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The main value of the engineering viewpoint is in providing a technology neutral architectural framework or reference architecture that can be used as a basic tool for designing new systems or comparing existing infrastructure technologies for distributed processing
The node architecture identifies a number of functions that are commonly found in the platforms supporting application objects. Providing a technology neutral architecture for describing them helps to identify the commonalities between different infrastructure solutions, such as JEE or .NET, and so makes the integration of different platforms simpler
It is important to understand the kinds of functionality required to support provision of distribution transparencies, the basic mechanisms needed to achieve those functionalities, and how they can be structured and assigned to the architectural elements of the engineering viewpoint. This provides a reference architecture, against which existing distributed processing systems can be compared and evaluated, or with which tomorrow's systems can be designed. Using it helps technical architects specify or select required infrastructure characteristics2.
Generic Node Structure (From Linington et. al. )
The engineering viewpoint is also concerned with defining a channel architecture that represents the communication infrastructure, which allows engineering objects to interact (across container barriers)
All channels involve the same functions, using specialized engineering objects to implement the required functionality in an ordered manner. However, different specific communication architectures may each organize or interleave these functions in their own way3.
Normally there is no need to specify these elements in detail because they are provided by the underlying middleware platform (some of which are themselves standardized). However, there are occasions in which we want to model them functionally, in order to specify some of a channel's properties, or to express requirements on it - such as performance requirements on the channels or security constraints on the protocol objects or interceptors3.
Example of a Channel Structure (From Linington et. al. )