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Monday, July 25, 2011

How to assess alternative architectural designs?

There are many architectural alternatives that need to be assessed. There are different ways to assess the design:

Trade off Analysis Method
It establishes an iterative evaluation process for software architectures. It involves six steps:
- All the scenarios are collected.
- Requirements, constraints and environment description are elicited.
- Architectural styles or patterns chosen to address scenarios and requirements are described.
- Quality attributes are evaluated.
- The sensitivity of quality attributes to architectural attributes are identified.
- Critique candidate architectures using sensitivity analysis.

Architectural Complexity
In architectural complexity, the dependencies between the components are assessed within the architecture. Dependencies can be divided into:
- Sharing dependencies represent dependence relationship among consumers or producers.
- Flow dependencies represent dependence relationships between producers and consumers of resources.
- Constrained dependencies represent constraints on the flow of control among set of activities.

Architectural Description Languages
Architectural description language provides a semantic and syntax for describing a software architecture. It is a set of tools and notation that allows the design to be represented in an unambiguous and understandable fashion.

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