Skip to Main Content
There is a common belief in the software community that nonfunctional quality is fundamentally important for architecture sustainability and project success. A recent study, however, suggests that nonfunctional quality is of little relevance for users and customers, but instead mainly a concern for architects. Nontechnical constraints, such as licenses and technology providers, appear to be driving design as prominently as quality requirements. Quality requirements, such as performance, are mainly defined by architects on the basis of their experiences, and are often poorly documented and validated. This column explores whether the software community actually overestimates the relevance of nonfunctional qualities or whether the study's observations indicate a valid position on nonfunctional quality for certain types of application domains, development approaches, and organizational setups.