Chapter 13 Review Questions. 13.1. Give a definition of architecture in an information systems context. . 13.1 Answer. System architecture shows the big picture. High-level view of the system.
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Firstly, the choice of existing technical aspects such as operating system, middleware, development language, database and the component or service structure of existing systems will influence those choices for the new system.
Secondly, where there are reusable assets, such as components or services, the new system will be able to reuse these.
Thirdly, there may be existing systems whose architecture does not provide a pattern for future systems, and the architecture of the new system may have to interface to these through some kind of middleware or adapters.
Peer-to-peer communication requires each subsystem to know the interface of the other, thus coupling them more tightly. The communication is two way since either peer subsystem may request services from the other.
Open layered architectures are more difficult to maintain because each layer may communicate with all lower layers hence increasing the degree of coupling in the architecture. A change to one layer may ripple too many layers.