Saturday, November 25, 2006

Information sharing / architecture documentation sharing

In a survey taken by in the spring of 2006 over 65% of the visitors were most interested in seeing practical examples of software architectures. The architecture of the real world enterprise grade software systems is proprietary as it represents the competitive advantage of an organization. Therefore it is difficult to obtain software architecture documents of such caliber, which consequently hinders information sharing between software architecture professionals.

But it is still possible to share the essence of software / system architecture without compromising organizational secrets. To achieve this, first, complete anonymity of the submitter must be assured. Second, the proprietary information must be rewritten or removed (e.g. IP addresses, company name, product name, interface systems, etc.). Third, the business problem solved by a system must be generalized. Fourth, implementation specific information must be removed to a level that does not give away owner’s identity.

Who will invest their free time into doing this? Only those who want to obtain feedback on the architecture from the greater software architecture community. Caveat: constructive feedback is not likely as long as the architect and the reviewers are not utilizing the same architectural paradigm while discussing the document. has a library of usable, complete, and well-documented software architecture design documents available for free. See the Case Studies link on the main page.

- Firebrand Architect on duty: JP

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