What Is An Architecture?

Software Architecture

Architecture Conveys Concepts

  • Architecture is the “conceptual structure of a system.” (ISO 29108)
  • A structure is “the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex.” (Google Dictionary)
  • Specifically, architecture is the “description of the key elements of a system, their functions, and the interrelationships among the elements.” (ISO 22902)

FIPS 201 on Architecture

  • A highly structured specification of an acceptable approach within a framework for solving a specific problem.
  • An architecture contains descriptions of all the components of a selected, acceptable solution while allowing certain details of specific components to be variable to satisfy related constraints (e.g., costs, local environment, user acceptability).

Architecture as a Solution

Crafted per a set of design principles, architecture, as the most significant part of a solution, can be presented in formal or informal specifications, expressed with models and diagrams, and viewed from various perspectives. (Wentz)

For example, software architecture can be described, specified, and presented using UML, a visual language, which provides five views: use case view, design view, implementation view, process view, and deployment view.

So, what is architecture?

  • System architecture
  • Network architecture
  • Software architecture
  • Security architecture
  • Enterprise architecture

Architectural and Design Principles

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References

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