Architectural Analysis  «Prev  Next»
Lesson 1

Architectural Analysis

The first thing I should clarify is why I call this phase architectural "analysis" while still referring to it as a design phase. Analysis is about problem definition, whereas design is about solution definition.

Analysis Problem Definition
Design Solution definition

A solution that will satisfy all of the functional requirements must be constructed. The solution must also take advantage of the available technologies to provide the best support at the lowest cost and best performance. Architectural analysis is the period in the development process where you step back and look at the types of problems you are trying to solve, in order to figure out what technological approach would provide the optimum solution.
If we call it architectural design we are implying that we are designing a new architecture, which we are not, at least not usually. There are a limited number of ways to organize an application. Architectural analysis is the process of matching a need to an approach. To accomplish that goal, we first need to break down, or partition, the problem.
After completing this module, you will be able to:

  1. Explain the purpose of system partitioning and identify the two types of system partitioning
  2. Explain the goal of system partitioning and describe the end product

A system architecture is the conceptual model that defines the structure, behavior, and views of a system. An architecture description is a formal description and representation of a system, organized in a way that supports reasoning about the structures of the system.
A system architecture can comprise
  1. system components,
  2. the externally visible properties of those components, and
  3. the relationships between them.
A system architecture can provide a plan from which products can be procured and systems developed that will work together to implement the overall system. There have been efforts to formalize languages to describe system architecture, collectively these are called (ADLs) architecture description languages.

What is Systems Analysis?

In a nutshell, systems analysis and design is about providing the tools and techniques to you, the developer, so you can understand the need (business need), capture the vision, define a solution, communicate the vision and the solution, build the solution and direct others in building the solution, confirm that the solution meets the need, and launch the solution application. Included in Systems Analysis Design are all the skills, steps, guidelines, and tools that support and lead up to the actual programming of the system. System Design includes soft skills as interviewing and talking to users as well as such hard technical skills as detailing specifications and designing solutions. Many of the technical skills are associated with creating models that capture specifications or define solutions. In this module, you will learn all these skills as well as how they work together to develop an information system.
Systems analysis consists of those activities that enable a person to understand and specify what the new system should accomplish. The operative words here are understand and specify. Systems analysis is much more than simply a brief statement of the problem. For example, a customer management system must keep track of customers, register products, monitor warranties, and keep track of service levels, among many other functions, all of which have myriad details. Systems analysis describes in detail the what that a system must do to satisfy the need or to solve the problem.