Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives

Nick Rozanski / Eóin Woods  
Total pages
October 2011

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Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives


Software Systems Architecture, Second Edition is a highly regarded, practitioner-oriented guide to designing and implementing effective architectures for information systems. It is both a readily accessible introduction to software architecture and an invaluable handbook of well-established best practices.


With this book you will learn how to

  • Design and communicate an architecture that reflects and balances the different needs of its stakeholders
  • Focus on architecturally significant aspects of design, including frequently overlooked areas such as performance, resilience, and location
  • Use scenarios and patterns to drive the creation and validation of your architecture
  • Document your architecture as a set of related views


Reflecting new standards and developments in the field, this new edition extends and updates much of the content, and

  • Adds a “system context viewpoint” that documents the system's interactions with its environment
  • Expands the discussion of architectural principles, showing how they can be used to provide traceability and rationale for architectural decisions
  • Explains how agile development and architecture can work together
  • Positions requirements and architecture activities in the project context
  • Presents a new lightweight method for architectural validation


Whether you are an aspiring or practicing software architect, you will find yourself referring repeatedly to the practical advice in this book throughout the lifecycle of your projects. A supporting Web site containing further information can be found at

New to this Edition

  •  A new System Context Viewpoint, added to the authors' well-received architectural metamodel
  • Expanded discussions of using architectural principles to provide traceability and expose decision-making rationales
  • A discussion of how agile development and architecture can work together
  • Updated, expanded description of enterprise architecture 
  •  Expanded discussion of relationships between requirements and architecture
  • New "Questions for Discussion"
  • Updated bibliography and reading lists

