Software Architecture is the organizational structure of a system. Architecture can be recursively decomposed into parts that interact through interfaces, relationships that connect parts and constraints for assembling parts. Parts that interact through interfaces include classes, components and subsystems. Whether software architecture plays any role to satisfy the non-functional requirements? Justify your answer with strong arguments.
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Researchers believe that quality attributes can primarily be achieved in a conservative manner in terms of cost and time if software architecture is evaluated or assessed with respect to the specific quality attributes prior the implementation. In this approach emphasis has been given on the forward engine`eering rather than the reverse engineering approach in order to save time and cost. In this proactive approach an initial version of the software architecture is designed. Then it is evaluated with respect to the quality requirements by using a qualitative or quantitative assessment technique. Using the assessment results, the estimated quality attributes are compared to the values in the specification. If these are satisfactory, then the design process is finished. Otherwise, the architecture transformation or improvement stage is entered. This stage improves the software architecture by selecting appropriate quality attribute optimizing or improving design solutions. When applying architecture design solutions, generally one or more quality attributes are improved whereas other attributes may be affected negatively. By applying one or more architectural design solutions, a new architectural design is created. The newly created design is evaluated again and the process is repeated, if necessary, until all non-functional requirements have been satisfied as much as possible.
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Software Software Architecture performs a vital role and part in non-functional requirements. Architecture partitions your system into smaller parts, which should make estimation more structured, more accurate. You can also use architecture to support development, for example different teams or individuals having responsibility over different architectural subsystems, and controlled incremental test/release of subsystems from the bottom up. Bottom line is that development of a code base with a defined and enforced architecture will be quicker and more predictable/manageable - all else being equal - and improve many of the non-functional aspects of your project. A system incorrectly designed for non-functional requirements can meet all the functional requirements, but turn out to do it inefficiently as well as in a manner very difficult to control (thus not meeting the non-functional reqs.).
How do software architects deal with non-functional requirements?
The full results of our exploratory study on how software architects deal with non-functional requirements (based on a set of interviews with software architects) were presented at the RE’12 conference (full paper is available here and the summary/slides can be browsed below)
What was the motivation of this work? Research papers on software architecture often include sentencens like:
“[NFRs] play a critical role during system development, serving as selection criteria for choosing among myriads of alternative designs
“the rationale behind each architecture decision is mostly about achieving certain NFRs”
“quality attribute requirements strongly influence a system’s architecture”
but the problem is that there is very little evidence that this is really how software architects work in practice. Therefore, we set out to see if we could confirm or not this assumption.
Some of the observations that can be derived from the analysis of the interviews’ data were quite surprising (for full details and the threats to validity see the full text linked above, in the following we single out some simplified results):
In fact, nobody had a permanent software architect role. Instead, they played the role of software architect (and others simultaneously) depending on the project
There is a lot of confusion regarding the exact meaning of several non-functional requirements
Non-technical requirements (price, license, provider) are as important as the technical ones, i.e. the SW architecture can never be the ideal one but the one that satifies all these non-technical constraints).
The software architect, and not the client, is the one that decides which NFRs are needed
System compliance with the NFRs is hardly ever verified
No tool support to manage the NFRs is used.
non-functional requirements define the operation of a system. these are important for any system. a system in which all non-func. requirements are not considered would fail. software architecture plays an important role to satisfy non-functional requirements as it is organizational structure of a system and it is incomplete without non-functional reqs.
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i think software architecture plays any role to satisfy the non-functional requirements because from book "Software architecture must address the non-functional as well as the functional requirements of the software system. So software Architecture performs a vital role and part in non-functional requirements. "
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