Journal 9


October 2006


Dear Architect,

I would like to be the first to welcome you to Issue 9 of The Architecture Journal, the theme of which is "software factories."

Henry Ford was one of the pioneers of building a factory that first used a production line in the early 20th century. Much of his work was notable because it led to higher production rates for workers and more inexpensive products. Stepping forward almost a hundred years, and for many of the same reasons, the term and application have now become part of the daily vocabulary in our industry.

One of the books that first popularized the thinking in this area is Software Factories: Assembling Applications with Patterns, Models, Frameworks, and Tools by Jack Greenfield and others (Wiley 2004). Building on the ideas outlined in this book, we are incredibly fortunate to have coauthors Jack Greenfield and Steve Cook lead off this issue of The Architecture Journal.

In his article, "Bare-Naked Languages," Jack explains how to fit domain-specific languages (DSLs) into the software-factories methodology and covers some common pitfalls to avoid when using this approach. As part of Jack's article, we are also introducing a new feature in this issue. Many readers have been asking for more information about the careers of well-known and respected software architects. As well as having Jack write our lead article, we had the chance to sit down with him and get the full details on his career, which are outlined in a new "Profile of an Architect" section. I hope you enjoy his answers, and we look forward to suggestions about whom you would like to see profiled in upcoming issues.

Steve Cook's article digs into the details of using DSLs to simplify larger problems into smaller problems, including the application in a software-factory platform. Marcel de Vries continues the software-factories theme, providing a look at the reporting and warehouse capabilities necessary to determine which aspects of product development need improvement.

Tom Fuller, returning contributor to The Architecture Journal, looks at a foundation for the pillars of software factories to promote reusability and other strategic processes. Steve Eadie from EDS follows Tom's article with a view of the perspective of implementing software factories from a Global System Integrator (GSI). Steve offers some thoughts about using software factories through the lens of GSI, even with a development team that's located all around the world.

Finally, Lewis Curtis and George Cerbone outline their thoughts around a method for perspective-based architecture. This way of analyzing requirements is a technique that architects can use to "ask the right questions" for projects in which they're engaged.

In the spirit of Henry Ford's innovation, I hope this issue of The Architecture Journal helps you build software factories and production lines that enable you to offer software in any shape, size, and even painted in any color—well, as long as it's black, of course!

Simon Guest

Articles in This Issue

Bare-Naked Languages or What Not to Model
Domain-specific languages (DSLs) are useful as stand-alone languages, but not everyone knows when or when not to use them. Find out how you can fit DSLs into the software factories methodology to build useful assets and avoid common pitfalls.

Domain-Specific Modeling
The essence of DSLs is to simplify larger problems into smaller problems. Discover how special-purpose DSLs can be applied within a software factory platform and authoring environment.

Measuring Success with Software Factories
Building today's software can be an inefficient one-off or project-at-a-time development process. Learn how to gather the metrics necessary to "industrialize" software development for predictability in addition to better productivity and quality.

A Foundation for the Pillars of Software Factories
Process strategies can help your organization overcome the problems that software developers face today. Look at how to adopt production line methodologies to promote reusability and use strategic processes like architecture-driven development.

A GSI's Perspective of Software Factories
Increasing productivity while maintaining user satisfaction is a concern for companies of all sizes. See how to make a Global Systems Integrator (GSI) take advantage of a software factory approach to be more cost effective, even if the developer team is spread worldwide.

The Perspective-Based Architecture Method
Innovation requires making quick, cost-effective decisions for organizations, and aligning new business solutions with IT environments increases complexity. Organize your strategic thinking by using the PBA method, which supports high-quality decision making through well-focused questions.

Download this issue here

This article was published in the Architecture Journal, a print and online publication produced by Microsoft. For more articles from this publication, please visit the Architecture Journal Web site.