Past Conferences

Past Conferences: SATURN 2009

SATURN 2009's program featured presentations on everything from aligning software, system, and enterprise architectures to governance and architecture competence, design, and improvement. These were presented by practitioners who deal with these issues every day and know firsthand what works and what doesn't.

In addition to the Software Architecture: Principles and Practices and Migrating Legacy Systems to SOA Environments courses, Information Seminars on evaluating software architecture and identifying risks, a panel on enterprise, system, and software architectures, and five expert-led tutorials, over 20 presentations were given.

Keynotes were given by John A. Zachman of Zachman International and Rebecca Wirfs-Brock of Wirfs-Brock Associates.

Keynote Presentations from SATURN 2009

Architecture Is Architecture
John Zachman, Zachman International, USA

Enterprise architecture tends to be a much misunderstood subject by general management and the information technology community alike. Enterprise architecture has everything to do with managing enterprise complexity and enterprise change and relates to information technology only insofar as information technology may be one of the choices that an enterprise can make with regard to enterprise operations. The Framework for Enterprise Architecture, the "Zachman Framework," is derived from the descriptive representations that constitute architecture for any and every industrial product. The Framework defines the set of components of any complex object that require description in order to create, operate, and change the object and as such, technically is an ontology. The descriptive representations that make up the knowledge base of the enterprise constitutes the baseline for enterprise change but also constitutes the "raw material" for engineering the enterprise for flexibility, integration, reusability, interoperability, alignment, mass customization, and so forth.

Topics will include

  • what enterprise architecture is NOT
  • what enterprise architecture IS
  • Enterprise Architecture is not arbitrary…and not negotiable.
  • managing the enterprise "knowledge base"
  • Enterprise architecture and system implementation are two different things.

Lessons Learned from Architecture Reviews
Rebecca Wirfs-Brock, Wirfs-Brock Associates, USA

Complex software projects often have quality problems and don't deliver all that was promised. Often such problems are the result of inadequate or inappropriate software architecture. Sometimes the biggest issues are technical ones. Other times, the biggest issue is that too much attention has been placed on the technical architecture to the exclusion of other essential factors. The software architecture review is one tool that helps reveal architectural risks and strengths as well as uncover unidentified issues that need addressing. A software architect needs to compellingly present the software architecture and build confidence that key architectural decisions have been thoughtfully made. An effective reviewer needs to be skilled at quickly interpreting complex information, asking probing questions, and effectively giving advice. Both the architect and the reviewer can benefit from being aware of biases that get in the way of people interpreting information and tactics for overcoming these biases. This talk reflects on lessons learned from preparing for, presenting, and conducting architecture reviews. 

Conference Presentations from SATURN 2009

Conference Session: Aligning Software, System, and Enterprise Architectures

Bridging Systems and Software Architecture
Anne-Marie Buibish, Raytheon, USA
James Lewis,
Raytheon, USA
Elizabeth Penisten,
Raytheon, USA
Amy Lange,
Raytheon, USA
Caleb Conley, Raytheon, USA

The increasing complexity of large-scale software-intensive systems, along with well- documented software project failure rates, has brought attention to ensuring the architecting process provides value to the system development effort. As architecting processes become integrated into traditional engineering processes, it is important to seamlessly transition among enterprise, systems, and software architecture methods to realize the benefits of architecting to the overall system development. Ineffective transition has introduced the likelihood of increased cost and risk due to "disconnects" as architecture transitions through the various levels of decomposition.

Raytheon has explored the relationship between systems architecture and software architecture in an effort to improve the capability to transition between these architecting activities and improve internal engineering processes. This paper will present Raytheon's findings, including identification of key cost and risk drivers, recommendations for improving the capability to transition, and a discussion on the use of architecture methodologies to analyze the problem.

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A Simple and Flexible Specification for an Enterprise Architecture Practice
David Cuyler, Sandia National Laboratories, USA

This presentation describes a simple and flexible enterprise architecture practice employed by Sandia National Laboratories that is designed to help mitigate the tendency toward "too much information." The practice provides enterprise architects with a framework and principles that guide their work and defines an overall process for enterprise architecture, the outputs of which are the following: as-is (baseline) and to-be (target) descriptions of business, information systems, and technology architectures; the interactions and alignments within and among these architectures; and a road map for transforming the enterprise from the baseline to the target state. The architecture descriptions identify the scope and bounds of the enterprise, characterize enterprise stakeholders and the strategic intent of the enterprise toward them, describe the current state of the enterprise, and recommend a future state that facilitates the realization of the enterprise strategic intent. The roadmap, in turn, defines a transition plan to guide progress toward the target architecture and provides methods to measure progress during the transition. The work products of enterprise architecture are intended to provide concise, relevant, timely, and accurate information to decision makers and program managers regarding the realization of the desired future state of the enterprise.

