Do Software Architecture Design Methods Meet Architects' Needs?
In: Sixth Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture, ed. by Dan Paulish, Ian Gorton, Jeff Tyree, Dilip Soni, IEEE (ISBN: 978-0-7695-2744-4)
Several Software Architecture Design Methods (SADM) have been published, reviewed, and compared. But these surveys and comparisons are mostly centered on intrinsic elements of the design method, and they do not compare them from the perspective of the actual needs of software architects.We would like to analyze the completeness of SADM from an architect’s point of view. To do so, we define nine categories of software architects’ needs, propose an ordinal scale for evaluating the degree to which a given SADM meets the needs, and then apply this to a small set of SADMs. The contribution of the paper is twofold: (i) to provide a different and useful frame of reference for architects to select SADM, and (ii) to suggest SADM areas of improvements. We found two answers to our question: “do architectural design methods meet the needs of the architect?” Yes, all architect’s needs are met by one or another SADM, but No, no architectural design method meets simultaneously all the needs of an architect. This approach may lead to improvements of existing SADMs.