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TC 497 Fall 2016

Architecture sketch assignment

Presentations Nov. 1522

Slides due on Canvas after your presentation

An architecture document captures the state of your thinking about the global design of your system,
without necessarily going into detail about individual classes, data structures or algorithms. Sometimes
this is an extended document of the sort weve been working on in the class. However, time is short, so
instead we will do this as a set of informal, somewhat extemporaneous presentations. Ill describe the
content below.
First of all, this is a low-stress assignment! Think of it as a chance to workshop some design ideas. The
point is not to show off what a definitive, polished design you have. It's better in some ways if it's
rough--that means if you get feedback that suggests possible changes, it's less painful if you haven't
committed a ton of work polishing. Rough (but legible) is fine. Hand-drawn is fine as long as its clean
and legible.
What I want each TEAM to do is bring in a sketch of whatever captures the essence of your design.
Exactly what you try to capture is up to you. It's good to try to keep things at a conceptual level. We
don't need details of datatypes or private variables, stuff like that. What I want you to do is to capture
the overall gestalt of your system. But I want to see three things specifically:
1. Introduction, including a high-level overview of the project to provide some context for the
2. Structural views
Static structure: class diagrams, database schema, deployment diagram, etc. (as appropriate)
3. Behavioral views
Dynamic behavior: sequence diagram, activity diagram, statechart diagram, etc. (as appropriate)
4. Conclusion: What is the main takeaway for implementers and managers? Next steps? End by
inviting questions or feedback.
That might mean one diagram each (static and dynamic) of whatever sort, with components and
connectors appropriately labeled. It might mean two diagrams, each of which captures some key aspect
of your system; for instance, a database schema and a deployment diagram, or a class diagram and a
state diagram. Keep it simple, because of time limitations.
These will be delivered as a (roughly) 10 minute presentation, in a two hour session comprising 5 or 6
teams each. I want you to think of this as a work session, so be prepared to engage and offer thoughts,
suggestions and questions to the presenting teams. I will facilitate and keep the discussion moving.
This may seem like a fairly ill-defined assignment. That's OK; process in the real world is sometimes illdefined and messy. You wouldn't have a deliverable document like thisinstead, this is the kind of
informal, provisional thing you might sketch out on a whiteboard, to be refined as details fall into
place. Just about any honest effort to communicate is OK. I'm hoping for some diversity, so people can
see various approaches and weigh their value for themselves.
Ill have a Canvas assignment open so you can submit your slides when youre done. Packaging them
up as a PDF is the ideal format.
Teamwork/Honor Code issues
As before, remember that this is a team assignment. Your entire team should have a hand in creating
and presenting it, and making sure its of acceptable quality. You will share the grade it receives, so you
all have a stake in making sure its as good as possible. Remember, turning in a document with
someones name on it who was not involved in writing it is a violation of the colleges Honor Code.