Do you ever wonder how Netflix works, allowing millions of concurrent users to stream their favourite content on their devices? Have you ever thought about how millions of Instagram users share their digital content and stories with their friends and family? Or even how millions of users use online payment methods to shop online? Have you thought about how the software architecture of all these platforms works?
Streaming, social media, and e-commerce applications have become inevitable parts of our lives and it also makes the internet vital for all of us. But hardly do we care how these applications work and perform on such a massive scale. Hardly do we care how these applications work seamlessly across different devices: desktops computers, android devices, apple devices, or even wearables. Well, if this makes you wonder then this post is for you.
One might guess that there are software programming languages and software developers that make these applications and must get all the credit for building amazing applications that touch our everyday lives. But little does one know that there are software architectural design patterns that enable and form the foundation of all software applications.
What is Software Architecture?
Let’s begin with understanding what is software architecture to get a basic idea of the subject.
Software architecture refers to the overall design of a software system, which includes its components, their relationships, and the ways in which they interact with each other. It is similar to how a building is designed with rooms, walls, and other structures, but in the case of software, the focus is on the different modules, databases, and other components that make up the software.
In simple terms, it is the process of designing a blueprint for a software application that outlines how all the different pieces will work together to achieve the desired functionality. It involves making critical decisions about the structure and organisation of the software, such as how it will be built, how the different components will communicate, and how it will be maintained and updated over time. A unified architectural vision enables the system with scalability, modifiability, cost reduction and a reusable model to establish a solid foundation.
Software architecture is important because it helps to ensure that the software system is reliable, scalable, and maintainable, and can meet the needs of the users and stakeholders. Good software architecture provides a strong foundation for the development of high-quality software that is easy to understand, modify, and extend.
Why Architecture is Important in Your Technology Stack
Most of the time business owners only care about the functionality that they want their software technology stack to achieve. But they overlook how their development team has architected the various components of the tech stack.
Software architecture works as a building block of the entire system. A well-defined architecture builds a solid foundation for the software system. The solution architects ensure the software is scalable and fault tolerant with the right IT architecture. It also mitigates the potential risk in the development process and unifies the project with the architectural vision.
With the help of an example, we will explain to you how the architecture enables scalability and fault tolerance in the system.
For instance, your e-commerce technology stack receives an order from a customer, and your order services immediately start to process it. But at this time, let’s assume the inventory service is for some reason going through an upgrade or down for maintenance. And it will fail to reduce the inventory count in its data store. But if your architecture is resilient to faults like this and has a message broker that can keep undelivered messages in a queue, your inventory service shall be able to function normally.
Software architecture is more dynamic than just building a structure of a system, it is a thought process that focuses on creating a scalable architecture that evolves according to the needs of the end users.
Benefits of a Good Software Architecture
If you are still not convinced about the importance of software architecture, then let us introduce you to some of the major benefits of software architecture.
Meet All Requirements
Software is said to be successful and efficient when it meets all the functional, non-functional and technical requirements of the project. A good architecture helps in achieving all these requirements after understanding the requirements of the end users.
Enabling quality attributes
A good software system checks all the boxes of quality attributes i.e., scalability, security, performance, maintainability and fault tolerance. Software architects ensure that software meets all the requirements of the stakeholders with all the necessary quality attributes. A well-planned software architecture focuses on quality attributes to reduce overall costs and improve system performance.
Engaging in communication with stakeholders and end-users, software architects understand and identify the needs and aspects of the project. After identifying and analysing the requirements architects create a software architecture document that allows them to explain their plan to others in a better way.
Change is inevitable in the technological world. New changes in the market landscape, technology upgrades and business processes are some of the reasons why a good software architecture is needed. It not only just helps you in the smooth functioning of the business during such changes but also reduces complexity and allows you to manage the system.
Software architects analyse and identify the needs of the stakeholders and requirements and then create software architecture. They create a plan to build scalable software that works for a longer period of time without facing any technical issues. The scalability of software helps you save a lot of cost and effort that goes into upgrading or replacing the outdated software system.
To sum it up, software architecture is the unsung hero of the software industry that plays a crucial role in the software development process. It helps you in accelerating the growth of your business by making a well-demonstrated architecture that makes your business platform scalable, functional and fault tolerant.
If you also agree with us and believe that software architecture is important then connect with us for world-class software architecture services. At The Nth Bit Labs, we offer you top-notch software architecture solutions that make your digital product scalable and efficient.