Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Principles of Software Architecture

Failing to consider key scenarios, failing to design for common problems, or failing to appreciate the long term consequences of key decisions can put your application at risk. Modern tools and platforms help to simplify the task of building applications, but they do not replace the need to design your application carefully, based on your specific scenarios and requirements. The risks exposed by poor architecture include software that is unstable, is unable to support existing or future business requirements, or is difficult to deploy or manage in a production environment.

Systems should be designed with consideration for the user, the system (the IT infrastructure), and the business goals. For each of these areas, you should outline key scenarios and identify important quality attributes (for example, reliability or scalability) and key areas of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Where possible, develop and consider metrics that measure success in each of these areas.
  • How will the users be using the application?
  • How will the application be deployed into production and managed?
  • What are the quality attribute requirements for the application, such as security, performance, concurrency, internationalization, and configuration?
  • How can the application be designed to be flexible and maintainable over time?
  • What are the architectural trends that might impact your application now or after it has been deployed?
  • Expose the structure of the system but hide the implementation details.
  • Realize all of the use cases and scenarios.
  • Try to address the requirements of various stakeholders.
  • Handle both functional and quality requirements.

  • https://www.slideshare.net/lenbass/principles-of-software-architecture-design
    •Priority of goal should be specified
    –Some goals are “nice to have”
    –Developers some times have to “push back” or make trade offs. Knowing priority gives insight
    •Source of goal should be specified
    –Some goals are a result of market analysis
    –Some goals are inherent in the system being developed
    –Some goals are arbitrary – could cause problems

