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Quality-Attribute-Based Economic Valuation of Architectural Patterns

May 2007 Technical Report
Ipek Ozkaya, Rick Kazman, Mark H. Klein

This report shows how an analysis of the options embodied within architectural patterns allows a software and system architect or manager to make reasoned choices about the future value of design decisions.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2007-TR-003

DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
10.1184/R1/6582686.v1

Abstract

Quality attribute requirements are a driving force for software and system architecture design. Architectural patterns can be used to achieve quality attribute requirements. Consequently architectural patterns generate value based on the present and future utility of the quality attributes they achieve. This report makes the case that architectural patterns carry economic value in part in the form of real options, providing software architects the right, but not the obligation, to take subsequent design actions. The report shows, via a simple example, how an analysis of the options embodied within architectural patterns allows an architect or manager to make reasoned choices about the future value of design decisions, considering this value along multiple quality attribute dimensions.