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A complex project is almost always composed of different variants developed simultaneously. The variants are used to represent different technological solutions or other types of diversity within the framework of a project. Some of the variants can be simply preliminary tests and will not be developed fully whereas others represent the diversity of the final solution. To illustrate the use of variants, the development of a car can lead to configurations with different motors and other options.

In arKItect, variants and options are the tools used to model the diversity of a project. The project data is composed of all the objects of the project. A variant is a subpart of the project data, it represents a reduced version of the project that should work independently from the rest of the variants.

Modeling all the variants in one global project is very helpful for component re-use. In the example below, several components of a coffee maker that are not used in the variant Espresso Machine have been modeled; these parts are used in other variants.

The option and variant tools can be accessed from Manage Options & Variants Panel of the Configuration Management Category. The following pages will show you how to work with variants and options.


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