    • Separation of concerns. Divide your application into distinct features with as little overlap in functionality as possible. The important factor is minimization of interaction points to achieve high cohesion and low coupling. However, separating functionality at the wrong boundaries can result in high coupling and complexity between features even though the contained functionality within a feature does not significantly overlap.
    • Single Responsibility principle. Each component or module should be responsible for only a specific feature or functionality, or aggregation of cohesive functionality.
    • Principle of Least Knowledge (also known as the Law of Demeter or LoD). A component or object should not know about internal details of other components or objects.
    • Don’t repeat yourself (DRY). You should only need to specify intent in one place. For example, in terms of application design, specific functionality should be implemented in only one component; the functionality should not be duplicated in any other component.
    • Minimize upfront design. Only design what is necessary. In some cases, you may require upfront comprehensive design and testing if the cost of development or a failure in the design is very high. In other cases, especially for agile development, you can avoid big design upfront (BDUF). If your application requirements are unclear, or if there is a possibility of the design evolving over time, avoid making a large design effort prematurely. This principle is sometimes known as YAGNI ("You ain’t gonna need it").
    Design Practices
    • Keep design patterns consistent within each layer. Within a logical layer, where possible, the design of components should be consistent for a particular operation. For example, if you choose to use the Table Data Gateway pattern to create an object that acts as a gateway to tables or views in a database, you should not include another pattern such as Repository, which uses a different paradigm for accessing data and initializing business entities. However, you may need to use different patterns for tasks in a layer that have a large variation in requirements, such as an application that contains business transaction and reporting functionality.
    • Do not duplicate functionality within an application. There should be only one component providing a specific functionality—this functionality should not be duplicated in any other component. This makes your components cohesive and makes it easier to optimize the components if a specific feature or functionality changes. Duplication of functionality within an application can make it difficult to implement changes, decrease clarity, and introduce potential inconsistencies.
    • Prefer composition to inheritance. Wherever possible, use composition over inheritance when reusing functionality because inheritance increases the dependency between parent and child classes, thereby limiting the reuse of child classes. This also reduces the inheritance hierarchies, which can become very difficult to deal with.
    • Establish a coding style and naming convention for development. Check to see if the organization has established coding style and naming standards. If not, you should establish common standards. This provides a consistent model that makes it easier for team members to review code they did not write, which leads to better maintainability.
    • Maintain system quality using automated QA techniques during development. Use unit testing and other automated Quality Analysis techniques, such as dependency analysis and static code analysis, during development. Define clear behavioral and performance metrics for components and sub-systems, and use automated QA tools during the build process to ensure that local design or implementation decisions do not adversely affect the overall system quality.
    • Consider the operation of your application. Determine what metrics and operational data are required by the IT infrastructure to ensure the efficient deployment and operation of your application. Designing your application’s components and sub-systems with a clear understanding of their individual operational requirements will significantly ease overall deployment and operation. Use automated QA tools during development to ensure that the correct operational data is provided by your application’s components and sub-systems.
    Application Layers
    • Separate the areas of concern. Break your application into distinct features that overlap in functionality as little as possible. The main benefit of this approach is that a feature or functionality can be optimized independently of other features or functionality. In addition, if one feature fails, it will not cause other features to fail as well, and they can run independently of one another. This approach also helps to make the application easier to understand and design, and facilitates management of complex interdependent systems.
    • Be explicit about how layers communicate with each other. Allowing every layer in an application to communicate with or have dependencies upon all of the other layers will result in a solution that is more challenging to understand and manage. Make explicit decisions about the dependencies between layers and the data flow between them.
    • Use abstraction to implement loose coupling between layers. This can be accomplished by defining interface components such as a fa├žade with well known inputs and outputs that translate requests into a format understood by components within the layer. In addition, you can also use Interface types or abstract base classes to define a common interface or shared abstraction (dependency inversion) that must be implemented by interface components.
    • Do not mix different types of components in the same logical layer. Start by identifying different areas of concern, and then group components associated with each area of concern into logical layers. For example, the UI layer should not contain business processing components, but instead should contain components used to handle user input and process user requests.
    • Keep the data format consistent within a layer or component. Mixing data formats will make the application more difficult to implement, extend, and maintain. Every time you need to convert data from one format to another, you are required to implement translation code to perform the operation and incur a processing overhead.
    Components, Modules, and Functions
    • A component or an object should not rely on internal details of other components or objects. Each component or object should call a method of another object or component, and that method should have information about how to process the request and, if appropriate, how to route it to appropriate subcomponents or other components. This helps to create an application that is more maintainable and adaptable.
    • Do not overload the functionality of a component. For example, a UI processing component should not contain data access code or attempt to provide additional functionality. Overloaded components often have many functions and properties providing business functionality mixed with crosscutting functionality such as logging and exception handling. The result is a design that is very error prone and difficult to maintain. Applying the single responsibility and separation of concerns principles will help you to avoid this.
    • Understand how components will communicate with each other. This requires an understanding of the deployment scenarios your application must support. You must determine if all components will run within the same process, or if communication across physical or process boundaries must be supported—perhaps by implementing message-based interfaces.
    • Keep crosscutting code abstracted from the application business logic as far as possible. Crosscutting code refers to code related to security, communications, or operational management such as logging and instrumentation. Mixing the code that implements these functions with the business logic can lead to a design that is difficult to extend and maintain. Changes to the crosscutting code require touching all of the business logic code that is mixed with the crosscutting code. Consider using frameworks and techniques (such as aspect oriented programming) that can help to manage crosscutting concerns.
    • Define a clear contract for components. Components, modules, and functions should define a contract or interface specification that describes their usage and behavior clearly. The contract should describe how other components can access the internal functionality of the component, module, or function; and the behavior of that functionality in terms of pre-conditions, post-conditions, side effects, exceptions, performance characteristics, and other factors.
    Principle - Don't Repeat Yourself
    A basic strategy for reducing complexity to managable units is to divide a system into pieces.

    When you are building a large software project, you will usually be overwhelmed by the overall complexity. Humans are not good at managing complexity; they're good at finding creative solutions for problems of a specific scope. A basic strategy for reducing complexity to managable units is to divide a system into parts that are more handy. At first, you may want to divide your system into components, where each component represents its own subsystem that contains everything needed to accomplish a specific functionality.
    As you divide systems into components, and, further, components into subcomponents, you will arrive at a level, where the complexity is reduced to a single responsibility. These responsibilities can be implemented in a class (we assume that we're building an object-oriented application). Classes
    contain methods and properties. Methods implement algorithms. Algorithms and - depending on how obsessive we want to get - subparts of
    algorithms are calculating or containing the smallest pieces that build your business logic.

    The DRY principle states that these small pieces of knowledge may only occur exactly once in your entire system.
    They must have a single representation within it.

    Every piece of knowledge must have a single, unambiguous, authoritative representation within a system.


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