Software Architecture - 1

Software Architecture - 1

Navigating Software Development Methodologies, Quality Models, and Architectures

Table of contents

Overview of Software Development Methodology and Software Quality Model

Software Development Methodology: Approaches to planning, designing, coding, and testing software.

Software development methodologies are structured approaches to software creation that guide the processes of planning, designing, coding, and testing.

Purpose: Provide a systematic way to develop software, manage projects, and ensure quality and efficiency.

Examples of Software Development Methodologies:

  • Waterfall Model: Sequential phases (requirements, design, implementation, testing, maintenance).

  • Agile Model: Iterative and incremental development with regular feedback and adaptability.

  • Iterative Model: Repeated cycles of planning, designing, building, and testing.

  • Spiral Model: Combines iterative development with risk assessment and mitigation.

Software Quality Models (e.g., ISO 9126)

  • Software Quality: The degree to which a software product meets specified requirements and user expectations.

ISO 9126 Quality Model:

ISO/IEC 9126 - Wikipedia

  • Functionality: Software must provide appropriate functions as specified in the requirements.

  • Reliability: Software's ability to perform consistently under varying conditions.

  • Usability: Software should be user-friendly and easy to use.

  • Efficiency: Software should perform efficiently, using minimal resources.

  • Maintainability: Software should be easy to maintain and update.

  • Portability: Software should be adaptable to different environments and platforms.

Importance of adhering to a methodology for consistent development.

  • Consistency: Following a methodology ensures a consistent approach to development across the team.

  • Predictability: A structured methodology helps estimate project timelines and resource requirements.

  • Communication: Methodologies provide a common language and framework for discussions.

  • Quality: Methodologies often include quality assurance processes, leading to better outcomes.

  • Risk Management: Methodologies help identify and mitigate risks through defined stages.

Selection of Development Methodology

  • Factors Influencing Choice:

    • Project size and complexity.

    • Customer collaboration and feedback requirements.

    • Availability of resources and expertise.

    • Time constraints and deadlines.

  • Tailoring Methodologies: Some projects might combine aspects of different methodologies for a customized approach.

Challenges and Considerations

  • Waterfall Model Challenges: Lack of flexibility, potential for scope changes leading to delays.

  • Agile Model Considerations: Frequent changes might impact stability and, the need for ongoing customer collaboration.

  • Iterative Model Advantages: Progressive development, early identification of issues.

Different Models of Software Development and Their Issues

Waterfall Model

  • Description: The Waterfall model follows a sequential approach, where each phase must be completed before moving to the next.

  • Phases: Requirements, Design, Implementation, Testing, Deployment, Maintenance.

What is Waterfall Model? Pros and Cons | Testbytes

  • Advantages:

    • Clear structure and defined phases.

    • Suitable for projects with well-understood requirements.

    • The document-driven approach ensures thorough documentation.

  • Issues:

    • Limited Flexibility: Changes are difficult to accommodate once a phase is complete.

    • Late Testing: Testing occurs in later stages, risking the discovery of critical issues.

    • Customer Feedback: Limited customer involvement until the final product, which can lead to mismatches with expectations.

Agile Model

  • Description: Agile emphasizes flexibility, collaboration, and iterative development.

  • Principles: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, responding to change over following a plan

    Difference between Agile and Waterfall model - javatpoint


  • Advantages:

    • Iterative Development: Builds the product incrementally, allowing for early releases.

    • Customer Collaboration: Frequent feedback improves alignment with customer expectations.

    • Adaptability: Allows changes in requirements during development.

  • Issues:

    • Scope Changes: Frequent changes can impact project stability and scope.

    • Lack of Documentation: Agile focuses on working software over comprehensive documentation, which can lead to knowledge gaps.

    • Scaling Challenges: Scaling Agile to larger projects or distributed teams can be complex.

Iterative Model

  • Description: The Iterative model involves repeating cycles of development, each refining the product.

Iterative Model (Software Engineering) - javatpoint

  • Advantages:

    • Progressive Refinement: Each iteration enhances the product based on previous feedback.

    • Early Releases: This enables showcasing partial products early in the process.

    • Risk Mitigation: Early iterations help identify and address potential issues.

  • Challenges:

    • Scope Management: Changes in scope might be challenging to handle in each iteration.

    • Time and Resource Constraints: Each iteration requires time and resources.

    • Communication Overhead: Frequent communication is crucial for effective iteration.

Issues in Different Models

  • Scope Changes: All models face challenges when dealing with changing requirements mid-project.

  • Lack of Documentation (Agile): Agile's focus on working software can lead to insufficient documentation.

  • Slow Progress (Waterfall): The Waterfall's sequential nature might lead to slow progress due to dependencies between phases.

Introduction to Software Architecture and Evolution

Software Architecture Definition and Importance

  • Software Architecture: The fundamental organization of a software system, encompassing components, relationships, and principles guiding its design and evolution.

  • Importance of Software Architecture:

    • Blueprint: Provides a high-level blueprint for the entire system's structure and behaviour.

    • Quality Attributes: Influences and determines system qualities like performance, scalability, and maintainability.

