To build anything a basic plan is required which tells us an overview of the whole project. This is the beginning of the software life cycle where we design the structure of the project also known as software architecture. The software architecture gives us how the system will be created and covers mainly the following points.
Have a clear understanding of the requirement
Having a clear understanding of the requirements can make or break any project in terms of cost and timelines. One must take into consideration the functional and non-functional parts of the software development that are to be built.
Think about each component
It’s easy to see the big picture, but to breakdown, it into smaller components and think about each one of them individually is required in the project to foresee the hurdles they might have to overcome during the development phase.
Divide the architecture into pieces
Following Agile methodology and development, we need to break up the Software developement project into small pieces so that we can deliver the project in phases and get feedback on the same from the client, thus giving the development team time to incorporate new changes or fixes delivered in the previous phase. This will relieve the pressure of multiple changes in a short period if the whole project is delivered in one phase.
Building prototypes will save you time and resources, as it will help you fail or succeed faster. One must keep in mind that a prototype is not an alternative to testing. We can map out the designs based on the prototypes built for the system.
Keep in mind the non-functional requirements
When designing the functional part of the system, we often overlook the non-functional part and do not consider them even in timelines causing tight deadlines or worse delayed timelines. To avert this, we need to keep in mind the parts of the system which are to be developed for the system which the user or client may never see but are crucial to the system. The following are some other requirements we need to consider while designing the system.
● Performance — How well the system performs overall as well as the individual parts/layers.
● Scalability — The potential to scale the system based on current and future requirements.
● Portability — The usability of a system in different environments.
● Extensibility — The time and effort required to extend certain functionalities of the system.
● Compliance — Incorporating of policies and standards in the system.
Best Practices for software design
Visualize your designs
Giving the team some graphical representations in the form of algorithms, flow charts, and ER diagrams, helps them understand your design better on a higher level and gives them some visualization of the data flow in the system.
Don’t choose patterns
Choosing patterns in the first draft will have a negative effect on your overall design, and you might end up over-engineering the solution.
The first design is not the final design
Don’t be too rigid on the first design draft, remember it’s just the first draft of the system. The design might change a couple of times till it tackles all of your problems.
We all tend to cover a little bit more, but this will hurt your scope, design, and timeline and consume more resources than you are willing for. There must be a limit to what will be done in the phase of development.
Think about boundaries and interfaces
Since you have created components in the system, you must think about the interface between them and note the boundaries of the system. This will let you know in advance when to start the next prototype and iterations in the code.