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For long-lived systems, there is a need to address evolvability (i.e. a system's ability to easily accommodate changes) explicitly during the entire lifecycle. In this paper, we undertake a systematic review to obtain an overview of the existing studies in promoting software evolvability at architectural level. The search strategy identified 58 studies that were catalogued as primary studies for this review after using multi-step selection process. The studies are classified into five main categories of themes, including techniques that support quality considerations during software architecture design, architectural quality evaluation, economic valuation, architectural knowledge management and modeling techniques. The review investigates what is currently known about architecting software evolvability at architecture level. Implications for research and practice are presented.
Date of Conference: 6-9 April 2010