The existence of patterns is almost universal, and their se is evident in many domains. The human mind seems to perceive patterns without conscious thought – we notice an individual’s personal habits because they form patterns. Patterns are also used in a number of engineering disciplines – software engineering, requirements engineering and mechanical engineering to name a few. Some of these disciplines have used pattern for over 20 years. Today’s enterprise systems have become extremely complex. It is difficult, if not impossible for a system architect to mentally juggle all of the details of a modern complex multi-functional and distributed system. Patterns may provide the enterprise architect an approach to managing this complexity. This article reviews some of the relevant research and application related to the use of patterns, reviews how other disciplines are using patterns, and discusses research that has been done on applying patterns to the practice of architecting complex system (enterprise) architectures. Examples of architecture patterns are presented and discussed, and a methodology and rationale for documenting architecture patterns is presented.
Journal of Enterprise Architecture