Preserving and reusing architectural design decisions

van der Ven, J., 2019, [Groningen]: University of Groningen. 212 p.

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)Academic

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  • Title and contents

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  • Abstract

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The software architecture is one of the most influential factors for the success or failure of a software system. The decisions made when managing the software architecture form the basis of a software system. When you forget these architectural decisions, and the reasons behind these decisions, it becomes difficult and expensive to change and maintain the system.

In this research, we show how you can capture the decisions in connection with the source code or documentation of the system. For example, one of the developed research tools described in this thesis enables annotation and management of decisions when writing or reviewing architecture documentation. In this way, architectural decisions are connected with the documentation of the system, making it easier to access and maintain them.

Next, we investigate how architecture decision are made in practice. We looked at the characteristics of the decision, like the person making the decision or the way in which the decision is preserved. We saw that there are small indicators for success: development experience helps to make better decisions, while large documentation slows projects down.

Last, we further investigated the possibility to reuse previously made architectural decisions. We created a computer program that mined more than 1.300 online open source projects for specific architecture decisions. From this, you can see which decisions are made more often and why. This can be used by decision makers to make better decisions faster.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
Award date8-Apr-2019
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-94-034-1535-2
Electronic ISBNs978-94-034-1534-5
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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