EA Series – Episode 2 – Architecture as diagrams is an anti-pattern!

It is the misguided belief that the creation of diagrams is architecture.  They are a representation of architecture.  For architecture to be useful it must be actionable.  A diagram is not actionable, it is a visualization.  The specification relating to the blob on the diagram is actionable – you can build it, deploy it, assess it, review it.  A colored blob on a diagram is next to useless.

What makes it actionable? It is understanding and attributes. 

Understanding comes from using the correct representation of the information in a particular context.  Sometimes this will be a hierarchical set of diagrams that gradually take the viewer into detail in focused areas.  Other times it will be vast maps for those who know the landscape to rapidly move one part to another.  Sometimes you needs lists and tables, other times you need raw data for comparison and aggregation.  You need a detailed set of attributes.  This is the key, architectures must be captured as data so that it can be re-presented in multiple forms and analyzed.

From the ‘Chief Architect’ blog: Read the complete article here:
http://chiefarchitect.squarespace.com/ea/2008/10/1/architecture-as-diagrams-is-an-anti-pattern.html

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