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Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives Hardcover – April 30, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0321112293 ISBN-10: 0321112296 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (April 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321112296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321112293
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.2 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #322,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Nick Rozanski is an enterprise technical architect at Marks and Spencer, where he focuses on integration and workflow. During his more than twenty years of experience he has worked for companies such as Logica, Capgemini, and Sybase. His technology experience covers enterprise application integration, relational databases, and object-oriented software development. He is also an experienced technical instructor and certified internal project auditor.

Eoin Woods is a principal consultant at Züehlke Engineering in London, where he works as a consultant software architect focusing on trading and investment management companies in the financial markets. He has worked in the software engineering field for fifteen years with a number of companies, including Ford Motor Company, Groupe Bull, InterTrust Technologies, and Sybase.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The authors of this book are both practicing software architects who have worked in this role, together and separately, on information system development projects for quite a few years. During that time, we have seen a significant increase in the visibility of software architects and in the importance with which our role has been viewed by colleagues, management, and customers. No large software development project nowadays would expect to go ahead without an architect--or a small architectural group--in the vanguard of the development team.

While there may be an emerging consensus that the software architect's role is an important one, there seems to be little agreement on what the job actually involves. Who are our clients? To whom are we accountable? What are we expected to deliver? What is our involvement once the architectural design has been completed? And, perhaps most fundamentally, where are the boundaries between requirements, architecture, and design?

The absence of a clear definition of the role is all the more problematic because of the seriousness of the problems that today's software projects (and specifically, their architects) have to resolve.

  • The expectations of users and other stakeholders in terms of functionality, capability, time to market, and flexibility have become much more demanding.
  • Long system development times result in continual scope changes and consequent changes to the system's architecture and design.
  • Today's systems are more functionally and structurally complex than ever and are usually constructed from a mix of off-the-shelf and custom-built components.
  • Few systems exist in isolation; most are expected to interoperate and exchange information with many other systems.
  • Getting the functional structure--the design--of the system right is only part of the problem. How the system behaves (i.e., its quality properties) is just as critical to its effectiveness as what it does.
  • Technology continues to change at a pace that makes it very hard for architects to keep their technical expertise up-to-date.

When we first started to take on the role of software architects, we looked for some sort of software architecture handbook that would walk us through the process of developing an architectural design. After all, other architectural disciplines have behind them centuries of theory and established best practice.

For example, in the first century A.D., the Roman Marcus Vitruvius Pollio wrote the first ever architectural handbook, De architectura libri decem ("Ten Books on Architecture"), describing the building architect's role and required skills and providing a wealth of material on standard architectural structures. In 1670, Anthony Deane, a friend of diarist Samuel Pepys, a former mayor of the English town of Harwich and later a member of Parliament, published a ground-breaking textbook, A Doctrine of Naval Architecture, which described in detail some of the leading methods of the time for large ship design. Deane's ideas and principles helped systematize the practice of naval architecture for many years. And in 1901, George E. Davis, a consulting engineer in the British chemical industry, created a new field of engineering when he published his text A Handbook of Chemical Engineering. This text was the first book to define the practical principles underpinning industrial chemical processes and guided the field for many years afterward.

The existence of such best practices has a very important consequence in terms of uniformity of approach. If you were to give several architects and engineers a commission to design a building, a cruise liner, or a chemical plant, the designs they produced would probably differ. However, the processes they used, the ways they represented their designs on paper (or a computer screen), and the techniques they used to ensure the soundness of their designs would be very similar.

Sadly, our profession has yet to build any significant legacy of mainstream industrial best practices. When we looked, we found a dearth of introductory books to guide practicing information systems architects in the details of doing their jobs.

Admittedly, we have an abundance of books on specific technologies, whether it's J2EE, CORBA, or .NET, and some on broader topics such as Web services or object orientation (although, because of the speed at which software technology changes, many of these become out-of-date within a few years). There are also a number of good general software architecture books, several of which we refer to in later chapters. But many of these books aim to lay down principles that apply across all sorts of systems and so are written in quite general terms, while most of the more specific texts are aimed at our colleagues in the real-time and embedded-systems communities.

We feel that if you are a new software architect for an information system, the books that actually tell you how to do your job, learn the important things you need to know, and make your architectural designs successful are few and far between. While we don't presume to replace the existing texts on software architecture or place ourselves alongside the likes of Vitruvius, Deane, and Davis, addressing these needs was the driving force behind our decision to write this book.

Specifically, the book shows you

  • What software architecture is about and why your role is vitally important to successful project delivery
  • How to determine who is interested in your architecture (your stakeholders), understand what is important to them (their concerns), and design an architecture that reflects and balances their different needs
  • How to communicate your architecture to your stakeholders in an understandable way that demonstrates that you have met their concerns (the architectural description)
  • How to focus on what is architecturally significant, safely leaving other aspects of the design to your designers, without neglecting issues like performance, resilience, and location
  • What important activities you most need to undertake as an architect, such as identifying and engaging stakeholders, using scenarios, creating models, and documenting and validating your architecture

Throughout the book we primarily focus on the development of large-scale information systems (by which we mean the computer systems used to automate the business operations of large organizations). However, we have tried to present our material in a way that is independent of the type of information system you are designing, the technologies the developers will be using, and the software development lifecycle your project is following. We have standardized on a few things, such as the use of Unified Modeling Language (UML) in most of our diagrams, but we've done that only because UML is the most widely understood modeling language around. You don't have to be a UML expert to understand this book.

