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The Role of the Software Architect Jeff Lemich CMSC435.

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Presentation on theme: "The Role of the Software Architect Jeff Lemich CMSC435."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Role of the Software Architect Jeff Lemich CMSC435

2 Intro – Leadership Team – One Option Systems Operations Product Control DBA

3 Not having the support of management. Starting a project without a champion. Thinking that the Project Manager role and the Architect role are the same.

4 Skills Any successful system must be built on a single vision. You must be able to visualize abstract ideas. Providing and communicating that vision is the primary function of the architect. An architect must not only see the forest but the trees and the watershed that makes it possible.


6 Skills An architect starts with a blank sheet of paper. You must have expertise in data modeling, software modeling, and related tools. If you are uncomfortable with the unknown, dont be a software architect. You must be creative. Analysis and developers will bring the problems they cant solve to you.

7 Skills You must be able to multitask. There will be many simultaneous projects in different stages of development taking place. You must be able to answer most questions immediately without referencing documentation. The project manager will depend on you for design and technical expertise. You cant do it all. You must be willing to delegate, be receptive to criticism and ideas, and to promote individual creativity.

8 Intro All software has an architecture Unplanned Subsystem level System level Enterprise level

9 Unplanned Architecture – Shanty Town

10 Unplanned Architecture Use free materials Constructed by non-professionals No engineering Has very few rules Can be built very fast No foundation

11 Subsystem Level Architecture

12 Uses standard materials Units constructed by building professionals Has some additional rules Building codes Covenants Directly connected to utilities Takes some planning Built on footings

13 System Level Architecture

14 Designed by an engineer or architect Integrated utilities Integrated units Common halls, Lobby, Elevator Engineering standards Has many additional rules Requires a full foundation

15 Enterprise Architecture

16 Full needs of users / across systems Multiple turf issues Needs advanced architecture and engineering Integrated utility systems Multiple functions (office / housing) Requires an extensive foundation

17 Terminology Application – One function (Display Grades) Sub-system – One process (Grading) System – Tightly integrated processes (Student Records) ERP system – Multiple integrated systems (Student Information System) Enterprise system – One organization (Multiple integrated ERP systems)

18 CP-ONE - Enterprise system 2,000+ Applications/modules (4,500 programs/class) 175+ Menus 85 Sub-systems 1,707 Administrative Users + 35,000 Students + 3,674 Faculty + 55,000 Applications per year 827,000 Active People, 258,000 archived 7,516,627 Active Historic Course Records, 4,581,000 archived 18 Developers + 2 TAs (1 Director, 11 CP-ONE, 3 MF Packages, 5 Web)

19 Basics An organization may use a number of architecture styles. Just because an organization is big doesnt mean it cant be built as a shanty town. Unless you form your own company you will not start as an architect.

20 Standards SA is mostly developing standards. When a developer is under a tight deadline the last thing they will think about is standards. Developers would rather do things the easy way. So make it easier to do things correct. You must protect the architecture and standards after they are created!!

21 Standards Surprisingly increase creativity Build standards by consensus where possible. It produces personal buy-in. As-good-as isnt Better is better only is if it is worth changing all other instances of the rule. Every rule is meant to be broken if needed. It creates a new rule.

22 PERT/CPM Will increase productivity and developer satisfaction more than any thing else. When you start a task you have all the needed resources. Tools like MS Project help. (If used correctly!) Allow for multiple concurrent waterfall development processes.


24 Software Architecture Steps Rendering Site and resource planning Foundation Utilities Supports Floor Work Penthouse Maintenance Renewal

25 Rendering

26 What is it expected to do. How big will the system be. How is it expected to grow. Who are the users. How dynamic will it be. Is it commercial or private. What environment must it work in. What resources and funding are available?

27 Rendering Major systems are now almost exclusively new renditions and integration of existing systems. This is the step where the overall vision is established. Dont take this step lightly. Mistakes here can doom a project.

28 Site and Resource Planning

29 How will this system relate to outside systems? What language, database/s and hardware/s will the system use? Why? What development environments and tools will be used? Who are the key players and management structure? Where will the developers come from, be located, and what experience do they have?

30 Site and Resource Planning What subsystems are the most important. How do the subsystems relate to each other. What are the dependencies between systems. Where is the data now? How much is there? In what locations? How clean is it? What is the impact of data migration on the old system? Will it change dependencies?

31 Site and Resource Planning Where is the existing code? Do we have the source code? Can we weed out the junk? Is it readable and well structured? Can we save any of it? Do we have available the most important business rules? In code? On paper? Do we have access to filled in paper forms? Lookout for writing in the margins!

32 Analysis Paralysis

33 Foundation

34 Foundation – For all systems CP-ONE Standard Authentication, State and Session Management Standard Application Look and Feel Standard Screen Headings Standard Function Key and Web Button Usage A Help System with Hyper-Link Capabilities Standard Code Lookup Capability Name search capabilities Standard Date and Term Edits and Processing A Command Line Field on Applications to Facilitate Movement between Applications A Common Navigation and Menu System Application Access Security Application Function Security Value Security

35 Foundation A Work Flow System An Aliasing System Flow Control Capabilities to Eliminate Reentering of Key Data When Switching Applications Standard Error Processing A Standard Way for Applications to Communicate with Each Other Standard Audit Tables and Processes Standard On-line Batch Control Parameter Models A Standard E-mail Interface for Applications The Ability to Close Sub-systems for Maintenance General and Sub-system Welcome Messaging

36 Foundation Standardized Printer Definition and User Selection A Generic Text Editor Available to Applications A Generic Way to Add Free Format Notes to Applications Application Models A Mail-Merge Sub-system A Mailing Label Sub-system Batch Dynamic Allocation Capabilities Name Formatting Batch Sorting CP-ONE System Reports

37 Utilities

38 Utilities – For related systems Utility Addresses Utility College Master Utility Standard Code Table(s) Utility Degree Honors Utility Department Master Utility Degree Ranking

39 Utilities Utility Home Page Utility High Schools Utility School Master Utility Term Control Utility Term Dates Utility University Master

40 Thinking any of the steps up to here can be skipped.

41 Supports

42 Defining structures of the organization. The primary tables that most applications will use and the objects that support them. How the data in those tables will be loaded from legacy sources. Will all or parts of the legacy system and the new system need to run parallel for a period?

43 Bad Primary Keys, Data Structures, and Principal Object Relationships

44 Floor Work

45 Subsystem design and development Smaller versions of the whole process but with the infrastructure already in place. Use PERT to determine the best order for subsystem development. Can an assembly line be partially used? By the time you get here you should have very good metrics to estimate benchmarks.

46 Floor Work Dont forget everything else taught in this Software Engineering course!!!

47 Watch out! This is where specification creep can doom the project.

48 Penthouse

49 The executive management subsystem Uses summary data from the other subsystems Assesses the health of the organization Identifies trends Pinpoints potential problems

50 Maintenance

51 Fix bugs Watch out for table growth Subsystem enhancements New system interfaces Even new subsystems How will new technology be utilized and integrated? Should it?

52 Renewal

53 Renewal / Why? Rendition –Mission and scope change Site and resource planning – Basic technology or hardware change Foundation – Basic design change Supports – Organizational change Maintenance – Excessive exception coding, lost support staffing, technology no longer supported

54 Renewal / When?

55 Summary Normalization Do It once Sequencing Do it in order Standards Be consistent Support You cant do it alone

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