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Characteristics of Higher Level Languages for Software Architecture

  • Author(s): Mary Shaw, David Garlan
  • Publish Date:
  • Publisher: Software Engineering Institute
  • SEI Identifier: CMU/SEI-94-TR-023
  • Type: Technical Report
  • Topics: Software Architecture
  • Description: System designers use two primary ways of defining software architecture; this paper explains why neither alternative is adequate.

Abstract

As the size and complexity of software systems increases, the design and specification of overall system structure or software architecture emerges as a central concern. Architectural issues include the gross organization of the system, protocols for communication and data access, assignment of functionality to design elements, and selection among design alternatives.  

Currently, system designers have at their disposal two primary ways of defining software architecture: they can use the modularization facilities of existing programming languages and module inter connection languages; or they can describe their designs using informal diagrams and idiomatic phrases (such as "client-server organization"). 

In this paper, we explain why neither alternative is adequate. We consider the nature of architectural description as it is performed informally by systems designers. Then we show that regularities in these descriptions can form the basis for architectural description languages. Next, we identify specific properties that such languages should have. Finally, we illustrate how current notations fail to satisfy those properties.

Cite This Report

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SEI

Shaw, Mary; & Garlan, David. Characteristics of Higher Level Languages for Software Architecture (CMU/SEI-94-TR-023 ). Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 1994. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=12255

IEEE

Shaw. Mary, and Garlan. David, "Characteristics of Higher Level Languages for Software Architecture," Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Technical Report CMU/SEI-94-TR-023 , 1994. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=12255

APA

Shaw, Mary., & Garlan, David. (1994). Characteristics of Higher Level Languages for Software Architecture (CMU/SEI-94-TR-023 ). Retrieved November 28, 2014, from the Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University website: http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=12255

CHI

Mary Shaw, & David Garlan. Characteristics of Higher Level Languages for Software Architecture (CMU/SEI-94-TR-023 ). Pittsburgh, PA: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, 1994. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=12255

MLA

Shaw, Mary., & Garlan, David. 1994. Characteristics of Higher Level Languages for Software Architecture (Technical Report CMU/SEI-94-TR-023 ). Pittsburgh: Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University. http://resources.sei.cmu.edu/library/asset-view.cfm?AssetID=12255