Summary: Documenting after the fact: Recovering architectural design decisions
Anton Jansen a,*, Jan Bosch b
, Paris Avgeriou a
Department of Mathematics and Computing Science, University of Groningen, P.O. Box 800, 9700AV Groningen, The Netherlands
Intuit, 2632 Marine Way, Mountain View, CA 94043, USA
Received 6 July 2006; received in revised form 31 July 2007; accepted 6 August 2007
Available online 29 August 2007
Software architecture documentation helps people in understanding the software architecture of a system. In practice, software archi-
tectures are often documented after the fact, i.e. they are maintained or created after most of the design decisions have been made and
implemented. To keep the architecture documentation up-to-date an architect needs to recover and describe these decisions.
This paper presents ADDRA, an approach an architect can use for recovering architectural design decisions after the fact. ADDRA
uses architectural deltas to provide the architect with clues about these design decisions. This allows the architect to systematically
recover and document relevant architectural design decisions. The recovered architectural design decisions improve the documentation
of the architecture, which increases traceability, communication, and general understanding of a system.
Ó 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Architectural design decisions; Software architecture recovery