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Creating and Using Software Architecture Documentation Using Web-Based Tool Support

September 2004 Technical Note
Judith A. Stafford

This report describes a design prototype that demonstrates a web-based approach to creating, communicating, and using software architecture throughout the life of the system.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2004-TN-037

Abstract

Documenting software architecture (DSA) is a crucial facet in the development of a software system, yet often it is carried out in a haphazard fashion, if at all. Lack of attention to the documentation results from insufficient guidance about what should be documented and when and how to capture the information so that system stakeholders find it useful. The book Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond provides such guidance in the DSA approach, and this report describes the conceptual design for a documentation system based on that approach. A system is envisioned that enables the architect to capture architectural decisions and related artifacts as a living repository that can communicate information to stakeholders who might be both geographically and temporally distributed. The system must communicate in a way that allows each stakeholder quick and easy access to information relevant to the person's role in the software development process. This report describes a design prototype that demonstrates a Web-based approach to creating, communicating, and using software architecture throughout the life of the system.