CERT-SEI

Tools and Methods for Documenting the Architecture

Because architectures are intellectual constructs of enduring and long-lived importance, communicating an architecture to its stakeholders becomes as important a job as creating it in the first place. If the architecture cannot be understood so that others can build systems from it, analyze it, maintain it, and learn from it, then the effort put into crafting it will mostly have been wasted.

To plan effectively for a product, the architecture must be documented in sufficient detail and presented in an easily accessible form for developers and other stakeholders. The architecture is one of the major mechanisms that allows stakeholders to communicate about the properties of a system.

To document the architecture, the SEI uses the Architecture Documentation, Views and Beyond approach.The SEI can work together with a customer's staff to determine which views of the architecture are useful for the stakeholders, the amount of detail required, and how the information can be efficiently presented.

Further Reading

SEI blog posts about architecture documentation