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P.6 Summary Checklist

  • The goal of documenting an architecture is to write it down so that others can successfully use it, maintain it, and build a system from it.
  • Documentation exists to further architecture’s uses as a means of education, as a vehicle for communication among stakeholders, and as the basis for analysis.
  • Documenting an architecture is a matter of documenting the relevant views and then adding documentation that applies to more than one view.
  • Documentation should pay for itself by making development activities less costly.
  • Module styles help architects think about their software as a set of implementation units. C&C views help architects think about their software as a set of elements that have runtime behavior and interactions. Allocation views help architects think about how their software relates to the nonsoftware structures in its environment.
  • An architecture style is a specialization of elements and relations, together with a set of constraints on how they can be used. A style defines a family of architectures that satisfy the constraints.
  • Some styles are applicable in every software system. Other styles occur only in systems in which they were explicitly chosen and designed in by the architect.
  • Follow the seven rules for sound documentation.
    1. Write documentation from the point of view of the reader, not the writer.
    2. Avoid unnecessary repetition.
    3. Avoid ambiguity. Always explain your notation.
    4. Use a standard organization.
    5. Record rationale.
    6. Keep documentation current but not too current.
    7. Review documentation for fitness of purpose.
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