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Problem frames provide a means of analyzing and decomposing problems. They emphasise the world outside of the computer, helping the developer to focus on the problem domain, instead of drifting into inventing solutions. However, even modestly complex problems can force us into detailed consideration of the architecture of the solution. This is counter to the intention of the problem frames approach, which is to delay consideration of the solution space until a good understanding of the problem is gained. We therefore extend problem frames, allowing architectural structures, services and artifacts to be considered as part of the problem domain. Through a case study, we show how this extension enhances the applicability of problem frames in permitting an architecture-based approach to software development. We conclude that, through our extension, the applicability of problem frames is extended to include domains with existing architectural support.
Date of Conference: 2002