Why the Architecture of Your Software Matters
In this post, we take a beginner level look at the importance of good architecture on development teams, such as easier debugging.
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Have you ever looked at a beautiful building and asked yourself, “Who would have thought of designing that?” and then followed that with, “The architect must be visionary.” Well, we’ve all felt that in some way or another. Now apply that same thought to the architecture of your software, and you’ll see a lot of similarities.
With the ever-evolving digital age that involves software development, programming, and anything tech-related, how are architecture and software related? What is software architecture?
To start off, the term “architecture” is defined as the carefully designed structure of something. Without it, anyone involved in the creation or development of a project would be left in the dark. On the other hand, software is the culmination of programs and other operating information used by a computer. These two words – architecture and software – are related by their function within a “structure” or “system.”
As a whole, software architecture is the overall guiding principle and understanding of the system, which keeps everyone involved in the project from being side-tracked.
But does having a well-designed software architecture matter?
Yes, because it narrows down the aspects that software developers need to consider, leaving more room for the brain to focus on the craft of writing codes, solving problems, etc.
Ask any programmer to choose between building software from scratch or maintaining it, and the answer you’ll get would be the former.
It’s much easier to create and develop software when you know how each piece of written code functions and where it is placed. It saves the developers time, makes their work easier and faster, and increases the likelihood of the project’s success. It is also cost saving and makes the work more efficient.
That said, below are the benefits of establishing and following a good software architecture:
It Makes Code Debugging Easier
Imagine fixing a bug or looking for a piece of code that needs tinkering and which you doubt fits in the right place. Without a defined structure and a rulebook that will say you’re doing it right, it will feel a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. On the other hand, the architecture enables all the code to be written and compiled in an organized manner, making it easier to look for bugs or errors.
It Ensures a Common Understanding of the Project Among Stakeholders
Having the software architecture bridges the gap between the developers, stakeholders, and the others involved in the project, as it allows them to have a common understanding of the process. This also represents the implementation of a vision. It makes everyone see the bigger picture and where the software project is headed. In a nutshell, it ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page.
It Reduces Risk
Having a solid software architecture reduces the business risk associated with building a technical solution. The software must be flexible enough to be able to handle the natural drift that will occur in both hardware and software technology over time. This also means higher adaptability and the capability to make changes more quickly.
It Defines the Software Application’s Boundaries
By setting the architecture’s boundaries, the project team can decide on what works in the system and what doesn’t. This makes the architecture more sophisticated so that it leads to the development of a unique product. It also minimizes duplicity, which translates to usability and performance. In addition, it results in the high quality of the product and in the prioritization of goals. Having a well-thought-out architecture not only helps ensure a high level of system performance, it also provides a more reliable assessment of other systems' quality attributes such as security, interoperability, reliability, and availability.
It Promotes Cost-Effectiveness
A good software architecture enables the identification of redundant and unnecessary resources (e.g. the use of multiple database systems), as well as those that can be reused.
The software architecture is the master blueprint for the software being developed. It is the playbook that dictates the technical standards, which include the code, tools, and platforms that translate into a successful software application. It determines the tasks that the project team members must complete.
By building and having a good architecture for the software project, one can identify the risks and mitigate or address them early in the development stage. The benefits of having a good software architecture for your software development project can be summarized in four words: better, faster, economical, and safer.
Published at DZone with permission of Denisse Morelos. See the original article here.
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