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Limits to the Use of the Zachman Framework in Developing and Evolving Architectures for Complex Systems of Systems
Suzanne Garcia, Software Engineering Institute, USA
Philip Boxer, Software Engineering Institute, USA

Software architects are increasingly being asked to address how their architectural representations relate not only to those of systems (of systems) engineers, but also to the views commonly found in DODAF (Department of Defense Architecture Framework) or other enterprise architecture frameworks. In many cases, these requests made to software architects are part of trying to understand how one software system is likely to interoperate with others that are either inside or outside of the enterprise. Understanding some of the limitations of the Zachman framework and DODAF 2.0 in understanding both software architectures and interoperability in complex systems of systems should make it easier for software architects to place their architectures in relation to these other common frameworks.

This presentation describes proposed modifications to the Zachman framework that are required to account for the needs for cross-enterprise collaboration and for accommodating new user needs at a rapid pace. The presentation also highlights a set of modeling elements that are commonly found in multi-enterprise situations. These modeling elements are illustrated in reference to DODAF 2.0 entities to emphasize what is currently missing. The presentation concludes with an example from a modeling approach that addresses these gaps, which is used at the SEI to describe not only the social and technical aspects of systems (including software systems), but also their relationship to the changing demands (especially user needs) placed upon them.

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Conference Session: Architecture Competence

Architecting Your Organization
Kenneth Kunkel, IBM, USA

There is a ton of technologies out there but the real challenge is absorbing those technologies into your organization. This presentation will offer you different approaches that organizations have taken. The discussion arises from the experiences of Ken Kunkel at IBM and Deloitte Consulting and from the experiences of your fellow attendees.

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Career Track for Architects in IT Service Provider Organizations
Shankar Kambhampaty, Satyam Computer Services Limited, India

IT service provider organizations are being increasingly challenged to develop larger and more complex solutions to address the rapidly changing business needs of their customers. Developing such solutions requires mature architecture processes and practices within an organization, supported by highly experienced and knowledgeable pool of architects. Several challenges exist in not only creating and nurturing such teams but also in ensuring that over a period of time talented and experienced architects aspire to be part of such teams, creating substantial value for the organization and its customers.

One of the critical success factors in developing high-performance architecture teams in IT service organizations is a well-formulated career track that provides a structured mechanism for growth and maturity of architects and architecture practices within the organization.

This paper describes the needs of IT service organizations and the required roles of architects in these organizations for providing large and complex solutions to their customers. It also discusses the different architecture team compositions possible in an enterprise along with their pros and cons. Based on experience in constituting and managing such architecture teams, this paper presents the significance of defining a career track for architects in IT service organizations. It also provides insights into the results seen in institutionalizing such a career track for architects.

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The Role and Development of an Enterprise Architect: A Devil's Advocate's Perspective
Robert Ellinger, Northrop Grumman Corporation, USA

System engineering, system architecture, and enterprise architecture skills are necessary in one half of the processes of any successful development or implementation program. This half identifies the customer's requirements, creates the tests that verify the components and assemblies perform the functions they are supposed to perform, and validates that the system or product meets the customer's requirements.  The problem is that the talents required for system engineering and system architecture are little understood.  

This presentation will posit that systems engineers must serve apprenticeships in two or more IT skills (such as database design, network implementation, or software development) and serve as a requirements manager before he or she can become an independent systems engineer. The systems engineer must serve two or more years in that position before serving an apprenticeship as a system architect.  Finally, for a systems architect to become an enterprise architect, he or she must be mentored by a successful enterprise architect.

The paper will identify the purpose and skills required by each position, the reasons for the described growth path, and the reasons why the coaching and mentoring is needed rather than simply training programs.

