Consider a project revolving around inventory management software. In order to develop the software, you got to tick its design and architecture off the list first to give your raw idea a solid foundation. Defining an outlier layer will keep you more focused and inclined to the needs of what goes on within the software.
When your idea is raw, you need a plan to bring it to life. However, before casting life on it, you need to mould it for the other pieces to fall in place. That is the exact role of a software architecture pattern for your product.
If you are already established in your business, you’d know that you had limited software architecture patterns to play with a couple of decades back. Fortunately, the software architecture patterns have been more evolved today than they ever were.
In this blog, we will walk you through the types of software architecture patterns and the way to kickstart your project by choosing the best pattern.
What is the Difference Between Software Architecture Pattern and Software Design Pattern?
Often than not, technical heads find it difficult to get the concept of software architecture and design pattern straight. Both these concepts seem quite similar to the eye. However, there is an evident difference if we take a peek into the fine details.
|Architecture Pattern||Design Pattern|
|The need for architecture patterns arises in the designing phase.||The need for design patterns is mainly in the building phase.|
|Software architecture pattern is similar to a blueprint of how the final product will look like.||When we say design pattern, it is the actual implementation of the idea.|
|An architecture pattern is a base on which all the components, classes, and elements start taking forms.||A design pattern is a channel for structuring classes in order to tackle common software implementation challenges.|
|An architecture pattern defines how all components in software should behave as well as communicate within a system.||A design pattern governs directly deal with interfaces, classes, OO features, and abstract classes.|
|When it comes to software architecture patterns, we are talking about a broader picture of shaping the software.||While dealing with software design architecture, it is more about drilling down into the details related to the implementation of specific components.|
What Problems can be Solved with Architecture Analysis?
Architecture analysis critically undertakes the overall study of the software. It can basically work on software defects. When software is bugged, it can lead to multiple security issues. However, majorly defects can be classified into:
- Bugs in the implementation
- Design flaws
Software defects with bugs in the implementations account for 50% of the overall security concerns. While the other 50% of security challenges can be credited to design flaws. As a result, it is crucial to secure the health of your product. You can fix the software defects if you can easily identify them.
There are four ways to determine software defects:
1) Analyzing the fundamental design principles
2) Assessing the attack surface
3) List out multiple threat agents
4) Determine weaknesses as well as loopholes in security controls.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of software architecture patterns:
- Software architecture pattern develops a solid foundation.
- It improves the performance of the system.
- A software architecture pattern decreases costs and ignores the codes duplicity.
- If you consider a software architecture pattern very meticulously, it can help you a quicker implementation of changes, thereby reducing your overall time towards product lifecycle.
- It also enables you to manage risks and decreases the chances of failures.
- If you get to know the software architecture pattern in detail, you can adapt to the new technological changes in an efficient manner.
What are the Types of Software Architecture Patterns?
In this section, we will guide you through the key types of software architecture patterns:
1). Layered Architecture Pattern:
If you know the detailed concept of multi-layered, also known as tiered architecture, you can probably understand layered architecture patterns quite easily. The layered architecture pattern is quite popular among the developer’s community, owing to the traditional organization of IT communication in numerous startups and established enterprises.
A layered architecture pattern can be distinguished into four key layers—presentation, persistence, business, and database. However, it is important to note that the pattern does not limit itself to specified layers. This type of architecture pattern is exceptional since every layer has a unique role to play and a particular request has to pass through a layer beside it for going to the next layer.
Application of Layered Architecture Pattern:
- It can be used for the apps that are required to be developed quickly.
- The enterprise apps that need conventional IT departments, as well as processes, can use this pattern.
- When you have a team of inexperienced developers with limited knowledge about architecture patterns, you can trust this pattern.
- Development of apps that need strict standards of testability and maintainability would make a great application of layered architecture patterns.
Shortcomings of Layered Architecture Pattern:
- It could lead to unorganized source codes as well as modules with no specified roles.
- Layered architecture patterns could skip previous layers for developing tight coupling, which might cause logical chaos full of complex interdependencies.
- If you only need basic modifications, it would require an entire redevelopment of the app.
2). Event-driven Architecture Pattern:
When you are looking for an architecture pattern, which is agile as well as highly performant, you can prefer to choose an event-driven architecture pattern. The architecture pattern is developed with decoupled, single-purpose event processing components. This particular architecture pattern demonstrates the behaviour around the production, consumption, and detection of multiple events alongside the responses they trigger.
