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Besides logical and physical architecture diagrams, comps / mockups and tables for expected network load between components and various data schemas, what kinds of visual content, tables or diagrams might I want to include in my Project Architecture Document?

The specific project is an integration of 3rd party social networking features into a fashion site.

Please post example graphics. Thanks.

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I think mixing the 2 is bad for security (social media and eCommerce) –  Joe Aug 19 '12 at 18:24

2 Answers 2

When it comes to architecture it always depends. When building a simple throw away application you document way less than when building a large service oriented architecture. When building an application in an agile organisation you document less then when building an application in a highly governed waterfall organisation.

When it comes to determining what to use I like the IEEE 1471 way of thinking

parts in IEEE 1471

(image from http://iea.wikidot.com/ieee1471 )

Look at your stakeholders, determine their concerns, identify the viewpoints which best describe how your architecture addresses the concerns, describe these viewpoints.

As an alternative and a more common way the "4+1 Architectural View Model" addresses the need for a lot of projects.

What you probably did not mean, but which could give you also some new ways of thinking about it is the PSA (Project start architecture). Which is more of an enterprise architecture document. A great presentation on the PSA and how it fits into TOGAF can be found here (pdf)

A great book that also give a lot of insights on how to describe software architectures is "Software Architecture in practice" ( third edition coming out soon)

Hope this helps and good luck.

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+1, very good answer and references, thanks. –  Emmad Kareem Aug 19 '12 at 20:57
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+1 for the reference to "Software Architecture in practice". –  lurkerbelow Aug 19 '12 at 21:42
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Thanks for the great links! –  Joshiatto Aug 19 '12 at 22:08
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I like this answer but it is important to note that the documentation requirements will vary with the complexity and size of the project. Doing a 100+ page design for a small, simple project is just wasting the architect's time. Produce enough documentation you need for a successful project and no more. –  akton Aug 31 '12 at 14:33

Check out the 4+1 Architectural View Model:

Wikipedia entry

Original paper

I find it inspiring for answering the kind of questions you are probably looking after. Adapt to your needs.

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