We didn't set out to be the definitive guide to developing the architecture of your information system--such a book would probably never be finished and would require the collaboration of a huge number of experts across a wide range of technical specializations. Also, we did not write a book of prescriptive methods. Although we present some activity diagrams that explain how to produce your deliverables, these are designed to be compatible with the wide range of software development approaches in use today.

What we hope we have achieved is the creation of a practical, practitioner-oriented guide that explains how to design successful architectures for information systems and how to see these through to their successful implementation. This is the sort of book that we wish had been available when we started out as software architects, and one that we expect to refer to even now.

You can find further useful software architecture resources, and contact us to provide feedback on the book's content, via our Web page: We look forward to hearing from you.

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Customer Reviews

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This book is a "must have" for every software architect.
Amazon Customer
I highly recommend it to both beginner and experienced software architects.
R. C. Rathore
Book has good examples and explanation is very clear and understandable..

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By uniq on August 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When it comes to the systems or software architecture, I subscribe to Tom Demarco's definition: "An architecture is a framework for the disciplined introduction of change." ([...] And while most of the job postings matching "architect" these days talk about the need for writing and testing code, there is a growing awareness in the industry that in order to build a resilient enterprise system an organization must look beyond design patterns and coding idioms. In addition to the technical challenges, building large enterprise system requires effort of many professionals during an extended period of time. This brings other non-technical risks into the picture.

This is one of the better books covering many issues that comprise System Architecture discipline in the light of their personal experience. The authors introduce us to an approach for partitioning architecture using Viewpoints (behavioral characteristics, e.g. Functional, Information, Concurrency, Development, Deployment, Operational) and Perspectives (nonfunctional aspects, e.g. Security, Performance and Scalability, Availability and Resilience, Evolution).

The first half of the book describes the discipline of Application Software Architecture, the second half contains two catalogs, one for Viewpoints and the other for Perspectives. Both catalogs describe concerns, artifacts (models), problems and pitfalls when focusing on a viewpoint or perspective.

I would qualify this book as a companion and reference for a beginner through intermediate level. It gives an excellent overview of what a system architect has to go through day in and day out to achieve success. The book contains a wealth of advice on what to pay and not pay attention to in any particular stage of the architectural development.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Peter Eeles on January 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My reason for buying this book was to hear what the authors had to say about handling cross-cutting architectural concerns (such as security), which they refer to as "perspectives". The authors offer refreshing insights into how such concerns should be interwoven with the architecture views/viewpoints with which many architects will already be familiar when documenting their software architectures.

But now that I've finally finished reading the book (500+ pages) I have to say that this book is so much more. This is essentially a "book of 2 halves". The first half discusses fundamental architecture concepts, and various elements of the architecture process. However, the second half of the book is dedicated to a catalog of viewpoints and a catalog of perspectives. These sections are, I think, the most valuable, and offer probably the best overview of different architectural concerns (such as concurrency, deployment, operations, security, availability etc.) I've come across. And the whole book is liberally sprinkled with pragmatic advice, and examples, based on the authors' experiences.

In summary, the book makes a great "handbook" for both novice and experienced architects.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By T. Anderson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some might look at my book collect and think I have hoarding issues. If I had to pick just one Software Architecture book to keep, this would be the one.

This is the second edition of one of the best books written on software systems architecture. If you are in the software development industry, you should read this book. If you are a Software Architect, you must read this book.

This book covers a vast amount of material but it ties it all together in a way that paints a complete picture of what software systems architecture is all about.

The book starts out covering architecture fundamentals. There is a chapter on Software Architecture Concepts, Viewpoints and Views, Architectural Perspectives, and The Role of the Software Architect.

It then presents a process for software architecture and explains all the elements involved with the process. This part of the book contains chapters on The Architecture Definition Process, Concerns, Principles and Decisions, Identifying and Engaging Stakeholders, Identifying and Using Scenarios, Using Styles and Patterns, Producing Architectural Models, and Evaluating the Architecture.

Next is a viewpoint catalog. The part of the book goes into the details of the different viewpoints the authors recommend considering as part of you architectural analysis. The viewpoints include Context, Information, Functional, Concurrency, Information, Development, Deployment, and Operational. Each viewpoint is a separate chapter. This section ends with a chapter that show how to achieve consistency across views.

After the viewpoint catalog the authors present a perspective catalog. Perspectives ensure that quality properties that cross several views are accounted for and analyzed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By paulsm on August 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This very readable book covers covers a lot of ground. It's a great introduction for those interested in software architecture; it's also a got a lot of great insights and useful information for practicing s/w architects.

Two of the main benefits this book has over other architecture books are:

a) it's one of the more up-to-date (Spring/2005) texts available on the subject

b) it's agnostic: giving equal coverage to all of the main schools, rather than focusing on just one.

One (relatively) unique idea in this book is the notion of "views" (as in Hofmeister or Krutchen) vs "perspectives"; perspectives being issues such as "security" that tend to cut *across* views.

Another thing I really liked was the emphasis on "architecture" as fundamentally driven by, and created for - the *stakeholders*.

This book is a great buy: it contains a lot of interesting, useful and important ideas and information about the art and science of software architecture.

Very, very highly recommended!
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