Software Engineering InstituteSoftware Engineering Institute

Professional Development in Software Architecture


Software Engineering Institute

© 2012 Carnegie l Mellon University

Documenting Software Architectures

What Our Instructors Say

Good architecture documentation is actually used by stakeholders—it meets their needs. The Documenting Software Architecture course will teach you proven methods to decide what to document, how to organize your documentation, and how to evaluate whether your documentation is meeting your stakeholders' needs. The principles we teach are in use today on all types of projects—small and large, agile and plan-driven.

John Klein
John Klein is a senior member of the technical staff at the SEI

John Klein

Who Should Attend

This is an intermediate course in software architecture. The course is designed for software architects and software lead designers whose jobs include producing architectural documentation, software technical managers whose jobs include overseeing and/or managing the architecture-definition process, and software engineers who may be expected to use architecture documentation. It is one of the courses required in the SEI Software Architecture Professional Certificate track.

The Documenting Software Architectures course is based on the book Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond. The prerequisite for this course is the Software Architecture: Principles and Practices course, which is available as instructor-led classroom training and as eLearning. 

Course Overview

This two-day course provides in-depth coverage of effective software-architecture documentation practices. This course presents the information in the context of prevailing prescriptive models, including the Rational Unified Process (RUP), the Siemens Four Views software approach, the IEEE 1471-2000 standard, and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). Completion of this course fulfills a training requirement for the SEI's Software Architecture Professional certificate program.

In particular, the course covers

  • principles of sound documentation
  • view types, styles, and views
  • advanced concepts such as refinement, context diagrams, variability, software interfaces, and interface documentation
  • documenting the behavior of software elements and software systems
  • choosing relevant views
  • building a documentation package using a seven-part template


Before registering for this course, you must

  • have experience in designing and developing software-reliant systems
  • understand the basic concepts of software architecture

If desired, you can gain this understanding by completing the Software Architecture: Principles and Practices course, which is available as instructor-led classroom training and as eLearning.

Learning Outcomes

As a result of completing this course, you will be able to

  • explain the basic principles of sound technical documentation
  • implement a stakeholder- and view-based approach to documenting software architectures
  • understand the views available for documenting architectures
  • choose the set of views that will be most valuable to the architecture's stakeholders
  • gather the information needed to document a view and information that applies across views
  • use formal and informal notations (including UML) to represent elements and relations in a view
  • document a software interface and software behavior

Course Environment

We deliver Documenting Software Architectures as a classroom, learner-driven, or customer-site course. Through each delivery means, you can expect case studies and hands-on examples. Classroom and onsite participants also engage in group work and have opportunity for ongoing, individualized Q&A with our instructors.

In a classroom course, your classmates will come from a range of government agencies and industry sectors, each one bringing a unique perspective to enhance the learning process. Your registration entitles you to a copy of the lecture slides, exercises, and the book Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond. The two-day classroom version meets from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET) daily.

The eLearning version is a multimedia product that you can fit into your schedule. With this version, you will receive expert instruction in a rich educational experience Your registration for this eLearning version gives you access to the multimedia content for three months. You'll need to purchasethe textbook for this version.

More About This eLearning Course

The SEI can deliver this course at customer sites by special arrangement.

Course Outline

Download the Documenting Software Architectures course outline.

Training Justification Letter

Download our training justification letter template. This letter can be tailored to help you make a case to your manager for taking this course.

What Course Attendees Say

I’m going to begin training my team on architecture and the importance of good documentation.

James Lawrence, Software Architect, Raytheon

Related Certificates and Courses

This course is required for the Software Architecture Professional Certificate program.

Software Architecture Professional Certificate

Learn Three Key Areas of Knowledge

1 Software Architecture Fundamentals

2 Design and Analysis Concepts and Methods

3 Architecture Documentation

The course you are viewing, Documenting Software Architectures, is part of this certificate.

SEI Training Logistics

We've gathered some key information that you'll need to know, now that you've registered for one of our courses. For other questions, please

For public courses at an SEI training center

  • Your registration fee includes materials, continental breakfast, lunch, and breaks.
  • Check-in and breakfast begin 1/2 hour before the course begins.
  • The dress code for the course is casual/casual business attire.
  • The SEI in Pittsburgh is a secure building. You'll receive a badge that must be worn visibly at all times while in the facility. For your convenience, prior to arrival, please review the SEI Security Policy for Course Attendees.
  • To arrange accommodations/services for disabilities, please contact us at or +1 412-268-7622 at least three weeks prior to the course start date.

Software requirements for the SEI learning portal

  • Operating Systems: Windows 98/NT 4.0/Windows 2000/Windows XP/Windows Vista/Mac OS X
  • Browsers: Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 or above / Mozilla Firefox
  • Configure your browser to allow pop-ups from the SEI Learning Portal (

Where to stay

  • We've reserved a block of rooms at the Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center, 100 Lytton Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15213. The hotel will hold these rooms until three weeks prior to the course.
  • For reservations, please contact the hotel directly at +1 412-682-6200 and confirm that you are speaking with In-House reservations. To receive the SEI group rate or the government rate, please mention the course title and date. Please note: You must make reservations by phone in order to receive the SEI Group or Government special rates. These rates are not available when making reservations online.
  • The Wyndham Pittsburgh University Center offers complimentary shuttle service to the SEI and anywhere within three miles of the hotel. For more information, please contact the hotel concierge.
  • A list of additional hotel recommendations and directions can also be found at

If you need to transfer your registration to a different SEI course

You may transfer your registration fees from one SEI course offering to another that occurs within 12 months. Just email us a request to or FAX it to 412-268-7401. For a first transfer, there's no charge if you make your request no less than three weeks before the course date. Within three week, you'll be charged a $50 fee.

If you need to send a substitute to the course you registered for

If you are unable to attend the course you registered for, you may send a qualified colleague in your place for most SEI courses. To request a substitution, email with the following information:

  • Name of the original attendee
  • Name/email address of substitute attendee
  • Title and date of course

We'll email the substitute attendee will receive a confirmation.

If you have to cancel your registration

Email cancellation requests to SEI Course Registration at or FAX to 412-268-7401.

If we have to cancel your course

If we have to cancel a course offering due to low enrollment, we'll offer you the choice of a refund of the registration fee, transfer to a different date of the same course, or transfer to a different SEI course of equal price.

Our refund policy

We'll issue a refund for

  • written cancellations that we receive no less than three weeks before the course begins (less a $75.00 administrative fee)
  • course cancellations that we initiate

We cannot give a refund after the course begins or for a course missed to an act of God.

Train your team

Many SEI courses can be held at your location. We're flexible on pricing and dates, and we'll work with you to tailor the course content to suit your needs. Learn more about team training in your location by calling +1 412-268-7622 or

What Course Attendees Say

I’m going to begin training my team on architecture and the importance of good documentation.

James Lawrence, Software Architect, Raytheon