ISSN : 1796-217X
Volume : 3    Issue : 3    Date : March 2008

Managing Software Architectural Evolution at Multiple Levels of Abstraction
Tien N. Nguyen
Page(s): 60-70
Full Text:
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Software development is a dynamic process where engineers constantly modify and refine
systems. As a consequence, system architecture evolves over time. Software architectural evolution
has been managed at different abstraction levels: the meta level, the architectural level, the
application level, and the implementation level. However, management supports for architectural
evolution are limited to evolution mechanisms in architectural description languages such as
subtyping, inheritance, interface, and genericity. This paper presents a model-oriented version and
configuration control approach to managing the evolution of architectural entities and relationships
among them in configurations at different levels of abstraction. This paper also illustrates our
approach in building an architectural configuration management system, MolhadoArch, that is
capable of managing configurations and versions of software architecture across multiple levels of
abstraction in a uniform and tightly connected manner. In MolhadoArch, consistent configurations
are maintained not only among source code but also with the high-level software architecture.
MolhadoArch supports the management of both planned and unplanned evolution of software
architecture. We have conducted an experimental study to show that MolhadoArch can handle large
and real-world systems. By evaluation, we learned that the benefits outweigh the extra space
needed to represent architectural entities.

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