Welcome!

AJAX & REA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, ChandraShekar Dattatreya, David H Deans, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Java, SOA & WOA, Open Source, AJAX & REA, Web 2.0, Open Web

Java: Article

Architecture Assurance – The Road to Success

Ensuring successful project implementation

The aim of the Architecture Assurance is to provide collaborative architecture processes for assuring complete implementation of the technical solutions that are aligned with the business drivers of an enterprise in a timely environment. The effective sharing of the information across different Business Units (BU) / departments within an enterprise and interoperability across IT systems would ensure the alignment of IT with business. The Architecture Assurance Group (AAG) is involved in reviewing the Project Architecture during the design and development phases of an application/system to help ensure successful project implementation. This review also ensures that the proposed system fits into the existing enterprise environment as well as the future architecture vision.

The goals of Architecture Assurance include some or all of the following:

  • Identify inconsistencies in the architecture early, which reduces the cost and risk of changes required later in the life cycle
  • Provide an overview of the compliance of architecture to mandated enterprise standards
  • Identify where the standards may require modification
  • Identify services that are currently application-specific but might be provided as part of the enterprise infrastructure
  • Take advantage of advances in technology
  • Communicate to management the status of the technical readiness of the project
  • Identify and communicate significant architectural gaps to product and service providers
  • Establish, own and manage Enterprise Architecture Content
  • Provide architecture governance: guidelines and recommendations on business and IT architecture
  • Ensure and enforce architecture compliance: review changes and deviations in business and IT architecture
  • Resolve architectural ambiguities, issues and conflicts at the enterprise level
  • Identify projects that have high architectural risk, and provide assistance to them early and often throughout the project
  • Provide guidance to project managers and designers to direct architecture compliance
  • Formally review projects to ensure compliance
  • Leverage third-party assessments
  • Leverage COT's products

The main benefits of these reviews are:

Project Success

  • Architecture is reviewed by a group of experienced architects across the enterprise
  • Assistance in leveraging the existing architecture promoting the reusability
  • Architecture for plug and play
  • Promote simplification and standardization
  • Proactively identify risks to the project
  • Provide enterprise-wide context to project team

Maintain the integrity of the enterprise IT environment and expand the user community's access to Enter resources

  • Does the project presents risk to the IT environment (e.g., infrastructure, other applications, users, enterprise policy)
  • Allows Architecture Review Team to proactively recognize when modifications to the architecture are required
  • Allows the project team to provide input to the extension of the proposed architecture
  • Does the project leverage the existing common services where applicable
  • Provides cost effectiveness across the enterprise

Architecture Assurance Methodology
The Architecture Assurance Group is a multi-disciplinary body that is responsible for the maintenance and enforcement of Architecture, Design standards and best practices across the programs/projects. The primary responsibility is to provide governance and ensure compliance of the defined enterprise / solution architecture.

Architecture Assurance is the key success factor in ensuring high quality deliverables for the architecture and design phases. The intent of the Architecture Assurance Process is to ensure that ongoing projects have the right architectural assumptions and that in-flight projects receive architectural guidance throughout the life cycle. This should be a collaborative effort to ensure that project designs and implementations are compliant with the defined architecture

A detailed Architecture Assurance process that achieves these goals is shown in Figure 1.

Review Preparation
Architecture/Design Review(s) should be conducted at a stage when there is still time to correct any major inconsistencies or shortcomings in the program/project.

The Architecture/Design Review is typically targeted for the Analysis SDLC phase and at a point in time when:

  • Business goals, business requirements, policies are defined
  • Ball park clarity of hardware and software requirements & decisions are not finalized
  • Project schedules / timelines are defined
  • Project risk assessment is done

Architecture Review Criteria is:

  • Start Early
  • Drive and Participate in architecture workshop
  • Establish relation with architecture & design teams
  • Involve through architecture & design
  • Involve and review the architecture and design decisions on an ongoing basis
  • Review the intermittent and final architecture deliverables
  • Share architecture best practices
  • Mentor architecture and design teams as appropriate
  • Architectural Risk Analysis and Mitigation
  • Quality attribute analysis of architecture
  • Failure and risk analysis of architecture
  • Mentor on engineering best practices
  • Mentor on Development method, tools & build practices
  • Performance and other NFR related best practices

During the review, the architecture review team needs to extract the information like impacted groups, impacted systems, data feeds, software components required such as build, buy and reuse, security requirement, availability, scalability, error handling, capacity sizing, integration with third parties, data center/hosting facility, etc.

