The reason behind it
Before you start programming, your application should go through an architecture review. When we say architecture review, we mostly have the database design and API in mind.
We do architecture planning and review in order to:
- have a clear overview of the project before we start coding
- have a clear way of communicating the project architecture to the client
- prevent scope creep
- have better architecture
Database design is by far the most important part of a web application.
Architecture review timeline
Please follow this timeline:
- A project manager asks you to go into an initial project meeting.
- You should never go alone as the only Rails developer in the meeting—always take another team member with you.
- There are no stupid questions in these meetings. It's better to understand everything at this point, than make assumptions two weeks later.
- Ask the project manager to give you the project specification.
- Once you're done with the initial project meeting and have the specification, sit down with the member of your team that was at the meeting with you and design the database. You can do this on a whiteboard or a piece of paper, or use a tool, such as Gliffy or MySQL Workbench. If you need to draw a sequence diagram, use Web Sequence Diagram.
- Consult the project manager at will and add new discoveries to the specification if you find that something's missing.
- Don't hesitate to involve other team members since this is the most important part of the app.
- Once you've finished the database design, it has to be approved by someone from the management.
- Once your architecture has been approved, you can generate a new Rails project. Read more about that on the next page.
In order to start coding, the whole project must go through an architecture review. If this is not possible for any reason, the project should be split into phases. In that case, each phase needs to go through an architecture review before coding can begin.
Sometimes, you will notice some obvious mistakes you couldn't have seen when you started the project. If these make a large architecture overturn, go back to step 8.
Think of this as a never bending rule.