Continuous Architecture Advantages and Tools

December 21, 2018 

Continuous Architecture Advantages and Tools

What is Continuous Architecture?

From the words of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the architecture defined as -

"Architecture - The fundamental concept or property of a system in its environment embodied in its elements, relationships, and in the principles of its design and evolution."

But when the word continuous added to it ( referred to Continuous Delivery) for defining the integrated term, there are some principles followed -

Do not concentrate on architect the solutions for projects, instead of that concentrate on architecting the products.

Do not only focus on practical necessity but also concentrate on attributes related to the quality.

The decisions related to the designs delayed until required.

Always try to architect for alteration keeping "the power of small" in mind.

There are three steps looped while architecting, "Build, Test and Deploy."

After drafting the system, concentrate on modeling the organization according to it.

How Continuous Architecture Works?

To convert all theoretical aspects into the practical aspects, these are the five key components -

Continuous monitoring and feedback - It includes programming in pairs, unit tests, Scrum daily, and sprints.

Continuous Integration - It includes detecting the changes in the source code, extracting the changes, compiling the source code, checking the new code, indicating the status of the build.

Continuous Deployment and Release - It includes changes in the application code, configures the application changes, changes of the Infrastructure, changes of the environment and database structure.

Continuous Testing - It includes all testing approaches such as Automated testing analytics and metrics and self-service testing.

Hybrid Cloud Deployment - This component handled using a specific type of service known as PaaS - Platform as a Service.

Benefits Of Continuous Architecture

The key benefits of adopting continuous architecture are as follows -

There is a popular aid related to the project management, and that is a quality-cost-time triangle, in general only from these three key pillars of project management one have to choose two of them, and third could be neglected as it is difficult to consider all three at a time in the case of other architectural techniques. But in the case of Continuous Architecture, these three regarded as easily at once.

Using Continuous Architecture at the level of the enterprise can be a factor in the increment of efficiency while shipping the results.

Adaption of the work became easy and adopted in a looping and incrementing manner.

Why Continuous Architecture Matters?

After discussing the basics of Continuous Architecture, in this section the necessity of Continuous Architecture presented in this section -

The influence of using "Continuous Architecture" can be an aid to the architects in the case of eliminating the obstacles caused by traditional architecture.

The use of "Continuous Architecture" also accelerates the whole process of developing and delivering the software by implementing the architecture outlook and its full-powered curriculum.

With an accelerated approach provided by Continuous Architecture, the target of building competing separations achieved.

It also consists of an advantage as there is no need of giving any thought to it as a formal methodology.

Last but not least, in the current age of Artificial Intelligence, there is need of the type of architecture to cope up with the technologies like Data Science, Predictive Analytics, Natural Language Processing, etc. It is also one of the critical reason behind the use of Continuous Architecture.

How to Adopt Continuous Architecture?

The primary legitimate step while taking the Continuous architecture is to learn about the functional scope of the project in an end to end manner. One of the ways to learn it by using the methodology of "Value chain" which includes trade capturing, funding and keeping the positions, risk management, reporting, and accounting, confirm then settle than pay, margining and custody.

To animate value chain, the previous user stories used considered as one of the favorite ways between Continuous Delivery teams and Agile development teams.

The sequential step after this is to develop a larger level diagram of the whole process (constructed using the Unified Modeling Language) which includes the placement of the main components. For this, any previous user story used.

The second point of the definition which is "Do not only focus on practical necessity but also concentrate on attributes related to the quality" require the total focus on the attributes related to the quality. The quality attributes described using quality attributes utility tree comprising of three levels: Highest level, the lowest level, and next level.

Best Practices of Continuous Architecture

For adapting or using "Continuous Architecture," there are some points considered -

To get started with Continuous Architecture start concentrating on small things.

Adopt Continuous Architecture, plan about restructuring the existing architecture instead of developing the architecture from the starting. It supports the first point of the definition - " Do not concentrate on architect the solutions for projects, rather concentrate on architecting the products."

To develop an architecture for Continuous Delivery, the main concentration should be on the attributes related to the quality. These quality attributes include usability, security, performance, configurability, interoperability, robustness, extensibility, cost-effectiveness, risk management, etc.

Postpone Decision-Making about the design until indeed required so that the architecture managed properly.

"The power of small" should be used as a bargaining chip to architect for change.

The key enabler of Continuous Architecture is a basic rule which is "Build, Test and Deploy."

Lastly, Continuous Architecture improves the messy systems over time.

Continuous Architecture Tools

Kind of Tool Tools
Theoretical Tools Value chains, User story themes and Unified Modeling Language (UML) tools
Practical Tools Software containers (HUDSON, Tomcat), Build Tools (Maven, Ant), Code review & Insights tools (Fisheye), Continuous Integration (Bamboo), Infrastructure Automation (Puppet), Dependency Management (Nexus), Issue Tracking (JIRA), Provisioning tools (Eucalyptus)