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Edition         xv

Acknowledgments for the Second Edition         xvi


Preface to the First Edition           xvii

Acknowledgments         xx


Chapter 1: Introduction        1

Stakeholders, Viewpoints, and Perspectives   1

The Structure of This Book   7

Who Should Read This Book   7

Conventions Used   8


Part I: Architecture Fundamentals          9

Chapter 2: Software Architecture Concepts        11

Software Architecture   11

Architectural Elements   20

Stakeholders   21

Architectural Descriptions   24

Relationships between the Core Concepts   26

Summary   27

Further Reading   28


Chapter 3: Viewpoints and Views         31

Architectural Views   34

Viewpoints   36

Relationships between the Core Concepts   37

The Benefits of Using Viewpoints and Views   38

Viewpoint Pitfalls   39

Our Viewpoint Catalog   39

Summary   43

Further Reading   43


Chapter 4: Architectural Perspectives        45

Quality Properties   45

Architectural Perspectives   47

Applying Perspectives to Views   51

Consequences of Applying a Perspective   54

Relationships between the Core Concepts   56

The Benefits of Using Perspectives   56

Perspective Pitfalls   58

Comparing Perspectives to Viewpoints   58

Our Perspective Catalog   60

Summary   61

Further Reading   62


Chapter 5: The Role Of The Software Architect         63

The Architecture Definition Process   64

The Role of the Architect   68

Interrelationships between the Core Concepts   71

Architectural Specializations   72

The Organizational Context   73

The Architect's Skills   76

The Architect's Responsibilities   77

Summary   78

Further Reading   79


Part II: The Process of Software Architecture        81

Chapter 6: Introduction to the Software Architecture Process         83


Chapter 7: The Architecture Definition Process        85

Guiding Principles 85

Process Outcomes 86

The Process Context 87

Supporting Activities 89

Architecture Definition Activities 92

Process Exit Criteria 97

Architecture Definition in the Software Development Lifecycle 98

Summary 102

Further Reading 103


Chapter 8: Concerns, Principles, and Decisions        105

Problem-Focused Concerns   108

Solution-Focused Concerns   111

Other Real-World Constraints   114

What Makes a Good Concern   116

Architectural Principles   117

Architectural Decisions   122

Using Principles to Link Concerns and Decisions   125

Checklist   128

Summary   128

Further Reading   129


Chapter 9: Identifying and Engaging Stakeholders        131

Selection of Stakeholders   131

Classes of Stakeholders   133

Examples   138

Proxy Stakeholders   140

Stakeholder Groups   141

Stakeholders' Responsibilities   141

Checklist   142

Summary   142

Further Reading   143


Chapter 10: Identifying and Using Scenarios        145

Types of Scenarios   146

Uses for Scenarios   147

Identifying and Prioritizing Scenarios   148

Capturing Scenarios   149

What Makes a Good Scenario?   153

Applying Scenarios   154

Effective Use of Scenarios   157

Checklist   159

Summary   159

Further Reading   160


Chapter 11: Using Styles and Patterns         161

Introducing Design Patterns   161

Styles, Patterns, and Idioms   164

Patterns and Architectural Tactics   166

An Example of an Architectural Style   167

The Benefits of Using Architectural Styles   170

Styles and the Architectural Description   172

Applying Design Patterns and Language Idioms   172

Checklist   174

Summary   174

Further Reading   175


Chapter 12: Producing Architectural Models        177

Why Models Are Important   178

Types of Models   181

Modeling Languages   184

Guidelines for Creating Effective Models   187

Modeling with Agile Teams   193

Checklist   194

Summary   195

Further Reading   196


Chapter 13: Creating the Architectural Description         197

Properties of an Effective Architectural Description   198

Glossaries   206

The ISO Standard   206

Contents of the Architectural Description   207

Presenting the Architectural Description   213

Checklist   215

Summary   216

Further Reading   216


Chapter 14: Evaluating the Architecture        217

Why Evaluate the Architecture?   218

Evaluation Techniques   219

Scenario-Based Evaluation Methods   226

Evaluation during the Software Lifecycle   230

Validating the Architecture of an Existing System   233

Recording the Results of Evaluation   236

Choosing an Evaluation Approach   237

Checklist   238

Summary   238

Further Reading   239


Part III: A Viewpoint Catalog         241

Chapter 15: Introduction to the Viewpoint Catalog         243


Chapter 16: The Context Viewpoint         247

Concerns   248

Models   255

Problems and Pitfalls   261

Checklist   265

Further Reading   266


Chapter 17: The Functional Viewpoint          267

Concerns   268

Models   271

Problems and Pitfalls   285

Checklist   291

Further Reading   292


Chapter 18: The Information Viewpoint         293

Concerns   294

Models   311

Problems and Pitfalls   322

Checklist   330

Further Reading   330


Chapter 19: The Concurrency Viewpoint         333

Concerns   335

Models   340

Problems and Pitfalls   351

Checklist   355

Further Reading   355


Chapter 20: The Development Viewpoint          357

Concerns   358

Models   360

Problems and Pitfalls   367

Checklist   370

Further Reading   371


Chapter 21: The Deployment Viewpoint         373

Concerns   374

Models   378

Problems and Pitfalls   387

Checklist   391

Further Reading   392


Chapter 22: The Operational Viewpoint          393

Concerns   394

Models   402

Problems and Pitfalls   419

Checklist   423

Further Reading   424


Chapter 23: Achieving Consistency Across Views         425

Relationships between Views   426

Context and Functional View Consistency   427

Context and Information View Consistency   427

Context and Deployment View Consistency   428

Functional and Information View Consistency   428

Functional and Concurrency View Consistency   429

Functional and Development View Consistency   430

Functional and Deployment View Consistency   430

Functional and Operational View Consistency   431

Information and Concurrency View Consistency   431

Information and Development View Consistency   432

Information and Deployment View Consistency   432

Information and Operational View Consistency   432

Concurrency and Development View Consistency   433

Concurrency and Deployment View Consistency   433

Deployment and Operational View Consistency   434


Part IV: The Perspective Catalog            435

Chapter 24: Introduction to the Perspective Catalog         437


Chapter 25: The Security Perspective          439

Applicability to Views   441

Concerns   442

Activities: Applying the Security Perspective   446

Architectural Tactics   456

Problems and Pitfalls   465

Checklists   473

Further Reading   474

Chapter 26: The Performance and Scalability Perspective         475

Applicability to Views   476

Concerns   476

Activities: Applying the Performance and Scalability Perspective   482

Architectural Tactics   491

Problems and Pitfalls   502

Checklists   509

Further Reading   510


Chapter 27: The Availability and Resilience Perspective         511

Applicability to Views   512

Concerns   512

Activities: Applying the Availability and Resilience Perspective   516

Architectural Tactics   526

Problems and Pitfalls   533

Checklists   539

Further Reading   541


Chapter 28: The Evolution Perspective         543

Applicability to Views   544

Concerns   545

Activities: Applying the Evolution Perspective   549

Architectural Tactics   552

Problems and Pitfalls   560

Checklists   564

Further Reading   565


Chapter 29: Other Perspectives          567

The Accessibility Perspective   568

The Development Resource Perspective   573

The Internationalization Perspective   579

The Location Perspective   585

The Regulation Perspective   591

The Usability Perspective   595


Part V: Putting It All Together         603

Chapter 30: Working As A Software Architect          605

Architecture in the Project Lifecycle   605

Supporting Different Types of Projects   615


Appendix: Other Viewpoint Sets         621

Kruchten “4+1”   621

RM-ODP   623

Siemens (Hofmeister, Nord, and Soni)   623

SEI “Views and Beyond” Views   624

Garland and Anthony   626

IAF   627

Enterprise Architecture Frameworks   627

Other Enterprise Architecture Frameworks   629


Bibliography          631

About the Authors           643


Index            645


Nick Rozanski has worked in IT since 1980 for several large and small systems integrators, including Logica, Capgemini, and Sybase, and end user organizations including Marks and Spencer and Barclays Global Investors. He has taken senior roles on a wide range of programs in finance, retail, manufacturing, and government. His technology background includes enterprise application integration, package implementation, relational database, data replication, and object-oriented software development. He is also an experienced technical instructor and certified internal project auditor.


Eoin (pronounced “Owen”) Woods is a lead system architect in the equities technology group of a major European investment bank with architecture and design responsibility for a number of the organization's key systems. Prior to this, he led the application architecture group at Barclays Global Investors and has worked as a software engineer for Group Bull, Sybase, InterTrust, and Zuhlke, as well as through his own consultancy company, Artechra.