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Software Architecture at a Large Financial Firm

Software Architecture at a Large Financial Firm

System builders have historically used informal software architecture models to understand options, make choices, and communicate with others. Research into software architecture over the past fifteen years has indicated that more precise architecture models may be beneficial. At a large financial firm, we applied precise software architecture techniques on four software projects and this experience has revealed a number of practical issues. We made the following observations across the projects: 1) Architecture models can be used to actively facilitate and bridge gaps between business and technology, 2) A small collection of techniques and detail knob are practical and useful in a variety of projects, 3) Architecture modeling techniques amplify the skills of the architects, 4) A model of domain concepts and relationships is helpful when building architecture models, and 5) It is difficult to know when to stop adding detail to your architecture model. We believe that these observations motivate future research and can help practitioners make software architecture more effective in practice.

George Fairbanks, Carnegie Mellon University
Kevin Bierhoff, Carnegie Mellon University
Desmond D'Souza, Kinetium, Inc.

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