A Thesis Proposal on Software Reference Architecture Analysis and Review

Today I have presented my thesis proposal entitled “A Framework for Software Reference Architecture Analysis and Review”. You can find below a summary, the slides and the presentation below.


Nowadays, the size and complexity of software systems, together with critical time-to-market needs, pushes organizations to continuously look for techniques to improve their IT services in general, and the design of software architectures in particular. The use of software reference architectures allows organizations to reuse architectural knowledge and software components in a systematic way and, hence, to reduce costs.

Software reference architectures mainly appear in organizations in which the multiplicity of software systems (i.e., systems developed at multiple locations, by multiple vendors and across multiple organizations) triggers a need for life-cycle support for all systems. Therefore, software reference architectures are very attractive when organizations become large and distributed in order to develop new systems or new versions of systems. In return, organizations face the need to analyze the return-on-investment in adopting software reference architectures, and to review these software reference architectures in order to ensure their quality and incremental improvement.

This thesis proposal presents the need of supporting organizations to decide on the adoption of software reference architectures and its subsequent suitability for the organization purposes. We propose an empirical framework aimed to help practitioners in such tasks by harvesting relevant evidence in software reference architecture projects from the wide spectrum of involved stakeholders and commonly available information and documentation. Such a framework comes from an action-research approach held in everis, an IT consulting firm.

This document presents the state-of-the-art and the first steps that have been carried out to achieve these goals, together with a schedule for forthcoming work.