An architectural pattern is a general, reusable solution to a commonly occurring problem in software architecture within a given context. Architectural patterns are similar to software design pattern but have a broader scope. The architectural patterns address various issues in software engineering, such as computer hardware performance limitations, high availability and minimization of a business risk. Some architectural patterns have been implemented within software frameworks.
Even though an architectural pattern conveys an image of a system, it is not an architecture. An architectural pattern is a concept that solves and delineates some essential cohesive elements of a software architecture. Countless different architectures may implement the same pattern and share the related characteristics. Patterns are often defined as "strictly described and commonly available". When it is strictly described and commonly available, it is a pattern.
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Following traditional building architecture, a 'software architectural style' is a specific method of construction, characterized by the features that make it notable" (Architectural style). "An architectural style defines: a family of systems in terms of a pattern of structural organization; a vocabulary of components and connectors, with constraints on how they can be combined."
"An architectural style is a named collection of architectural design decisions that (1) are applicable in a given development context, (2) constrain architectural design decisions that are specific to a particular system within that context, and (3) elicit beneficial qualities in each resulting system."
Some treat architectural patterns and architectural styles as the same, some treat styles as specializations of patterns. What they have in common is both patterns and styles are idioms for architects to use, they "provide a common language" or "vocabulary" with which to describe classes of systems.
The main difference is that a pattern can be seen as a solution to a problem, while a style is more general and does not require a problem to solve for its appearance.
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Some additional examples of architectural patterns:
- Blackboard system
- Broker Pattern
- Event-driven architecture
- Implicit invocation
- Model-view-controller, Presentation-abstraction-control, Model-view-presenter, and Model-view-viewmodel
- Multitier architecture (often three-tier or n-tier)
- Naked objects
- Operational Data Store (ODS)
- Pipe and filter architecture
- Service-oriented architecture
- List of software architecture styles and patterns
- Process Driven Messaging Service
- Enterprise architecture
- Common layers in an information system logical architecture
- R. N. Taylor, N. Medvidović and E. M. Dashofy, Software architecture: Foundations, Theory and Practice. Wiley, 2009.
- Chang, Chih-Hung; Lu, Chih-Wei; Lin, Chih-Hao; Yang, Ming-Feng; Tsai, Ching-Fu (June 2008). "An Experience of Applying Pattern-based Software Framework to Improve the Quality of Software Development: 4. The Design and Implementation of OS2F". Journal of Software Engineering Studies, Vol. 2, No. 6. the Third Taiwan Conference on Software Engineering (TCSE07). pp. 185–194. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
Furthermore, patterns are often defined as something "strictly described and commonly available". For example, layered architecture is a call-and-return style, when it defines an overall style to interact.
- "Architectural Patterns: Definition". AAHN INFOTECH (INDIA) PVT. LTD. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
Even though an architectural pattern conveys an image of a system, it is not an architecture as such. An architectural pattern is rather a concept that solves and delineates some essential cohesive elements of a software architecture. Countless different architectures may implement the same pattern and thereby share the related characteristics. Furthermore, patterns are often defined as something "strictly described and commonly available".
- M. Shaw and D. Garlan, Software architecture: perspectives on an emerging discipline. Prentice Hall, 1996.
Avgeriou, Paris; Uwe Zdun (2005). "Architectural patterns revisited:a pattern language". 10th European Conference on Pattern Languages of Programs (EuroPlop 2005), Irsee, Germany, July.
Buschmann F.; Meunier R.; Rohnert H.; Sommerlad P.; Stal M. (1996). Pattern-Oriented Software Architecture: A System of Patterns. John Wiley & Sons.
Bass L.; Clements P.; Kazman R. (2005). Software Architecture in Practice: Second Edition. Addison-Wesley.