Are you an entrepreneur planning to launch your IT application? Or, are you an enterprise IT manager in charge of building a new enterprise IT application? Before you start building your system, you need to decide the most appropriate software architecture. We explain the top 10 software architectural patterns here.
In this article, we will cover the most relevant questions regarding software architectural patterns:
Before delving into the common architectural patterns, let’s understand what software architecture is. Software architecture is a pictorial representation of the IT system that communicates the following:
The schematic representation is an outcome of the design principles software architects use and the decisions they make. A typical software architecture requires decisions concerning security, performance, manageability, etc.
The design principles, architectural decisions, and their outcome, i.e., software architecture together enable a software system to deliver its’ business, operational, and technical objectives. You need to get the software architecture right due to the following reasons:
The following are indications that you have a good software architecture:
It’s time to study the 10 most common patterns, so, here we go:
We often use ‘N-tier architecture’, or ‘Multi-tiered architecture’ to denote “layered architecture pattern”. It’s one of the most commonly used patterns where the code is arranged in layers. The key characteristics of this pattern are as follows:
This pattern has the following advantages:
Popular frameworks like Java EE use this pattern.
There are a few disadvantages too, as follows:
“Client-server software architecture pattern” is another commonly used one, where there are 2 entities. It has a set of clients and a server. The following are key characteristics of this pattern:
Email applications are good examples of this pattern. The pattern has several advantages, as follows:
Some disadvantages of the client-server architecture are as follows:
“Master-slave architecture pattern” is useful when clients make multiple instances of the same request. The requests need simultaneous handling. Following are its’ key characteristics:
Advantages of this pattern are the following:
Any application involving multi-threading can make use of this pattern, e.g., monitoring applications used in electrical energy systems.
There are a few disadvantages to this pattern, e.g.:
Suppose you have complex processing in hand. You will likely break it down into separate tasks and process them separately. This is where the “Pipe-filter” architecture pattern comes into use. The following characteristics distinguish it:
Compilers often use this pattern, due to the following advantages:
Watch out for a few disadvantages:
Consider distributed systems with components that provide different services independent of each other. Independent components could be heterogeneous systems on different servers, however, clients still need their requests serviced. “Broker architecture pattern” is a solution to this.
It has the following broad characteristics:
Message broker software like IBM MQ uses this pattern. The pattern has a few distinct advantages, e.g.:
“Peer-to-peer (P2P) pattern” is markedly different from the client-server pattern since each computer on the network has the same authority. Key characteristics of the P2P pattern are as follows:
File-sharing networks are good examples of the P2P pattern. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency networks are other examples. The advantages of a P2P network are as follows:
Under heavy load, the P2P pattern has performance limitations, as the questions surrounding the Bitcoin transaction throughout show.
There are applications when components act only when there is data to be processed. At other times, these components are inactive. “Event-bus pattern” works well for these, and it has the following characteristics:
This software architecture pattern is also used in Android development.
Some disadvantages of this pattern are as follows:
The development team should make provision for sufficient fall-back options in the event the event-bus has a failure.
“Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture pattern” involves separating an applications’ data model, presentation layer, and control aspects. Following are its’ characteristics:
This pattern is popular. Many web frameworks like Spring and Rails use it, therefore, many web applications utilize this pattern. Its’ advantages are as follows:
There are also a few disadvantages, for e.g.:
Emerging from the world of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ (AI) development, the “Blackboard architecture pattern” is more of a stop-gap arrangement. Its’ noticeable characteristics are as follows:
Image recognition, speech recognition, etc. use this architecture pattern. It has a few advantages, as follows:
There are also limitations, for e.g.:
A pattern specific to certain use cases, the “Interpreter pattern” deals with the grammar of programming languages. It offers an interpreter for the language. It works as follows:
The use of this pattern is in creating “Classes” from symbols in programming languages. You create a grammar for the language, so that interpretation of sentences becomes possible. Network protocol languages and SQL uses this pattern.
Are you trying to find the best software architectural pattern for your key application? You need to make the right choice the first time, however, you need qualified software architects for that. It’s a hot skill. You might need a professional.
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