Software Systems Architecture


Here’s what people are saying about our book.

ITNow (British Computer Society)

Our book was Book of the Month in the May 2006 edition of ITNow, the membership magazine of the British Computer Society. The review includes the following comments:
This excellent book is aimed at software architecture practitioners who need to get to grips with the development of practical architecture … The book is well laid out, highly readable and provides a very useful perspective.
— Kawal Banga MBCS
If you are a BCS member you can read the full review here.

IEEE Software

Our book was reviewed in the July / August issue of IEEE Software. The review includes the following comments:
This practitioner-oriented guide is the kind of book I would have liked to read when beginning my professional career … It’s not hard to see that Software Systems Architecture is an outstanding book. It’s difficult to pack so much practical information in a single volume, but Rozanski and Woods have succeeded in doing so.
— Fernando Berzal, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science and AI, University of Granada, Spain

International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE)

Our book was cited in a research paper presented to the 2006 International Workshop on Early Aspects in Shanghai, China. Along with Garlan and Anthony we are described as “the generally accepted interpretation of viewpoints in software architecture.”
Rozanski and Woods [25, 29] identify that quality properties (for example security) appear in several architectural views. This is clearly related with the identification of crosscutting in the previous section. The authors introduce architectural perspectives as complementary to architectural views in the sense that they define a set of activities, tactics and guidelines to ensure that the system exhibits a particular quality property. Architectural perspectives is not a technique for modular description but rather a framework to guide and formalize the process of ensuring that a particular architectural property is met, perspectives are applied onto views.
— Nelis Boucké, Tom Holvoet, K.U.Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

Carnegie-Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI)

The SEI is a research and development center operated by Carnegie Mellon University. They publish many books on software engineering, and have developed the Software Capability Maturity Model (“CMM”) for evaluating and measuring the maturity of the software development process of organizations. The SEI maintains the web’s most comprehensive knowledge repository on software architecture. Our book is part of their Software Architecture Essential Bookshelf. Our nomination reads:
This book is essential since it puts process on architecture. It also introduces the concept of perspectives which is very powerful to further focus on achieving quality attributes. It also helps gives people a start on viewpoints. Together with Software Architecture in Practice, one of the best books I’ve read in years.
— Richard van Schelven, Marconi, Ireland

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

The ACM is probably the largest and oldest international scientific and educational computer society in the industry. Our book was reviewed on the ACM Reviews site in August 2005 (registration required to read full review).
Rozanski and Woods have succeeded in their goal of writing the missing text for the beginning software architect. The working practitioner, either new to information systems architecture or experienced in it, will gain a valuable reference book, useful throughout a career in the field. This text could also easily be used in any university course on the topic …
— Robert C. Burns

International Association for Software Architects (IASA)

IASA is non-profit organization, started by architects (mostly volunteers), which focuses on the profession of software architecture. The IASA President reviewed our book recently. An extract follows:
There are a lot of reason to love this book but my favorite was that I found it to be an amazing balance between abstraction and practicality … The book forms an excellent introduction to the world of architecture for newbies while providing a refresher course in fundamentals for the enterprise architect … The real jewels of this book are Part III and IV, the catalogs of ‘Viewpoints’ and ‘Perspectives’ … All in all I would recommend this book to any software architect whether new or veteran. It certainly goes on my list of top 5 software architecture books.
— Paul Preiss, President, IASA
Note: we are providing IASA with some content based on our book.

A Software Architecture Primer (Reekie and McAdam)

This new book aimed at new and aspiring architects discusses our work on viewpoints alongside that of the Kruchten,Clements and others. It describes our book thus:
Rozanski and Woods provides a welcome addition to the conceptual framework provided by IEEE 1471, which makes it more readily applicable to real projects, and in particular, to large-scale information systems … the Rozanski and Woods catalog of viewpoints and perspectives provide[s] a comprehensive and systematic approach to documenting and analyzing architectures.
— John Reekie and Rohan McAdam, A Software Architecture Primer

The Pragmatic Architect

Our book was reviewed on the Pragmatic Architect website in March. The review included the following comments:
This is a book that I wish I’d been able to read years ago because it widens the reader’s horizon to include aspects of getting a system designed and built that as a developer you take for granted. That said, it’s a book that particularly resonates once you’ve had some experience in an architectural role and had an opportunity to make some of the mistakes identified in the especially useful ‘Problems and Pitfalls’ section in each chapter. It’s well written, concise (despite being over 500 pages) and compelling to read for those interested in what being a software architect really involves. Very highly recommended.
— Rob Billington, The Pragmatic Architect
You can find the full review here.

