Software Engineering Institute | Carnegie Mellon University
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White Paper

SAAM: A Method for Analyzing the Properties of Software Architectures

  • Abstract

    While software architecture has become an increasingly important research topic in recent years, insufficient attention has been paid to methods for evaluation of these architectures. Evaluating architectures is difficult for two main reasons. First, there is no common language used to describe different architectures. Second, there is no clear way of understanding an architecture with respect to an organization's life cycle concerns—software quality concerns such as maintainability, portability, modularity, reusability, and so forth. This paper addresses these shortcomings by describing three perspectives by which we can understand the description of a software architecture and then proposing a five-step method for analyzing software architectures called SAAM (Software Architecture Analysis Method). We illustrate the method by analyzing three separate user interface architectures with respect to the quality of modifiability.

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