Application Platform Service Qualities

Principles    Taxonomy


Besides the platform service categories delineated by functional category, service qualities affect information system architectures. A service quality describes a behavior such as adaptability or manageability. Service qualities have a pervasive effect on the operation of most or all of the functional service categories. 

The discussion of service qualities is consolidated here in a single location in order to provide a coherent perspective.

In general a requirement for a given level of a particular service quality requires one or more functional service categories to co-operate in achieving the objective. Usually this means that the software building blocks that implement the functional services contain software which contributes to the implementation of the quality.

For the quality to be provided properly, all relevant functional services must have been designed to support it. Service qualities may also require support from software in the Application Software entity and the External Environment as well as the Application Platform.

In some cases, a service quality affects each of the service categories in a similar fashion, while in other cases, the service quality has a unique influence on one particular service category. For instance, international operation depends on most of the service categories in the same way, both providing facilities and needing their co-operation for localization of messages, fonts and other features of a locale, but it may have a more profound effect on the software engineering services, where facilities for producing internationalized software may be required.

During the process of architecture development, the architect must be aware of the existence of qualities and the extent of their influence on the choice of software building blocks used in implementing the architecture. The best way of making sure that qualities are not forgotten is to create a quality matrix, describing the relationships between each functional service and the qualities that influence it. 

Taxonomy of Service Qualities

The service qualities presently identified are:

Copyright The Open Group, 1998