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Bedjeti A.,VU University Amsterdam | Lago P.,VU University Amsterdam | Lewis G.A.,VU University Amsterdam | De Boer R.D.,ArchiXL | Hilliard R.,Consulting Software Systems Architect
Proceedings - 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture, ICSA 2017 | Year: 2017

The context of a software system comprises the knowledge that architects need to have about the environment in which a system is expected to operate. Contextual knowledge, however, is often unknown or overlooked. This results in software architects designing systems based on assumptions that are largely unfounded and can potentially lead to system failures. To address this problem, this paper presents a Context Description Viewpoint that captures context in software architecture. The viewpoint is based on the results of a literature review that analyzed the state-of-the-art in context, its elements, and modeling techniques. We evaluated and revised the viewpoint by using two case studies based on real-world projects. The case studies showed that the viewpoint is expressive enough to capture context. For software architects it represents a reusable work product to design software systems and to help them identify, capture, and analyze contextual knowledge. © 2017 IEEE.

Tofan D.,University of Groningen | Galster M.,University of Canterbury | Lytra I.,University of Vienna | Avgeriou P.,University of Groningen | And 4 more authors.
Information and Software Technology | Year: 2016

Context Many software architectural decisions are group decisions rather than decisions made by individuals. Consensus in a group of decision makers increases the acceptance of a decision among decision makers and their confidence in that decision. Furthermore, going through the process of reaching consensus means that decision makers understand better the decision (including the decision topic, decision options, rationales, and potential outcomes). Little guidance exists on how to increase consensus in group architectural decision making. Objective We evaluate how a newly proposed process (named GADGET) helps architects increase consensus when making group architectural decisions. Specifically, we investigate how well GADGET increases consensus in group architectural decision making, by understanding its practical applicability, and by comparing GADGET against group architectural decision making without using any prescribed approach. Method We conducted two empirical studies. First, we conducted an exploratory case study to understand the practical applicability of GADGET in industry. We investigated whether there is a need to increase consensus, the effort and benefits of GADGET, and potential improvements for GADGET. Second, we conducted an experiment with 113 students from three universities to compare GADGET against group architectural decision making without using any prescribed approach. Results GADGET helps decision makers increase their consensus, captures knowledge on architectural decisions, clarifies the different points of view of different decision makers on the decision, and increases the focus of the group discussions about a decision. From the experiment, we obtained causal evidence that GADGET increases consensus better than group architectural decision making without using any prescribed approach. Conclusions There is a need to increase consensus in group architectural decisions. GADGET helps inexperienced architects increase consensus in group architectural decision making, and provides additional benefits, such as capturing rationale of decisions. Future work is needed to understand and improve other aspects of group architectural decision making. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All right sreserved.

De Boer R.C.,ArchiXL
Proceedings - 2017 IEEE International Conference on Software Architecture Workshops, ICSAW 2017: Side Track Proceedings | Year: 2017

ArchiMedes is a cloud-based architecture tool built upon our WikiXL semantic knowledge management platform. ArchiMedes' core capabilities include publication, enrichment, analysis and integration of architecture knowledge. In its most straightforward implementation, ArchiMedes connects to an architecture model repository and publishes the model contents in a browsable interface, thereby disseminating the work of the architect team to a large target audience. Since the contents are published in a wiki-like structure, clarifications and context information can be added, such as historical notes or considerations and trade-offs in decision making. This makes ArchiMedes a true encyclopaedia instead of just a collection of diagrams. Moreover, the published content is semantically enhanced, which enables further analysis and integration of the architecture knowledge. ArchiMedes can, for example, combine enterprise architecture models with information from an organizational CMDB. This combination creates dynamic, 'live' architecture maps that show a projection of the current state of the system landscape onto the enterprise architecture models. Such a projection extends the architecture from a 'design time' reference model to a 'run time' dashboard. © 2017 IEEE.

Tamburri D.A.,VU University Amsterdam | De Boer R.,ArchiXL | Di Nitto E.,Polytechnic of Milan | Lago P.,VU University Amsterdam | Van Vliet H.,VU University Amsterdam
2013 5th International Workshop on Social Software Engineering, SSE 2013 - Proceedings | Year: 2013

Current practice in software engineering suggests a radical change in perspective: where once stood fixed teams of people following a development plan, now stand just-in-time Dynamic Networked Organizations (DyNOs), adopting a common flexible strategy for development, rather than a plan. This shift in perspective has gone relatively unnoticed by current software engineering research. This paper offers a glimpse at what processes and instruments lie beyond "current" software engineering research, where studying emergent DyNOs, their creation and steering becomes critical. To understand the underpinnings of this evolution, we explored a simple yet vivid scenario from real-life industrial practice. Using scenario analysis we elicited a number of social and organizational requirements in working with DyNOs. Also, comparing our evidence with literature, we made some key observations. First, managing DyNOs makes organizational requirements a first-class entity for development success. Second, research in software engineering should be invested in understanding and governing the DyNOs behind the software lifecycle. Copyright 2013 ACM.

