Using the system architecture as the starting point

Essential to developing and maintaining high-quality software is the definition of the system architecture. The Rational Unified Process states that defining and using a system architecture is one of the best practices to follow in developing software. A system architecture is the highest level concept of a system in its environment. The Rational Unified Process states that a system architecture encompasses the following:
  • The significant decisions about the organization of a software system
  • The selection of the structural elements and their interfaces of which the system is composed, together with their behavior as specified in the collaboration among those elements
  • The composition of the structural and behavioral elements into progressively larger subsystems
  • The architectural style that guides this organization, these elements, and their interfaces, their collaborations, and their composition

A well-documented system architecture improves the software development process. It is also the ideal starting point for defining the structure of your configuration management environment.