If we look at architectures, the results of architecting by architects, the following examples may support this.
- The system, its subsystems and the relationships between the subsystems, evolving over time;
- System description;
- Table of contents;
- City plan;
- Geographic map.
The architecture defines the corresponding system and is its most stable part.
An architect, from the Greek, is a "master builder".
Why is architecture important ?
Complex systems need an architecture. It gives an overview for the system at hand and is used as a planning purpose, for investments, for development and for required changes in the system over time.
Vitruvius, in his ten books on architecture, mentions two points: - the thing signified and that which gives its significance. An architect should be well versed in both directions. Furthermore, he remarks that mathematicians (!) make great architects.
Architects have a toolbox filled with methods, techniques and other useful digital materials, that will assist them in arriving at the required solutions. The c:drive of his PC is one of the most important assets of the architect. Of course, experience is required to create the right kind of toolbox. And when using this toolbox for client engagements, they will still find it necessairy to Think.
Tools won't work for Fools, that is, you can't depend on tools alone and the tools should be made such that they offer good support. Furthermore, architects should share experiences in order to produce better solutions - heroes are also fools on the hill. You will find that many architects (still) depend on Microsoft Office tools. There is a trend that this may change in the coming years.
Together, we should build this toolbox for reuse by architects. It's all about recurring patterns in and from the things that we do.