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Configit’s technology has been developed for the interactive configuration of services and/or goods, called product configuration. It is based on the concept of a product model.
Technically, a product model consists of a set of parameters, a set of possible values for the parameters, and rules describing dependencies among the values.

 Creation of Product Models, the basis for making product configurations

Interactive Product Configuration

A configurator can be built from a product model. The configurator guides a user to make a selection of values for the parameters that is consistent with the rules. The guidance is typically formed as an interactive dialog, where the configurator shows exactly what choices are valid when taking the previous choices into account, and updates this information each time the user makes a selection.

Using Configit’s technology, the configurator can also be embedded in small hardware devices, such as advanced industrial controllers. In such cases, the configurator supports efficient set-up and installation by only providing relevant parameters and choices to the user.

The Players

Three parties are involved in a configurator: the developer of the product model, the maintainer of the product model, and the user of the configurator.

In an e-commerce application, the developer is typically a consultant who works with the product specialist to construct the initial product model.  The maintainer (or “content owner”) maintains the information in the product model as new parameter values become possible or old parameter values disappear.  The user is a customer or sales person configuring a product without detailed product knowledge.

In a setup application, the developer and maintainer are typically programmers who develop the embedded software for the device. The user is the person setting up the device in an installation.

In both cases, the product model is the link between the developer and maintainer on one side and the configuration user on the other.

 

Continue reading:
<< 1. The New Configuration Technology  |  3. Traditional Technology: Constraint Propogation >>

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