Chapter 13

Introduction to Software Architecture

What's In This Chapter?

  • Why designing visually is important
  • Microsoft's approach to a modeling strategy
  • Modeling tools in Visual Studio 2012

In this introductory chapter, you learn about some main themes around software architecture and design—domain-specific languages (DSLs), model-driven development (MDD), and the Unified Modeling Language (UML)—and how they apply to Visual Studio Ultimate 2012.

This chapter then gives a brief overview of the architecture tools in Visual Studio 2012, including the support for the most common UML diagrams. Many of these tools are expounded on in later chapters of this part of the book.

Finally, this chapter wraps up with a brief glimpse at some of the changes and new features added to the architecture tools in Visual Studio 2012. New dependency graph features and better graph performance have been included to enhance your experience with the architecture tools.

Let's begin by first establishing the case for undertaking visual modeling—or visual design—in the first place.

Designing Visually

Two elementary questions immediately come to mind. Why design at all, rather than just code? Why design visually?

To answer the first question, consider the common analogy of building complex physical structures, such as bridges. Crossing a small stream requires only a plank of wood—no architect, no workers, and no plans. Building a bridge across a wide river requires a lot more—a set of plans drawn up by an ...

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