The Product Directory Structure serves a logically nested placeholder for all versionable product-related artifacts. Artifacts are produced as result of following the development process lifecycle, and for the development of each constituent part (component) of the overall system.
The following figure shows that System-X consists of "N" subsystems. Each subsystem, in turn, consists of "M" components. The Product Directory Structure provides a common placeholder for the various artifacts that are required for the development of each part of the overall system.
In the Rational Unified Process artifacts are grouped and described in terms of Disciplines. These Disciplines are:
Projects could organize artifacts by Information Set, however, that would not take into account how the overall system is to be developed, and then assembled from its constituent parts. The Product Directory Structure is logically structured to show how components are nested, and have the essential information that is required to create them in an overall context of a system or subsystem.
The Product Directory Structure is a placeholder framework and provides a navigational map to all project related artifacts. The artifacts could bephysicallyplaced within the various directories, or bereferencedfrom given locations.
Although an experienced designer may have a good idea of system composition at the outset, the view of major developmental components emerges as a result of Analysis&Design-related activities to define and refine candidate architectures.
The following table provides a Product System Directory Structure pattern that could be used as a 'Product Directory Structure' in the initial phases of project development while the precise details of composite subsystems and architectural layering has yet to be determined.
Once Analysis&Design activities are underway, and there is an improved understanding on the number and nature of subsystems required in the overall system (Activity: Subsystem Design), the Product Directory Structure needs to be expanded to accommodate each subsystem.
The information in the System Product Directory Structure needs to be visible to all subsystems across the project. So apart from the product management, requirements and test information Standards&Guidelines would belong in the System Product Directory Structure. In this instance, Tools are included in the System Product Directory Structure, however, they could be in a higher level directory where a number of Systems could be using the same toolset.
The information in the Product Subsystem Directory Structure relates directly to the development of that particular subsystem. The number of 'instantiations' of the Subsystems Product Directory Structure is clearly related to number of subsystems decided upon as a result of the Analysis&Design activities.
As shown in the following figure (Drilling to the Executables), System-Y has three subsystems (Subsystem-A, Subsystem-B and Subsystem-N). Each subsystem has the necessary information for its design and eventual implementation.
Drilling to the Executables
A generalized breakdown of the Subsystem Product Directory Structure is as follows:
The number of components is result of subsystem design decisions. The following directory structure needs to be instantiated for each component to be developed.
One benefit of nesting directories in the prescribed manner is that all relevant contextual information on the development of a component is available, either at the same level, or the level above.
The naming convention for artifacts is described in the Configuration Management Plan.