What is architecture?

 Well, first of all, in software context, the word is a metaphor.

A figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.

Obviously the suggested resemblance is to the buildings architecture.

So a better question would be:

To what concepts is the metaphor applied?

There are probably many but seems that the outstanding ones are the following three:

1. Culture – The domain of interest and the set of knowledge for a particular person or group.

2. Process – The process/activity of defining the structure of a software system

3. Characteristic – A structural characteristic of a software system.

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