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InfoQ Homepage News Presentation: Architecture Evaluation in Practice

Presentation: Architecture Evaluation in Practice

Unverified designs, assumptions and tradeoffs increase the risks that software architecture doesn't meet expectations and costs significantly higher than projected. Ultimately they can cause projects to fail. This realization is prompting an increasing number of companies to consider assessing the quality of their software architectures. While architecture evaluation is not as widely used as it should be, some do try it. A few succeed, while others discover that they are not well prepared to do it. Many architecture evaluations are fixated on technology. While answering questions such as "Should the architecture use .NET or J2EE?" "Is the communication asynchronous or does it employ polling?" and "Does an XML versioning scheme exist?" can detect potential problems, there's more to architecture evaluation than technology alone.

In this presentation, recorded at JAOO 2006, Dragos Manolescu shares insights he gained from growing ThoughtWorks' architecture evaluation practice and evaluating several architectures for Global 1000 companies. These insights aim at preparing people interested in commissioning, managing, performing, participating in, or analyzing the results of architecture evaluation to tackle the realities of the front line.

Watch Architecture Evaluation in Practice (43 min)

Dragos Manolescu is a Software Architect in the Patterns and Practices group at Microsoft. He has been involved with software since before the days of curly braces and has worked at research institutes (CNET, IMEC, IMAG, NCSA), in product development, for professional services companies, and in academia. He co-authored Integration Patterns (Microsoft Press, 2004) and was the lead editor of Pattern Languages of Program Design, Volume 5 (Pearson Education, 2006). Prior to joining Microsoft he developed and led ThoughtWorks' Architecture Evaluation practice, assisting Global 1000 companies with the evaluation and design of software architectures. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. More information about his research and interests is available from

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