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This redbook is part of the Patterns for e-business series. In this introductory chapter we provide an overview of how IT architects can work effectively with the Patterns for e-business.
The role of the IT architect is to evaluate business problems and build solutions to solve them. To do this, the architect begins by gathering input on the problem, an outline of the desired solution, and any special considerations or requirements that need to be factored into that solution. The architect then takes this input and designs the solution. This solution can include one or more computer applications that address the business problems by supplying the necessary business functions.
To improve the process over time, we need to capture and reuse the experience of the IT architects in such a way that future engagements can be made simpler and faster. We do this by capturing the knowledge gained from each engagement and using it to build a repository of assets. IT architects can then build future solutions based on these proven assets. This reuse saves time, money, and effort; and in the process, it helps ensure delivery of a solid, properly architected solution.
The IBM Patterns for e-business help facilitate this reuse of assets. Their purpose is to capture and publish e-business artifacts that have been used, tested, and proven to be successful. The information captured by them is assumed to fit the majority, or 80/20, situation.
The IBM Patterns for e-business are further augmented with guidelines and related links for their better use.
The layers of patterns, along with their associated links and guidelines, allow the architect to start with a problem and a vision for the solution, and then find a pattern that fits that vision. Then, by drilling down using the patterns process, the architect can further define the additional functional pieces that the application will need to succeed. Finally, he can build the application using coding techniques outlined in the associated guidelines.
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