Software Architecture: The Next Step
This position paper makes the following claims that, in our opinion, are worthwhile to discuss at the workshop. 1) The first phase of software architecture research, where the key concepts are components and connectors, has matured the technology to a level where industry adoption is wide-spread and few fundamental issues remain. 2) The traditional view on software architecture suffers from a number of key problems that cannot be solved without changing our perspective on the notion of software architecture. These problems include the lack of first-class representation of design decisions, the fact that these design decisions are cross-cutting and intertwined, that these problems lead to high maintenance cost, because of which design rules and constraints are easily violated and obsolete design decisions are not removed. 3) As a community, we need to take the next step and adopt the perspective that a software architecture is, fundamentally, a composition of architectural design decisions. These design decisions should be represented as first-class entities in the software architecture and it should, at least before system deployment, be possible to add, remove and change architectural design decisions against limited effort.
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