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Common Characteristics of Enterprise Applications

Last week, I was conducting a tech talk about “Architectural Patterns of Enterprise Applications” with our team. The discussion was mainly based on Marin Fowler's famous book “Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture”. So, I thought, it's good to write something about that in my Blog. Given below are few common characteristics of Enterprise Applications. If any software product has the following characteristics, we can identify it as an Enterprise Application. These ware originally documented by “Martin Fowler”, in his book “Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture”.

  • Persistent Data - Enterprise applications usually involve persistent data. The data is persistent because it needs to be around between multiple runs of the program—indeed, it usually needs to persist for several years. Also during this time there will be many changes in the programs that use it.
  • Lot of Data - There's usually a lot of data, a moderate system will have over 1 GB of data organized in tens of millions of records—so much that managing it is a major part of the system.
  • Access Data Concurrently - Usually many people access data concurrently. For many systems this may be less than a hundred people, but for Web-based systems that talk over the Internet this goes up by orders of magnitude.
  • Lot of User Interface Screens - With so much data, there's usually a lot of user interface screens to handle it. It's not unusual to have hundreds of distinct screens.
  • Integrate with other Enterprise Applications - Enterprise applications rarely live on an island. Usually they need to integrate with other enterprise applications scattered around the enterprise. The various systems are built at different times with different technologies, and even the collaboration mechanisms will be different.

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