Plataniotis G.,CRP Henri Tudor | Plataniotis G.,Radboud University Nijmegen | de Kinderen S.,EE Team | van der Linden D.,CRP Henri Tudor | And 4 more authors.
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing | Year: 2013

Enterprise Architecture (EA) languages describe the design of an enterprise holistically, typically linking products and services to supporting business processes and, in turn, business processes to their supporting IT systems. In earlier work, we introduced EA Anamnesis, which provides an approach and corresponding meta-model for rationalizing architectural designs. EA Anamnesis captures the motivations of design decisions in enterprise architecture, alternative designs, design criteria, observed impacts of a design decision, and more. We argued that EA Anamnesis nicely complements current architectural languages by providing the capability to learn from past decision making. In this paper, we provide a first empirical grounding for the practical usefulness of EA Anamnesis. Using a survey amongst 35 enterprise architecture practitioners, we test the perceived usefulness of EA Anamnesis concepts, and compare this to their current uptake in practice. Results indicate that while many EA Anamnesis concepts are perceived as useful, the current uptake in practice is limited to a few concepts - prominently 'rationale' and 'layer'. Our results go on and show that architects currently rationalize architectural decisions in an ad hoc manner, forgoing structured templates such as provided by EA Anamnesis. Finally, we interpret the survey results discussing for example possible reasons for the gap between perceived usefulness and uptake of architectural rationalization. © IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2013.

Proper E.,CRP Henri Tudor | Proper E.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Greefhorst D.,ArchiXL
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing | Year: 2010

Key concepts in enterprise architecture include concerns, principles, models, views and frameworks. While most of these concepts have received ample attention in research, the concept of principles has not been studied much yet. In this paper, we therefore specifically focus on the role of principles in the field of enterprise architecture, where we position enterprise architecture as a means to direct enterprise transformations. In practice, many different types of architecture principles are used. At the same time, principles are referred to by different names, including architecture principles, design principles, and IT policies. The primary goal of this paper is, therefore, to arrive at a conceptual framework to more clearly clarify and position these different types. The paper starts with a discussion on enterprise architecture as a means to govern enterprise transformation. This provides a framework to position the different types of principles, and highlight their roles in enterprise transformations. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Angelov S.,TU Eindhoven | Grefen P.,TU Eindhoven | Greefhorst D.,ArchiXL
Information and Software Technology | Year: 2012

Context: A software reference architecture is a generic architecture for a class of systems that is used as a foundation for the design of concrete architectures from this class. The generic nature of reference architectures leads to a less defined architecture design and application contexts, which makes the architecture goal definition and architecture design non-trivial steps, rooted in uncertainty. Objective: The paper presents a structured and comprehensive study on the congruence between context, goals, and design of software reference architectures. It proposes a tool for the design of congruent reference architectures and for the analysis of the level of congruence of existing reference architectures. Method: We define a framework for congruent reference architectures. The framework is based on state of the art results from literature and practice. We validate our framework and its quality as analytical tool by applying it for the analysis of 24 reference architectures. The conclusions from our analysis are compared to the opinions of experts on these reference architectures documented in literature and dedicated communication. Results: Our framework consists of a multi-dimensional classification space and of five types of reference architectures that are formed by combining specific values from the multi-dimensional classification space. Reference architectures that can be classified in one of these types have better chances to become a success. The validation of our framework confirms its quality as a tool for the analysis of the congruence of software reference architectures. Conclusion: This paper facilitates software architects and scientists in the inception, design, and application of congruent software reference architectures. The application of the tool improves the chance for success of a reference architecture. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

De Boer R.C.,ArchiXL | Van Vliet H.,VU University Amsterdam
Proceedings - 9th Working IEEE/IFIP Conference on Software Architecture, WICSA 2011 | Year: 2011

In this paper, we reflect on our experiences with using semantic wikis for architectural knowledge management in two different contexts: e-government and distributed software development. Whereas our applications of semantic wikis in e-government focus on organizing and structuring architectural knowledge for reuse, the applications in distributed software development focus on searching and querying architectural knowledge. Yet, the emerging research challenges - alignment of knowledge models, knowledge versioning, change acknowledgements - are very similar. © 2011 IEEE.

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