Quick Summary: This blog will make you aware of the software architecture patterns that are extremely necessary for building an app, website, product, or any software. You will have more clarity about which architecture pattern will best suit your business software idea. It would also help you make an informed decision when you discuss your ideas with a software development company.

The best software architects are those who can draw a line between the dots and then convince everyone else that the dots actually do connect.”

– Simon Brown.

Building robust software for a project is very similar to setting the foundation of a building – it needs the right architecture. For the same reason, at least 85% of CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, and senior and lead developers of IT organizations will adopt a cloud-native software architecture framework by 2025, as reported by Gartner.

However, they also need an architect who knows the drill. A software architect knows how to use software architecture patterns to simplify the translation of the components, elements, processes, and layers into a unique solution.

They ensure that the software systems are designed, developed, and deployed consistently and efficiently while adhering to the structure of the project, the company’s guidelines, and even cost restrictions.

While the architects know these problems, they often find themselves in a rut, which pattern would make it easier to solve these issues. In this blog, we’ll uncover some software architectural patterns that make it easier to solve these issues arising from familiar situations.

What is a Software Architecture Pattern?

Software architecture patterns are reusable designs that can be utilized for figuring out solutions for different situations arising in the lifecycle of software development.

For example, Amazon once struggled to handle a large volume of traffic and responding in real-time became a big obstacle. They took a second look at their architecture and chose event-driven architecture. It allowed them to build loosely coupled systems and created a sync between their communications.

A software architecture is a combination of individual components and designs that make up the entire software. Hence, software architecture patterns are the principles that define the structure, interaction of components, and composition of programs.

A pattern defines the following two crucial aspects of a software project:

  1. Easily understandable syntax and structure  – which is the system design and application architecture.
  2. A clean technical documentation that explains and visualizes the processes, invisible in the code.

Choose the Right Pattern for Your Project

We are here to provide you with expert consultation on choosing the ideal software architecture pattern.
Call Us Now!

Different Types of Software Architecture Patterns

Software architecture patterns are a blend of science and art. Today, software engineering offers diverse architectural patterns adaptable according to managing applications. They help project managers and business individuals select patterns aligning with quality attributes and functionalities.

Whether you’re launching an IT application or managing the IT infrastructure, we have listed the following top 10 architecture patterns to help you choose the appropriate one for building a robust system.

Layered Architecture

Layered Architecture

As the name suggests, this type of architecture has an “n” number of layers, and for the same reasons, it’s also called n-tier architecture. Each layer of the architecture has to perform a specific role and is organized into horizontal layers. The most common layers are the business layer, presentation layer, persistence layer, and database layers.

The business layer is responsible for executing specific business rules for a request. Similarly, the presentation layer overlooks all the communication happening in the browsers and user interfaces. The persistence layer handles the functions and data persistence. And finally, the database layer stores and retrieves data.

Pros:

Cons:

Applications have layered formats Less flexibility
No sign of interdependency, making unit testing easier Large projects consume more time, resources
Recommended for less overboard and following a well-established method This leads to monolithic systems requiring complete refactoring, even for the simplest changes

Ideal For/When:

  1. Need quick app development
  2. Traditional IT infrastructure and processes
  3. Apps requiring separate concerns and long-term maintenance

Client-server Architecture

Client Server Architecture

The two main components of this type of architecture are the client i.e., the user, and the server, i.e the service provider. The responsibility of the server layer is to pay attention to the requests from the client’s components. Then, it processes the request, after which it sends a response back to the client.

The server can be categorized into stateful or stateless. The client component begins interaction with the server to get the required services. Both servers and the client components are connected by a common link called response connectors. For a stateful server, the client-server component makes the connection by storing a record of each request from the client, also known as sessions.

Pros:

Cons:

Efficient resource utilization and security Single point of failure
High scalability by adding more servers or clients Heavily dependent on a stable network
Central point for management, updates, and storage Complex management and maintenance due to centralized server

Ideal For/When:

  1. Apps requiring centralized data management
  2. Database apps with high data integrity and security
  3. Web apps where the server manages data and requests

Model-view-controller Architecture (MVC) 

Model-View-Controller (MVC)

MVC divides an application into three interconnected components:

  1. The model represents the application’s data and logic
  2. The view displays information to the user and,
  3. The controller manages the user input and updates the Model and View accordingly.

The separated components aid in organizing the code better, making it modular and easier to maintain. Plus, any changes in one component do not directly impact the others, which makes these architecture patterns flexible and scalable. MVC is widely used in web development, ensuring a clear structure, improved code readability, and streamlined collaboration among development teams.

Pros:

Cons:

Easy component management and updates Smaller projects can face complexity
Simultaneous development of different parts Modularity increases the number of files
Reusable code and components across different parts Unfamiliarity introduces a higher learning curve

Ideal For/When:

  1. Projects where multiple teams are required 
  2. Projects with long-term maintenance and updates
  3. Larger web apps that require an organized structure

Microservices Architecture

Microservices Architecture

Microservices architecture is one of the modern approaches to building software. In this architecture pattern, a large application is broken down into small, independent services. Each service is known as a microservice, focusing on a specific business capability. APIs facilitate the communication across each of these services.

