Without a vision of how to design applications within an organization the development can be compared to lawless Wild West. Development guidelines are often used, but seldom successful over the long haul. We suggest taking the architectural decisions one step further by automating them using a tool such as Sculptor.
When using a general purpose language, such as Java, and its big toolbox of APIs and frameworks there is a huge freedom of choice. This is a double-edged sword. We meet a lot of companies that have realized that they must narrow down the choices so that each new project doesn't invent its own unique system architecture and product suite. The benefits of a homogeneous architecture is obvious when looking at the big picture.
The reference architecture is often accomplished by writing guidelines and maybe a sample reference application. There are several problems with a reference architecture that is only promoted by documentation. We suggest automating some pieces of the development by using a code generator tool, such as Sculptor, to enforce consistency in the architecture.
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