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Conference Session: Architecture Design

Integrating Usability Supporting Architectural Patterns in a Product Line System's Architecture
Pia Stoll, ABB, Sweden
Len Bass, Software Engineering Institute, USA
Elspeth Golden, Carnegie Mellon University
Bonnie John, Carnegie Mellon University

This presentation will describe the application of Usability Supporting Architectural Patterns (USAPs) to the architecture design of a product line of systems. The patterns were delivered by a web-enabled prototype tool. The tool prompted the designers with architecture responsibilities specific to their chosen usability scenarios, then required the designers to respond to each responsibility and additionally provided the designer with implementation instructions in a textual, rather than a component, form. The designers used the USAP delivery tool in the early design phase and were extremely positive. Two designers using the USAP delivery tool for six hours discovered 14 major issues related to usability support in the core architecture that were not previously incorporated in the architecture design. Two potential new subsystems were identified during this exercise.

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Leveraging ADD for Objective Technology Evaluation and Decision Analysis
Elizabeth Kielczewski, ABB, USA
Qingfeng He, ABB, USA
Karen Smiley, ABB, USA

Technology evaluations can present significant challenges in software engineering practice. In this presentation, we describe how we addressed them in an industrial project. We successfully leveraged and extended the Attribute-Driven Design (ADD) method. To obtain a greater objectivity and finer granularity in prioritization and evaluation of criteria, and to generate the overall evaluation results in sensitivity analyses, we used the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). In this presentation, we discuss our experiences, in particular

  • defining the project scope of the technology evaluation initiative
  • designing comparable prototype applications in multiple technologies with a common set of measurements
  • balance between efficiency of nominal scales and accuracy of AHP weighting technique
  • benefits of AHP for increasing the accuracy and objectivity of technical judgments, delivery of quantitative results, and ease of performing sensitivity analyses

Organizations dealing with the challenges of making technical decisions regarding software technologies may find this approach beneficial.

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Conference Session: Value of Architecture

Architectural Measurements & Metrics at All Scales
Joseph Starwood, Westfield Group, USA

The value of IT architecture is difficult to demonstrate. The right set of measurements and metrics is essential. Such measurements and metrics must be relevant and traceable to the business, and understandable to its stakeholders. They must also support decision making, and be meaningful to executives, managers, and practitioners. Establishing measurements and metrics is not easy or reliable. Many IT organizations fail on their first attempts. This presentation describes the use of definitions, models, and selection criteria for establishing a rational and manageable set of measurements and constituent metrics to demonstrate the value of IT architecture and support operational decision making as well as continuous improvement. Upon overcoming several challenges, dashboards and scorecards report the measurements and metrics for architecture maturity, governance vitality, and solution conformity. These communicate the value of IT at all levels.

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A Framework for Making Architectural Decisions in a Business Context
Jeromy Carriere, Vistaprint, USA
Rick Kazman, Software Engineering Institute, USA
Ipek Ozkaya, Software Engineering Institute, USA

In any organization, it is useful to have a model to associate a value with architectural decisions. More generally, any effort needs to have an associated value to offset its labor and capital costs. For projects that deliver direct functionality that increases an organization's revenue, value is easily determined, and thus the return on investment argument is clear. Nowhere is this more true than in a dynamic, young, agile, organization with a large and growing market footprint; such organizations are commonly driven unswervingly by analytical assessment of the efficacy of the business (sales, marketing, and manufacturing) and technology delivery functions. Unfortunately, "architecture projects"—those that aim to improve one or more quality attributes of a system via a structural transformation system without (generally) changing its behavior—are extremely difficult to evaluate in the same fashion. The general case is to resort to anecdotal and informal arguments that speak in general terms of risk reduction (i.e., improved reliability) or increased developer productivity (i.e., improved maintainability). These arguments are typically unsatisfying to organizations accustomed to decision making based on concrete metrics.

This presentation will discuss research done to address this dilemma, in a collaboration by VistaPrint, the Software Engineering Institute, and the National Research Council of Canada. Specifically, we will present a model derived from analyzing and modeling actual projects undertaken at VistaPrint, a rapidly growing marketing services company targeting small businesses globally. The presentation will share the details of the approach and the specific results derived in the context of VistaPrint's portfolio of architectural transformations.

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The Impact of Conducting ATAM Evaluations on Army Programs
John Bergey, Software Engineering Institute, USA
Stephen Blanchette, Jr., Software Engineering Institute, USA
Mark Klein, Software Engineering Institute, USA
Robert Nord, Software Engineering Institute, USA

The Army Strategic Software Improvement Program (ASSIP) is a multiyear effort targeted at dramatically improving the way in which the Army acquires software-intensive systems. It is predicated on the idea that better acquisition practices will lead to better systems and overall results. During the past five years, the Army has funded a number of programs, in conjunction with the Software Engineering Institute, to conduct software architecture evaluations using the Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method® (ATAM®). During the same period, several other programs funded their own ATAM evaluations. With the Army taking a leadership role among the U.S. armed services in applying architecture practices to its programs, it seemed natural to inquire about the value received.

