Software architecture

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Snippet from Wikipedia: Software architecture


Software architecture refers to the fundamental structures of a software system and the discipline of creating such structures and systems. Each structure comprises software elements, relations among them, and properties of both elements and relations. The architecture of a software system is a metaphor, analogous to the architecture of a building. It functions as a blueprint for the system and the developing project, laying out the tasks not necessary to be executed by the design teams.

Software architecture is about making fundamental structural choices that are costly to change once implemented. Software architecture choices include specific structural options from possibilities in the design of software. For example, the systems that controlled the space shuttle launch vehicle had the requirement of being very fast and very reliable. Therefore, an appropriate real-time computing language would need to be chosen. Additionally, to satisfy the need for reliability the choice could be made to have multiple redundant and independently produced copies of the program, and to run these copies on independent hardware while cross-checking results.

Documenting software architecture facilitates communication between stakeholders, captures early decisions about the high-level design, and allows reuse of design components between projects.

Solution architecture is a practice of defining and describing an architecture of a system delivered in context of a specific solution and as such it may encompass description of an entire system or only its specific parts.

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Enterprise architecture (EA) is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a comprehensive approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy.