I received a few requests about more specific information on Logical Architecture. So, I compiled the questions I received and am answering them in this post. Thank you! – to those who made the request.
Exactly, what is logical architecture?
The Logical Architecture is a definition (usually in the form of a diagram) of how your Portal is built, including hardware, software, services and other integrated components. If it is required to make the “system” work, it belongs in this diagram. Your diagram should reflect how each component of the system “fits in”, and is connected with, each of the other components. This map isn’t focused on “technology” or how it’s implemented. Rather, it’s focused on how things “logically” fit together to make up the whole solution.
Example: Think of an automobile and all of the components that go into building that car. The car’s logical architecture would include things like sheet metal, nuts & bolts, seats, gauges, fluids, paint, software, electronics, transmissions, etc. While each component may have its own function (which also may be mapped out somewhere), they all fit together, logically, to create a common solution (a transportation vehicle).
Here is another good definition of Logical Architecture: http://www.iteris.com/itsarch/html/menu/la_b.htm
Why should I document it?
Consultants use Logical and Physical Architecture diagrams to trace their user’s solution requirements, making the diagram an important resource. They use the diagram to plan the environment and make sure that the business requirements have been addressed.
Solution Architects use the Logical and Physical architecture diagrams to effectively plan out their solution and make sure that everything is accounted for and has been thought through before they begin building the solution.
System Administrators use these diagrams to actually build the systems as they have been diagrammed. Additionally, System Administrators will need to configure software and services within these systems (also according to the diagram).
Developers will use these architecture diagrams to begin developing components that will integrate at various points within the system. Having this map enables developers to see what other components of the system may be connected to, or affected by, the component they are currently developing.
Stakeholders and other, potentially, non-technical personnel can view these maps to get a better understanding of the complexity of a solution and the work that goes into it.
If you don’t think these diagrams get complex, just take a look at the sample provided by Microsoft. :-) Additionally, here’s a resource that will help you figure out how to use this diagram sample (and pare it down, if needed).