Architunity® LLC

Architunity® LLC
Presented by Architunity® LLC

2010-10-21

Wait for the Journey

...wait, wait, wait. Is the journey ready for you? In 1995, I sent Microsoft a blueprint for configuration and change management, a registry for components, traceability from requirements into the object model through deployment, and automation for the management of these relationships. Since then, I've waited for industry to catch up. IBM, HP, and other vendors are just now getting us to a point where development is treated as business - automated. And we need it now more than ever. It was bad enough dealing with remote calls using DCOM, RMI, and CORBA. With all the moving parts in contemporary architectures, specializations of skill sets, and complex internationalized business projects, us dumb programmers need all the help we can get.

As a consultant, I was frequently asked to create an architecture. This usually was a business person's feeble attempt at wrapping everyone's head around the solution. Knowing the requester really didn't have a mental model of what it would look like, I would ask them to tell me more. Sometimes my client wanted to know how many servers they would need to buy. Others wanted to understand what software layers would be built, or how I planned to move data around, and even what commercial software would be used to produce their custom solution. How many test environments would there be? What does a requirement look like? What if they have comments on the design? Will I use BPMN or UML? How will the client initiate a change request?

Hey, aren't we off topic here? Since when is the architecture a process? Well, I'm here to tell you it is. Maybe that's a bit like saying, "snow," to an Eskimo. But process and product are integrated, yet separate. It is a riddle, like quantum entanglement. So I introduce you to some, perhaps new, language. It is the talk of governance. We sometimes confuse this with politics. Techies think of it as something you need to do with SOA using a registry. Truly, that doesn't begin to describe the process of managing change. Scared by that? Change is very scary for some. Others embrace it. Me? I just try to manage it through governance. I become concerned when architecture is designed out-of-process because it more than likely becomes shelf-ware rather than software.
Architecture is defined by structure and dynamics. It is a design, a product, produced by some process. It resides in the context of our domain needs, program constraints, development processes, technology standards, along with operational core competencies and investments. Our journey, then, will be a dynamic one, to a destination you and I have sought for years. We will be looking for architectures and how they work together in supporting this context. I'm ready for the journey and no longer patient enough to wait for the journey to be ready for me.

So now...let's go!

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