Software Architecture; Everything You Need To Know

Software Architecture

Involvement of technologies has led us to the virtual sphere of software working hand-in-hand with the reality of our lives. We not only use it for high-end work but also for our daily purposes.

But have we ever asked what all it takes to make one software? What are its components and how does one make software? A lot of things work in the backend of every software that you use.

In this blog, we will talk about software architecture and everything about it.

What Is Software Architect?

In critical application development, the most important thing is software architecture or project framework. It comprises many modules that are involved in either request processing or business handling.

The software architecture requires clear and robust planning. The design and structure of every software have to be well planned. A well-planned software becomes very easy to code and develop.

For every software, if the developer knows the software architecture, then half of the work is done. The focus then shifts to functionality only.

As per Wikipedia, "Software Architecture refers to the high-level structures of a software system and the discipline of creating such structures and systems. Each structure comprises software elements, relations among them, and properties of both elements and relations."

Software architecture is the basic structure of every software you see.
It is the fundamental organization of a system embodied in its components. It acts as the blueprint or the plan of making one software. It represents the core functions of every software.

What Are The Different Software Architecture Patterns?

Every design and structure has a pattern of its own. Software architecture follows 10 of the most common software architecture patterns.

1. Broker Pattern
2. Client-Server Pattern
3. Peer-to-Peer Pattern
4. Layered Pattern
5. Master-Slave Pattern
6. Interpreter Pattern
7. Blackboard Pattern
8. Event-Bus Pattern
9. Pipe-Filter Pattern
10. Model View Controller Pattern

⇒ Broker Pattern

It is used to structure distributed software architecture with decoupled components that interact by remote service invocations. A broker acts as a component that helps in coordinating communications like sending requests and transmitting results.

The main components of the broker pattern are the broker, the server, and the client. A broker pattern also features proxies and bridges.

Brokers are the message-routing components of the software architecture. It sends and receives messages from the client and the server.

The messages are mostly requests for services and replies to those requests. A broker pattern maintains the registry of the servers.

⇒ Client-Server Pattern

It is a distributed application structure. It partitions tasks or workloads between the providers of a resource or service, called servers, and service requesters called clients.

Client-Server Architecture is composed of two types of components: clients and servers. Clients and servers communicate over a computer network on separate hardware. Both the client and server might reside in the same system.

Server host runs server programs which share the resources with clients. A client does not share any of its resources but requests the server's content or service function in software architecture.

Servers further are classified as stateless or stateful. Clients of the stateful server make composite requests, enabling more conversational or transactional interactions between the client and the server.

The stateful server keeps the record of requests from every client, and these records are called sessions.

A client-server pattern works in online applications such as email, banking and document sharing.

⇒ Peer-to-Peer Pattern

Individual components are called peers and may function as a client or server.

As a client, it requests services from other peers. As a server, it provides the service to other peers. Peers are dynamic in nature.

Peer-to-peer patterns have many software applications and the most common amongst them is content distribution.

It includes software publication and distribution, content delivery networks, streaming media and peercasting for multicasting streams, facilitating on-demand content delivery.

⇒ Layered Pattern

It is one of the most common software architecture patterns. It is also known as the n-tier software architecture pattern.

It is a standard pattern for most Java EE applications and most architects, developers and designers use it. It is a common choice for business application development.

The layered pattern helps in structuring software. It decomposes into groups of subtasks with the particular level of abstraction with every layer giving service to the higher level.

The usage of a layered pattern of software architecture is in E-commerce web applications and desktop applications.

⇒ Master-Slave Pattern

In the master-slave pattern, all the subtasks are identical. It helps in coordinating efficiently.

Transparency between master and slave helps clients. A client requests the master to perform the task, and thus the work is given to the slaves for completion.

The Master-Slave pattern is a fundamental software architecture that many developers use.

If there is a need for implementing two or more processes to be run simultaneously with different rates, a master-slave pattern works the best.

A Master-Slave pattern has multiple parallel loops, and each of these loops executes different tasks at disparate rates. The master loop is in control of the slave loops. It communicates with them through messaging architectures.

The usage of Master-Slave pattern is mostly in responding to user interface controls that collect data simultaneously from multiple inputs.

⇒ Interpreter Pattern

It is one of the behavioural design patterns which analyses grammar and number representations. Interpreter pattern defines a domain language as a simple language grammar, representing the domain rules as language sentences, and interpreting these sentences to find a solution.

Interpreter pattern uses a class to represent every grammar rule. It involves implementing the expression interface which interprets any given context. Interpreter pattern works in symbol processing engine, SQL parsing, etc.

It depends on a hierarchy of expressions with each expression being terminal or non-terminal.

It is slightly similar to the composite design pattern. Terminal expressions in the tree structure refer to the leaf objects and non-terminal expressions as composites.

Google translator, Java compiler are some of the examples of the Interpreter Design pattern.

⇒ Blackboard Pattern

It is also a behavioural design pattern. A Blackboard pattern provides a computational framework for the design and implementation of systems. The integration of large and diverse modules and complex, non-deterministic control strategies are in the blackboard pattern.

It has three main components.

Blackboard- It is a structured global shared space for storing information about the world.

knowledge sources - These are modules or set of algorithms that read information from the world and post the results to the Blackboard.

control component - It selects, configures and executes module or a set of modules that read the results from the Blackboard and update the software accordingly.

It is helpful for problems that have no definite solution strategies.

⇒ Event-Bus Pattern

An event-bus pattern allows different components to communicate with one another without knowing each other. Any component can send events to the Event-Bus without knowing who will pick it up or how many others will pick it up.

Event-Bus Pattern works for events based structure. It has four main components; event source, listener, channel and event bus.

Components can listen to the events on an Event-Bus, without knowing who sent the events.

An event-bus pattern is useful when one doesn't want components to be dependent. Instead of a component having several references to other components, it can send events to an event-bus.

It doesn't have to worry about who takes care of them. It allows easy development and splitting up of an application into several independent parts.

Event-Bus Pattern helps in making android app developments and notification services.

⇒ Pipe-Filter Pattern

A pipe-filter pattern is powerful in use and is robust software architectural pattern. It has 'n' number of components that filter data, before passing it on via connectors to other components in the structure.

Every filter or component works at any given time. It helps in the simple sequence structure and also in extremely complex structures.

There are four main components in this pattern; pump, filter, pipe and sink. The pipe-filter pattern works best for Unix programs, workflows in bioinformatics and compilers.

When you have a lot of transformations to perform and need to be very flexible in using them, yet you want them to be robust, a pipe-filter pattern helps.

⇒ Model View Controller Pattern

It is a design pattern that specifies an application consists of a data model, presentation and control information. Model View Controller pattern is also known as the MVC pattern.

It is used to conduct operations separately. Model View Controller patterns work for web development applications.

MVC pattern divides an interactive application into 3 parts; Model, View and Controller.

Model is the lowest level of pattern responsible for maintaining data. It represents objects or JAVA POJO carrying data. It has logic to update controller if its data changes. A model consists of core functionality and data of an application. It is pure application data and contains no logic describing how to present the data to a user.

View is responsible for the display of all or a portion of the data. It represents the visualization of data that the model contains and displays information to users.

Controller handles all the inputs from the user. It is the Software Code that controls the interactions between the Model and View. It acts on both model and view. It controls the data flow into the Model object and updates the View whenever there is any data change. It keeps the View and Model separate.

The above given architecture patterns or architectural styles in software engineering are the most sought-after patterns in the software architecture world.

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