Discovering architectural rules in practice

S. Schröder, G. Buchgeher. Discovering architectural rules in practice. pages 10-13, DOI 10.1145/3344948.3344956, 9, 2019.

  • Sandra Schröder
  • Georg Buchgeher
BuchProceedings of the 13th European Conference on Software Architecture - Volume 2 (ECSA '19)
TypIn Konferenzband

Architecture conformance checking is an important technique to verify whether a software system's implementation adheres to predefined architectural rules. The adherence to architectural rules is crucial, since architectural rules are intended to ensure that fundamental properties are correctly implemented in the source code. A lot of tools have been proposed and developed for automatic conformance checking. They are also successfully applied in industry. However, those tools mainly focus on the validation of static dependencies between modules or on ensuring the adherence to the layered architecture. In this poster, we present an industrial case study which discovers architectural rules from three industrial projects. This study shows that software architects also define other types of architectural rules that are not yet covered by state-of-the-art conformance checking tools. The architectural rules found in the projects are categorized into architectural rule categories. We use four representative tools as examples and show that the tools are able to formalize only a specific extent of the discovered rules. The results of the study motivate for improving existing tools and to collect further examples of architectural rules that can potentially be reused in projects with similar characteristics.