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Thursday, March 3, 2011

How do we create an architectural overview

Design is an activity concerned with making major decisions, often of a structural nature. It is a multi-step process in which representations of data and program structure, interface characteristics, and procedural detail are synthesized from information requirements.

Architectural design represents the structure of data and program components that are required to build a computer based system. It considers the architectural style that the system will take, the structure and properties of the components that constitute the system, and the interrelationships that occur among all architectural components of a system. A software engineer can design both data and architecture, the job is often allocated to specialists when large, complex systems are to be built. A database or data warehouse designer creates the data architecture for a system. The system architect selects an appropriate architectural style for the requirements derived during system engineering and software requirements analysis.

Architectural design provides with the big picture and ensures that you have got it right in a same manner as before building a house, you need a blueprint. Architectural design begins with data design and then proceeds to the derivation of one one or more representations of the architectural structure of the system. Alternative architectural styles or patterns are analyzed to derive the structure that is best suited to customer requirements and quality attributes. Once an alternative has been selected, the architecture is elaborated using an architectural design method.

An architecture model encompassing data architecture and program structure is created during architectural design. In addition, component properties and relationships are also described. At each stage, software design work products are reviewed for clarity, correctness, completeness, and consistency with requirements and with one another.

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