SAPM: Software Architecture, Process, and Management

This is the home page for the School of Informatics course "SAPM: Software Architecture, Process, and Management", given by Stuart Anderson in January-March of 2017. If you have any questions/comments/suggestions then please contact me via email: soa at

Course Description

This course considers the many ways in which development and maintenance of large software systems differs from that of small systems. It discusses the high level architectural decisions that may control the complexity of such systems, and the architectural degradation that leads to legacy systems. It considers the processes by which large systems can be developed and the role of managers in planning and guiding development, predicting and mitigating risks, and improving quality. The formal course descriptor for the course can be found here

You can also view the 2015-16 page to get some idea of the content of the course. The order and emphasis of the course may differ somewhat from last year but the same material will be covered.


Lectures will commence on Monday 16 January 2017. Lectures will take place on Mondays and Thursdays, both at 17:10-18:00 in Teviot LT, MEDS (Teviot Lecture Theatre (Doorway 5), Medical School Teviot) in the Teviot Medical Quad .


The final exam counts for 75%, and the coursework counts for 25%. The examination will be open book. You will be permitted to take any written material (on paper) into the examinations. Laptops, phones, tablets, e-readers etc are not permitted because of the difficulty of ensuring they cannot communicate outside the examination room.


General University and School of Informatics rules for course work


The examination will take place in late April/early May, the examination timetable is yet to be finalised. Past Examination papers can be downloaded using this link these give you some guidance on what to expect. The 2015-16 paper is most representative of what to expact in this year's paper. In particular the paper will be open book, guidance on how to approach open book papers will be covered in the revision sessions.


No announcements.




  1. Is it okay that the case study we picked is same as other groups? It is OK for more than one group to be using the same system and architecture. Provided there is no copying of material this is acceptable.
  2. As for the secretary, does this role also need to have a individual page of the project besides the responsiblity of taking notes? Yes, the secretary shold just keep brief notes during the meeting and otherwise will have normal requirements.
  3. How many internal and external reviewers do we need totally? We are quite confused about the responsiblity of these two roles. Do they just record the review results from the whole group and generate a seprate page or are they the main contributer of the review process? You need two reviewers, one internal and one external they will drive the review process and will read and comment on the work of the group. The internal reviewer will consider how coherent the case study is and recommend to the group how to make a good case study. The external reviewer will work with the other external reviewers to identify linkages across the case studies and suggest to authors how to make those links. They will be graded on the quality of the reviewing work they do. The two reviewers should be responsible for documenting the review process agreed by the whole group.
  4. Or should we arrange a meeting the next Monday (6th Feb) at 17:10? The lecture has been cancelled... This is a great idea. You could all make the Monday 6th lecture slot your meeting time if you cannot agree on another time.
  5. Our group is a little unsure if "Review process" is a separate contribution, or a contribution done jointly by the internal and external reviewers? I think the internal and external reviews can be separate sections in the overall review of the work. There may be some overlap and there should be agreement at the overlap but one is looking at the internal coherence of the case study while the other is looking at the relationship across case studies.
  6. If it is a separate contribution, can a person doing another contribution do the review process in addition to it? Yes, the internal and the external review counts as the reviewer's contribution but if they also want to make a technical contribution to the case study then that is fine.
  7. Could one of the reviewers also do the review process in addition to their review? Yes, this is fine, one of the reviewers could be the main editor of the review process but remember the review process should be designed and agreed by the group since there is a group mark for this part.

Course Wiki

The wiki is at the SAPM Wiki for 2016-17

Below is a list of illustrative SAPM topics with some links to literature that might help you form an opinion on the topic. These topics could help provide background information for the course. In constructing this list, I have chosen just to point at resources from the Software Engineering Institute at CMU since that is one of the richest sources of information on SAPM-related topics.

SEI also has a blog . Have a look at that to get an idea of some of the current views on Architecture and Process.


Go to the Wiki for this year's lecture notes

All the notes are on the the SAPM Wiki. This tab will include a lecture log that covers any variation in the material covered in the course.


Go to the Wiki for this year's lecture notes

All the notes are on the the SAPM Wiki. This will contain the list of dates and topics to be covered by lectures.

This is a list of topics which will be covered in the coming lectures. Please note that the listed date of delivery of each lecture is the intended date of delivery. This is subject to change and there may be an addition of one or more lectures. Variations will be documented in the lectured topics tab.


Last Updated: 11th January 2016 --- Stuart Anderson

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