Course project: Architecture and Design
Solidify the software architecture and design of your product.
Work with your project group to revise and extend your living document.
Add three new sections to your living document (Software architecture, Software design, and Coding guidelines) and revise the process description section. Additionally, incorporate the feedback that you have already received.
1. Software architecture (40%)
Provide an overview of your system. Specifically:
Identify and describe the major software components and their functionality at a conceptual level.
Specify the interfaces between components.
Describe in detail what data your system stores, and how. If it uses a database, give the high level database schema. If not, describe how you are storing the data and its organization.
If there are particular assumptions underpinning your chosen architecture, identify and describe them.
For each of two decisions pertaining to your software architecture, identify and briefly describe an alternative. For each of the two alternatives, discuss its pros and cons compared to your choice.
2. Software design (30%)
Provide a detailed definition of each of the software components you identified above.
What packages, classes, or other units of abstraction form these components?
What are the responsibilities of each of those parts of a component?
3. Coding guideline (10%)
For each programming language that you will use in the implementation of your project, provide a link to a pre-existing coding style guideline that the members of your project will follow. Do not try to make up your own guidelines. Briefly state why you chose those guidelines and how you plan to enforce them.
4. Process description (20%)
Expand your process description to address the following five topics:
i. Risk assessment
Identify the top five risks to successful completion of your project.
For each, give:
Likelihood of occurring (high, medium, low);
Impact if it occurs (high, medium, low);
Evidence upon which you base your estimates, such as what information you have already gathered or what experiments you have done;
Steps you are taking to reduce the likelihood or impact, and steps to permit better estimates;
Plan for detecting the problem (trivial example: running automated tests to determine that a file format has changed);
Mitigation plan should it occur.
Explicitly state how this has changed since you submitted your Requirements document.
ii. Project schedule
Identify milestones (external and internal), define tasks along with effort estimates (at granularity no coarser than 1-person-week units), and identify dependences among them. (What has to be complete before you can begin implementing component X? What has to be complete before you can start testing component X? What has to be complete before you can run an entire (small) use case?) This should reflect your actual plan of work, possibly including items your team has already completed.
To build a schedule, start with your major milestones (tend to be noun-like) and fill in the tasks (tend to start with a verb) that will allow you to achieve them. A simple table is sufficient for this size of a project.
iii. Team structure
Make sure to update your team structure, if necessary, and provide more details about team organization and team members’ roles and responsibilities.
vi. Documentation plan
Outline a plan for developing documentation that you plan to deliver with the system, e.g., user guides, admin guides, developer guides, man pages, help menus, wikis, etc.
Finally, export a PDF snapshot of your living document named ProjectName-m4.pdf and submit it to Canvas be deadline (check calendar).
What principles should our software architecture and design follow?
Strive for modularity and testability.
Keep related data and behavior in the same place.
Emphasize cohesion, limit coupling, and do not pollute public interfaces.
Emphasize separation of concerns: avoid “god classes” that do too much.
Avoid overengineering and complexity: avoid insignificant or irrelevant classes that do too little.
Make sure you can describe the purpose and functionality of each class concisely and clearly.
Keep the data model decoupled from the UI (view).
Allow for features to be developed in parallel as much as possible.
Any other writing hints?
In evaluating your work, we will check whether your living document
(1) addresses all the necessary elements of defining the architecture and design of your system,
(2) provides reasonable justifications for decisions made,
(3) provides a reasonable schedule and set of tasks, and
(4) shows general improvements, in particular to the process section.
Be brief. Your living document should addressed the required points briefly and clearly. The staff will deduct points for overly long, poorly organized, or poorly explained documents.
Do not include content-free filler in your living document. This includes anything that could appear in identical form in another group’s materials. For example, don’t merely state as a risk, “we might fall behind schedule” (another example is “we don’t know the tools”). What factors do you think are most likely to cause schedule slippage for your project? Why do you think those are the parts of the schedule with the greatest potential variance? What have you done, or what do you plan to do, to learn more about how long those particular tasks will really take?
Your living document should clearly describe (and possibly visualize) the system architecture. For example, if you are using the Model-View-Controller architecture, your living document should make this clear and provide references to the design section, which in turn clearly describes which classes implement the model, the view, and the controller of your system.
Avoid duplicated information and make good use of cross-references.