Artifacts of software reference architectures : a case study
Document typeConference report
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Context: Software reference architectures (SRA) have emerged as an approach to systematically reuse architectural knowledge and software elements in the development of software systems. Over the last years, research has been conducted to uncover the artifacts that SRAs provide in order to build software systems. However, empirical studies have not focused on providing industrial evidence about such artifacts. Aim: This paper investigates which artifacts constitute an SRA, how SRAs are designed, the potential reuse of SRA's artifacts, and how they are used in practice. Method: The study consists of a case study made in collaboration with a multinational consulting company that designs SRAs for diverse client organizations. A total of nine European client organizations that use an SRA participated in the study. We analyzed available documentation and contacted 28 practitioners. Results: In the nine analyzed projects, we observed that the artifacts that constitute an SRA are mainly software elements, guidelines and documentation. The design and implementation of SRAs are influenced by the reuse of artifacts from previous software system development and experiences, and the reuse of an SRA across different business domains may be possible when they are platform-oriented. Regarding SRAs usage, we observed that conformance checking is seldom performed. Conclusions: This study reports artifacts of SRAs as stated by practitioners in order to help software architects and scientists in the inception, design, and application of SRAs.
CitationMartínez-Fernández, Silverio [et al.]. Artifacts of software reference architectures : a case study. A: International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering. "Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering". London: ACM, 2014, p. 42:1-42:10.
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