Different Software Architecture Patterns, and How to Choose the Right One for Your Task

This post seeks to answer questions related to software architecture patterns, such as: What is the definition of a software architecture pattern? To what degree do different architectural styles exist? Additionally, suggestions for a good software architecture pattern will be provided, as well as examples of situations where the use of standard patterns in software architecture would be beneficial.

Come on, we have to start somewhere, so here we go.

The architecture of the software is essential in determining the overall success of the program, as it has a direct effect on the maintainability, scalability, stability, and security of the software throughout its life cycle. Appropriate architecture is a cornerstone of any successful software development, and it is important to ensure that a sound architectural plan is in place prior to beginning development.

Software Architects are responsible for creating a system architecture diagram following the four main stages of the Software Architecture Development Life Cycle. These stages include Architectural Requirements Analysis, Architectural Design, Architectural Documentation, and Architectural Assessment. It is important for Software Architects to complete all of these stages to ensure that the system architecture diagram accurately reflects the software architecture.

The implementation of new software can be greatly facilitated by leveraging system architecture diagrams developed by architects. These diagrams can be utilised for a variety of purposes, such as planning and executing changes to a network, visualising long-term objectives, and anticipating business requirements. By utilising such diagrams, organisations can benefit from the expertise of architects while eliminating the need to invest in costly software development.

As software and web-based applications become increasingly intricate, developers and other stakeholders must be able to depend on system architecture diagrams to provide effective communication. Through the use of these diagrams, a more comprehensive understanding of the system can be achieved, allowing for more efficient collaboration and problem solving.

For those who are unfamiliar, please explain software architecture.

Software architecture is a concept that refers to the comprehensive description of the essential characteristics and components of a software system. It encapsulates the system’s structural and behavioural elements, as well as their integration into larger subsystems, to enable the system to achieve its intended purpose. Such architectural design principles provide an understanding of the system’s overall structure and design, as well as its connection to its context and environment.

An optimal design is essential for achieving desired levels of performance, fault tolerance, scalability, and reliability as your program grows. By carefully selecting an appropriate architecture for your program, you can ensure consistent performance even in the most demanding scenarios.

By considering the long-term objectives of your product and determining how to best articulate this vision, your team will be well-equipped to make informed and effective strategic decisions, even if there is not an anticipated surge in customers.

There are five main categories of software architecture patterns.

Having a sound knowledge of software architectural patterns can be a highly beneficial tool, helping you to complete tasks in a more expedient manner. In order to provide an overview of the various patterns available, we have identified five common categories which are outlined below.

  1. Stacked design

    In this structure, subtasks are stacked one on top of the other, as the name suggests.

    Each layer functions independently and strives to accomplish its own objectives. As a result of each layer’s independent functioning, modifications to the code within one layer can be made without impacting the other layers.

    This pattern is the most common one used in the creation of software. This level corresponds to the “N-tier architecture” concept as well.

    All all, there are four distinct levels to this design. Following is a list of them:
    1. Presentational depth: The layer of an application that allows users to interact with it visually and submit information.
    2. The Business Layer: This is the layer where the requested business logic is carried out.
    3. Functionality provided by the application layer: The layer between the display and data layers that facilitates communication between the two.
    4. Statistics layer: This is the data management layer.

      Excellent for: Building software for online stores. Take, for instance, the Amazon App Store.
  2. Client-Server Architecture

    The client-server architecture is based on the symbiotic relationship between two distinct components: the client and the server. The client is responsible for initiating requests for certain files or other resources stored on the server. Upon receiving a request, the server then generates a response. This two-way communication is fundamental to the success of the client-server architecture.

    Several programs that use this design pattern include:
    1. Email
    2. WWW
    3. Applications for exchanging data files
    4. Applications for banking services

      Excellent for: Applications serving several purposes, with robust safety measures. Use Gmail as an example.
  3. Sequence of events

    It is possible for the software’s services to react to events in the outside world thanks to an event-driven architectural pattern.

    What does this mean?

    The event-driven architecture of an application enables the system to respond to user input in a dynamic way. As an example, when a user creates an account on Facebook, their registration is finalised as soon as they fill out the form and submit it. In this case, the user’s action of submitting the form is the event that triggers the process of creating their account.

    Excellent for: Constructing JavaScript-based websites and online stores. Example: swiping a credit card.
  4. Format of a Microkernel

    There are two fundamental components of the microkernel structure: the Application Central System (A) and the plug-in modules (B). The Application Central System is responsible for controlling the core functions of the program, while the plug-in modules provide additional capabilities.

    These elements include both a central system and supplementary “plug-in” modules.

    If you have developed an effective messaging software that has the capability to send and receive text messages with anyone in the world, regardless of their internet connection status, you may decide to add voice chat functionality to the app. This would allow users to communicate not only through text but also through voice, providing them with a more comprehensive messaging experience.

    Due to its microkernel design, it is possible to extend the capabilities of an existing application by implementing plug-ins. This approach allows for the seamless addition of features without requiring the application to be restructured.

    Excellent for: Products- and time-management-oriented software. Examples include Instagram highlights, YouTube ads, and YouTube shorts.
  5. Design for Microservices

    The microservices paradigm takes advantage of a collection of independent yet interdependent services to construct an application. Rather than building a single, large application, each service is developed as an individual program. These smaller programs are then combined to create a comprehensive application.

    The addition of new functionality is simplified when an application is developed utilising the microservices paradigm.

    The utilisation of a microservices architecture in software development promotes loose coupling between components, making them more comprehensible, adjustable, and extensible. One of the most renowned examples of this is Netflix, which uses microservices architecture in its software.

    Excellent for: Websites and software with a lot of little parts. A good example would be Spotify.

Ultimately, however

The Broker, Event-Bus, Pipe-Philtre and Blackboard design patterns are all useful architectural patterns for software development. These patterns all have the same purpose: to help define the essential elements of a program in order to improve its efficacy and efficiency. By utilising these patterns, developers can create a software system that is both practical and efficient.

Prior to selecting a particular architectural design, it is critical to understand its purpose. Failure to do so may result in delays to the project timeline and potentially create an unsuccessful software product.

Therefore, it is imperative that you have a thorough understanding of architectural patterns and the scenarios they are best suited for, so that you can select the architecture pattern that is most suitable for your software requirements. Moreover, it is advisable to find experienced software architects who have knowledge of the various software design patterns.

In order to complete your team’s composition, ensure comprehensive training and help your business progress, you should consider recruiting experienced software architects and engineers from Works. For more information, please refer to the Developers for Hire page.


  1. When it comes to software, how many different patterns can you find?

    Modern software typically utilises five distinct architectures: Intricate Layered Design, Client-Server Architecture Pattern, Event-Driven Structure, Microkernel Structure, and Microservices Architecture. Each of these architectures offer unique advantages and provide developers with the flexibility to design software that meets the specific needs of the end user. Intricate Layered Design, for example, is useful for applications that require complex interactions between components, while Client-Server Architecture Pattern is well-suited for applications that require frequent communication between a server and multiple clients. Event-Driven Structure allows for asynchronous communication between components, while the Microkernel Structure can be used to build custom software solutions. Finally, Microservices Architecture provides a scalable and efficient framework for developing applications.
  2. Can you recommend a good software architecture pattern?

    The Layered Architecture Pattern, or N-tier Architecture Pattern, is widely regarded as the standard for Java EE applications. This design pattern is widely recognised amongst architects, designers, and developers due to its ubiquity and widespread use.

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