The SEI Attribute-Driven Design (ADD) method is a systematic step-by-step method for designing the software architecture of a software-intensive system. It is an approach to defining software architectures by basing the design process on the architecture's quality attribute requirements. It follows a recursive decomposition process where, at each stage in the decomposition, tactics and architectural patterns are chosen to satisfy a set of quality attribute scenarios.
Required input to ADD includes known functional requirements, quality attribute requirements, and constraints. Functional requirements may be specified with a feature list or use cases. Quality attribute requirements may be specified using quality attribute scenarios, such as result from an SEI Quality Attribute Workshop. Constraints are design decisions that are forced by outside factors.
Applying ADD results in the decomposition of the architecture, documented using architectural views, such as those found in the SEI Views and Beyond approach to documenting software architecture. ADD is a recursive method that has two parts:
Part 1: Using tactics to achieve quality requirements
Part 2: Documenting decomposition
The ADD method has been used for application domains ranging from information systems to embedded systems. Additional research on systematically producing an architecture design from a set of quality attribute scenarios is underway. Current work is embodied in SEI ArchE, an architecture expert design assistant.
The ADD method enables designers to understand quality attribute tradeoffs early in the design process and guides them in designing an architecture that will satisfy both quality and functional requirements.
The ADD method has been used for application domains ranging from information systems to embedded systems.
The SEI can help you use the ADD method or answer technical questions about ADD. Contact us using the link in the For more information box at the bottom of this page.