Making smart decisions when designing software architecture is key to minimizing expenses, avoiding obstacles and maximizing productivity for your team. At the same time, it’s important to avoid getting so bogged down in theory that you take too long to begin. The following tips can help you create flexible and effective B2B software in a results-focused way.
Take Advantage of AWS Automation Options
Countless SaaS developers and software architects use Amazon Web Services extensively for their projects. When it comes to cloud-based software platforms and apps, few systems are as capable as AWS. Unfortunately, it can be time-consuming to perform tasks by hand, such as database migration, governance and compliance checks, and data structuring. With AWS automation and acceleration solutions, you can significantly reduce the time required for onboarding tasks. You can speed up architecture design, metadata refactoring and solution testing significantly. Ready-to-use templates and automated platform architecture support make life easier for software developers.
Feel Free To Be Abstract
Resist the temptation to organize your building blocks in terms of finished components, such as third-party add-ons, servers and similar tightly defined systems. Much of the time, these rigid constructs are more of a hindrance than a help in building functional software. After all, adding web servers and databases to the mix can increase system complexity significantly. It’s better not to tie yourself down too early.
Try to think in terms of function rather than form early on. Write down abstract aspects that you know the software needs rather than a detailed list of components. This idea is like setting a destination on Google Maps. If you try to define the entire route, a single roadblock can completely throw your entire journey off course. By setting a variety of destinations and “going with the flow,” it’s much easier to adapt. You still head in the same general direction, but you leave yourself options for unexpected issues.
For example, if you’re designing business software for e-commerce, you know that payment processing is a must. For other types of software solutions, you may need to create architecture that allows for a persistent state. It’s possible to keep these concepts fairly general at the beginning so you avoid getting tangled up in compatibility requirements.
Have a Quality Conversation With the Client
Another thing that can really ruin a software architect’s day is discovering that the client wants significant design changes after the project is already well underway. This is similar to a home remodeler finding out the homeowner really wants an open-concept kitchen layout after the new cabinets are already installed. It’s possible to accommodate the request, but it creates unnecessary stress, time crunches and architectural weak points that shouldn’t have appeared.
Don’t overwhelm clients with technical jargon that they’re not likely to understand. Instead, create an ample mind map or diagram with basic business needs, management areas and key functions.
For example, an online store needs software solutions for employees and customers. Create one mind map for each UX design. On the employee side are tools related to accounting, ordering, inventory management, shipping and similar tasks. Having the client present at this stage allows you to ask questions and get an idea of other essential features.
This doesn’t mean requiring the client to list every detail of what B2B software should accomplish or the full design of each included feature. High-level overviews are immensely helpful.
Keep Your First Software Design Iteration Relatively Simple
Software designers, writers, musicians and other creatives have a few things in common. One is the tendency to hyperfocus on small portions of projects too early. Expecting perfection at the beginning of architectural design isn’t just unrealistic; it’s also a waste of time.
Think about how many times your team has ended up radically changing features or modules to achieve an ideal result. Sometimes, areas of code that designers worked hard on have to be thrown out because of client requests or time constraints.
It’s better to begin the development phase with plenty of freedom. As you start to get a good idea of the challenges presented by the software, you’re better prepared to lay down concrete solutions. This type of iteration-centered design is more flexible and practical. It can result in software products that are a closer fit for client needs.
You may be interested in: How to Optimize the Cost of AWS Resources