The event-driven architecture pattern revolves around two topologies–broker and mediator. A mediator can be utilized when multiple operations are required to be demonstrated in an event bus with the help of a central mediator. On the other side, a broker can be used to chain events collectively without having to use a central mediator.
Applications of Event-driven Architecture Pattern:
- The event-driven architecture pattern can be used for apps, wherein the individual data block interacts with only a couple of modules.
- The particular architecture pattern helps with the user interfaces.
Disadvantages of Event-driven Architecture Pattern:
- When you are testing individual modules, it could be done only while they are independent. If not, they have to be tested in a completely functional system.
- When numerous modules are managing the same events, it might be difficult to handle errors to structure.
- Handling a transaction-oriented mechanism for consistency could become complicated with the independent modules and decoupling.
3). Microkernel Architecture Pattern:
This kind of architecture pattern includes two key types of components–multiple plug-in modules as well as a core system. When the core system operates on minimal functionality for keeping the system up and running, the plug-in modules feature independence with specialized processing.
When we consider the business plan, the core system can be denoted as a general business logic without any kind of custom code, complicated conditional processes, and code for special cases. Besides this, the plug-in modules improve the core system for producing extra business capabilities.
Applications of Microkernel Architecture Pattern:
- Applications with a clear correlation between a basic routine as well as higher-order rules use this kind of architecture pattern.
- Microkernel architecture patterns can be used by apps with a definite set of routines and dynamic rules with frequent updates.
Disadvantages of Microkernel Architecture Pattern:
- The plugins used should have a great code for the microkernel to be aware of the plugin installation and is ready to operate.
- It is almost impossible to change a microkernel when there are numerous plugins dependent on it.
- It is tough to select the right granularity for the kernel function.
4). Microservices Architecture Pattern:
Microservices architecture patterns can be seen as a key substitute for monolithic apps as well as service-oriented architectures. The components are sent as separate units using an effective and streamlined delivery pipeline. The benefit of the pattern can improve scalability and offer a great degree of decoupling within the app.
Given its decoupled and independent attributes, these components can be accessed using a remote access protocol. In addition to this, these components can be developed individually and also deployed and tested without having any kind of interdependency on any service component.
Applications of Microservices Architecture Pattern:
- Businesses that need quick development can use this architecture pattern.
- You can use the microservices architecture pattern for websites having small components, data centres with well-thought boundaries and teams operating from remote locations at a global level.
Disadvantages of Microservices Architecture Pattern:
- You can’t design the right set of granularity levels for a particular service component.
- All apps don’t necessarily include tasks, which should be split into several independent units.
- The performance can also be affected, owing to the tasks being spread across different types of microservices.
5). Space-based Architecture Pattern:
The space-based architecture pattern is based on the concept of distributed shared memory. The space-oriented pattern consists of two key components:
- A virtualized middleware
- A processing unit
The processing unit involves portions of app components, which includes web-based components as well as backend business logic. On the other hand, the smaller web app development and deployment can be done in a unit and the larger one can split the app functionality into multiple processing units for avoiding functional collapse.
In addition to this, the virtualized middleware component includes elements, which control numerous aspects of data synchronization and request handling. These can be custom-made or can be bought as third-party products.
Applications of Space-based Architecture Pattern:
- The architecture pattern can be used for apps and software systems, which function through a large user base with a consistent load of requests.
- You can opt for the space-based architecture pattern for the apps, which are supposed to raise concerns about scalability and concurrency issues.
Disadvantages of Space-based Architecture Pattern:
- It is a complicated task for caching the data for speed without having to disturb many copies.
How to Choose the Best Software Architecture Pattern for your Product?
The resemblance between software and architecture is uncanny. It can be unambiguous, concise, and testable. If you are to select your software architecture pattern for your product, you can choose the best one by following the below-mentioned attributes:
When you make a choice in your organization, you should ensure that the architecture pattern should adapt to the modifications in your requirements.
It is crucial for you to select an architecture pattern that can trace any process flow at any given point in time.
Always keep in mind that your requirement is only going to be added. Hence, the architecture pattern should be capable to underpin any additional requirement with minimal overhead.
Assessment of Generalizable:
The architecture approach that you follow should be adaptable in general. It should be able to be applied to any kind of project, regardless of its domain.
Ensure that the pattern you opt for your product is highly usable. As a result, when you are stuck with any issue, you can easily find a way out.