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Software architecture documentation for developers: A survey

: Rost, D.; Naab, M.; Lima, C.; Flach Garcia Chavez, C. von


Drira, K.:
Software architecture. 7th European conference, ECSA 2013 : Montpellier, France, July 1 - 5, 2013; proceedings
Berlin: Springer, 2013 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 7957)
ISBN: 3-642-39030-7
ISBN: 978-3-642-39030-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-642-39031-9 (Online)
European Conference on Software Architecture (ECSA) <7, 2013, Montpellier>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
software architecture; documentation; implementation; survey; software development; industry transfer

Software architecture has become an established discipline in industry. Nevertheless, the available documentation of architecture is often not perceived as adequate by developers. As a foundation for the improvement of methods and tools around architecture documentation, we conducted a survey with 147 industrial participants, investigating their current problems and wishes for the future. Participants from different countries in Europe, Asia, North and South America shared their experiences. This paper presents the results of the survey. The results confirmed the common belief that architecture documentation is most frequently outdated and inconsistent and backed it up with data. Further, developers perceive difficulties with a "one-size-fits-all" architecture documentation, which does not adequately provide information for their specific task and context. Developers seek for more interactive ways of working with architecture documentation that allow finding needed info rmation more easily with extended navigation and search possibilities.