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Book Review

Book Review: Software Architecture in Practice (3rd Edition)

SEI Series in Software Engineering

It was hard to imagine this book getter any better than it already was. I guess that was because I never expected so many changes. This is the most I have ever seen a new edition of a book change. If you own the second edition, you will definitely want this new one. It is almost like another book.

The big case studies are gone. They have been replaced with a ton of new material. If you don't own the first and second editions of the book, you can get the case studies on the publisher's web site.

Below are the chapters in this third edition.

Part One. Introduction
1. What Is Software Architecture?
2. Why Is Software Architecture Important?
3. The Many Contexts of Software Architecture

Part Two. Quality Attributes
4. Understanding Quality Attributes
5. Availability
6. Interoperability
7. Modifiability
8. Performance
9. Security
10. Testability
11. Usability
12. Other Quality Attributes
13. Architectural Tactics and Patterns
14. Quality Attribute Modeling and Analysis

Part Three. Architecture in the Life Cycle
15. Architecture in Agile Projects
16. Architecture and Requirements
17. Designing an Architecture
18. Documenting Software Architectures
19. Architecture, Implementation, and Testing
20. Architecture Reconstruction and Conformance
21. Architecture Evaluation
22. Management and Governance

Part Four. Architecture and Business
23. Economic Analysis of Architectures
24. Architecture Competence
25. Architecture and Software Product Lines

Part Five. The Brave New World
26. Architecture in the Cloud
27. Architectures for the Edge
28. Epilogue

To show you just how much the book has changed I have included the table of contents to the second edition below.

Pt. One. Envisioning Architecture
Ch. 1. The Architecture Business Cycle
Ch. 2. What Is Software Architecture?
Ch. 3. A-7E Avionics System: A Case Study in Utilizing Architectural Structures

Pt. Two. Creating an Architecture
Ch. 4. Understanding Quality Attributes
Ch. 5. Achieving Qualities
Ch. 6. Air Traffic Control: A Case Study in Designing for High Availability
Ch. 7. Designing the Architecture
Ch. 8. Flight Simulation: A Case Study in an Architecture for Integrability
Ch. 9. Documenting Software Architectures
Ch. 10. Reconstructing Software Architectures

Pt. Three. Analyzing Architectures
Ch. 11. The ATAM: A Comprehensive Method for Architecture Evaluation
Ch. 12. The CBAM: A Quantitative Approach to Architecture Design Decision Making
Ch. 13. The World Wide Web: A Case Study in Interoperability

Pt. Four. Moving From One System to Many
Ch. 14. Software Product Lines: Re-using Architectural Assets
Ch. 15. CelsiusTech: A Case Study in Product Line Development
Ch. 16. J2EE/EJB: A Case Study of an Industry-Standard Computing Infrastructure
Ch. 17. The Luther Architecture: A Case Study in Mobile Applications Using J2EE
Ch. 18. Building Systems from Off-the-Shelf Components
Ch. 19. Software Architecture in the Future

This book has been my go to book for most of my software architecture career. It is what taught me about quality attributes, tactics, and scenarios. It provided my first introduction to the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM), the Quality Attribute Workshop (QAW), the Cost Benefit Analysis Method (CBAM), Active Reviews for Intermediate Designs (ARID), and the Attribute-Driven Design (ADD) method. In this new edition of the book they introduce the lightweight architecture evaluation. It is a slimmed-down version of ATAM. It is intended to be used on lower ceremony projects.

This new version has a ton of new material. One of the biggest changes is that the quality attributes covered now have their own chapter. There is a new chapter for Availability, Interoperability, Modifiability, Performance, Security, Testability, and Usability.

There is a new chapter dedicated to the technical, project, business, and professional contexts of software architecture. This chapter shows how architecture supports and is informed by other forces and activities in the different contexts.

Part four, Architecture and Business, contains three chapters dedicated to showing the relationships between the architecture and the business.

There is a new chapter on architecturally significant requirements and how to solicit those requirements from the goals set down by the business. This chapter introduces a new method for eliciting and documenting business goals in order to discover architecturally significant requirements. The new method is called Pedigreed Attribute eLicitation Method or PALM for short.

There is a new chapter on individual and organizational architectural competence. The chapter covers the technical duties of a software architect, the non-technical duties of a software architect, and the knowledge areas of the software architect. It also provides a framework for organizational architectural competence.

Part three, Architecture in the Life Cycle, shows how architecture relates to agile projects, shows how to elicit architecturally significant requirements, shows how to design the architecture and document the architecture, also how to test the architecture. Part three also covers how to reconstruct an architecture and evaluate an architecture.

One of my favorite new additions was chapter 27, Architectures for the Edge. An Edge dominant system is one that depends on the input of their users for success. Edge architectures that exist today are Wikipedia, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. It was just a really interesting read.

I could go on and on about the value of the content in this book. The bottom line is that if you are a software architect, or want to be one, this is mandatory reading, period.

Software Architecture in Practice (3rd Edition)

More Stories By Tad Anderson

Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.