Glossary of Solution Architecture Terms

The below glossary covers a range of terms commonly encountered in solution architecture, providing a foundation for understanding key concepts and practices in the field.

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  1. API (Application Programming Interface): A set of protocols, tools, and definitions for building software and enabling communication between different software systems.
  2. Agile: A software development methodology characterized by iterative development, collaboration between cross-functional teams, and adaptive planning.
  3. Architecture: The structure of a system, including its components, relationships, and principles guiding its design and evolution.
  4. Big Data: Large and complex data sets that cannot be easily managed or processed using traditional data processing applications.
  5. Blockchain: A decentralized, distributed ledger technology that records transactions across multiple computers in a way that ensures security, transparency, and immutability.
  6. Cloud Computing: Delivery of computing services (such as servers, storage, databases, networking, software, etc.) over the internet (the cloud) to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale.
  7. Containerization: A lightweight, portable, and self-sufficient packaging of software, enabling applications to run consistently across different computing environments.
  8. Data Lake: A centralized repository that allows you to store all structured and unstructured data at any scale. It provides capabilities for analytics, data mining, and machine learning.
  9. DevOps: A culture and set of practices that bring together development (Dev) and operations (Ops) teams to automate and streamline the software development lifecycle.
  10. Microservices: Architectural style where an application is composed of small, independent services that can be deployed, updated, and scaled independently.
  11. Middleware: Software that connects different software applications or components, enabling communication and data management between them.
  12. Scalability: The ability of a system to handle an increasing amount of work by adding resources or distributing the workload across multiple nodes.
  13. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA): An architectural pattern where software components are designed to be independent services that communicate with each other over a network.
  14. Software as a Service (SaaS): A software delivery model where applications are hosted by a third-party provider and made available to customers over the internet.
  15. System Integration: The process of connecting different subsystems or components into one unified system to ensure they function together.
  16. Virtualization: The process of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, such as a server, storage device, network, or operating system.
  17. Infrastructure as Code (IaC): The practice of managing and provisioning computing infrastructure through machine-readable definition files, rather than physical hardware configuration.
  18. Event-Driven Architecture (EDA): A software architecture paradigm in which the production, detection, and consumption of events (state changes) drive the behavior of connected systems.
  19. Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment (CI/CD): Practices that automate the process of integrating code changes into a shared repository and then deploying them to production environments.
  20. Edge Computing: A distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the location where it is needed, improving response times and saving bandwidth.
  21. Fault Tolerance: The ability of a system to continue operating in the event of a failure, either by gracefully degrading performance or by automatically recovering from the failure.
  22. High Availability (HA): A characteristic of a system that aims to ensure its continuous operation over a long period of time, often achieved through redundancy and failover mechanisms.
  23. Latency: The time delay between the moment something is initiated and the moment its effect is observed, often used to describe the responsiveness of a system.
  24. Service Level Agreement (SLA): A contract between a service provider and a customer that defines the level of service expected, including uptime, performance, and support.
  25. Security: The protection of digital information and systems from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction, often achieved through encryption, authentication, and access controls.