Channels ▼

Arnon Rotem-Gal-Oz

Dr. Dobb's Bloggers

Architecture: It's Always a Tradeoff

September 19, 2008

(This part III of a series -see Part I, Part II)

We need to face it -- there are no absolute truths when it comes to software architecture ( I guess that's part of the reason the term always looks so fuzzy. ) Should we use REST? It depends. Should we use OR/M or direct database access? It depends. Sometimes even a big ball of mud can be a good option. The good news is that we can always answer "It depends" to any architectural question and always be correct. The bad news is that it is our role to figure out what does it depend on and come up with a viable trade off.

 

The fact everything is a tradeoff doesn't mean that there aren't any cases where the trade-off is simple. For example, if you just have to build a couple of data entry screens and a simple database you probably shouldn't spend a couple of months evaluating your options, just write the damn thing in your spare time. Nevertheless, just hacking it can mean it wouldn't be extensible. If that's what you needed,  then cool; iif not, maybe you should have considered that.

This is one of the reasons I don't like the term "best practices". It sends out a "you don't have to think anymore" message which is oh-so-incorrect. Patterns, on the other hand, don't send  out this message, as they also include discussion on where to use them as well as their limitations and pointers to other patterns. Unless of course, patterns are seen as an end-goal rather than a means, in which case they look pretty close to "best practices".

To sum this post: Everything is a tradeoff. The most important bit here is to keep that in mind, even when the choices seems obvious. Awareness  is the key to better decisions.

Related Reading


More Insights






Currently we allow the following HTML tags in comments:

Single tags

These tags can be used alone and don't need an ending tag.

<br> Defines a single line break

<hr> Defines a horizontal line

Matching tags

These require an ending tag - e.g. <i>italic text</i>

<a> Defines an anchor

<b> Defines bold text

<big> Defines big text

<blockquote> Defines a long quotation

<caption> Defines a table caption

<cite> Defines a citation

<code> Defines computer code text

<em> Defines emphasized text

<fieldset> Defines a border around elements in a form

<h1> This is heading 1

<h2> This is heading 2

<h3> This is heading 3

<h4> This is heading 4

<h5> This is heading 5

<h6> This is heading 6

<i> Defines italic text

<p> Defines a paragraph

<pre> Defines preformatted text

<q> Defines a short quotation

<samp> Defines sample computer code text

<small> Defines small text

<span> Defines a section in a document

<s> Defines strikethrough text

<strike> Defines strikethrough text

<strong> Defines strong text

<sub> Defines subscripted text

<sup> Defines superscripted text

<u> Defines underlined text

Dr. Dobb's encourages readers to engage in spirited, healthy debate, including taking us to task. However, Dr. Dobb's moderates all comments posted to our site, and reserves the right to modify or remove any content that it determines to be derogatory, offensive, inflammatory, vulgar, irrelevant/off-topic, racist or obvious marketing or spam. Dr. Dobb's further reserves the right to disable the profile of any commenter participating in said activities.

 
Disqus Tips To upload an avatar photo, first complete your Disqus profile. | View the list of supported HTML tags you can use to style comments. | Please read our commenting policy.
 


Video