It is a modular structure that develops and deploys each service independently of the other. Hence, teams find it convenient to scale each service up and down, making this pattern agile and flexible. Moreover, they can parallelly work on different parts of an app, decreasing development time and aiding in easy maintenance.

Pros:

Cons:

Diversity of technologies to use for each service Communication can increase latency
Failures in one service don’t affect the entire system. Challenges in maintaining data consistency
Continuous integration and deployment speed up delivery Complexities in managing a network of microservices

Ideal For/When:

  1. When scalability is paramount
  2. Large apps with diverse functionality
  3. Projects with rapidly changing requirements

Event-driven Architecture (EDA)

Event-Driven Architecture

It’s a software development architecture pattern that is driven by events or actions. Here, communication between components is based on the occurrence of events. Actions are referred to as and when something happens in the application system. It detects and triggers appropriate responses (actions) when user actions or system occurrences happen.

It could either be an event like an inventory update or a threatening event like a security breach. The decoupled nature of communication allows more scalability and flexibility because components are capable of reacting to asynchronous events.

Pros:

Cons:

Real-time responsiveness Managing event flows
Components operate independently Can increase infrastructure overhead
Ability to handle unpredictable workloads Debugging distributed event-driven systems

Ideal For/When:

  1. Data generated by IoT devices
  2. Trading platforms, chat apps, and collaboration tools
  3. Applications requiring quick response to changing data

Monolithic Architecture

Monolithic Architecture

Monolithic architecture is a traditional software design approach where an entire application is a single, tightly integrated unit. This model houses all the components together – user interface, business logic, and data access.

Monoliths are typically easier to develop and test but may face challenges in terms of scalability and flexibility. Deploying updates often requires scaling the entire application, making them less suitable for rapidly changing or large-scale systems.

Pros:

Cons:

Consistent performance Deploying updates may require downtime
Simplified development and testing Challenges in scaling the entire application
Easier identification and fixing of issues Less adaptable to changing technologies or requirements.

Ideal For/When:

  1. Well-suited for simpler projects
  2. Smaller teams may find it more manageable.
  3. Projects with stable and well-defined requirements.

Service-oriented Architecture (SOA)

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Here, independent components function as services. They provide specific functionalities that dynamically define the overall system behavior. Imagine a big toy castle made of many small building blocks. In Service-Oriented Architecture, each block is like a special helper – opening a drawbridge or lighting a tower.

SOA implementations can vary. For instance, traditional systems use SOAP for XML message exchange. Similarly, modern applications prefer microservices connected through lightweight messages, often over HTTP.

Pros:

Cons:

Higher reusability across different apps Significant infrastructure planning 
Cost-effective and promotes interoperability Managing service network can be complex
Independent addition and modification of services Distributed nature poses security challenges

Ideal For/When:

  1. Large-scale, enterprise-level systems
  2. For integrating diverse business processes.
  3. Cross-platform apps with multiple technologies

Blackboard Pattern

Blackboard Architecture

Inspired by how human experts collaborate, the Blackboard Pattern is a problem-solving marvel. Just like people sharing ideas around a blackboard, this architecture brings together specialized components. Each component contributes its expertise to address complex problems lacking a set solution.

Picture experts are sitting around a board with a problem written on it. When one has a piece of the solution, they step up, adding their knowledge. Repeat this collaborative process until a collective solution emerges – a modular and decentralized approach to crack challenges without a fixed roadmap. The Blackboard Pattern turns diversity into strength for solving intricate problems.

Pros:

Cons:

Effective when there’s no predetermined solution Difficult for scaling larger systems
Expertise and knowledge of specialized components Coordinating diverse components can be challenging
Highly adaptable, scalable, with independent components Potential for redundancy with multiple components attempting similar solutions

Ideal For/When:

  1. Where creative problem-solving is crucial.
  2. Effective for collaborative medical diagnosis 
  3. Data analysis and AI systems where diverse algorithms contribute.

Peer-to-peer (P2P)

Peer-to-Peer Architecture

The P2P pattern is a friendly exchange where everyone contributes and benefits equally. In P2P architecture, peers are individual computers interacting directly. In communication, they share resources and information without depending on a central authority. P2P works on a decentralized approach when everyone in the group has something valuable to offer, creating a balanced and interconnected system.

Pros:

Cons:

Efficient resource sharing Complications in coordinating actions
Enhanced system reliability Problems in ensuring data consistency
Promotes autonomy among participants Highly dependent on the availability of peers
Direct interaction creates security challenges

Ideal For/When:

  1. Systems involving direct file-sharing networks
  2. Applications with multiple users’ contribution
  3. For messaging or voice/video calling, and blockchain systems

Domain-driven Design (DDD)

Domain-Driven Design (DDD)

DDD is like a city where different neighborhoods represent specific parts of your system, each solving a unique problem. It emphasizes understanding the real-world problem (domain) and building software around it. Software development teams use a common language to discuss and solve challenges, just like citizens in a city. DDD is a smart way to make software that truly fits the needs of the real world, making it effective and easy to evolve.

