Architecture Driven Modernization

Architecture Driven Modernization is the name of the initiative of the Object Management Group related to building and promoting standards that can be applied to modernize legacy systems. The objective of this initiative is to provide standard representations of views of existing systems in order to enable common modernization activities, such as code analysis and comprehension, and software transformation. [1]

The foundation of the architecture-driven modernization initiative is the OMG specification Knowledge Discovery Metamodel (KDM). Usually the knowledge obtained from existing software is presented in the form of models to which specific queries can be made when necessary. An entity relationship diagram is a frequent format of representing knowledge obtained from existing software. Knowledge Discovery Metamodel (KDM) defines an ontology for the software assets and their relationships for the purpose of performing knowledge discovery of existing code. [2]

Architecture-Driven Modernization is the process of understanding and evolving existing software assets for the purpose of software improvement, modifications, interoperability, refactoring, restructuring, reuse, porting, migration, language translation, enterprise application integration, SOA, and MDA migration.[3]

Architecture Driven Modernization
source: TSRI

Using architecture-driven modernization, many huge and complex mission critical information systems, whose modernization could not have been attempted just a few years ago, can now be modernized affordably and in astonishingly shortened time frames. Due to significantly improved hardware capacity and new technology innovations, information system transformation is now being applied routinely on an unprecedented scale using repeatable, perfective, adaptive processes in conformance with OMG best practices. Automated modernization has become a proven commodity. Architecture driven modernization plays a strategic role in building agility and competitive advantage for a growing number of organizations and industries.The realization is dawning that modernization should no longer be regarded as a one-time fix to deal with a one-time legacy problem. To ensure IT infrastructures are perpetually agile and support rapid enactment of business strategies, organizations are learning they must adopt continuous modernization as a vehicle for future competitiveness. Applying modernization options to existing software systems is no longer a tactical luxury or last gasp measure. For many organizations continuous modernization is now an essential and strategic necessity for competitive survival. Architecture-driven modernization has emerged just in time to provide enterprises with a wide variety of options for understanding, evolving and ultimately transforming critical software assets.While modernization has long been regarded as a cost to be avoided, the advent of architecture driven-modernization creates a vast array of new options for executives considering the best way to revitalize their IT architectures.[4]

Essential Principles of Architecture Driven Modernization (ADM)[5]

  • 1.Model-based :
    • All information on the artefacts to be processed are stored in standardized models. This also applies to derived knowledge
    • Using MOF and XML (XMI) as the conceptual and technical base reduces the tool-dependency and allows third-party products to be used
    • It is only by defining meta-models that the use of automated discovery and analysis tools really becomes reasonable
  • 2. Abstraction and platform-independency
    • Primary sources are just the starting point for the population of the models that are to serve as the basis for all subsequent operations
    • Wherever possible, the derived knowledge is a
  • 3. PSM-PIM-PSM transformation
    • This method has proved its value for all cases in which modernization deals with the creation or modification of software (migration, transformation, integration)
    • The significantly reduced complexity associated with this method increases transparency, reduces the error rate and therefore leads to higher efficiency
    • By the way, using this method makes platform decisions less crucial because changing the definition of the target platform is rather easy
  • 4. Target-oriented and selective
    • "The more the better” surely does not apply to the effective support of modernization measures
    • Meta-data are to be collected and analyzed as target-oriented as possible
  • 5. Adaptive “Factory”
    • Modernization tasks are so diverse that there is no out-of-the-box “all singing and dancing” solution
    • Likewise, you cannot expect a specific tool for each modernization scenario
    • What is really needed are tool components that are based on one common model and that can be assembled into a specific modernization factory

Benefits of Using Architecture Driven Modernization (ADM)[6]

  • Enabling business agility by creating software agility
  • Improving ROI in existing software
    • Improving productivity of software development
    • Reducing maintenance effort and cost
  • Interoperability
  • Adoption of new technologies, Practices and paradigms
  • Modernization is done on the basis of prior experiences and best practices
  • Standardization in modernization can lead to
    • Integration and interoperability between different vendors and tools by creating open framework
    • Encourage collaboration among complementary vendors
    • End users will get better operational cost
  • Reduces the time, cost and risk of software transformations

See Also

Architectural Risk
Architectural Pattern
Architectural Principles
Architecture Description Language (ADL)
Architecture Development Method (ADM)
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
Software Architecture
The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
Design Pattern
Enterprise Architecture
Adaptive Enterprise Framework (AEF)
Architectural Style


  1. Architecture Driven Modernization Definition Wikipedia
  2. Architecture Driven Modernization KDM Wikipedia
  3. Architecture Driven Modernization - Mission OMG
  4. Architecture Driven Enterprise Modernization
  5. Essential Principles of Architecture Driven Modernization (ADM) delta software
  6. Benefits of Using Architecture Driven Modernization (ADM)

Further Reading

  • Architecture-Driven Modernization 101:Concepts, Strategies & Justification Concepts, Strategies & Justification
  • How Architecture Driven Modernization Is Changing the Game in Information System Modernization DTIC