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Architectural Design Criteria

Architectural design is often presented in terms of a System Architecture diagram, which is an overall description of an enterprise software application that presents the software application’s building blocks (objects), their interaction (e.g. information exchange), and design principles for constructing the application. Those who interact with the system are referred to as Actors. Actors are classes of people or other systems that interact with the software application. Multiple people can belong to an actor, each of which has certain permissions in the application. The level of access an actor has in the software application is managed through the security schema; a schema is a set of objects “owned” by a user.

For software applications designed as a single sign on system, end-user login may with a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) or Active Directory (AD) system. Single sign-on saves the user the trouble of having to provide user name and password to the software application again; the software application will get directory account information and check accessibility.

With the systems architecture model, an architect or experienced software developer can develop the process and discipline for implementing the design. By understanding the domain and business environment in which the application will be delivered, key decisions such as choosing the programming framework can be made.