Definition

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System Architecture Specification

(Alias: SyAS)

A description of a software and electronics system in terms of its hardware and software components and their interactions. The system architecture allocates required functionality to hardware and software components.

The role of the SyAS is to:

  1. Describe the fundamental architectural structures that serve as the blueprint for the target system.
  2. Allocate required system functionality to hardware and software.
  3. Document crucial design constraints, assumptions and rationales.
  4. Deal with complexity by decomposing systems into sub-systems and subsystems into components. The SyAS describes this decomposition in terms of physical and logical structures, their components, their interfaces and the mechanisms they use to communicate both internally and with external systems and human beings.
  5. Support early analysis to make sure that the design approach is highly visible and open to peer review and progressive improvement.
  6. Promote understanding of the design by providing a simple top level view with increasing levels of detail that allow the reader to progressively absorb information and navigate the system zooming in on design elements of interest.
  7. Demonstrate compliance with system requirements. The SyAS provides a authoritative reference for detailed traceability analysis.
  8. Explain how the end product will exhibit required qualities such as usability, performance, modifiability, safety and security.
  9. Describe design management strategies to be used to control the development of the design including nomination of design patterns and rules.
  10. Support project planning and budgeting
  11. Support preparation of acquisition documents (for example, requests for proposal and statements of work)
  12. Support on-going maintenance and enhancement.

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Guidelines for use

1 Introduction

1.1 Purpose
1.2 Scope
1.3 Definitions, acronyms, and abbreviations
1.4 References
1.5 Document overview

2 Design management

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Configuration management strategy
2.3 Verification and validation strategy
2.4 Safety strategy
2.5 Quality strategy

3 Design background

3.1 Introduction
3.2 Architectural objectives
3.3 Architectural design input
3.4 Architectural design assumptions
3.5 Architectural design constraints

4 Architectural design

4.1 Introduction
4.2 System context
4.3 Logical architecture
4.4 Physical architecture
4.5 System behaviour
4.6 Design rationale
4.7 Design method
4.8 Design rules and principles
4.9 Integration of existing and purchased components
4.10 Plans for enhancement and change

5 Hardware component designs

5.1 Introduction
5.2 Common specifications

5.2.1 Hardware interface
5.2.2 Environmental design
5.2.3 Test hardware

5.3 Hardware component 1 ... n

5.3.1 Introduction
5.3.2 Description
5.3.3 Hardware interface
5.3.4 Environmental design
5.3.5 Test hardware

6 Software component designs

6.1 Introduction
6.2 Common specifications

6.2.1 Software interface
6.2.2 Test software

6.3 Software component 1 ... n

6.3.1 Introduction
6.3.2 Description
6.3.3 Software interface
6.3.4 Test software

7 Data structures

7.1 Introduction
7.2 Data dictionary
7.3 Database
7.4 Shared memory

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