search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

Documenting Software Architectures - eLearning

Software architecture has become a widely accepted conceptual basis for the development of nontrivial software in all application areas and by organizations of all sizes. However, the treatment of architecture to date has largely concentrated on its design and, to a lesser extent, its validation. Effectively documenting an architecture is as important as crafting it; if the architecture is not understood (or worse, misunderstood), it cannot be analyzed effectively or meet its goal as the unifying vision for system and software development. Documentation-based architecture strategies stop short of prescribing documentation standards.

  • How do you document architectures using well-known styles such as service-oriented, client-server, multi-tiered, layered, and so forth?
  • What are effective architecture documentation guidelines?
  • How do you represent architectural elements and the relations among them?
  • How do you document interface semantics and architectural rationale?
  • How do you provide relevant architectural information to important stakeholders?
  • Are there templates for architecture documentation?

This online course provides in-depth coverage of effective software architecture documentation practices that meet the needs of the entire architecture stakeholder community. 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 ISO/IEC 42010 standard, and the Unified Modeling Language (UML). The course is based on the book Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond - 2nd Edition.

Learners will have three months to complete the course. Upon completing all course elements, the learner is awarded an electronic certificate of course completion and 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs).


This course is targeted at

  • 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
  • software engineers who may be expected to use architecture documentation

This online course is designed for independent learners to quickly gain knowledge, at their convenience, of the best practices for documenting software architectures.


This online course shows software architects how to produce a comprehensive documentation package for a software architecture that is useful to stakeholders. After attending this course, participants will have a better understanding of

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


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

Documenting Software Architectures - eLearning will require a minimum of 12 hours of study time. Once registered, learners will be granted 24-hour-a-day access to the course material for three months.

Learners can proceed through the course at their convenience and can review and repeat individual sections as often as needed.


  • Thirteen modules of instruction narrated by the SEI instructor
  • Topic quizzes to confirm understanding
  • Optional exercises with solution guidance
  • References and additional resources related to the subject matter
  • Concluding self-assessment
  • Downloadable copy of the course presentation slides

This course is presented in the form of narrated instructional pages. Self-assessments following each topic presented assist with thorough comprehension of the subject matter. A final, comprehensive assessment helps the learner to identify areas that require further study.


Before registering for this course, participants must

  • have experience in designing and developing software-intensive systems
  • understand the basic concepts of software architecture. If desired, they can gain this understanding by completing the Software Architecture: Principles and Practices course, which is available as instructor-led classroom training and as eLearning

Before beginning this course, the learner must acquire a copy of the text book: Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond - 2nd Edition. The textbook can be purchased through the following link:

To access the SEI Learning Portal, your computer must have the following:

  • For optimum viewing, we recommend using the following browsers: Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari
  • These browsers are supported on the following operating systems: Microsoft Windows 8 (or higher), OSX (Last two major releases), Most Linux Distributions
  • Mobile Operating Systems: iOS 9, Android 6.0
  • Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Chrome and Safari follow a continuous release policy that makes difficult to fix a minimum version. For this reason, following the market recommendation we will support the last 2 major version of each of these browsers. Please note that as of January 2018, we do not support Safari on Windows.

This is an eLearning course.

Register Now

Course Fees [USD]

  • eLearning: $500.00


Your access period will begin once you have been added to the SEI Learning Portal and launch the course.

If you wish to purchase this course for a group of learners, please email or telephone at +1 412-268-7388 for group rate details.

Course Questions?

Phone: 412-268-7388

Related Courses

  • Software Architecture: Principles and Practices - eLearning


    Although the term software architecture is used frequently in today's software industry, its meaning is not universally understood. In this course we answer these questions What is software architecture? How do you use software architectures in practice? What does a software architect do for an organization? What value does software architecture...

    Learn More
  • Software Architecture Design and Analysis

    4 - Day Course

    A system's software architecture is widely regarded as one of the most important software artifacts. Software professionals routinely make decisions that impact that architecture, yet many times that impact is not fully considered or well understood. Which design decisions will lead to a software architecture that successfully addresses the...

    Learn More
  • Software Architecture: Principles and Practices

    4 - Day Course

    Although the term software architecture is used frequently in today's software industry, its meaning is not universally understood. What is software architecture? How do you use software architectures in practice? What does a software architect do for an organization? What value does software architecture provide? This course introduces the...

    Learn More

Training courses provided by the SEI are not academic courses for academic credit toward a degree. Any certificates provided are evidence of the completion of the courses and are not official academic credentials. For more information about SEI training courses, see Registration Terms and Conditions and Confidentiality of Course Records.