A study of the in-practice application of a commercial software architecture

Barrow, R, Frampton, K, Hamilton, M and Crossman, B 2005, 'A study of the in-practice application of a commercial software architecture', in J. D. Cantarella (ed.) Proceedings of the 2005 Australian Software Engineering Conference, Brisbane, Australia, 29 March - 1 April 2005.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title A study of the in-practice application of a commercial software architecture
Author(s) Barrow, R
Frampton, K
Hamilton, M
Crossman, B
Year 2005
Conference name Australian Software Engineering Conference
Conference location Brisbane, Australia
Conference dates 29 March - 1 April 2005
Proceedings title Proceedings of the 2005 Australian Software Engineering Conference
Editor(s) J. D. Cantarella
Publisher IEEE
Place of publication Los Alamitos, CA
Abstract In recent years, the size and complexity of information systems have grown, with a resulting increased emphasis on using a software development methodology in the belief that by doing so, the experience of other, more experienced, developers can be re-used. Recent studies however, have found that developers do not adhere rigidly to a methodology, but usually adapt it to their specific needs. Also, the extent to which individual software architects apply a specific software architecture development method in practice is largely unexplored. This paper reports on the in practice use of a proprietary software architecture development method, the IBM Custom Application Design. It describes the current state of understanding of application of software architecture methods, explains the research approach applied, reports on the results of the survey and workshops, and describes possible future work. We found that software architects, like software and requirements engineers, do not adhere rigidly to a method. Furthermore, we have identified that there are multiple levels at which the modification to a method can be undertaken. These are "Tailoring", "Adapting" and "Customizing". We also found that a unique version of a method is created for each project and IBM IT architects rely extensively on tools and techniques for visual communication as one of the key ways in which they work. These are important findings for commercial organizations which develop and/or use methods, and for academic institutions which teach software architecture.
Subjects Information Systems Development Methodologies
Keyword(s) software architecture
DOI - identifier 10.1109/ASWEC.2005.9
Copyright notice © 2005 IEEE
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