Architectural Analysis - UML

Architectural analysis is concerned with the identification and resolution of the system's non - functional requirements (for example, security), in the context of the functional requirements (for example, processing sales). It includes identifying variation points and the most probable evolution points.

In the UP, the term encompasses both architectural investigation (identification) and architectural design (resolution). Here are some examples of the many issues to be identified and resolved at an architectural level:

  1. How do reliability and fault - tolerance requirements affect the design?
    • For example, in the NextGen POS, for what remote services (e.g., tax calculator) will fail - over to local services be allowed? Why? Do they provide exactly the same services locally as remotely, or are there differences?

  2. How do the licensing costs of purchased subcomponents affect profitability?
    • For example, the producer of the excellent database server, Clueless, wants 2% of each NextGen POS sale, if their product is used as a subcomponent. Using their product will speed development (and time to market) because it is robust and provides many services, and many developers know it, but at a price. Should the team instead use the less robust, open source YourSQL database server? At what risk? How does it restrict the ability to charge for the NextGen product?

  3. How do the adaptability and configurability requirements affect the design?
    • For example, most retailers have variations in business rules they want represented in their POS applications. What are the variations? What is the "best" way to design for them? What is the criteria for best? Can NextGen make more money by requiring customized programming for each customer (and how much effort will that be?), or with a solution that allows the customer to add the customization easily themselves? Should "more money" be the goal in the short - run?

  4. How does brand name and branding affect the architecture?
    • A little - known story is that Microsoft's Windows XP was not originally named "Windows XP." The name was a relatively last - minute change from the marketing department. You may appreciate that the operating system name is displayed in many places, both as raw text and as a graphic image. Because the Microsoft architects did not identify a name change as a likely evolution point, there was no Protected Variation solution for this point, such as the label existing in only one place in a configuration file. Therefore, at the last minute, a small team scoured the millions of lines of source code and image files,and made hundreds of changes.

    • Similarly, how should potential changes to the brand name of the NextGen product and related logos, icons, and so forth affect its architecture

  5. How do the adaptability and configurability requirements affect the design?
    • For example, most retailers have variations in business rules they want represented in their POS applications. What are the variations? What is the "best" way to design for them? What is the criteria for best? Can NextGen make more money by requiring customized programming for each customer (and how much effort will that be?), or with a solution that allows the customer to add the customization easily themselves? Should "more money" be the goal in the short - run?

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