Key activities of the Architecture Assurance Group are:

  • Conduct planned and random formal architecture review workshops for projects and programs
  • Analyze architecture quality attributes against requirements
  • Conduct architecture failure and risk analysis and mitigation plan
  • Identify areas of non-compliance and options to redress shortcomings
  • Conduct formal/informal reviews of intermediate and final architecture deliverables to ensure ongoing compliance and quality
  • Review and track architecture and design decisions

Solution Fitment
In this phase, Architecture Assurance look for a high-level functional fit and nonfunctional fitment of the solution. Also verifies the solution mapping with the design and various options provided for the solution, reasons for the choices, TCO analysis of each option, etc.

Standards Adherence
In this phase, the verification of the alignment of the solution with the architecture requirements is done. Proper realization of the Architecture Principles, Architecture Patterns, IT Strategy alignment are performed in this phase. Any deviation of the standards needs to be approved by the Architecture Assurance Group.

Report Preparation
In this phase, the report will be reviewed in terms of Business, Data, application & Technology. Also, identification of the open items, action items and next steps will be addressed & communicated to the project team

Tracking
The prepared report will be presented to the Program management & track the observations to the closure. In this Phase, we oversee the updated architecture artifacts

Architecture Review Process
To ensure smooth, timely, and low impact reviews, the involved parties should prepare within the guidelines below. The process flow is shown in Figure 2.

The project architecture team is responsible for:

  • Developing a project description that provides sufficient detail for the review team to evaluate architectural risks, including the project size, business impact, NFRs, Architecture Principles
  • Sharing project estimates

The Architecture Assurance Team is responsible for:

  • Assessing projects for architectural impact during the Proposal/Project Initiation phase of the SDLC processes
  • Providing guidance to projects through the design phase to ensure that the final design is architecturally compliant
  • Prepare/Customize Architecture Templates, Architecture Checklist
  • Participate in the Architecture Review meetings to provide support to project teams and to assist the Architecture Assurance Group in decision making.
  • Analyze the filled up Checklist, Summarize the review findings
  • Customize Architecture Metrics

As part of the Architecture Review Process the following standards of the system need to be reviewed and agreed

Business:

  • Business Strategy, Goals & Vision
  • IT Strategy
  • Existing Budgets, Resource Plans, Project Plans
  • Business Scope Description
  • Use Case Specification
  • Business Requirements Document (BRD)
  • Service Level Agreements
  • TCO Model (CAPEX/OPEX etc.) - Funding Status
  • Build/Buy/Reuse(Retrofit) Considerations
  • Business process modeling and workflow system
  • Business Process Optimization
  • Business Process Analysis
  • Business Process Monitoring & SLA's

Application:

  • Application platform
  • Programming/scripting language
  • Testing/monitoring tools
  • User interface platform
  • Enterprise application integration platform
  • Conceptual Architecture
  • Logical Architecture
  • Physical Architecture
  • Security Architecture
  • Portal platform
  • Architecture Frameworks
  • Performance Tuning Plan
  • Migration Plan
  • Tool/Vendor Selection Results

Data:

  • Data Strategy
  • Logical Data Model (LDM)
  • Physical Data Model (PDM)
  • Data integration platform
  • Reporting and data analysis platform

Infrastructure:

  • Server platform and operating system
  • Desktop platform and operating system
  • Bill of Materials
  • H/W & S/W Acquisition/Lease Plan
  • Security Implementation/Management Plan
  • Deployment Plan
  • Operational Readiness Plan
  • Release Plan
  • Network infrastructure
  • System Performance Report
  • Disaster Recovery Plan

Architecture Assurance Lead will perform the following activities:

  • Assign Review Team
  • Disagreement/Issue Resolution
  • Review Findings discussion and agreement & communication with the project/program team

Review members will:

  • Commit to review all materials in advance
  • Prepare detailed questions using this practice standard and Checklist as appropriate
  • Conduct any preliminary research as necessary to be an informed team member
  • Attend all review meetings
  • Provide a final assessment and recommendation based on their interpretation of the impact of the proposed solution architecture and design on the Enterprise Architecture.

