Friday, December 19, 2008

[Arch] Application Architecture Guide

The architecture and design of software applications should be technical neutral. The Application Architecture Guide from Microsoft guides developers through the design of applicataions based on the .NET platform. In my opinion, this architecture guide not only focus on the .NET platform and is a really good cookbook for Software Architects. As we present in our Best Practice Project, design patterns, are technical neutral and can be used in any language. The design principles of a Data Access Object or a Proxy are the same in Java as in .NET.

The guide can be used as a reference and provides the following five parts: Fundamentals, Design, Layers, Quality Attributes and Archetypes - Desgin and Patterns.


The first part focus on fundamental architecture concepts, including application Archetypes, Layers and Tiers and Architectural Styles. On chapter focus on the .NET platform.


The second part is very interesting for software analysts by providing some guidelines to design your application. Here you will find best practice approaches to make decisions about the distribution, select the right application type, choose the right architectural style (component based, message-bus,...). The chapter Architecture and Design is on of the most interesting one, because it provides guidelines to design considerations, architecture frame, persistence, security and some other topics. The last chapter Communication guidelines provides best practice approches to use the right communication between your software components and describes the design impact of choosing a communication technology.


The layers part focus on the layered architecture and describes each layer in detail, including Presentation, Business, Data Access and Service Layer. The layered architecture is on of the common used architecture styles in software projects.

Quality Attributes
In this part non functional requirements in software projects are described and how these requrements can be achieved by doing the right design. What must be account for to be secure and performant.

Archetypes - Design and Patterns

Don't compare this chapter with Maven Archetypes. The last part of the architecture guide describes different types of applictions, like Mobile Application, RIA or Web Application. This is very interesting because you will find which typical design principles and design patterns are used in such an archetype. For example one of the key patterns in Web Applications are Composite View, Front Controller, the classical MVC, Page Cahge or the page controller.

This architecture acts as Bibel for developers and you fill find less .NET code. In my opinion this guide is realy good and should be checked by every software architect and analyst.

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