This paper presents a reference framework for the configuration process. The reference framework is established through an extensive review of existing literature, and as such consolidates an extensive theoretical base. The review of literature shows a broadening of the understanding of the configuration task. The definition of the configuration task is somewhat ambiguous because different research groups define configuration tasks differently. This paper proposes a reference framework for configuration that permits a more precise understanding of a configuration task, a definition of the basic concepts in product configuration, and a total configuration system view that describes how operators come together to perform the configuration task in the configuration process. We will define the product, the product model, the configuration task, and the configuration system, and put the whole thing into perspective with the theory of technical systems, where we describe the configuration process and the different abstraction level of configurations. We will also use our resulting framework to describe sales configuration, technical configuration, and reconfiguration. We do this to synthesize previous work, to clarify and make coherent definitions of relevant terms, to extent the definition of product configuration to include “softer” products like information and service, and finally, to give a comparative framework to analyze work done in the field of product configuration. The total configuration system, together with the definition of key concepts, comprises a strong reference framework when working with, developing, and analyzing configuration systems.