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Design Guidelines
Describes the design and implementation guidelines.
Role: Software Architect
More Information:

Input to Activities: Output from Activities:

Purpose To top of page

Design Guidelines is a product of the architecture definition. Many people will need this document because it describes the guidelines to be followed during design, architectural design, and implementation.

  • It is an artifact created and maintained by the software architect, and serves as a communication medium between the software architect and other developers.
  • Designers will use it as a reference when defining operations on design classes and when adjusting design classes to the implementation environment.
  • Package owners will use it as a reference when describing dependencies between packages.
  • Implementers will use it as a reference when implementing design classes.
  • Reviewers will use it as a reference when reviewing the software architecture, design model, and implementation model. This resolves a lot of debate regarding the quality of the artifacts produced.
  • Newcomers to the project will use it to understand what is being produced.

When this document is created, an important input is a specification of the implementation environment. Examples of things that should be specified are target platform (hardware, operating system), window system, screens, development tools (language, GUI builder), database management system, and component libraries.

Timing To top of page

The Design Guidelines are developed early in the Elaboration phase, prior to the beginning of significant design work.

Responsibility To top of page

A Software Architect is responsible for producing the Design Guidelines document.

Tailoring To top of page

You should adjust the outline of the Design Guidelines document for these reasons:

  • Some of the General Design and Implementation Guidelines may be irrelevant for your project.
  • You may need additional sections and appendices to describe how to handle any mechanisms that are not handled here.
  • The order of the various sections may vary, depending on the system's stakeholders and their focus or interest.

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