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Understanding the Role of Constraints on Architecturally Significant Requirements

Abstract

This paper was first published in the proceedings of the Third International Workshop on the Twin Peaks of Architecture Requirements, Requirements Engineering Conference.

A key constraint on software development is reliance on tools, which we define as COTS products, software services, languages, frameworks and platforms. These tools may have significant architectural impacts that are not obvious when the requirements are elicited, tools selected, and architecture sketched out. In this paper, we report on a case study we conducted to identify architecturally significant requirements (ASRs) that were impacted by tool selection. We identified ASRs in an existing health IT project, CONNECT, and also identified the constraints on the project that were tool- related. We produce a mapping showing how the architectural risks identified in the initial architectural analysis were impacted by the tool choices made. We produce metrics showing how much time has been consumed when implementing ASRs that involve working around/with these constraints and the risks associated with them.