Have you ever looked at a beautiful building and asked yourself, “Who would have thought of designing that?” and then followed by, “The architect must be visionary.” Well, we’ve all felt that in some way or another. We can more easily relate to an object or a place with structure compared to one without form. Now apply that same thought to the architecture of your software development, and you’ll see a great similarity in concept.
With the ever-evolving digital age that involves software development, programming, and anything tech-related, how are architecture and software related? What is software architecture?
To start off, the term “architecture” is defined as the carefully designed structure of something. Without it, anyone involved in the creation or development of a project will be left in the dark. On the other hand, software is the culmination of programs and other operating information used by a computer. These two words–architecture and software–are related by their function of “structure” or “system”.
As a whole, software architecture is the overall guiding principle and understanding of the system, which keeps everyone involved in the project from being side-tracked.
But does having a well-designed software architecture matter?
Yes, because it narrows down the aspects that software developers need to consider, leaving more room for the brain to focus on the craft of writing codes, solving problems, and others.
Ask any programmer to choose between building software from scratch or maintaining one, and the answer you’ll get would be the former.
It’s much easier to create and develop software when you know how each piece of written code functions and where it is placed. It saves the developer’s time, makes their work easier and faster, and increases the likelihood of the project’s success. It is also cost saving and makes the work more efficient.
That said, below are the benefits of establishing and following a good software architecture:
The software architecture serves as a guide
In layman’s terms, having a good and well-defined software architecture can be compared to having a well-written recipe. Anyone can cook the same meal, but it takes a good recipe to create a work of art. Some may argue that you can still write code even without a guiding structure, but the results can be compared to a scrambled egg.
It makes code debugging easier
Imagine fixing a bug or looking for a piece of code that needs tinkering and which you doubt fits in the right place. Without a defined structure and a rulebook that will say you’re doing it right, it will feel a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack. On the other hand, the architecture enables all the code to be written and compiled in an organized manner, making it easier to look for bugs or errors.
It ensures a common understanding of the project among stakeholders
Having the software architecture bridges the gap between the developers, stakeholders, and the others involved in the project, as it allows them to have a common understanding of the process. This also represents the implementation of a vision. It makes everyone see the bigger picture and where the software project is headed. In a nutshell, it ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page.
It reduces risk
Having a solid software architecture reduces the business risk associated with building a technical solution. The software must be flexible enough to be able to handle the nature drift that will occur in both hardware and software technology over time. This also means higher adaptability and the capability to make changes more quickly.
It defines the software application’s boundary
By setting the software architecture’s boundary, the project team can decide on what works in the system and what doesn’t. This makes the software architecture more sophisticated such that it leads to the development of a unique product. It also minimizes duplicity, which translates to usability and performance. In addition, it results in the high quality of the product and in the prioritization of goals. Having a well-thought architecture not only helps ensure a high level of system performance; it also provides a more reliable assessment of other system quality attributes such as security, interoperability, reliability, and availability.
It promotes cost-effectiveness
A good software architecture enables the identification of redundant and unnecessary resources (e.g. the use of multiple database systems), as well as those that can be reused.
The software architecture is the master blueprint for the software being developed. It is the playbook that dictates the technical standards, which include the program codes, tools, and platforms that translate into a successful software application. It determines the tasks that the project team members must complete.
By building and having a good architecture for the software project, one can identify the risks and mitigate or address them early in the development stage. The benefits of having a good software architecture for your software development project can be summarized in four words: better, faster, economical, and safer.
If you need any help on your software development project, we are a team of expert software developers who can provide you all the expertise you need. Contact us for more information.
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