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Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises (Developer Best Practices) by [Sessions, Roger]
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Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises (Developer Best Practices) Kindle Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Roger Sessions is a recognized expert in enterprise architecture. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Association of Software Architects (IASA), is Editor-in-Chief of IASA s Perspectives Journal, and is a Microsoft MVP in enterprise architecture. He has written six books, including Software Fortresses: Modeling Enterprise Architectures, and many articles. He has been a keynote speaker on the topic of enterprise architecture for dozens of events in more than 30 countries. He is the Chief Technology Officer of ObjectWatch.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2078 KB
  • Print Length: 208 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (May 7, 2008)
  • Publication Date: May 7, 2008
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JDMPPC4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,014,732 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Aaron Seet on January 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
The general approach to any grand IT problem is to break it down to smaller manageable pieces. Pieces that our pathetically puny brains can contain and work on at a time. Any decent software developer would have known that. And yet, we still continue to produce massive, monstrous, monolithic code that is a complete beast to interpret, comprehend, and modify. In other words, a mesh of _unmanageable_complexity_. There is without a doubt such technical misshaping contribute significantly to the schedule and budget overrun in way too many large projects, and ultimate failure.

But what am I talking about? This book is not about software applications. As an enterprise architect, Author Roger Sessions takes us up several floors to show us where he believes all these complexity evil germinates - the failure to control the complexity of IT inter-system communication across the organisation. He writes this volume to explain the problem of complexity can be illustrated via mathematical models, and purports that the application these mathematical exercises and further concepts of organisation will help divide the enterprise into simple easy pieces.

_That_ is a rather mighty claim. Is this for real?

Roger Sessions starts out strong. He begins mentioning existing methodologies and frameworks used to organise architectures in the present industry and highlights rather glaringly the missing piece in all of them - the deliberate effort to ensure the output of the work is simple.
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Format: Paperback
That's the question I kept asking myself as I re-read Simple Architectures for Complex Enterprises. Let me say at the outset that I'm totally open to the possibility that I missed the point--again!

The book starts off with an interesting discussion of complexity. Ok, not bad. Then, Sessions introduces the set-theoretic concepts of equivalence classes and partitions as means to reduce complexity. At this point, being a math enthusiast, I was well baited. By Chapter 5, where he first begins to discuss the SIP process, I had high expectations. By the time I completed Chapter 6, I was completely disappointed. His fundamental equivalence relations--synergistic and autonomous--are intriguing in their definition, but amount to being completely arbitrary and subjective. I found no real mathematical grounding at all, which is a major premise and selling point of his approach.

After reading about his type system, with its implementations and deployments, I came away feeling that I had read yet another description of how to do a functional decomposition (FD). This time, though, it comes wrapped in terminology that is pedantic. His "laws of partitions" are nothing more than heuristics for checking a FD:

- The First Law basically says that the FD is hierarchical. That is, a node can have only one parent.
- The Second Law states that the FD must make sense.
- The Third Law states that each level of the FD should contain 3-8 child nodes.
- The Fourth Law says that each child node in the FD should be about the same in scope, complexity, and importance as the other child nodes at the same level.
- The Fifth Law is not so much a FD rule so much as it is a statement about low coupling and high cohesion.
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Format: Paperback
I have managed to talk to quite a few good software/enterprise architects over the years. When I do, the issues that we often talk about most are simplicity of design and how to manage complexity. In general, understanding that the management of complexity is the fundamental task of architecture is what defines a good architect. This book indicates that Roger really gets this issue. He also seems to get the business alignment issues that are sometimes lacking from architecture texts.

From Roger's advice on partitioning a solution to his advice on implementing a system using an incremental approach everything here is sound and well articulated. This book is a short read but almost definitely worth your time if you are building anything in software from an enterprise down. Much of the principles he professes are the same principles that are important in regular software architecture. Components and object oriented design are merely methods of figuring out internal equivalence classes and appropriately partitioning solutions. Iterative development and some of the new agile principles are based on the same idea he advocates for the enterprise, incremental delivery.

If for nothing else, this book is useful because Sessions is very successful in mathematically proving that many of his ideas should work. Most texts advocating incremental methodologies or problem decomposition can sound evangelical. This book does not.

Overall, SIP sounds like it is a very good foundation for a company's enterprise architecture.

That said, I am sure my advice would mean more if I did enterprise architecture. I hope that it is merely enough to say this.. I am in software development. I have helped provide or provided the technical architecure on quite a few projects. I feel that in general Roger has the core concerns nailed with his book.
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