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97 Things Every Software Architect Should Know by Richard Monson-Haefel

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Chapter 74. Stretch Key Dimensions to See What Breaks

Stephen Jones designs solutions for Tier-1 Telco Billing and its related high-volume processes for companies such as Telstra and Optus in Australia, and the 1997 version of AT&T in the U.S. This design work included the initial implementations of Telco billing systems, redesigns of post-bill dispute and fraud billing functions, and over two years managing 24/7 production support for Telstra.

Stephen Jones
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AN APPLICATION'S DESIGN IS OUTLINED initially based on the specified business requirements, selected or existing technologies, performance envelope, expected data volumes, and the financial resources available to build, deploy, and operate it. The solution, whatever it is, will meet or exceed what is asked of it in the contemporary environment and is expected to run successfully (or it is not yet a solution).

Now take this solution and stretch the key dimensions to see what breaks.

This examination looks for limits in the design that will occur when, for example, the system becomes wildly popular and more customers use it, the products being processed increase their transaction counts per day, or six months of data must now be retained rather than the initially specified week. Dimensions are stretched individually and then in combination to tease out the unseen limits that might lie hidden in the initial design.

Stretching key dimensions ...

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