Whitepaper: Layering Strategies
This paper clarifies the concept of Layering and presents different Layering Strategies.
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Peter Eeles is a Technical Lead in Rational's Regional Services Organization, based in the UK. He has spent the majority of his 16 year career developing large-scale distributed systems and, in 1998, co-authored his first book, "Building Business Objects". A regular speaker at conferences throughout Europe, Peter spends most of his time consulting in software architecture, and in helping organization adopt the Rational Unified Process. He lives in the UK with his wife, Karen, and sons Daniel, Thomas and Christopher. Peter can be reached via e-mail at peter.eeles@uk.ibm.com. .


A number of techniques exist for decomposing software systems. Layering is one example and is described in this paper. Such techniques address two main concerns: most systems are too complex to comprehend in their entirety, and different perspectives of a system are required for different audiences.

Layering has been adopted in numerous software systems, and is espoused in many texts and also in the Rational Unified Process (RUP). However, layering is often misunderstood and incorrectly applied. This paper clarifies what is meant be layering, and discusses the impact of applying different layering strategies.