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Book : The Art of Systems Architecting, Third Edition (2009)

The Art of Systems Architecting, Third Edition

Publisher:CRC Press

Author(s):Maier, M.W.Rechtin, E.R.

Published: 2009 • ISBN: 1420079131 • 472 pages • Delivery Format: Hard Copy - Hardback

Available from: Amazon (DE)Amazon (UK)Amazon (US)

Other Versions: 1996


From the publisher:


  • Discusses a heuristics-based approach that provides an organized attack on very ill-structured engineering problems
  • Includes heuristics and case studies that address critical market segments, such as builder-architected systems, software-systems, and systems-of-systems
  • Examines architecture as more than a set of diagrams and documents, but as a set of decisions that either drive a system to success or doom it to failure
  • Provides methods for integrating business strategy with technical architectural decision making
  • Covers the foundations of systems architecting, the general roots of the practices, and practitioner guidance


If engineering is the art and science of technical problem solving, systems architecting happens when you don’t yet know what the problem is. The third edition of a highly respected bestseller, The Art of Systems Architecting provides in-depth coverage of the least understood part of systems design: moving from a vague concept and limited resources to a satisfactory and feasible system concept and an executable program. The book provides a practical, heuristic approach to the “art” of systems architecting. It provides methods for embracing, and then taming, the growing complexity of modern systems.

New in the Third Edition:

  • Five major case studies illustrating successful and unsuccessful practices
  • Information on architecture frameworks as standards for architecture descriptions
  • New methods for integrating business strategy and architecture and the role of architecture as the technical embodiment of strategy
  • Integration of process guidance for organizing and managing architecture projects
  • Updates to the rapidly changing fields of software and systems-of-systems architecture
  • Organization of heuristics around a simple and practical process model

A Practical Heuristic Approach to the Art of Systems Architecting

Extensively rewritten to reflect the latest developments, the text explains how to create a system from scratch, presenting invention/design rules together with clear explanations of how to use them. The author supplies practical guidelines for avoiding common systematic failures while implementing new mandates. He uses a heuristics-based approach that provides an organized attack on very ill-structured engineering problems. Examining architecture as more than a set of diagrams and documents, but as a set of decisions that either drive a system to success or doom it to failure, the book provide methods for integrating business strategy with technical architectural decision making.

Content / Structure

Part I: Introduction

A Brief Review of Classical Architecting Methods

Chapter 1 Extending the Architecting Paradigm

  • Introduction: The Classical Architecting Paradigm
  • Responding to Complexity
  • The High Rate of Advances in the Computer and Information Sciences
  • The Foundations of Modern Systems Architecting
  • The Architecture Paradigm Summarized
  • The Waterfall Model of Systems Acquisition
  • Spirals, Increments, and Collaborative Assembly
  • Scopes of Architecting

Chapter 2 Heuristics as Tools

  • Introduction: A Metaphor
  • Heuristics as Abstractions of Experience
  • Selecting a Personal Kit of Heuristic Tools
  • Using Heuristics
  • A Process Framework for Architecting Heuristics
  • Heuristics on Heuristics
  • A Taxonomy of Heuristics
  • New Directions

Part II: New Domains, New Insights

Case Study 1: DC-3

  • The History
  • Architecture Interpretation
  • Three Story Variations
  • Was the Boeing 247 Successfully Architected?
  • What Is the "Architecture" of the DC-3?
  • Art Raymond’s Principles

Chapter 3 Builder-Architected Systems

  • Introduction: The Form-First Paradigm
  • Technological Substitutions within Existing Systems
  • Consequences of Uncertainty of End Purpose
  • Architecture and Competition
  • Reducing the Risks of Uncertainty of End Purpose
  • Risk Management by Intermediate Goals
  • The "What Next?" Quandary
  • Controlling the Critical Features of the Architecture
  • Abandonment of an Obsolete Architecture
  • Creating Innovative Teams
  • Architecting "Revolutionary" Systems
  • Systems Architecting and Basic Research
  • Heuristics for Architecting Technology-Driven Systems
  • Case Study 2: Mass and Lean Production
    • Introduction
    • An Architectural History of Mass Production
    • Cottage Industry (1890s to 1910s)
    • Birth of Mass Production (1908–1913)
    • Competition from New Quarters (1920s to 1930s)
    • The Toyota Production System (1940s to 1980s)
    • Metaphor or Vision Changes
    • Craftsmen
    • A Car for the Masses, or If We Build It, It Will Sell
    • Cars as Fashion
    • The Supermarket Metaphor
    • The Toyota Way
    • Elements of the Architecture of the Ford Production System
    • The Assembly Line
    • Enterprise Distribution
    • Management Processes
    • Quality Assurance for Distributed Production
    • Devotion to Component-Level Simplification
    • Social Contract

