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The Benefits of Using Viewpoints and Views

Using views and viewpoints to describe the architecture of a system benefits the architecture definition process in a number of ways.

  • Separation of concerns: Describing many aspects of the system via a single representation can cloud communication and, more seriously, can result in independent aspects of the system becoming intertwined in the model. Separating different models of a system into distinct (but related) descriptions helps the design, analysis, and communication processes by allowing you to focus on each aspect separately.
  • Communication with stakeholder groups: The concerns of each stakeholder group are typically quite different (e.g., contrast the primary concerns of end users, security auditors, and help-desk staff), and communicating effectively with the various stakeholder groups is quite a challenge. The viewpoint-oriented approach can help considerably with this problem. Different stakeholder groups can be guided quickly to different parts of the AD based on their particular concerns, and each view can be presented using language and notation appropriate to the knowledge, expertise, and concerns of the intended readership.
  • Management of complexity: Dealing simultaneously with all of the aspects of a large system can result in overwhelming complexity that no one person can possibly handle. By treating each significant aspect of a system separately, the architect can focus on each in turn and so help conquer the complexity resulting from their combination.
  • Improved developer focus: The AD is of course particularly important for the developers because they use it as the foundation of the system design. By separating out into different views those aspects of the system that are particularly important to the development team, you help ensure that the right system gets built.
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