The System family contains generalised system and component concepts that can be adapted (configurated) and instantiated to fit into a suitable range of user environments. They represent the product base from which a company can make a business out of producing and selling system instances.
The idea is to focus development and maintenance effort mainly on the families in order to:
In TIMe, system families are formally defined as (collections of) types or classes. Where practical, system types/classes will be defined from which complete system instances may be generated. In addition the system family contains the component types/classes that are used to compose the system types/classes.