When I think of software architecture, I often think of three great architectural principles that have shaped the field and continue to help us today. Firstly, we must think of it as being an organic whole. It is the result of many smaller, individual parts working together via the layers of abstraction or functionality. Think of it as being the “born child” of your business.
Secondly, each component of your system must be tightly coupled with everything else in the architecture. You cannot separate the business logic from the application, and you cannot place the database outside the system. If you attempt to do so, you will destroy any chance you have of a loosely coupled system. The software should be able to grow and change along with the needs of the business. It should not be constrained by what has been built before. The software architecture should evolve over time to take on new tasks and fulfill new needs.
The third principle is that you must carefully monitor your software to ensure that it is well-understood and used properly. This begins at the top of the business. Every employee should understand how the software inter-operates within the company and how it is being used to provide a high level of service for customers. The data requirements of each piece of work should be carefully documented, and the software itself should be documented with the business’ data as well.
Architecture is not one of those things that are commonly taught in business school. Most of the training focuses more on the creation of the actual product, and less on how to build an efficient system to support it. The practices that most successful companies employ are based on years of experience. The companies that have been around the longest have a deep understanding of how to build a robust and flexible architecture. They have developed the habits and systems that work for them, and they use the same fundamental principles every day.
Software architecture can’t be learned in a classroom. It must be practiced. And this is where the three principles come into play. A good software architect will make sure that the basic software architecture is followed. He will also have created test cases to ensure that the system meets the desired results. And finally, he will design a software system with test coverage and bug protection techniques that will allow him to determine whether or not his assumptions were correct at the time of design.
A good designer can increase company productivity by allowing users to create and edit documents in their own applications. When this capability is available, a business can free up desk space by not having to keep old, overflowing file cabinets. Instead, the designer can provide a ” Document Management System” (DMS) that allows users to open, save, and delete files as needed, while providing easy access to frequently-access documents.
Designers can also reduce costs by reducing the number of changes that have to be made throughout the project. When a business adopts an application development life cycle (ADC), changes are incorporated in the system at the beginning of development and subsequently remain unchanged throughout the life of the application. When a business adopts an application lifecycle, changes are introduced gradually and altered only when a need is identified for change. The combined effect of these two approaches can save a significant amount of money and resources during the life of the project. A good DI can eliminate the need to replace dated hardware. This would free up additional financial resources for other priorities within the company.
Having a robust and flexible software system is the hallmark of a successful organization. And by creating the best architecture possible, a company can ensure that its software will be usable and operate at maximum capacity. This will lead to higher profits and less expenditure in the long run. By hiring a professional and experienced software architect, a business can assure that the software they purchase is the best possible solution for their company.