zaterdag 21 maart 2009

Books on software architecture

The past few months I have looked into a number of books on software architecture. In the back of my mind was always the question: "would this be suitable for our bachelor students?". I'll give a short take on these books.

Software Architecture in Practice (2nd edition, 2003, Bass e.a.)
A classic book by the SEI, which gives a good introduction to software architectures and the different issues around them (achieving qualities, architecture lifecycle, analysis and tradeoffs, etc.) For our bachelor students it would be a bit 'dry', also the case studies are somewhat dated.

Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture (1996, Buschmann e.a.)
Also a classic, still readable at this age. The focus is mostly on the 'pattern' part (architectural patterns and design patterns). It could use a second edition to get in sync with the developments in the pattern-field. Readers would need to complement this book with another introductory text. At the RuG (master Computer Science) this book is used in combination with the previous one.

Software architecture - Foundations, Theory and Practice (2009, Taylor e.a.)
A very complete and uptodate book on all aspects of software architecture. For me however it was too academic, after the first couple of chapters I started browsing instead of reading.

And my winner is ...
Software Systems Architecture - working with stakeholders using viewpoints and perspectives
(2005, Rozanski e.a.)
I liked this book best. It introduces the subject from a practical angle, still covering all the issues. After the introduction (architecture, architect, process, viewpoints and stakeholders) comes a catalog of viewpoints (like RUP's 4+1, but more) with advice about problems and pitfalls. Then the authors progress towards 'perspectives', the term they use to denote the quality issues. You can read this book as a textbook and then use the catalogues for reference (just like Fowler's Patterns for Enterprise Application Architecture).

But I still see a market for a text book with more real life examples and exercises. Anyone?