Software Architecture

Defining Software Architecture

What Is Software Architecture?

The software architecture of a program or computing system is a depiction of the system that aids in the understanding of how the system will behave.

Software architecture serves as the blueprint for both the system and the project developing it, defining the work assignments that must be carried out by design and implementation teams. The architecture is the primary carrier of system qualities such as performance, modifiability, and security, none of which can be achieved without a unifying architectural vision. Architecture is an artifact for early analysis to make sure that a design approach will yield an acceptable system. By building effective architecture, you can identify design risks and mitigate them early in the development process.

Learn more about the SEI's work in software architecture.

Welcome from the SEI

Our Mission in Architecture

For almost two decades, the SEI has been instrumental in the creation and development of the field of software engineering known as software architecture. Operated by Carnegie Mellon University—a global research university recognized worldwide for its innovative work—and funded by the federal government, the SEI solves real-world problems by conducting research, developing tools and methods, providing consulting services, and publishing case studies.


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Guide To Publications And Presentations

The SEI has a rich body of influential and widely cited reports, presentations, and books in the field of software architecture. These publications present research results, case studies, and practitioner experience with architecture-centric practices, tools, and methods.

SEI publications in software architecture provide information about practices and techniques for predictably and efficiently designing, constructing, and guiding the evolution of software-reliant systems with the qualities needed to meet business and mission goals.

About SEI Publications

The SEI publishes and makes available free downloads of reports that offer new technical information about software engineering topics, whether theoretical or applied. The SEI also publishes books on software engineering for industry, government, and military applications and practices.

Guide To Certificates And Training

Training in Software Architecture from SEI Experts

The SEI offers software architecture courses and certificate programs. People from more than 1,050 organizations have attended SEI courses, and more than 1,850 of them have earned certificates conferred by the SEI for taking a series of architecture-related SEI courses. These courses are informed by the experiences of SEI staff members working directly with organizations over the past two decades and helping them to achieve significant cost reductions, quicker time to market, and higher product quality by applying architecture-centric practices to the development of their systems.

Software professionals can complete one or more of three software architecture certificate programs. These programs are based on completion of specific sequences in the software architecture curriculum, as depicted below. For more information on these software architecture certificates, please visit the SEI Professional Certificates in Architecture website.

About SEI Training

Learn from Our Experts

Since its creation, the SEI has defined and advocated methods for building high-quality software. Training from the SEI enables individuals to benefit from SEI research and practice. The same technical experts who conduct the research and apply these practices in real settings are actively engaged in developing and delivering the SEI's training courses.

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