    • Communication: Serves as a common language for developers, stakeholders, and team members.

    • Guidance: Offers design principles and guidelines for consistent development.

    • Longevity: A well-designed architecture can support system evolution and growth over time.

Evolution from Ad Hoc Development to Systematic Architecture Design

  • Ad Hoc Development: Earlier, software systems were often built with minimal planning or architecture.

  • Issues with Ad Hoc Development:

    • Inconsistency in design and implementation.

    • Difficulties in adapting to changes and updates.

    • Lack of scalability and reusability.

  • Shift to Systematic Architecture Design:

    • Increasing complexity demanded structured approaches.

    • Systematic design involves considering system-wide concerns early in the development process.

    • Considers modularity, interactions, and quality attributes.

Role of Architecture in Addressing System Complexity

  • System Complexity: Modern software systems are inherently complex due to various factors:

    • Multiple components, dependencies, and interactions.

    • Evolving requirements and technologies.

    • Scaling challenges and performance demands.

  • Role of Architecture:

    • Abstraction: Focuses on essential features while hiding implementation details.

    • Modularity: Divides the system into manageable, independent components.

    • Decoupling: Reduces dependencies between components for easier maintenance and updates.

    • Scalability: Allows the system to handle increased loads efficiently.

    • Change Management: Facilitates incorporating changes without disrupting the entire system.

    • Risk Mitigation: Identifies potential issues and bottlenecks early in the design process.

Architectural Paradigms and Styles

  • Architectural Paradigms: Fundamental approaches guiding architecture design.

    • Monolithic Architecture: Single, tightly integrated executable.

    • Microservices Architecture: Divides the system into independent, loosely coupled services.

    • Event-Driven Architecture: Components communicate via events and messages.

  • Architectural Styles: Patterns for organizing components and their interactions.

    • Layered Architecture: Hierarchical arrangement of components.

    • Client-Server Architecture: Separates user interface and data processing.

    • Component-Based Architecture: Emphasizes the use of reusable software components.

Software Components and Connectors

Components: Modular Building Blocks

  • Definition: Components are self-contained, reusable units of software that encapsulate specific functionalities or behaviours.

  • Examples: Modules, classes, libraries, microservices, plugins.

  • Purpose: Promote modularity, reusability, and maintainability.

Connectors: Mechanisms for Communication

  • Definition: Connectors are how components interact and communicate with each other.

  • Examples: Method calls, APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), and messaging systems (publish-subscribe, request-response).

  • Purpose: Enable seamless integration of components, allowing them to work together.

Relationships between Components and Connectors

  • Association: Defines a link between components without implying a strong dependency.

  • Dependency: Indicates that one component depends on another for its functionality.

  • Composition/Aggregation: Represents a "whole-part" relationship, where a component contains or is composed of other components.

  • Interface: Specifies the contract or set of methods that a component exposes for interaction.

Role in Defining the Structure and Behavior of the System

  • Structure: Components and connectors collectively define the architecture's structure, depicting how different parts of the system are organized.

  • Behaviour: Components encapsulate specific behaviours, and connectors facilitate communication between these behaviours.

  • Abstraction: Components abstract complex functionalities into manageable units, reducing complexity for developers.

  • Modularity: Well-defined components and connectors promote modular design, making the system easier to understand and maintain.

  • Flexibility: Clear separation between components and connectors enables easier modifications and updates.

Benefits of Component-Connector Architecture

  • Reusability: Components can be reused in different projects, saving development time.

  • Scalability: The system can be scaled by replacing or adding components without affecting others.

  • Collaboration: Different teams can work on different components, fostering parallel development.

  • Testing: Components can be tested individually, improving overall system quality.

  • Maintenance: Isolating changes to specific components reduces the risk of unintended consequences.

Considerations and Challenges

  • Component Granularity: Finding the right balance between highly specialized and generic components.

  • Connector Efficiency: Choosing appropriate communication mechanisms for performance and scalability.

  • Dependencies: Managing component dependencies to avoid tight coupling and promote flexibility.

Common Software Architecture Frameworks

Frameworks: Predefined Structures and Guidelines

  • Definition: Software architecture frameworks provide established structures, guidelines, and best practices for designing and building software systems.

  • Purpose: Frameworks assist architects and developers in creating consistent, reliable, and scalable architectures.

Examples of Architecture Frameworks

  • TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework):

    • Purpose: Provides a comprehensive approach to enterprise architecture development and management.

    • Phases: Architecture Development Method (ADM) guides through stages of architecture creation.

    • Use Cases: Used in large enterprises to align IT strategy with business goals.

    • Advantages: Standardized methodology, reduced risk of misalignment, improved communication.

    • Challenges: Complex and resource-intensive, might require customization.

  • Zachman Framework:

    • Purpose: A matrix-like framework that classifies and organizes architectural artifacts.

    • Columns: What, How, Where, Who, When, Why - Dimensions of architectural representation.

    • Use Cases: Offers a structured way to organize architectural artifacts.

    • Advantages: Helps document and communicate complex architectures.

    • Challenges: Might not provide explicit guidelines for creating artifacts, needs adaptation.