Acknowledgments
Authors like to thank Hari Kishan Burle, General Manager, Wipro Technologies for giving us the required time and support in many ways in bringing this article as part of Architecture Assurance Practice efforts.

More Stories By Gopala Krishna Behara

Dr. Gopala Krishna Behara is a Senior Enterprise Architect in the Enterprise Architecture & Solutions division of Wipro. He has a total of 16 years of IT experience. He can be reached at [email protected]

More Stories By Prasad Palli

Prasad Palli is a Practice Partner in the Enterprise Architecture & Solutions division of Wipro. He has a total of 15 years of IT experience. He can be reached at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
15th Cloud Expo, which took place Nov. 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, expanded the conference content of @ThingsExpo, Big Data Expo, and DevOps Summit to include two developer events. IBM held a Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held a Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo floor. The Bluemix Developer Playground, for developers of all levels, highlighted the ease of use of Bluemix, its services and functionalit...
Some developers believe that monitoring is a function of the operations team. Some operations teams firmly believe that monitoring the systems they maintain is sufficient to run the business successfully. Most of them are wrong. The complexity of today's applications have gone far and beyond the capabilities of "traditional" system-level monitoring tools and approaches and requires much broader knowledge of business and applications as a whole. The goal of DevOps is to connect all aspects of app...
The 4th International DevOps Summit, co-located with16th International Cloud Expo – being held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's large...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
When an enterprise builds a hybrid IaaS cloud connecting its data center to one or more public clouds, security is often a major topic along with the other challenges involved. Security is closely intertwined with the networking choices made for the hybrid cloud. Traditional networking approaches for building a hybrid cloud try to kludge together the enterprise infrastructure with the public cloud. Consequently this approach requires risky, deep "surgery" including changes to firewalls, subnets...
Want to enable self-service provisioning of application environments in minutes that mirror production? Can you automatically provide rich data with code-level detail back to the developers when issues occur in production? In his session at DevOps Summit, David Tesar, Microsoft Technical Evangelist on Microsoft Azure and DevOps, will discuss how to accomplish this and more utilizing technologies such as Microsoft Azure, Visual Studio online, and Application Insights in this demo-heavy session.
DevOps is all about agility. However, you don't want to be on a high-speed bus to nowhere. The right DevOps approach controls velocity with a tight feedback loop that not only consists of operational data but also incorporates business context. With a business context in the decision making, the right business priorities are incorporated, which results in a higher value creation. In his session at DevOps Summit, Todd Rader, Solutions Architect at AppDynamics, discussed key monitoring techniques...
Cultural, regulatory, environmental, political and economic (CREPE) conditions over the past decade are creating cross-industry solution spaces that require processes and technologies from both the Internet of Things (IoT), and Data Management and Analytics (DMA). These solution spaces are evolving into Sensor Analytics Ecosystems (SAE) that represent significant new opportunities for organizations of all types. Public Utilities throughout the world, providing electricity, natural gas and water,...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happe...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and asse...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
SYS-CON Media announced that Centrify, a provider of unified identity management across cloud, mobile and data center environments that delivers single sign-on (SSO) for users and a simplified identity infrastructure for IT, has launched an ad campaign on Cloud Computing Journal. The ads focus on security: how an organization can successfully control privilege for all of the organization’s identities to mitigate identity-related risk without slowing down the business, and how Centrify provides ...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
"We help companies that are using a lot of Software as a Service. We help companies manage and gain visibility into what people are using inside the company and decide to secure them or use standards to lock down or to embrace the adoption of SaaS inside the company," explained Scott Kriz, Co-founder and CEO of Bitium, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"SAP had made a big transition into the cloud as we believe it has significant value for our customers, drives innovation and is easy to consume. When you look at the SAP portfolio, SAP HANA is the underlying platform and it powers all of our platforms and all of our analytics," explained Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce at SAP, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
One of the biggest challenges when developing connected devices is identifying user value and delivering it through successful user experiences. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Mike Kuniavsky, Principal Scientist, Innovation Services at PARC, described an IoT-specific approach to user experience design that combines approaches from interaction design, industrial design and service design to create experiences that go beyond simple connected gadgets to create lasting, multi-device exp...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps,...