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Software Architecture (Coursera)

Welcome to our course on Software Architecture, provided in partnership by the University of Alberta, and Coursera! This is the third course in a specialization called Software Design & Architecture. If you were with us for the first two courses, you’ve put in a lot of hard work to get here. We are so happy to have you back!. If you are just joining us, welcome! We have two courses before this one, called “Object-Oriented Design” and “Design Patterns”. These are foundational to Software Architecture, but you can take this course as a stand-alone one if it suits you and your goals!

In this course we will talk about software architecture. Architecture is the high-level form of the software design, so we are no longer talking about objects and classes, but components. Components are software units – subroutines, classes, functions, etc. – that are grouped on the basis of separation of concerns. The way that these components are arranged, and the interactions between them, are called the architecture.

We will discuss the ways these architectures are represented, both in UML and other visual tools, and introduce the most common architectures, their qualities, and tradeoffs. In the last module, we will talk about how architectures are evaluated; what makes a good architecture? how can it be made better? We’ll also talk about how the architecture touches on the process of software development. All the while you’ll be practicing these architectures yourself and gaining hands-on experience.

We have estimated that you will need about 4 hours per week to get the most out of this course, so it is hard work, but worth the effort. Good luck!

Upon completion of this course, a learner will be able to…

• Compare and contrast the components, connections, protocols, topologies, constraints, tradeoffs, and variations of different types of architectural styles used in the design of applications and systems (e.g., main program and subroutine, object-oriented, interpreters, pipes and filters, database centric, event-based).

• Describe the properties of layered and n-tier architectures.

• Create UML ipackage, component, and deployment diagrams to express the architectural structure of a system.

• Explain the behaviour of a system using UML activity diagrams.

• Document a multi-application system with a layered architecture.

Course 3 of 4 in the Software Design and Architecture Specialization



UML Architecture Diagrams

In this module you will learn about software architecture. You will learn why architecture is important, what perspectives need to be considered, and how to communicate architecture using UML.

Graded: Capstone Assignment 3.1 – Draw a Component Diagram

Graded: Capstone Assignment 3.2 – Draw a Deployment Diagram

Graded: Module 1 Review


Architectural Styles

Software comes in all shapes and sizes. The architecture you choose will affect every part of your software, from its security and efficiency, to its modularity and maintainability. In this module we will examine the different architectures that you have to choose from to shape your software.

Graded: Module 2 Review


Architecture in Practice

The architecture is the most fundamental aspect of software. You will learn how development teams describe architectures, plan successful architectures based on quality attributes, and evaluate the resulting architecture. You will also learn how architecture relates to organization structure and even product planning!

Graded: Module 3 Review


Capstone Challenge

Now, in the final module of the course, you will evaluate the proposed architecture to extend the functionality of the example Android code base.

Graded: Capstone Assignment 3.3 – Analyze and Evaluate an Architecture

Graded: Final Exam