Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond

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9780201703726: Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond

Architecture is crucial to the success of any large software system -- but even a superb architecture will fail if it isn't communicated well. Now, there's a language- and notation-independent guide to capturing architecture so it can be used successfully by every analyst, software designer, and developer. The authors review the diverse goals and uses of software architecture documentation, providing documentation strategies for several common scenarios. They identify the basic unit of software architecture documentation: the viewtype, which specifies the type of information to be provided in an architectural view. For each viewtype -- Modules, Component-and-Connectors, and Allocation -- they offer detailed guidance on documenting what really matters. Next, they demonstrate how to package architecture documentation in coherent, usable form: augmenting architectural views with documentation of interfaces and behavior; accounting for architectural variability and dynamic systems; and more.

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From the Back Cover:

"This book is of immense value. It should save you months of trials and errors, lots of undeserved hassle, and many costly mistakes that could potentially jeopardize the whole endeavor. It will become an important reference on the shelf of the software architect."
—From the Foreword by Philippe Kruchten, Rational Software Canada

"There is probably no better set of authors to write this book. The material is readable. It uses humor effectively. It is nicely introspective when appropriate, and yet in the end it is forthright and decisive....This is a tour de force on the subject of architectural documentation."
—Robert Glass, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Systems and Software and Editor/Publisher, The Software Practitioner

For all but the most trivial software systems, you must pay close attention to the architecture—the conceptual glue that holds every phase of a project together for its many stakeholders. Without an architecture that is appropriate for the problem being solved, the project will stumble along or, most likely, fail. Even with a superb architecture, if that architecture is not well understood or well communicated—in other words, well documented—the project cannot be considered a complete success.

Although architecture is now widely recognized as a critical element in software development, there has been little guidance independent of language or notation on how to capture it. Based on the authors' extensive experience, Documenting Software Architectures helps you decide what information to document, and then, with guidelines and examples (in various notations, including UML), shows you how to express an architecture in a form that everyone can understand. If you go to the trouble of creating a strong architecture, you must also be prepared to describe it thoroughly and clearly, and to organize it so that others can quickly find the information they need.

Essential topics for practitioners include:

  • Seven rules for sound documentation
  • The uses of software architecture documentation, including goals and strategies
  • Architectural views and styles, with general introductions and specific examples
  • Documenting software interfaces and software behavior
  • Templates for capturing and organizing information to generate a coherent package


0201703726B08222002

About the Author:

Paul Clements is a senior member of the technical staff at the SEI, where he works on software architecture and product line engineering. He is the author of five books and more than three dozen papers on these and other topics.

Len Bass is a senior member of the technical staff at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). He has written or edited five books and numerous papers on software engineering and other topics. He has extensive experience in architecting real-world development projects.

Robert L. Nord, a member of the software architecture program at SCR, designs and evaluates software architectures for large-scale industrial systems. Dr. Nord, currently the Siemens industrial resident affiliate at the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in Pittsburgh, is working on methods for architecture trade-off analysis and product-line practices. His other interests include transitioning software design practices, improving architecture practices using software architecture improvement groups, and architecture-based development.



0201703726AB01162003

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Paul Clements; Felix Bachmann; Len Bass; David Garlan; James Ivers; Reed Little; Robert Nord; Judith Stafford
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