Software system builders are increasingly recognizing the importance of exploiting design knowledge in the engineering of new systems. One way to do this is to define an architectural style for a collection of related systems. The style determines a coherent vocabulary of system design elements and rules for their composition. By structuring the design space for a family of related systems a style can, in principle, drastically simplify the process of building a system, reduce costs of implementation through reusable infrastructure, and improve system integrity through style-specific analyses and checks. In this article we describe one way to realize these benefits. Specifically, we describe Aesop, an environment for architectural design that supports the definition and use of architectural styles. Aesop adopts an object-oriented approach to the representation of both styles and designs. It also provides a repository of reusable architectural design fragments. In this way it..
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