Variables and Features
You define all the configurable aspects of your products using variables and features. Variables are shared configurable characteristics of products that accept certain values (options) or a range of values. By linking a variable to a configurable item, you create a feature — a configurable product characteristic specific to that configurable item. The feature inherits its properties from the variable, including ID, data type, and data format. As to options, you can choose to inherit feature options from variable options or create a set of feature options.
Example: Color is defined as a variable for your products with three options: blue, red, and white. By linking this variable to a configurable item, you create a feature which inherits the three options of the Color variable. You can use the inherited options as is or define new feature options by adding new color options or removing inherited ones.
Variables and features always pertain to a certain master group. Make sure that you have selected the right master group when you maintain variables and features.
Features are domain-specific but variables are available across domains.