The Architecture Cube

Cube

One of the challenges we face in providing IT Direction and Solutions is ensuring that we have considered all (or at least all of the important) aspects of a request to order to provide a valid and solid recommended solution.  By simplifying down the “Areas of Consideration” when building out solutions we can work in a consistent manner across large teams.  I think there are six main areas we need address;

  • Core Entity/Object Model (What are we dealing with)
  • Process Model (What needs to happen)
  • Service & Integration Model (What communication channels can be used)
  • Data Model (What is the information to be managed)
  • Application & Functional Model (What tools can be used)
  • Event Model (What gets generated that is valuable)

Rather than building check lists for people to follow I decided to try something more visual and tactile and as we had six Areas of Consideration it seemed logical to build them around a Cube.  With the help of a couple of the graphics people in our HQ we produced the Architecture Cube.

The concept of the six faces is as follows;

  • Base of the Cube – Core Entity/Object Model
  • Opposing sides – Process & Data Models
  • Opposing sides – Service & Application Models
  • Top of the Cube – Event Model

The rules for use;

  • All solutions should start at the Base – Focus on the Real World Problem Domain
  • Transition through evaluation of Process, Service, Data, Applications in that Order – Figure out the What, before the How and the Where
  • Finally look at which Events are produced – Determine the value produced by the execution of the solution

It’s a simple idea, may not work for all situations but hopefully will produce some good results for us in 2015.  The template for the cube is below;

ArchitectureCubeModel-1

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About Brian Maguire

Working in IT for 30+ years. Recent position was Global Enterprise Architect for Las Vegas Sands Corporation. Currently immersed in the startup scene in Budapest.
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3 Responses to The Architecture Cube

  1. Andrew Dart says:

    Inspiration from the casino? 🙂

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    Andrew Dart
    CSC

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  2. Good roll. Quite like the simplicity. Nit picking though, the Event Model is a confusing title as an “event” in computing is either 1. An external occurrence that triggers the start of processing, or 2. An internal software occurrence that is processed automatically. In both cases the event is normally monitored by a registered “event handler”. Maybe Value Model as an alternative?

    • Hi David, fair point on the use of the term “Event”, however we use the term in a business context in Sands and are driving towards an Event Enabled Enterprise, which means that any event initiated by a guest is important to us, hence its use on the cube as it is an architectural consideration in defining approaches and solutions.

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