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Interview: Markus Voelter about Software Architecture Documentation

by Abel Avram on May 05, 2008 |

Markus Voelter was interviewed by InfoQ during OOPSLA 2007, and was asked to share his opinion on today's practices about writing software architecture documentation. Markus certainly supports the importance of writing such documents, but he has a different take on that compared to the general trend. Many people think of UML as the main tool used to write software architecture documents, but Markus says UML is not the right tool. While he agrees that UML has its benefits, he continues pointing out that we should be using tools which allow us to create a formal model which can be automatically processed and its integrity can be verified. Then we should be able to generate the code from it, including the infrastructure dependency code.

Markus Voelter is also a great fan of patterns when it comes to documenting the architecture. He says that we should be using patters whenever possible because the reader will be able to understand the documents faster and clearer when we use commonly shared concepts.

The entire interview can be accessed here.

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Excellent Interview and comments about Architecture Documentation by Gustavo Andres Brey

The voice of Markus sounded pretty familiar to me, so I would assume that he is the interviewer of SE-Radio because he mentioned it during the interview :)
About this topic, I totally agree with you Markus you say a lot of things that I have mind and generates a lot of discussions in my course when I teach about Software Architecture Documentation (slides in Spanish here). Nowadays we have a lot of ways/tools of communicating the architecture, blogs, wikis, webcast, podcats... and the best way depends on the context of the project, the target audience and the part of the architecture that you want to communicate.
The only things that you don't mentioned and I consider extremely useful regarding communication architectures is keeping in mind that the architecture can be communicated in terms of perspectives (or view points) and each of them has to be targeted to an specific audience, so with that you can define in a high level the language (or meta-model/diagram/text) that they understand.
I really enjoyed this interview, thank you very much!

Very good by Gabriel Belingueres

Very good interview. Many practical and down to earth suggestions.

What is Gregory's book? by Khoa Ngo

Can anybody let me know what exactly the title of "Gregory's book" is? Thanks.

fantastic interview by GH Chinoy

Such a great interview packed with useful answers. I really appreciated hearing how pattern reviews were done and the strategies to communicate and document architectures.

Thank you!

Re: What is Gregory's book? by Mirko Stocker

Well, I'm not sure, but he might mean Gregor Hohpe's Enterprise Integration Patterns.

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