Software architecture as a concept has its origins in the research of Edsger Dijkstra in and David Parnas in the early s.
These scientists emphasized that the structure of a software system matters and getting the structure right is critical. During the s there was a concerted effort to define and codify fundamental aspects of the discipline, with research work concentrating on architectural styles patterns , architecture description languages , architecture documentation , and formal methods.
Research institutions have played a prominent role in furthering software architecture as a discipline. Mary Shaw and David Garlan of Carnegie Mellon wrote a book titled Software Architecture: Perspectives on an Emerging Discipline in , which promoted software architecture concepts such as components , connectors, and styles. The University of California, Irvine 's Institute for Software Research's efforts in software architecture research is directed primarily in architectural styles, architecture description languages, and dynamic architectures.
This reflects the relationship between software architecture, enterprise architecture and solution architecture. There are many activities that a software architect performs. A software architect typically works with project managers, discusses architecturally significant requirements with stakeholders, designs a software architecture, evaluates a design, communicates with designers and stakeholders, documents the architectural design and more. Architectural analysis is the process of understanding the environment in which a proposed system or systems will operate and determining the requirements for the system.
The input or requirements to the analysis activity can come from any number of stakeholders and include items such as:. The outputs of the analysis activity are those requirements that have a measurable impact on a software system's architecture, called architecturally significant requirements. Architectural synthesis or design is the process of creating an architecture. Given the architecturally significant requirements determined by the analysis, the current state of the design and the results of any evaluation activities, the design is created and improved. Architecture evaluation is the process of determining how well the current design or a portion of it satisfies the requirements derived during analysis.
An evaluation can occur whenever an architect is considering a design decision, it can occur after some portion of the design has been completed, it can occur after the final design has been completed or it can occur after the system has been constructed. Architecture evolution is the process of maintaining and adapting an existing software architecture to meet changes in requirements and environment.
Application Development & Maintenance| Software Development
As software architecture provides a fundamental structure of a software system, its evolution and maintenance would necessarily impact its fundamental structure. As such, architecture evolution is concerned with adding new functionality as well as maintaining existing functionality and system behavior. Architecture requires critical supporting activities. These supporting activities take place throughout the core software architecture process.
They include knowledge management and communication, design reasoning and decision making, and documentation. Software architecture supporting activities are carried out during core software architecture activities. These supporting activities assist a software architect to carry out analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and evolution. For instance, an architect has to gather knowledge, make decisions and document during the analysis phase. Software architecture description involves the principles and practices of modeling and representing architectures, using mechanisms such as: architecture description languages, architecture viewpoints, and architecture frameworks.
Software architecture descriptions are commonly organized into views , which are analogous to the different types of blueprints made in building architecture. The viewpoint specifies not only the concerns framed i.
Software Architecture: System Design, Development and Maintenance
A framework is usually implemented in terms of one or more viewpoints or ADLs. An architectural pattern is a general, reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software architecture within a given context. Architectural patterns are often documented as software design patterns. Following traditional building architecture, a 'software architectural style' is a specific method of construction, characterized by the features that make it notable" architectural style.
Some treat architectural patterns and architectural styles as the same,  some treat styles as specializations of patterns. What they have in common is both patterns and styles are idioms for architects to use, they "provide a common language"  or "vocabulary"  with which to describe classes of systems.
There are also concerns that software architecture leads to too much Big Design Up Front , especially among proponents of agile software development. A number of methods have been developed to balance the trade-offs of up-front design and agility,  including the agile method DSDM which mandates a "Foundations" phase during which "just enough" architectural foundations are laid.
IEEE Software devoted a special issue  to the interaction between agility and architecture. Software architecture erosion or "decay" refers to the gap observed between the planned and actual architecture of a software system as realized in its implementation. As an example, consider a strictly layered system, where each layer can only use services provided by the layer immediately below it. Any source code component that does not observe this constraint represents an architecture violation.
If not corrected, such violations can transform the architecture into a monolithic block, with adverse effects on understandability, maintainability, and evolvability. Various approaches have been proposed to address erosion. Within these broad categories, each approach is further broken down reflecting the high-level strategies adopted to tackle erosion. These are process-oriented architecture conformance, architecture evolution management, architecture design enforcement, architecture to implementation linkage, self-adaptation and architecture restoration techniques consisting of recovery, discovery, and reconciliation.
There are two major techniques to detect architectural violations: reflexion models and domain-specific languages. Reflexion model RM techniques compare a high-level model provided by the system's architects with the source code implementation. There are also domain-specific languages with a focus on specifying and checking architectural constraints. Software architecture recovery or reconstruction, or reverse engineering includes the methods, techniques, and processes to uncover a software system's architecture from available information, including its implementation and documentation.
Architecture recovery is often necessary to make informed decisions in the face of obsolete or out-of-date documentation and architecture erosion : implementation and maintenance decisions diverging from the envisioned architecture. This is a part of subjects covered by the Software intelligence practice. Architecture is design but not all design is architectural. There are no rules or guidelines that fit all cases, although there have been attempts to formalize the distinction. For example, the client—server style is architectural strategic because a program that is built on this principle can be expanded into a program that is not client—server—for example, by adding peer-to-peer nodes.
Requirements engineering and software architecture can be seen as complementary approaches: while software architecture targets the ' solution space ' or the 'how', requirements engineering addresses the ' problem space ' or the 'what'. Both requirements engineering and software architecture revolve around stakeholder concerns, needs and wishes. There is considerable overlap between requirements engineering and software architecture, as evidenced for example by a study into five industrial software architecture methods that concludes that "the inputs goals, constraints, etc.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Main article: Software architecture description. Main article: Architecture description language.
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Main article: View model. Main article: Architecture framework. Main article: Architectural pattern. Main article: Agile development. Main article: Software architecture recovery. Main article: Software design.
Software Engineering | Software Maintenance
Main article: Requirements engineering. Main articles: Computer architecture , Systems architecture , and Enterprise architecture. Boston: Addison-Wesley. Retrieved Software Architecture in Practice, Third Edition.
IEEE Software. Retrieved on Software Architecture Knowledge Management. Just Enough Software Architecture.
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