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alignment of the Convergent Architecture and to help drive progress in this very promising area of standardization.
Lastly, this book presents an IT architectural style to the public. It puts a stake in the ground by defining something concrete that can be used, discussed, and improved on by many parties over time. We are convinced that the Convergent Architecture constitutes a reasonable and logical step in the ongoing evolution of the Information Age. In other words, we do not think that it is a question of whether many of the concepts demonstrated in this book become widely used in the software industry; rather, it is just a question of when and under what name or designation.
We also believe that after reading the first few chapters of this book, strategic decision makers will feel at home with our approach to continuous long-term improvement. One of the primary goals of the Convergent Architecture is to help strategic IT managers at the corporate level to instill a sense of overall direction and purpose into their IT strategy. It should help them remove numerous sources of complexity and stress across their entire organization and help them put an end to the frustrating cycles of reactive symptom control. By introducing the era of corporate architectural style, the Convergent Architecture will help IT managers open new doors to otherwise unachievable returns at all levels of a business.
How This Book Is Organized
This book proceeds with increasing levels of detail. It begins with the design and justification of IT architectural style in general and moves on to explain each part of the Convergent Architecture in a logical manner. The coverage of the Convergent Architecture begins with an outline, or roadmap, and then drills down into the specific features of the roadmap. Each subsequent chapter then describes the design and justification of one of these features. It also explains how to apply this feature beginning at the level of individual projects on up to the level of corporate IT organization.
Chapter 1 introduces the concept of architectural style in general and its potential in the IT field. Analogies and examples are used from other industries to explain the significant advantages attainable through an IT architectural style. It also defines IT architectural style and its design—its structure, models, principles, and relationships—and the application of a style in reality-scale situations.
Chapter 2 provides an overview and roadmap of the Convergent Architecture as an IT architectural style. It describes how the concepts and design from Chapter 1 are applied in the Convergent Architecture. It also presents the anatomy and the big picture of the Convergent Architecture, introducing each stylistic feature and its advantages in real-world projects. Each feature is then detailed in the remaining chapters of the book.
Chapter 3 justifies and defines the Convergent Architecture metamodel. This top-level feature of the Convergent Architecture composes the long-term vision and fundamental design principles of the architectural style.
Chapter 4 presents the Convergent Component metamodel as a prime vehicle of the architecture. This is the first of three design models that visibly transport the
principles from Chapter 3 into real-world modeling styles, techniques, tools, and automated infrastructure mappings. It defines the application of MDA and an architectural tool suite (the architectural IDE) in the context of an architectural style.
Chapter 5 outlines the IT organization model and its application of the RUP. This model constitutes a concrete reference frame for the business of building IT systems in the context of an architectural style. It defines the organization, workers, roles, tools, and interactions of all stakeholders in the Convergent Architecture.
Chapter 6 presents the Development-Process model, which complements the IT organization model. This detailed development process constitutes an applied instance of the RUP and its architectural tool support in the context of the architectural style.
Chapter 7 illustrates the integrated architectural tool suite and how it supports the architectural style as defined in Chapters 1 through 6—how it supports the component, organization, and process models of the Convergent Architecture. The tool suite, known as an architectural IDE, is described in detail. The chapter exhibits how the concepts of MDA and the Convergent Architecture are applied using an available architectural IDE (ArcStyler) that embeds and drives best-of-breed component tools such as Rational Rose, JBuilder, and diverse J2EE/EJB application servers in the context of the architectural style.
Chapter 8 is a tutorial that applies the concepts of the Convergent Architecture in an end-to-end example using the architectural IDE. It exhibits each step of the model-driven development process from the initial business design through to the generation, deployment, and testing of J2EE/EJB components, including their Web services and Web front-ends. It shows how MDA is supported by the architectural IDE to develop and manage all four tiers of the J2EE blueprints (J2EE Blueprints 2001) in the context of a comprehensive architectural style.