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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.

  • 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 essential concepts of software architecture. A software architecture is an abstract view of a software system distinct from the details of implementation, algorithms, and data representation. Architecture is, increasingly, a crucial part of a software organization's business strategy. Software architectures can

  • provide flexibility and adaptability in changing markets
  • allow for interoperability with other players in the marketplace
  • provide leverage of control in a marketplace
  • help developers focus on a niche in the marketplace
  • be used as a sales and marketing tool
  • help reduce maintenance costs and amortize development costs
  • assist in workforce organization and with project oversight and control
  • establish a common corporate vocabulary
  • shorten learning time

This online course emphasizes the importance of the business (or mission) context in which systems are designed and introduces participants to software architectures in a real-world setting. "Industrial-strength" case studies illuminate the key technical and organizational issues regarding software architectures. This course is based on the book Software Architecture in Practice, 3rd 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 those professionals who design, develop, or manage the construction of software-reliant systems. This online course is designed for independent learners to quickly gain insight, at their convenience, into the latest concepts of what software architecture is and how to use it successfully.


This online course provides attendees with a thorough overview of software architectures. After completing this course in entirety, learners will have a better understanding of

  • what is a software architecture
  • why a software architecture is important
  • the architecture influence cycle
  • the relationships between system qualities and software architectures
  • software architectural patterns and tactics, and their relationship to system qualities
  • attribute-driven design
  • software architecture documentation
  • software architecture evaluation
  • architectural reuse via software product lines
  • architectures in Agile projects

This course is the most fundamental of the six courses in the SEI Software Architecture Curriculum. At the conclusion of the course, attendees will be eligible to take the SEI's Software Architecture Design and Analysis and Architecture Tradeoff Analysis Method (ATAM) Evaluator Training courses. Attendees will also be better prepared for the SEI's Documenting Software Architectures and Software Product Lines courses.

It is also the first course required in the SEI's Software Architecture Professional, SEI Service-Based Architecture Professional and ATAM Evaluator certificate programs.

The SEI also offers this course as an instructor-led classroom training.


  • definition and overview of software architecture
  • the architecture business cycle: what influences software architects and software architecture
  • understanding and achieving quality attributes
  • architecture design using patterns and tactics
  • documenting software architecture
  • evaluating software architecture
  • architecture reuse via product lines
  • architecture in Agile projects

Software Architecture: Principles and Practices 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.


  • Recorded instruction presented by SEI instructors
  • 11 hours of video training sessions with transcripts
  • Exercises with solution guidance
  • Case studies for analysis and recommendation
  • Self-assessments following each module

This course is presented in the form of video-recorded training sessions that were presented by SEI instructors to a classroom of students representing a variety of industries. Learn more about the instructors here.

Exercises and case studies included with the course explore and reinforce the concepts taught and how they can be successfully applied. Exercise solution guidance supports this independent learning experience.

Self-assessments following each module assist in the learner's thorough comprehension of specific subject matter.


Before registering for this course, participants should have

  • experience in the development of software-reliant systems
  • some familiarity with modern software engineering concepts

Before beginning this course, the learner must acquire a copy of the text book: Software Architecture in Practice, 3rd Edition. The textbook can be purchased in both printed and electronic forms from many commercial booksellers.

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

  • For optimum viewing, we recommend using the following browsers: Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 8 or above, Safari 4 or above
  • These browsers are supported on the following operating systems: MS Windows 7 and above, OSX, most Linux distributions
  • Mobile Operating Systems: iOS default browsers versions 6 and 7; Android versions higher than 4.2

This is an eLearning course.

Register Now

Course Fees [USD]

  • eLearning: $500.00


If you wish to purchase this course for a group of learners, please email or telephone at +1 412-268-1817 for group rate details.

Course Questions?

Phone: 412-268-7388
FAX: 412-268-7401

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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.