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Book Review: Software Systems Architecture

Working with Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives

Some might look at my book collection and think I have hoarding issues. If I had to pick just one Software Architecture book to keep, this would be the one.

This is the second edition of one of the best books written on software systems architecture. If you are in the software development industry, you should read this book. If you are a Software Architect, you must read this book.

This book covers a vast amount of material but it ties it all together in a way that paints a complete picture of what software systems architecture is all about.

The book starts out covering architecture fundamentals. There is a chapter on Software Architecture Concepts, Viewpoints and Views, Architectural Perspectives, and The Role of the Software Architect.

It then presents a process for software architecture and explains all the elements involved with the process. This part of the book contains chapters on The Architecture Definition Process, Concerns, Principles and Decisions, Identifying and Engaging Stakeholders, Identifying and Using Scenarios, Using Styles and Patterns, Producing Architectural Models, and Evaluating the Architecture.

Next is a viewpoint catalog. The part of the book goes into the details of the different viewpoints the authors recommend considering as part of you architectural analysis. The viewpoints include Context, Information, Functional, Concurrency, Information, Development, Deployment, and Operational. Each viewpoint is a separate chapter. This section ends with a chapter that show how to achieve consistency across views.

After the viewpoint catalog the authors present a perspective catalog. Perspectives ensure that quality properties that cross several views are accounted for and analyzed. The perspective catalog includes Security, Performance and Scalability, Availability and Resilience, Evolution, Accessibility, Development Resource, Internationalization, Location, Regulation, and Usability.

The book ends with a chapter that ties everything together and a nice appendix that shows the relationship of the author's Viewpoints and Perspectives to other processes. They include Kruchten 4+1, RM-ODP, Siemens, SEI's Views and Beyond, Garland and Anthony, IAF, Zachman, and TOGAF.

I am lucky they came out with a second edition because my first edition is getting pretty beat up. It has scribbling from tons of different projects in it. The first edition has not left my side since I purchased it and this second edition won't leave my side either.

One of the things I like about this book is that the authors complete the picture. They don't say here is one example of a pitfall, concern, or tactic, they present a nice long list that really helps lead you through the process. Keeping this book handy helps me think of things I am sure to overlook.

Another thing I like about this book is that it is not a reinvention of the wheel. The authors do a great job of incorporating industry best practices that have withstood the test of time, as well as included all the newer elements of software architecture that have come about in recent years.

If you have the first edition, the second edition is worth getting. There is updated information scattered throughout the book as well as a new Context viewpoint. There has been 132 pages added.

I said this about the first version and it still holds true with the second edition… Even if you are not an architect it is a great book to buy so you understand what to expect out of one. I may buy a few extra copies to give out on projects so they understand why I am supposed to be there. Anyone reading this book should have a great and complete understanding of architecture and the value it adds to a project.

Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives (2nd Edition)

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.

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