Pros:

Cons:

Modular, flexible, and enhances collaboration Higher learning curve
Division of complex system into manageable domains Slows down development
Promotes a shared language, reducing communication gaps Resource-intensive for smaller projects

Ideal For/When:

  1. Suitable for large and evolving systems
  2. Useful for complex middleware development
  3. Projects with intricate business rules and processes.

Ready to Architect Your Project’s Success With The Right Pattern?

You can trust us to optimize your project’s performance and longevity with the architecture that aligns with your business goals.
Book a FREE Consultation

Importance of Software Architecture Patterns

While the architecture remains the same, the ways of building modern software have changed immensely. It serves as a catalog that software architects look for references to when dealing with a common problem and finding the ideal solution before starting to design new software. However, modern problems cannot be solved by older patterns and need newer approaches.

Data Plus Architecture

One of the crucial components of developing any software is its architecture, apart from data. While you may think that data is regarded as the primary driving force behind software development, it’s the architecture that sets the foundation. Today, data plus architecture is becoming the defining element of modern software because the former’s influence over making decisions and AI models is paramount.

Making Informed Decisions

The architecture patterns have evolved immensely over the last couple of decades. They have seen profound changes that have brought a lot of changes in terms of capabilities, resources, and goals. These changes have helped businesses make informed decisions about creating critical blueprints for designing and managing software applications.

A Blueprint for Visualizing Ideas

The biggest significance of software architecture patterns is to help developers predefine the core functionalities of the app before they start developing it. You can quickly sketch out essential attributes, weaknesses, and strengths. For example, some patterns are more suitable for agile apps, while others will be more suited for scalable apps.

When you approach a software development company with your ideas and requirements, an architecture helps you visualize your goals, objectives, and navigation flow. It serves as a blueprint to achieve the highest operational efficiency by helping the team make faster decisions. Plus, it helps track the progress and keeps everyone in the loop to oversee the budget and schedule of deliverables. Lastly, it allows the developers to reuse the pattern in other projects.

A good architecture entails the following:

  • Easier to maintain
  • No code repetition
  • Reusable over long periods
  • Easy refactoring to start over
  • Flexible, adaptable, and scalable
  • Easier to add features without disrupting the performance

How is Software Architecture Different from Design Patterns?

Picture this: You are preparing a meal. But before firing up the stove and chopping veggies, you need a recipe – a plan. In software development, that plan is your architecture pattern – it decides the dish, ingredients, and their order.

However, just having a recipe isn’t enough to make a meal delicious. You need the right techniques – when to sauté or when to simmer. In software development, those serve as the design patterns – the details of cooking that turn a list of ingredients into a mouthwatering dish.

Hence, software architecture is the planning behind the overall structure of your system – what it does and how it does it. Design patterns, on the other hand, are the specific techniques you use when you’re deep into coding, making sure everything comes together just right.

Which Software Architecture Pattern is Best For You?

Architectural mismatch is very common in designing patterns, leading to becoming a big obstacle in the development, maintenance, and quality of software. It can often lead to misunderstood concepts when an architectural pattern doesn’t align with business goals, technology, or assumptions about a component’s use.

Modern software development demands breakthroughs to set a strong foundation for the future of an organization. This is where we, Moon Technolabs, come in to steer your software development journey by guiding you to select the right compass, i.e., the architecture pattern.

We always prioritize your software’s usefulness, effectiveness, and productivity, helping you choose the right one to avoid project delays and potential software failure.

FAQs

01

What is the best software architecture pattern?

The best software architecture pattern depends on your project needs. Common ones include MVC for web apps, Microservices for scalability, and Layered Architecture for simplicity. Choose based on your project's size, goals, and team expertise.

02

What is the difference between software architecture and patterns?

Software architecture is the overall structure of your system, while patterns are reusable solutions for common problems. Think of architecture as the blueprint and patterns as the ready-made tools to solve specific issues within that structure.

03

How do you choose a software design pattern?

You should choose a software design pattern by identifying your project's problems and goals. Look for patterns that suit your needs. If you want separate concerns, choose MVC; similarly, when you want to trigger an action, choose event-driven architecture. Pick the one that fits your project, like a well-tailored suit.

04

How many software architecture patterns are there?

There are numerous patterns; it's like having a toolbox with various tools. Common ones include Microservices, Monolithic, and Event-Driven Architecture. The key is understanding your project needs and choosing the right combination to build a robust and effective system.

05

What is the standard software architecture pattern?

There isn't a one-size-fits-all standard. The choice depends on your project. However, some widely used patterns include Microservices for flexibility, Monolithic for simplicity, and Layered Architecture for organization. Evaluate your project's requirements and pick the pattern that aligns best with your goals.
About Author

Jayanti Katariya is the CEO of Moon Technolabs, a fast-growing IT solutions provider, with 18+ years of experience in the industry. Passionate about developing creative apps from a young age, he pursued an engineering degree to further this interest. Under his leadership, Moon Technolabs has helped numerous brands establish their online presence and he has also launched an invoicing software that assists businesses to streamline their financial operations.

fab_chat_icon fab_close