An SOA odyssey

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Pragmatic Architecture

"Pragmatism urges us to look to the consequences of what we do, which the discipline of architecture infused with an idealistic focus on intentions frequently resists"

Attended a pretty entertaining presentation titled "Pragmatic Architecture" by Ted Neward and Cathi Geri. Because the room was heavily populated with architects they had this humorous definition of just what an architect is:

An architect is someone who...

  • Defines architecture

  • Gets paid more than real developers do

  • Focuses on issues that have nothing to do with real-world problems

  • Thinks in terms of code not clouds

  • Lost the respect of developer friends & teammates

  • Speaks with big words and power point slides

  • Has upper management fooled

  • But more seriously they went on to talk about the roles or personas that architects take on which include Infraastructure, Enterprise, and Solution (responsible for the design of one or more applications or services within an organization and which the remainder of their talk focused on) and identified by Simon Guest.

    They then laid out a taxonomy solution architects can use as they think through laying out solutions...

  • Communication/Distribution - Patterns of communication such as request/response and the technologies used to move data.

  • Presentation/Interaction - Style (graphical, console, prgrammatic), implementation, stovepipe vs. composite/mash-up (one front end, many back ends) vs. jewel (many front ends, one backend), and perspectives (user, admin).

  • State Management - Lifetime, "shape" of the state (relational vs. object vs. hierarchical), location (where, access, and transparency)

  • Processing - Implementation, concurrent/parallel, transactional

  • Resource Management - Locator/registry, discovery (plug-and-play, peer-to-peer), injected, a priori knowledge

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