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Architectural Design

An important part of any software project is the architectural design. In a simple web site, this could just be identifying the layout of the site. In a much bigger system it would identify all code relationships, interfaces, database design etc. This could be as simple as function identification for an email form to a full UML diagram with use cases, process diagrams, and class definitions.

System Functionality

In the architectural design phase, the detailed functionality of the site should be identified. This will help in the organization of the development process and ensures the compatibility within the different systems. This phase will help identify the detail of design needed, and the different systems involved.

System Interfacing

Once a system has been identified for interfacing, the method of interfacing and the protocols used should be layed out and documented for adherance by all developers.

Database Layout

A proper database layout is key to any system. When using databases within your system, the layout should be defined early on in the development to allow all developers to adhere properly. Once the architecture is known, and the needs are understood, a clean database layout should be agreed upon by all the team members expected to interact with the database.

Shared Code

Part of a good architecture for any system provides for the re-use of similar functions. by identifying these areas, the team can mitigate the code needed and improve the performance of the system.

Site Organization

Site organization with respect to the Architectural phase refers to the file structure of the code as it is organized on the server. Team members will need to know where the shared code/files will reside and where to put any new code/files for sharing. This should be identified in this phase as well.

Technology Decisions

Throughout the Architectural Design, attention to the functionality of the system aids the architect in making a decision on which software platform should be used to build the server-side system. Other factors which impact the decision include client preferences, hosting requirements, monotary constraints, team familiarity, etc.. Once this decision is made, it is time to move on to the next phase.

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