Invited Presentation III: The Architects’ Workbench — Research in the Trenches
IT architects know how hard it is to collect architectural information in an engagement and keep it all clear and organized in their minds. Transforming that information into models of a viable architecture and keeping the associated documents consistent and up to date is an even greater challenge. The Architects’ Workbench (AWB) supports the creative process of architectural thinking and modeling. With AWB, architects capture informal notes, unstructured information and existing documents during customer meetings or at any time throughout an engagement. They proceed to progressively structure, formalize, and refine the information using the AWB modeling and refactoring tools. In this way, AWB users opportunistically build up models to achieve a viable architecture. At any time, users can automatically generation consistent, up-to-date documents from customizable templates. Developed by IBM Research in collaboration with IBM Global Services, AWB has been used in production by IT architecture practitioners, and the response has been very enthusiastic. While customizable to other methods and metamodels, it is tailored to the practice of IBM Global Services. This talk presents key AWB innovations, along with experience from production use of the AWB.