Architecture Reconstruction Guidelines, Third Edition
journal contributionposted on 01.11.2003 by Rick Kazman, Liam O'Brien, Chris Verhoef
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
Architecture reconstruction is the process of obtaining the "as-built" architecture of an implemented system from the existing legacy system. For this process, tools are used to extract information about the system that will assist in building successive levels of abstraction. Although generating a useful representation is not always possible, a successful reconstruction results in an architectural representation that aids in reasoning about the system. This recovered representation is most often used as a basis for redocumenting the architecture of an existing system if the documentation is out of date or nonexistent, and can be used to check the "as-built" architecture against the "as-designed" architecture. The architectural representation can also be used as a starting point for reengineering the system to a new desired architecture. Finally, the representation can be used to help identify components for reuse or to help establish a software product line. This report describes the process of architecture reconstruction using the Dali architecture reconstruction workbench. Guidelines are presented for reconstructing the architectural representations of existing systems. Most of these guidelines are not specific to the Dali tool, can be used with other tools, and are useful even if the architecture reconstruction is carried out manually.