Chapter 4 Manufacturing Systems

  • Introduction: The Manufacturing Domain
  • Manufacturing in Context
  • Architectural Innovations in Manufacturing
  • Dynamic Manufacturing Systems
  • Lean Production
  • Flexible Manufacturing
  • Heuristics for Architecting Manufacturing Systems
  • Case Study 3: Intelligent Transportation Systems
    • Introduction
    • ITS Concepts
    • ITS Sociotechnical Issues
    • Who Is the Client for an Architect?
    • Public or Private?
    • Facts and Perceptions
    • Architecture as Shared Invariants
    • Dominance of Economics

Chapter 5 Social Systems

  • Introduction: Defining Sociotechnical Systems
  • Public Participation
  • The Foundations of Sociotechnical Systems
  • Architecting The Separation of Client and User
  • Socioeconomic Insights
  • The Interaction between the Public and Private Sectors
  • Facts versus Perceptions: An Added Tension
  • Heuristics for Social Systems
  • Case Study 4: Hierarchical to Layered Systems
    • Business Background
    • Motivation for Change
    • The Layered Alternative
    • The Pain of the Transition
    • Results

Chapter 6 Software and Information Technology Systems

  • Introduction: The Status of Software Architecting
  • Software as a System Component
  • Systems, Software, and Process Models
  • The Problem of Hierarchy
  • The Role of Architecture in Software-Centered Systems
  • Programming Languages, Models, and Expression
  • Architectures, "Unifying" Models, and Visions
  • Directions in Software Architecting
  • Exercises
  • Case Study 5: The Global Positioning System
    • The History
    • The Origins of GPS: The Foundational Programs
    • Inertial Navigation and Its Limits
    • Weapon Delivery
    • The Transit Program
    • 621B
    • The Origin of GPS
    • Parkinson and Currie
    • The Fateful Weekend
    • The Long Road to Revolution
    • The Timeline to Operation
    • Commercial Markets and the Gulf War
    • Revolution in the Second Generation
    • Ubiquitous GPS
    • GPS-Guided Weapons
    • Architecture Interpretation
    • Right Idea, Right Time, Right People
    • Be Technically Aggressive, But Not Suicidal
    • Consensus without Compromise
    • Architecture as Invariants
    • Revolution through Coupled Change

Chapter 7 Collaborative Systems

  • Introduction: Collaboration as a Category
  • Collaborative System Examples
  • Analogies for Architecting Collaborative Systems
  • Collaborative System Heuristics
  • Variations on the Collaborative Theme
  • Misclassification
  • Standards and Collaborative Systems  

Part III: Models and Modeling

  • Introduction to Part III
    • A Civil Architecture Analogy
    • Guide to Part III

Chapter 8 Representation Models and Systems Architecting

  • Introduction: Roles, Views, and Models
  • Roles of Models
  • Models, Viewpoints, and Views
  • Classification of Models by View
  • Conclusion
  • Exercises
  • Notes and References

Chapter 9 Design Progression in Systems Architecting

  • Introduction: Architecting Process Components
  • Design Progression
  • Introduction by Examples
  • Design as the Evolution of Models
  • Evaluation Criteria and Heuristic Refinement
  • Design Concepts for Systems Architecture
  • Architecture and Design Disciplines

Chapter 10 Integrated Modeling Methodologies

  • Introduction
  • General Integrated Models
  • Integrated Modeling and Software
  • Integrated Models for Manufacturing Systems
  • Integrated Models for Sociotechnical Systems

Chapter 11 Architecture Frameworks

  • Introduction
  • Defining an Architecture Framework
  • Current Architecture Frameworks
  • Research Directions
  • Adapting Processes to Frameworks
  • Conclusion
  • Notes and References

Part IV: The Systems Architecting Profession

Chapter 12 Architecting in Business and Government

  • Problem-System-Program-Organization
  • Strategy and Architecture in Business and Government
  • Architecture of Programs
  • Strategic Architecting of Programs
  • Enterprise Architecture

Chapter 13 The Political Process and Systems Architecting

  • Introduction: The Political Challenge
  • Politics as a Design Factor
  • The First Skill to Master
  • Heuristics in the Political Process: "The Facts of Life"
  • A Few More Skills to Master

Chapter 14 The Professionalization of Systems Architecting

  • Introduction
  • The Profession of Systems Engineering
  • Systems Architecting and Systems Standards
  • The Origins of Systems Standards
  • Commercial Standards
  • Company Standards
  • A Summary of Standards Developments, 1950–1995
  • Systems Architecting
  • Graduate Education
  • Curriculum Design
  • Advanced Study in Systems Architecting
  • Professional Societies and Publications
  • Conclusion: An Assessment of the Profession
  • Notes and References

Appendix A: Heuristics for Systems-Level Architecting

  • Introduction: Organizing the List
  • Heuristic Tool List
  • Exercises
  • Notes and References

Appendix B: Reference Texts Suggested for Institutional Libraries

  • Architecting Background
  • Management
  • Modeling
  • Specialty Areas
  • Software
  • Systems Sciences
  • Systems Thinking

Appendix C: On Defining Architecture and Other Terms

  • Defining "Architecture"
  • Models, Viewpoints, and Views
  • Reference


Author Index

Subject Index

Copyright 1996, 2009 by CRC Press LLC


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