Application Architecture

Application Architecture

There is a fair amount of the IT development process that requires the creativity and skills of individual analysts, designers and programmers.

However, there are also many aspects of the lifecycle that can be standardized.

For instance, there are many ways to collect business requirements. There are also many techniques available to gather requirements, from personal interviews to surveys to group meetings.

Likewise, there are also certain proven techniques for testing. Your development architecture might provide an overall testing process that is applicable to general projects, but it could also allow some customization of the processes based on the specific solution being developed.

There are also many ways that applications can be developed.

Development:

You could use traditional waterfall methods (analyze, design, code, test, etc.), or you may use an iterative Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach of building the solution in successive smaller increments.

These common application lifecycle standards and policies make up your application architecture. One of the strengths of architectures is that they provide a framework, or guidance, to assist with decision-making.

The initial guidance would come in terms of the type of development lifecycle you should choose. For example, there are some projects where it is better to use a waterfall approach than RAD.

Before the project gets too far along, the project manager should evaluate the business requirements against a predefined set of criteria. These criteria lead to guidance on the type of lifecycle to utilize.

For instance, if the solution is heavily on-line and the requirements are not well known, then it may be that a RAD lifecycle would be better. If the solution is heavily batch-oriented and requires a lot of integration into other current applications, a traditional waterfall approach might be a better choice.

If the solution is actually a major enhancement to an existing application, then an enhancement lifecycle may be more appropriate.In terms of guidance, you also need to determine if there are portions of the lifecycle that are mandatory.

If so, these are considered company standards that everyone must follow. For instance, you may have standard templates that must be used at certain points in the lifecycle. Your development architecture can also contain guidelines that are recommendations, but not absolutely mandatory.

Application Inventory


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