The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks
The Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of the Carnegie Mellon University has published several books and papers describing architectural methods for solution architecture. Although the SEI calls it software architecture, the presented methods can be applied to solution engineering in general, including infrastructure architecture.
The SEI does not present an overall methodology that can be followed, but rather provides a set of tools and methods that have proven to work in practice. Some of the methods published by the SEI are:
- Quality Attribute Workshops (QAW) - these workshops use the input of many stakeholders of the system to be developed to define the non-functional requirements of a solution (like performance, availability and security) in a way that makes quality attribute requirements SMART and testable.
- Attribute Driven Design (ADD) - this is an approach to defining a solution architecture in which the design process is based on defined non-functional requirements.
- Views and Beyond (V&B) - this defines how to document an system’s architecture so that others can successfully use it, maintain it, and build a system from it.
- Architecture Trade-off Analysis Method (ATAM) - this is a structured method for analyzing a documented architecture in four one-day workshops.
- Cost Benefit Analysis Method (CBAM) - this method aims at analyzing the financial aspects of architectures. It aims to quantify the financial benefits of a described architecture.
The SEI methods are very useful in infrastructure architecture. Especially the emphasis on non-functional requirements like performance, security and availability is very well in line with the work of an infrastructure architect.
This entry was posted on Friday 21 June 2013