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Comparing the SEI’s Views and Beyond Approach for Documenting Software Architectures with ANSI-IEEE 1471-2000
reportposted on 2005-07-01, 00:00 authored by Paul C Clements
Architecture documentation has emerged as an important architecture-related practice. In 2002, researchers at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute completed Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond (V&B), an approach that holds that documenting a software architecture is a matter of choosing a set of relevant views of the architecture, documenting each of those views, and then documenting information that applies to more than one view or to the set of views as a whole. Details of the approach include a method for choosing the most relevant views, standard templates for documenting views and the information beyond them, and definitions of the templates' content. At about the same time, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) was developing a recommended best practice for describing architectures for software-intensive systems-ANSI/IEEE Std. 1471-2000. Like V&B, that standard takes a multi-view approach to the task of architecture documentation, and it establishes a conceptual framework for architectural description and defines the content of an architectural description. This technical note summarizes the two approaches and shows how a software architecture document prepared using the V&B approach can be made compliant with Std. 1471-2000.