What is software architecture guide, Web development tips, Online operating systems advice

What is software architecture?

17 Dec 2021

The software architecture describes how the various elements of an application will be arranged and how they interact with each other. Therefore, this step is one of the first steps in software development and occurs during the design phase. It is generally carried out by a software architect or a solution architect, the central element of the development project. Here is the best agency that is providing software and web development for architecture services.

What is software architecture?

In this article, we will see:

  1. The importance of architecture in software development
  2. From this point of view, which software architecture to move towards?
  3. What makes good software architecture?

The importance of architecture during software development:

Architectural design is a particularly important phase in software development. It conditions its stability, efficiency, and durability. On the contrary, some applications may experience weaknesses due to a poorly designed architecture, not or more suited to the context.

Suppose the time-to-market pressure weighs on the development of software. In that case, it also weighs on the design of its architecture. Be aware, however, that once the project has started, as it is such a structural element, it is dangerous or even impossible to change it.

That being said, it is not that frequent to find “bad” architectures in absolute terms. Still, one often observes architectures that are not perfectly adapted to the development project context. Because the software architecture is, above all, the result of a compromise between the technical, operational, and functional requirements surrounding the application. And this is where the software architect will have to exercise his know-how and have sufficient experience.

From this point of view, which software architecture to move towards?

Several criteria guide the choice of application architecture.

First of all, this choice follows a good understanding of the business need and the functional and non-functional constraints of the software.

Understanding the business need must, for example, cover the different types of users involved, their different mode (s) of access to this software.

Non-functional constraints include, for example, aspects:

  • De performance
  • Of security
  • But also the execution and operating constraints: including
    • the targeted client and server-side platforms.
    • Expected hosting: private and/or public cloud, OnPremise, or hybrid hosting, more popular today.
    • Operating systems.
    • The choice of technologies: certain architectural choices are coupled with their execution environment, as may be the case with Serverless. Conversely, a Microservices architecture is intended to be agnostic in terms of the technologies.
    • The need for system resilience.
    • The material typology of the screens. In particular, the size of the screens to use the application – also called the ‘form factor’ – impacts the design of the GUI.

What makes good software architecture?

Good architecture is defined by:

 Its scalability:

The architecture must consider the future evolutions of the software according to the business need. If we cannot anticipate the changes themselves, it must, in this case, be flexible enough so that they are possible without falling into the trap of wanting to anticipate the future excessively.

Its simplicity:

A complex architecture is often a source of failure. It can create technical debt and impact an application’s performance or scalability. It is due to a bad design, an initial over-engineering, or conversely, a lack of overall design, which induces a progressive complexification of the software over time.

In addition, the software must have an “understandable” architecture to facilitate its handling. For this, it is necessary to:

 Its maintainability:

A good architecture also incorporates the tools necessary for its maintenance. This makes it possible in particular to recover information in a centralized manner when there is an error to process it efficiently and act accordingly.

Its compatibility:

The architecture must define the software’s compatibility with the different hardware platforms, operating systems, browser, or screen sizes that suit the target of use.

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