Decoding Software Product Architecture: A to Z Guide

With the world moving toward digitalization, involvement in technology is inevitable. This has led all of us to a virtual space where software development goes hand-in-hand with our real life. Look around yourself and you will realize that you are surrounded by different software, be it your phone, laptop, wearable fitness band, online music or video streaming app, and whatnot. It has established its root in every sphere and detail, from high-end to the daily purpose of our lives. 

There is no denying the fact that the software industry has advanced immensely in the past years but software developers are still struggling with creating a perfect architecture and environment. To come up with a platform that addresses all critical problems and proves to an ideal fit, they must lay a strong and robust foundation. This foundation includes various factors, such as coordination between architects and designers, informed decision making, easy codes, and more. 

The software architecture has become more important than ever for any company offering product engineering services, considering the distributed nature of software systems and the team working on it.

So, to help you understand this concept clearly, here is a 101 guide that will take you through software architecture and everything related to it:

What Is Software Architecture?

When you seek a software development solution, the most critical step is software architecture or framework. It includes several modules required for request processing or business handling. It is clear and robust planning of the entire software before starting the actual development process. It is like a blueprint that the development team prepares based on user expectations. This well-planned structure and design aim to have a shared and clear understanding of the system before initializing the development lifecycle. This makes coding and development easier and hassle-free. 

Software Architecture

 "Software Architecture refers to the high-level structures of a software system and the discipline of creating such structures and systems. Each structure comprises software elements, relations among them, and properties of both elements and relations."- Wikipedia

Software architecture evolves continuously, comprising a blended set of technical decisions and patterns. If developers are familiar with what architecture must be like for software, then their half the task is done already and they can divert their attention toward its functionality. It helps in exemplifying the important software features, such as scalability, performance, manageability, quality, maintenance, usability, etc. Before we start with any development process or start writing lines of code, our team methodically thinks through software architecture. The backend and frontend teams collaborate in the initial development stages to ensure that the structure is consistent and scalable. 

What Are the Different Software Architecture Patterns?

Software architects look for the best way to capture and reuse their knowledge, especially that have proved to be beneficial and successful in the past. So, architectural patterns are proven, reusable, and general structures used by product architecture consulting service providers as a solution to commonly recurring problems. They are similar to software design but with a broader scope.  You can define it as a package of design decisions that are put repeatedly into practice. These patterns have well-defined properties and multiple patterns can be used together to optimize code and architecture. We have listed some of these patterns below and described them in detail:

Software Architecture Patterns

Layered Pattern

We have one of the most common software architecture patterns to start the list. Also known as the n-tier software architecture pattern, this is used to structure programs that can be divided into groups of tasks with each of them at a particular level of abstraction. Moreover, each layer further provides service to the next or higher level. A Layered pattern is a standard option for most Java EE applications, preferred by many developers, architects, and designers for many business applications or software development. 

Four common layers of a general information system are:

  • Presentation layer or UI layer
  • Application layer or service layer
  • Business logic layer or domain layer
  • Data access layer or persistence layer

Usage

  • Desktop applications
  • E-commerce web applications

Event-Bus Pattern

This is another popular software architecture pattern used by many IT consulting companies to deliver effective and successful products to businesses. It is primarily used for event-based structure and consists of four major components - event source, event listener, channel, and event bus. Source publishes a message to a specific channel on the event bus while listeners subscribe to a particular channel. They are notified of the published messages to the channel that they have subscribed to before. The pattern allows different components to interact with each other even when they are not familiar with each other. A component can send events without knowing who will pick it and how many will pick it. They can also listen to the event without knowing who is the sender. This pattern is useful when there is no need for dependent components. It ensures easy development and splits an app into various independent parts, helping in Android app development and notification services. 

Usage

  • Android development
  • Notification services

Microkernel Pattern

It is also known as a plug-in architecture pattern that is used by software developers to create systems with interchangeable components. Microkernel pattern is applied to the software systems that can easily adapt to the changing system requirements and it separates a minimal functional core from customer-specific parts and extended functionality. It serves as a plugging socket for extensions and also coordinates collaboration. It is a natural pattern for product-based app implementation, a packaged app that is available for download versions as a third-party product. Many apps consist of a core set of operations that can be reused in different patterns depending on the data and task. For example, the development tool Eclipse will open files, edit them, or add notes to them and start background processors. It does all these jobs with Java code and once the button is pushed, compiles them and runs them. Basic tasks like displaying and editing are part of the microkernel. 

Usage

  • Task and job scheduling applications
  • Workflow applications
  • Applications with a clear division between basic routines and higher-order rules
  • Applications that access data from different sources, transform then, and write to different destinations.

Client-Server Pattern

Client-server is a distributed app or software structure commonly used for product engineering solutions. It divides tasks between the service or resource providers, called servers, and service seekers or requesters, known as clients. Basically, these are the two components of this pattern - server and client that interact over a computer network on separate hardware but may reside in the same system. The former component host runs server programs that share resources with clients while the latter doesn’t share its resources but requests the content or functions of the server in software architecture. The server is further categorized as stateless and stateful. Stateful allows clients to make composite requests that enable more conversational or transactional interactions between client and server. It keeps the record of all the requests made by clients which are called sessions.

Usage

Online applications, such as email, document sharing, and banking.

Broker Pattern

The broken pattern is used to structure distributed software architecture with decoupled components that interact with each other via remote service invocations. It is a component that assists in enhancing and coordinating communication, such as transmitting results and sending requests. It has 2 main components, namely server, and client and also features bridges and proxies. Brokers work as a message-routing component of the architecture, sending and receiving messages from the client and the server. The latter publishes its capabilities to broker while the former requests service and is redirected to a suitable service maintained as the registry. 

Usage

Message broker software, such as Apache ActiveMQ, Apache Kafka, RabbitMQ, and JBoss Messaging.

Space-based Pattern

This software pattern is exclusively designed to address and solve the problems related to scalability and concurrency. It is a useful software architecture solution for applications with unpredictable and variable concurrent user volumes. To achieve high scalability, developers remove the central database constraint and use similar in-memory data grids. Moreover, it avoids functional collapse due to high load by splitting processing and storage between multiple servers. 

Usage

  • High-volume data, such as clickstreams and user logs
  • Low-value data that might be lost occasionally but do not have big consequences
  • Social networks


Model View Controller Pattern

The MVC pattern is for applications that include data model, control information, and presentation. It separates internal representations of information from how it is presented to and accepted by users. It conducts operations separately and mainly works for the app development. Also, it decouples components and adds to efficient code reuse. The pattern divides interactive applications into three parts:

Model- It is the lowest level of pattern that consists of core functionality and data. The model represents JAVA POJO or objects carrying data and is responsible for maintaining them. It is pure application data but plays no role in describing how it must be presented to a user. 

View- As the name suggests, it is responsible for displaying information or data to users. It can define more than one view and represents the visualization of data in the model. 

Controller- Its primary task is to manage all the inputs from users. This software code handles all the communication between Model and View and controls data flowing into the Model object and updates the View in case of any data change. 

Usage

  • Architecture for World Wide Web applications in major programming languages.
  • Web frameworks such as Django and Rails.

Wrapping It Up!

So, this was everything important and significant about software architecture. We are sure that the information helped you understand the concept better and will be useful for making an informed decision while seeking software product development service.

If you are looking for reliable and trusted IT consulting services for your business software or application, then rest your search here at A3logics. We are a team of experienced and professional developers and designers working passionately to deliver successful projects. Connect with us for more details about software solutions and we will help you in the best possible way. 

 

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