December 2010

Lattix Repository and Web Application

Lattix 6.0 was released earlier this year. We have continued our tradition by adding a slew of new features and improvements to the new platform through successive releases. Lattix now includes support for additional languages, improvements to the database parsers, sports several new reports, and has a host of usability and performance improvements. However, none is more important than the new Repository and LattixWeb Application. Built with Tomcat, GWT and Flex, the web application is the platform for new capabilities and further improvements in the future.

The Lattix Repository supports continuous integration with the ability to populate the repository from both the LDM and the LDC command line utilities. Users can now use the web application to graph metrics, compare builds and examine the architecture - all from the browser. Most importantly, it brings architectural visibility to the entire team.

Traditionally, when a new developer joins the team, they start out with a small project or by fixing a bug. It helps them to understand their new development environment and how the project is organized. Most of the time there are no architectural rules or pictures to guide them in the process. Every new developer creates their own mental image of the project, which gets progressively refined over time as the developer’s understanding improves. This is a process that is repeated over and over with every new developer. Over time, every developer generates a view of the architecture that reflects their individual expertise and experience. Unfortunately, there is no way to ensure that these private views are consistent with each other. The net result is that the architecture erodes over time and architectural boundaries become defuse. Changes are difficult; it is hard to estimate the effort needed to support new requirements; and it takes a long time to test changes to the system.

The Repository and LattixWeb Application provides a way for developers to continuously refine and publish the architecture so that the entire team shares a consistent vision and the architecture reflects the actual implementation. Architectural violations are caught and fixed early and during development. Architectural evolution now becomes explicit. New developers understand the current architecture right at the start and team productivity improves significantly. Many of our customers have now started the process of publishing the architecture and monitoring its changes.


DSM with Context Sensitive Dependency Cells


Conceptual Architecture with Context Sensitive Boxes


Metrics: Graph of Number of Types


Metrics: Trend Intercomponent Cyclicality

If you too would like architecture to be explicit and clear, please contact us. With the broadest support for languages, frameworks and databases, we will be happy to work with you to implement a system of architecture management that dovetails with continuous integration and brings visibility that is beneficial to every stakeholder.