On the Similarity between Requirements and Architecture

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Many would agree that there is a relationship between requirements engineering and software architecture. However, there have always been different opinions about the exact nature of this relationship. Nevertheless, all arguments have been based on one overarching notion: that of requirements as problem description and software architecture as the structure of a software system that solves that problem, with components and connectors as the main elements. Recent developments in the software architecture field show a change in how software architecture is perceived. There is a shift from viewing architecture as only structure to a broader view of 'architectural knowledge' that emphasizes the treatment of architectural design decisions as first-class entities. From this emerging perspective we argue that there is no fundamental distinction between architectural decisions and architecturally significant requirements. This new view on the intrinsic relation between architecture and requirements allows us to identify areas in which closer cooperation between the architecture and requirements engineering communities would bring advantages for both. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-550
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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