The Architect´s Napkin

Software Architecture on the Back of a Napkin
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Napkins: A tool for the trade

You know how that is when you start to immerse yourself into some new subject and all around you related stuff suddenly seems to sprout and blossom. Stuff you had never seen before and you doubt, existed before.

This is happening to me right now. Until a couple of days ago, I was not much concerned with napkins. Pretty much they were below my concious radar. I used them when appropriate, but otherwise gave them not much thought. Except maybe for not liking napkins out of real fabric much. They are stiff and lack absorptive capacity.

image Anyway, now that I´ve read Dan Roams book and started this blog, napkins seem to be all over. Not only have star architects been asked to confine themselves to sketches just on napkins. Napkins since have transcended their typical use at tables and become veritable creativity tools:



Cool, isn´t it. I´d love to order a couple of these notebooks, which surely are excellent software architecture tools. Who would still want to use Rational Rose or Visual Studio Team System Architect Edition, if one has such a powerful and flexible tool at one´s disposal?

Unfortunately, as it seems, I´d need to travel to New York to buy such notebooks. They are on sale only at the MoMa.

Until then, though, I can use the only version of this tool:



And it´s for free!

IBM and Microsoft: when will you bring software architectural drawing at our finger tips like this?

Print | posted on Saturday, June 14, 2008 11:52 AM | Filed Under [ Why a napkin? ]



# re: Napkins: A tool for the trade

Great tool I definitely need this as a offline tool. I have drawn my first architectural sketch and i have to admit: when you are limited in space you really have to think about what to draw and what not do draw.
6/15/2008 6:44 PM | Andreas Heil

# re: Napkins: A tool for the trade

@Andreas: Cool! Great you jumped on the software cell bandwaggon ;-) However: What you call "Web app" in your drawing should be another software cell - at least if you´re gonna program the "Web app". Otherwise it would be an actor. But I haven´t explained that yet ;-) If you like, I could elaborate on your scenario in my postings. Send me a private email and we can talk about that: info at ralfw dot de.
6/15/2008 7:16 PM | Ralf
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