Use Cases, Advantages, and Challenges of Architecture Frameworks

  • Use Cases:

    • Enterprise-Level Architectures: TOGAF is often employed for aligning IT with business strategies.

    • Documentation and Communication: Frameworks like Zachman aid in clarifying complex architectures.

  • Advantages:

    • Consistency: Frameworks ensure a standardized approach to architecture development.

    • Efficiency: Predefined templates and guidelines reduce design time.

    • Communication: Facilitates communication among architects, developers, and stakeholders.

    • Risk Mitigation: Adherence to frameworks can mitigate architectural risks.

  • Challenges:

    • Customization: Frameworks may require adaptation to fit specific organizational needs.

    • Learning Curve: Training and familiarization are needed for effective utilization.

    • Overhead: Some frameworks might introduce additional processes and complexity.

Architecture Business Cycle and Architectural Patterns

Architecture Business Cycle (ABC): Continuous Development and Refinement

  • Definition: The Architecture Business Cycle is an ongoing process of creating, deploying, and evolving the software architecture of a system.

  • Phases of the ABC:

    • Creation: Initial design and architecture development based on requirements.

    • Deployment: Implementing the architecture and launching the system.

    • Refinement: Continuous improvement through feedback, maintenance, and updates.

  • Purpose: Ensures the architecture aligns with evolving needs, technologies, and quality attributes.

Architectural Patterns: Reusable Solutions to Common Problems

  • Definition: Architectural patterns are proven solutions to recurring architectural challenges.

  • Importance: Architectural patterns provide tested blueprints for designing robust and maintainable systems.

  • Examples of Architectural Patterns:

    • Layered Architecture: Divides the system into distinct layers, each with specific responsibilities.

    • Microservices Architecture: Organizes the system as a collection of loosely coupled services.

    • Client-Server Architecture: Separates user interfaces and data processing.

    • MVC (Model-View-Controller): Separates application into data (model), presentation (view), and control (controller) components.

Benefits and Considerations of Architectural Patterns

  • Benefits:

    • Proven Solutions: Architectural patterns have been refined over time and are well-documented.

    • Consistency: Patterns encourage a consistent and structured approach to design.

    • Reusability: Patterns promote modular components that can be reused across projects.

    • Scalability: Some patterns, like microservices, inherently support scalability.

  • Considerations:

    • Applicability: Choose patterns that align with the system's requirements and goals.

    • Complexity: Some patterns introduce additional complexity and might not be suitable for small projects.

    • Trade-offs: Patterns come with trade-offs; it's crucial to understand their implications.

    • Adaptation: Patterns might need customization to fit unique project needs.

Application of Architectural Patterns

  • Layered Architecture: Used in many web applications, separates presentation, business logic, and data layers.

  • Microservices Architecture: Suited for complex, scalable applications with independent services.

  • Client-Server Architecture: Common in networked applications, where clients access resources from servers.

  • MVC (Model-View-Controller): Used in web and desktop applications to separate data, presentation, and control logic.

Reference Model

Reference Model: Standard for Understanding and Communication

  • Definition: A reference model is a standardized framework that provides a common vocabulary and structure for understanding and discussing complex concepts, like software architecture.

  • Purpose: Facilitates clear communication, avoids ambiguity, and enables effective collaboration among architects, developers, and stakeholders.

Role of Reference Models in Facilitating Discussions and Avoiding Ambiguity

  • Common Terminology: Reference models establish a shared language, ensuring everyone involved understands the same concepts and terms.

  • Structured Framework: Reference models provide a structured way to organize and categorize architectural elements.

  • Clear Communication: Architects can communicate ideas, decisions, and concerns more precisely using a recognized reference model.

  • Problem Solving: When discussing issues, reference models provide a common baseline for understanding the problem space.

Examples of Well-Known Reference Models in Software Architecture

  • OSI Model (Open Systems Interconnection):

    • Purpose: Used to understand and standardize network communication.

    • Layers: Divides network communication into seven layers, each responsible for specific functions.

    • Advantage: Offers a clear framework for discussing network protocols and interactions.

  • RM-ODP (Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing):

    • Purpose: Provides a standardized framework for specifying system architecture and interactions in distributed systems.

    • Viewpoints: Divide the architecture into viewpoints to address various concerns.

    • Advantage: Enables consistent documentation and analysis of distributed systems.

  • CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture):

    • Purpose: Defines a standardized architecture for distributed computing based on objects.

    • Components: Defines object request broker, interfaces, and object services.

    • Advantage: Enables interoperability between distributed objects in different languages and platforms.

Benefits and Considerations of Using Reference Models

  • Benefits:

    • Clarity: Reference models ensure a shared understanding among diverse stakeholders.

    • Efficiency: Speeds up discussions by providing a predefined structure.

    • Consistency: Prevents miscommunication and reduces misunderstandings.

    • Learning Curve: Helps newcomers quickly grasp key concepts.

  • Considerations:

    • Applicability: Ensure the chosen reference model suits the context and domain of discussion.

    • Flexibility: Reference models might need adaptation to fit specific projects or industries.

    • Simplicity: Balancing comprehensiveness with simplicity to avoid overwhelming participants.