This presentation describes the results of a study of the impact of software architecture practices conducted with Army programs. All twelve programs that employed the ATAM responded to a questionnaire that addressed the impact of conducting the ATAM, follow-on ATAM activities, adoption of the ATAM as part of program practices, and the overall value of the engagement.

The majority of respondents to the survey indicated they received some measure of value from the ATAM evaluation conducted for their programs. Exact quantification of that value in terms of dollars is difficult because the focus of the ATAM is risk reduction, which is a cost avoidance. However, by gauging respondents' views and actions throughout the ATAM engagement, a picture of overall estimated value begins to emerge. The presenters will show how the findings benefit the broader software architecture community and will provide their recommendations for collecting data and assessing impact for future ATAMs conducted in any context.

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Conference Session: Architecture Evaluation

Contextually-Driven Architecture Reviews
F. Michael Dedolph, CSC, USA

When the World Trade Center collapsed, switching systems in the basement correctly diagnosed which lines were still working, and continued to connect calls using backup power for several days. One factor contributing to this remarkable product reliability was the Bell Labs practice of early architecture reviews.

The Software Engineering Institute Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method® (ATAM®) provides a standardized technique for evaluating software architecture. The review method presented here provides an alternative (and complementary) approach to architecture reviews that can be flexibly tailored based on the context for many kinds of systems, and used in any problem domain.

In this session, the presenter will

  • provide a simple model for defining and categorizing systems architecture that is representationally independent
  • describe how to conduct an architecture review, using methods based on Bell Labs Systems Architecture Review Board (SARB) process
  • discuss how the SARB methods can complement and supplement ATAM reviews
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Conference Session: Governance

How Acquisition Practice Can Impede SOA Governance
Lloyd Brodsky, CSC, USA

Much of the work in implementing and operating service-oriented architecture is outsourced. All of this work is governed by the contract signed with the company or government entity purchasing the work. It's generally acknowledged that governance is crucial to SOA success, but governance is rarely integrated into the acquisition process or the resulting contract. This paper identifies what should be included in a model contract and the potential consequences if it isn't. Particular attention is paid to establishing a market-feasible dispute resolution process to deal with service-level agreement breaches and establishing incentives to align contractor interests with those of the purchaser.

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Software Architecture Beyond Blueprints— "Aligning Software Architecture with the Facets of Software Development—Business, Management, Engineering, and Organization"
Issac Eldo, Philips Healthcare, USA

Every software has an architecture; hence every organization dealing with the software life cycle is dealing with architecture in some form or other. In the case of software, a fitting architecture would definitely increase the potential for its success; likewise, a well- aligned Software Architecture Organizational Entity (SAOE, consisting of architecture, architect(s), and architecture and design process) will have a great impact on the organizational success. To be effective SAOE must support and be supported by the ecosystem around it, which consists of four facets of software development—business, engineering, management and organization, each with different expectations. A lack of this alignment will 1) undermine the value and ROI of architecture, and 2) reduce the quality and effectiveness of the architecture itself. A good architecture starts with a well- positioned SAOE, which must be seeded by the realization of the fact that "architecture is not just about the blueprints." 

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Conference Session: Architecture Significant Requirements

Improving the Definition of Quality Attribute Scenarios by Using Requirements Patterns
Aldo Dagnino, ABB, USA

This presentation will provide requirements patterns that can be used to define non-functional requirements, with a good level of detail, precision, and clarity. This presentation assumes that the non-functional requirements are the basis for defining the software quality attributes, which in turn are fundamental for the development of the architecture of the software product. This presentation is motivated by the fact that in the software industry, software engineers seem to have a great deal of difficulty defining clear and precise non-functional requirements.