At last count we had twenty-two five-star reviews of our book on
Simply Excellent This is an awesome book for Architects. It ties together the SEI books Software Architecture in Practice, 2nd Edition and Documenting Software Architectures: Views and Beyond in its own way making Architecture very understandable. I have over 10 years of experience as a software architect. This book is an excellent addition to my library. It is an easy read with tons of info in it. Even if you are not an architect it is a great book to buy so you understand what to expect out of one. I may buy a few extra copies to give out on projects so they understand why I am supposed to be there. Anyone reading this book should have a great and complete understanding of architecture and the value it adds to a project.
— T. Anderson, Spotlight Reviewer
More then excellent This book on architecture has it all from fundamentals to the process, from views to quality attributes. A book on how to tackle issue like scoping, concerns, engaging stakeholders, identifying scenarios, using styles and patterns, producing models, creating and validating architecture. Also lots of information on views and quality attributes (perpectives). And all very well presented. Anybody who has read the SEI books needs to read this one as well.
— Mr. R. Van Schelven “Ries” (Laragh, Co. Wicklow Ireland)
Finally brings it all together This is a really great book. Rozanski and Woods bring together in one text the information that is most important to know about software architecture. It is not filled with opinion but is based on research and ideas that have been proven in practice and that are widely accepted in the field. The ideas are straighforward and presented clearly and concisely. As a practicing software architect, author and professor on the subject, this is my recommendation as the first book on software architecture you should purchase for your collection.
— Michael E. Stevens, Durham, CT
Every IT architect should read this book My reason for buying this book was to hear what the authors had to say about handling cross-cutting architectural concerns (such as security), which they refer to as “perspectives”. The authors offer refreshing insights into how such concerns should be interwoven with the architecture views/viewpoints with which many architects will already be familiar when documenting their software architectures. But now that I’ve finally finished reading the book (500+ pages) I have to say that this book is so much more. This is essentially a “book of 2 halves”. The first half discusses fundamental architecture concepts, and various elements of the architecture process. However, the second half of the book is dedicated to a catalog of viewpoints and a catalog of perspectives. These sections are, I think, the most valuable, and offer probably the best overview of different architectural concerns (such as concurrency, deployment, operations, security, availability etc.) I’ve come across. And the whole book is liberally sprinkled with pragmatic advice, and examples, based on the authors’ experiences. In summary, the book makes a great “handbook” for both novice and experienced architects.
— Peter Eeles
Brings many things together I was impressed with this book’s unique perspective of blending the business and technical needs into a single focus, and it continued to maintain the human considerations. It does an excellent job of describing how to support business decisions through architecture at a macro level in a style where “the rubber hits the road.” If you are a systems analyst or a software development manager, this shouldn’t be on your book shelf – it should be on your desk for regular reference.
— Pat Bailey

Amazon Japan

The Japanese translation of our book was published on 2 December 2008 and we currently have seven five-star reviews (see More details when we get a Japanese translation!

Other Review Comments

Here are some other comments on our book.
A useful and timely book of great value to intelligent practitioners.
A practical book on software design, which explains an approach to building software systems that takes into account the perspectives and needs of multiple stakeholders.
I’d like to start by recommending an excellent book I’ve picked up, namely Software Systems Architecture by Nick Rozanski and Eoin Woods. It goes into the practical aspects of producing an Architecture Description (AD) document using a set of viewpoints and perspectives and helps communicate cross cutting concerns like security. I like the way it presents the pitfalls of various models and when each should and shouldn’t be used. They also give checklists to ensure that there is consistency across all the models and views, which in my experience so far is the most difficult thing … The book has already paid for itself with the first few chapters (such as the Functional Viewpoint) giving me a great kickstart in my AD. For all the architects out there, I’d sincerely recommend you check the book out.