Sunday, June 26, 2011

Factors Influencing Architectures

Architectures are influenced by
• stakeholders of a system
• technical and organizational factors
• architect’s background
Development Organization
Business issues
• investing in, and then amortizing the infrastructure
• keeping cost of installation low
• investing in, and then utilizing personnel
Organizational structure issues
• furthering vested interests, e.g.,
- maintaining an existing database organization
- supporting specialized expertise
• maintaining the standard method of doing business
Technical Environment
Current trends: today’s information system will likely
employ a
• database management system
• Web browser for delivery and distribution across
This was not true 10 years ago.
Available technology: decisions on using a centralized
or decentralized system depend on processor cost and
communication speed; both are changing quantities.
Architect’s Background
Architects develop their mindset from their past
• Prior good experiences will lead to replication of
prior designs.
• Prior bad experiences will be avoided in the new
What Makes a Good Architect?
People skills: must be able to
• negotiate competing interests of stakeholders
• promote inter-team collaboration
Technical skills: must understand
• the relationships between qualities and structures
• current technology
• that most requirements for an architecture are not
written down in any requirements document
Communication skills: must be able to
• clearly convey the architecture to teams (both verbally
and in writing)
• listen to and understand multiple viewpoints
Factors Influenced by Architectures
Structure of the development organization
Enterprise goals of the development organization
Customer requirements
Architect’s experience
Technical environment
The architecture itself
Architecture Influences the
Development Organization Structure
Short term: work units are organized around
architectural units for a particular system under
Long term: when company constructs a collection of
similar systems, organizational units reflect common
components (e.g., operating system unit or database
Architecture Influences the Development
Organization Enterprise Goals
Development of a system may establish a foothold in
the market niche.
Being known for developing particular kinds of
systems becomes a marketing device.
Architecture becomes a leveraging point for
additional market opportunities and networking.
Architecture Influences Customer
Knowledge of similar fielded systems leads
customers to ask for particular features.
Customers will alter their requirements on the basis of
the availability of existing systems.
Architecture Influences the Architect’s
Experience and Technical Environment
Creation of a system affects the architect’s background.
Occasionally, a system or an architecture will affect the
technical environment.
• the WWW for information systems
• the three-tier architecture for database systems

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