Why should anyone even bother about a software's architecture? This is a question that is often asked by aspiring software developers who want nothing more than to log in and code away. However, it is crucial for the uninitiated developer to learn that software architecture forms the foundation of a software program. This means that any failures in developing the architecture directly impacts the quality of the entire software. In addition, a well-programed architecture plays a major role in software maintenance as well. With this article, we help you understand the fundamentals of software architecture, why it matters and how good architecture relates to other aspects of programming.
The essentials of software architecture
Nowadays, the term 'architecture' has become a buzzword that is frequently ascribed to concepts relating to different sectors of engineering. That is why it is important to clearly establish the exact meaning of software architecture. Conventionally, a system’s software architecture is defined as a group of models which are made up of several inter-related software elements that can help mitigate failure risks of the software. Software architecture is also interpreted as containing the most important parts of a program which explains why it is often regarded as the very heart of a software application. Even a software with the most basic or informal design has to have at least one architectural element. However, modern systems are likely to house multiple, high-level architectural elements that are combined together to form complex patterns or styles. It is further possible to link these architectural patterns to form a complete and distinct software program.
Relation to System Design and Business Models
Contrary to popular misconception, software architecture and software design are not necessarily mutually exclusive. In fact, expert developers agree that software architecture is actually a subset of a system’s general design. Believe it or not, the software architecture of a system can also influence a company's business model. Although, it is fair to say that the relationship shared by software architecture and business models are entangled and feature several other systems. To understand this better, let us take a look at the definition of a business model. This term can be simply defined as a set of decisions which are meant to figure out the manner in which value can be generated and for whom it may be created. Here, a system’s software architecture is the component that decides how value should be created.
Does Software Architecture really matter?
In order to evaluate the full significance of software architecture in a system, let us imagine a system without this essential component. Everyone is familiar with the fact that software applications are complex systems that are incredibly hard to understand. Additionally, they are extremely susceptible to numerous risks that can cause the entire system to crash. These risks cannot be easily identified because no one has the time to imagine the myriad ways in which the system could crash. This is where a system’s software architecture steps in. By building one or more architectural models, software developers are able to simplify the problem. Through these models, developers are able to identify the possible risks such as security issues or high traffic and reason with them.