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Viewpoints and Views
Architecture is a complex entity that cant be described in a one dimensional fashion or single model:-
Architecture has to address functional, implementation and operational dimensions.
There are a wealth of artifacts involved.
Different types of systems e.g. OLTP, Real Time/Mission/Safety Critical, MIS, BI have their own unique challenges and considerations.
Concerns of the various stakeholders which are aplenty:-
The definition of view and viewpoint IASA recognizes is the same as IEEE 1471 and ISO 42010.
Some examples of viewpoints include;
- and deployment.
A view is created using the information in the viewpoint and provides the architect a way to represent their architecture in a way that is consumable by different audiences.
As an architect you may not have ever worked in the operations side of a data center. You might not have an idea of what is important to the people that do and may not know how they describe a runtime environment. By leveraging viewpoints you can create an artifact that will provide a view into your architecture that is consumable by the operations team.
For those of you that have a developer background viewpoint is to view as class is to instance.
A viewpoint is a collection of patterns, templates, and conventions for constructing one type of view. It defines the stakeholders whose concerns are reflected in the viewpoint and the guidelines, principles, and template models for constructing its view.
Viewpoints are available from a number of sources. As you work in a new organization determine if there is a viewpoint repository or library already assembled that you can leverage. If not, there are several viewpoint libraries that are available.
Well-formed viewpoints contain the areas listed. As you review a viewpoint you determine what information you will include in the view you create. A viewpoint can be thought of as a template you can use to provide predictable artifacts in a repeatable fashion.
As with frameworks and methodologies, you determine how to use them or use them in accordance with the governance of the organization you work for.
The architect chooses the number of viewpoints they will use and the number of views they will create. Many consulting organizations have viewpoint libraries and set requirements for the minimum number of views that will be created and harvested as reusable IP.
The number of views and viewpoints created varies greatly depending on the size and complexity of the project and organization.
- The choice of which particular architecture views to develop is one of the key decisions that the architect has to make.
- The architect has a responsibility for:-
- The completeness (fitness-for-purpose) of the architecture, in terms of adequately addressing all the pertinent concerns of its stakeholders;
- the integrity of the architecture, in terms of connecting all the various views to each other, satisfactorily reconciling the conflicting concerns of different stakeholders,
- showing the trade-offs made in so doing (as between security and performance, for example). See perspectives later.
- The architect should choose viewpoints from a viewpoint repository.
- The architect can then prepare models to detail views and make each of the views conform to a viewpoint.