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Constructive architecture compliance checking - an experiment on support by live feedback

: Knodel, Jens; Muthig, Dirk; Rost, Dominik

IEEE Computer Society:
24th IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance, ICSM 2008. Proceedings : Beijing, China - September 28 to October 4, 2008
Los Alamitos: IEEE Computer Society, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4244-2614-0
International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM) <24, 2008, Beijing>
Fraunhofer IESE ()
architecture compliance checking; software architecture; product line engineering; PuLSE; SAVE; technology transfer; ArQuE

This paper describes our lessons learned and experiences gained from turning an analytical reverse engineering technology - architecture compliance checking - into a constructive quality engineering technique. Constructive compliance checking constantly monitors the modifications made by developers. When a structural violation is detected, the particular developer receives live feedback allowing prompt removal of the violations and hence, training the developers on the architecture. An experiment with six component development teams gives evidence that this training pro-actively prevents architecture decay. The three teams supported by the live compliance checking inserted about 60% less structural violations into the architecture than did the three other development teams. Based on the results, we claim that constructive compliance checking is a promising application of reverse engineering technology to the software implementation phase.