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Decision-Centric Architecture Reviews
Jan.-Feb. 2014 (vol. 31 no. 1)
pp. 69-76
Uwe van Heesch, University of Groningen
Veli-Pekka Eloranta, Tampere University of Technology
Paris Avgeriou, University of Groningen
Kai Koskimies, Tampere University of Technology
Neil Harrison, Utah Valley University
Architecture evaluation is an important activity in the software engineering life cycle that ensures that the architecture satisfies stakeholders' expectations. Additionally, risks and issues can be uncovered before they cause tremendous costs later in the life cycle. Unfortunately, architecture evaluation isn't regularly practiced in industry. This article presents DCAR (decision-centric architecture review), an architecture evaluation method that uses architecture decisions as first-class entities. DCAR uncovers and evaluates the rationale behind the most important architecture decisions, considering the entire context in which the decisions were made. Furthermore, it's lightweight and can be performed during or after the design is finalized. Experiences in large industrial projects have shown that full-scale DCAR evaluations, including reporting, can be conducted in fewer than five person-days, while producing satisfying results for the stakeholders.
Index Terms:
Computer architecture,Software architecture,Context awareness,Documentation,Databases,Product life cycle management,knowledge representation,software architecture,software quality
Citation:
Uwe van Heesch, Veli-Pekka Eloranta, Paris Avgeriou, Kai Koskimies, Neil Harrison, "Decision-Centric Architecture Reviews," IEEE Software, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 69-76, Jan.-Feb. 2014, doi:10.1109/MS.2013.22
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