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Architecting for Highly Available, Scalable, and Reliable Mission-Critical Applications
Diego Dagum, Microsoft, USA

Mission-critical applications are vital for the normal flow of operations in any organization. This range of applications is characterized by a series of attributes, such as scalability, fault-tolerance, resiliency, and performance. While it's pretty easy to get any of these attributes in isolation, meeting all them together is not a straightforward process. It typically happens that, when applying techniques intended to maximize—let's say—scalability, performance might be eroded; performance enhancement may cut graceful degradation capabilities, and so forth. This session explores all those tradeoffs, offering effective guidance to deal with mission-critical attributes altogether. After attending this session, the attendee will be able to identify those friction points, applying integral techniques in order to maximize the fulfillment of those attributes at once. This session also offers health checking techniques for diagnostics, to guarantee that quality-of-service agreements are being fulfilled.

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Dealing with Quality Attribute Requirements as the Hero, Not the Witch
Andre Gous, Precision Quality Software, USA

Placing software into production will uncover quality-related problems at a time when it's expensive to correct them. If the neglected quality attribute requirements have highly visible results, they empower political opportunists with 20/20 hindsight to suddenly become interested in the project like never before, and the neglected quality attribute requirements become the subject of a witch hunt. 

Whoever is funding a project owns the responsibility for conveying the requirements, including quality attribute requirements. And, in many cases, the project sponsor neglects conveying requirements in general and quality attribute requirements in particular. In essence, the project sponsor refuses to assume the responsibility, thus in effect conveying "Build me something. But I don't want to tell you what I need."

This presentation intends to help requirements engineers deal with such situations.

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Conference Session: Architecture Improvement

Experience with the Architecture Improvement Workshop
Lawrence Jones, Software Engineering Institute, USA
Rick Kazman, Software Engineering Institute, USA

Many organizations have successfully applied the Software Engineering Institute's Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method® (ATAM®) to evaluate software architectures relative to the achievement of system quality attributes. While the benefits of the method are widely recognized, there has been less guidance about how to systematically use the evaluation results to improve the architecture. In this presentation, we describe the Architecture Improvement Workshop (AIW), which answers the "Now what do I do?" question that naturally arises after the evaluation. We describe the steps of the method, outline the information collection techniques used, and report on some of the benefits achieved during pilot use. We will describe progress made in an engagement with the U.S. Air Force, using the AIW to support the evolution of the Space Surveillance Network Analysis Model (SSNAM) system. We will also describe an extension to the method: the Extended Evolutionary Architecture Improvement Workshop (E2AIW).

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Bottom-Up Software Product Line Design: A Case Study Emphasizing the Need for Stakeholder Commitment
Roland Weiss, ABB, Germany
Jens Doppelhamer, ABB, Germany
Heiko Koziolek, ABB, Germany

In 2007 an internal survey of more than 50 of ABB's robotics software applications revealed a substantial functional overlap in many of these applications. Similar functionality had been developed more than seven times for different applications by independent teams. The lack of systematic reuse causes high development and maintenance costs and delays time to market for new products.

On this behalf, we analyzed three different robotics software applications developed by locally distributed development teams. We proposed the design for a software product line architecture (PLA) based on the identified core assets and variation points. The presentation describes our key design principles and describes the lessons learned from introducing a PLA based on existing products.

The goal of our project was to increase reuse among the software applications, lower maintenance costs, and ensure faster time to market for new applications within the robotics domain. Therefore, we first separated concerns in the analyzed robotics applications, as they partially bundled distinct features. The PLA design was constrained by the expectation of retaining existing functionality and providing a common look and feel among the applications. Furthermore, multiple extension mechanisms within the PLA were desired to support user customizations.

During the project, we interacted with many stakeholders of the architecture (including product managers, development teams, and customers) for requirements gathering and iterative confirmation of the product line architecture.

As a result, we have designed a PLA bottom-up from existing ABB robotics software. Stakeholder commitment is essential for a successful product line adoption and must be ensured proactively.

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Architecture Governance and Rules Enforcement Using AOP and SonarJ—A Case Study
Srini Penchikala, InfoQ, USA

Although many companies have some kind of application architecture standards, they don't usually have a mechanism to enforce those standards. As a result of this lack of architecture governance, the implementation (code) often doesn't match the requirements (reference architecture). Enforcing reference architecture guidelines promotes consistency and modularity in the system. In this presentation, I will talk about the significance of enforcing architecture rules and how to implement policy enforcement in software development projects. I will also discuss an architecture enforcement framework created to "inject" architecture rules and design policies into the continuous integration (CI) process using aspects to enforce quality of the code. The framework also uses tools like Eclipse, AJDT and Maven to integrate policy enforcement into the agile development process to detect architecture deviations early and often and validates that the design and code are in compliance with the reference architecture (RA).

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