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A Holistic View of Architecture Definition, Evolution, and Analysis

Technical Report
This report focuses on performing architectural decisions and architectural analysis, spanning multiple quality attributes, in a sustainable and ongoing way.
Publisher

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number
CMU/SEI-2023-TR-004
DOI (Digital Object Identifier)
10.1184/R1/20722402

Abstract

This report emerged from a series of technical reports, each of which analyzed a single architectural quality attribute. In this report, the authors take a step back from the details of any specific quality attribute and instead focus on how architectural decisions and architectural analysis spanning multiple quality attributes can be performed in a sustainable and ongoing way. This approach requires taking a holistic view of architectural activities that does not focus on a single quality attribute and that does not end when code is written or released.

It is then possible to reason about the synergies and tradeoffs among quality attributes. Synergies present an architect with unparalleled opportunities, where the choice of a single mechanism might result in benefits for multiple quality attribute concerns. In this process, architects and analysts must pay attention to the positive and negative effects of decisions since they may result in unacceptable tradeoffs that undermine system quality. This report emphasizes the importance of ongoing governance, analysis, and evaluation. To make this approach practical, it must be automated (to the extent possible); otherwise, the analysis will not be done or will not be done often enough. The report concludes with a six-step meta-playbook, a process you can use for creating your own analysis process. 

Cite This Technical Report

Kazman, R., Echeverría, S., & Ivers, J. (2023, August 24). A Holistic View of Architecture Definition, Evolution, and Analysis. (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2023-TR-004). Retrieved May 23, 2024, from https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/20722402.

@techreport{kazman_2023,
author={Kazman, Rick and Echeverría, Sebastián and Ivers, James},
title={A Holistic View of Architecture Definition, Evolution, and Analysis},
month={Aug},
year={2023},
number={CMU/SEI-2023-TR-004},
howpublished={Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library},
url={https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/20722402},
note={Accessed: 2024-May-23}
}

Kazman, Rick, Sebastián Echeverría, and James Ivers. "A Holistic View of Architecture Definition, Evolution, and Analysis." (CMU/SEI-2023-TR-004). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, August 24, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/20722402.

R. Kazman, S. Echeverría, and J. Ivers, "A Holistic View of Architecture Definition, Evolution, and Analysis," Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library. Software Engineering Institute, Technical Report CMU/SEI-2023-TR-004, 24-Aug-2023 [Online]. Available: https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/20722402. [Accessed: 23-May-2024].

Kazman, Rick, Sebastián Echeverría, and James Ivers. "A Holistic View of Architecture Definition, Evolution, and Analysis." (Technical Report CMU/SEI-2023-TR-004). Carnegie Mellon University, Software Engineering Institute's Digital Library, Software Engineering Institute, 24 Aug. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/20722402. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kazman, Rick; Echeverría, Sebastián; & Ivers, James. A Holistic View of Architecture Definition, Evolution, and Analysis. CMU/SEI-2023-TR-004. Software Engineering Institute. 2023. https://doi.org/10.1184/R1/20722402