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Introduction to the Continuous Architecture Theme

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Abstract

Development of high-quality complex software, in particular in modern embedded and cyber-physical systems, requires careful attention to the software architecture and design in order to achieve the desired quality attributes. Generally speaking, the evolution in software development methods during the last decade, towards more agile practices with short iterations and early feedback, has focused more on implementation and validation activities than architectural design. It is sometimes argued, even, that the concept of architecture is obsolete in modern software development. However, architectural decisions still have a significant impact on software quality, including crucial aspects like performance, safety, and security. Moreover, although architecture can, and should, evolve over time, it does so at a slow pace compared to implementation changes, meaning that the architecture impacts how quickly new functionality can be implemented in response to changed market needs. Thus, for any long-lived systems, but in particular for systems where for example safety assurance is critical, there is definitely a need to document and reason about architecture. Architectural documentation no longer plays the role of a static, a priori, specification for developers to follow but should rather be viewed as an artifact that continuously evolves together with the implementation.

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Berger, C., Carlson, J. (2022). Introduction to the Continuous Architecture Theme. In: Bosch, J., Carlson, J., Holmström Olsson, H., Sandahl, K., Staron, M. (eds) Accelerating Digital Transformation. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-10873-0_5

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