching System) is a product family (product line) originating from the middle of the 1980s. PKI was a small player in the telecommunications world, and had to survive by addressing a niche market. In particular, the tss family had to serve a large variety of clients and regulations. The approach emphasized a component-based architecture; components were called “Building Blocks.” The architecture consisted of a component based framework where plug-ins are available to tailor the system to the actual requirements. Moreover, aspects were defined for meeting quality requirements. For many aspects automatic code generation was available. For other aspects code guidelines were available, easing the burden of implementation.

The architecture of the system ensured that it could be built and tested incrementally. The family was very successful in having a fast time-to-market, and high reuse.

In 1994 PKI was sold to Lucent, which did not continue the tss family. The knowledge about the tss system stayed within Philips, however, and the majority of the present day product family developments within Philips are still influenced by the tss experiences.


Frank van der Linden and Jürgen K. Müller: “Creating Architectures with Building Blocks,” IEEE Software, Nov. 1995.

Frank van der Linden, Jürgen K. Müller: Composing Product Families from Reusable Components, Bonnie Melhart, Jerzy Rozenblit (eds.), Proceedings 1995 International Symposium and Workshop on Systems Engineering of Computer Based Systems, IEEE, pp. 35 – 40 (1995).

Jürgen K. Müller: “Integrating Architectural Design Into The Development Process,” Bonnie Melhart and Jerzy Rozenblit (eds.), Proceedings 1995 International Symposium and Workshop on Systems Engineering of Computer Based Systems, IEEE, pp. 114 – 121 (1995).

Jürgen K. Müller: “Feature-Oriented Software Structuring,” Proceedings CompSAC’97, pp. 552-555, (1997).

Jan Gerben Wijnstra: Critical Factors for a successful Platform-based Product Family Approach, Gary J. Chastek (ed.) Proceedings SPLC2, Springer LNCS 2379, (2002).

Jürgen K. Müller: “The Building Block Method; Component-Based Architectural Design for Large Software-Intensive Product Families,” Amsterdam 2003.


About This Product Line

Philips (for its Telecommunication Switching System) was inducted into the Hall of Fame at theSecond Software Product Line Conference (SPLC2).

Cited improvements to the Philips product line of software for television sets include improved time to market and reuse.