G. Buchgeher, R. Weinreich: Connecting Architecture and Implementation, 8th International Workshop on System/Software Architectures (IWSSA'09), Vilamoura, Portugal, November 1-6, 2009, Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS), Springer 2009.
Software architectures are still typically defined and described independently from implementation. To avoid architectural erosion and drift, architectural representation needs to be continuously updated and synchronized with system implementation. Existing approaches for architecture representation like informal architecture documentation, UML diagrams, and Architecture Description Languages (ADLs) provide only limited support for connecting architecture descriptions and implementations. Architecture management tools like Lattix, SonarJ, and Sotoarc and UML-tools tackle this problem by extracting architecture information directly from code. This approach works for low-level architectural abstractions like classes and interfaces in object-oriented systems but fails to support architectural abstractions not found in programming languages. In this paper we present an approach for linking and continuously synchronizing a formalized architecture representation to an implementation. The approach is a synthesis of functionality provided by code-centric architecture management and UML tools and higher-level architecture analysis approaches like ADLs.