arc42 by Example
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arc42 by Example

Software Architecture Documentation in Practice

About the Book

This book contains several real-world software architectures, documented with the practical arc42 template.

You will learn about the inner workings of a chess engine, a huge CRM system, a cool web system to track biking activities and an extremely small menu-bar application.

Each of the examples starts with a brief description of the problem domain, including the quality requirements, before we explain the system context with all the external interfaces. Then we dive into an overview of the solution strategy to prepare you for the implementation building blocks and runtime scenarios (as major architectural views).

Later on we explain the crosscutting concepts of every architecture and its implementation.

You will learn that documentation can be compact, helpful and easy-to-read.

Status Decemter 2022: We just started editing a new and enhanced edition of the book. Ever reader will get this new version (our third edition) as a free update, of course!

About the Authors

Gernot Starke
Gernot Starke

Dr. Gernot Starke (INNOQ Fellow) is co-founder and longstanding user of the (open source) arc42 documentation template. For more than 20 years, he has been working as software-architect, coach and consultant, conquering the challenges of creating effective software architectures for clients from various industries.

Gernot co-founded the International Software Architecture Qualification Board (iSAQB e.V.) and the (open source) Architecture Improvement Method (

Gernot has authored several (German) books on software architecture and related topics.

Michael Simons
Michael Simons

Michael Simons is a father of two, husband, geek, programmer and passionate cyclist. He works as a Senior Software engineer for Neo4j. In a previous life he worked at ENERKO INFORMATIK, an Aachen based company dealing with GIS system and has a background focussed on geographic information systems for utilities and price calculation at the energy market. In his brief time at INNOQ he helped customers modernize their application systems. Michael is known for having a certain passion for SQL and Spring.

Michael took his apprenticeship at the FZ Jülich and studies at FH Aachen: Campus Jülich. He is a PRINCE2 ® Registered Practitioner and sometimes torn between the roles of an architect and project manager.

Michael is a dedicated blogger and engaged in various open source projects, you'll find his stuff at

Stefan Zörner
Stefan Zörner

From the Bayer AG via IBM and oose to embarc. Stefan Zörner has twenty years of experience in IT and still looks forward to the future with excitement. He supports clients in solving architecture and implementation problems. In interesting workshops he demonstrates how to use practical design tools as well as spreading enthusiasm for real life architectural work.

Ralf D. Müller
Ralf D. Müller

Ralf D. Müller is an international conference speaker, solutions architect, a ambitious Groovy developer and father. He is continually trying to simplify his work. Currently, his main concern is improving the holistic documentation of projects. He achieves this especially with the help of the arc42 template and docs-as-code approach.

He is the founder of the docToolchain open source project.

More infos about his work can be found at and on speakerdeck.

Hendrik Lösch
Hendrik Lösch

Hendrik Lösch is a consultant and architect at ZEISS Digital Innovation. The focus of his work is on the development and evaluation of software, based on Microsoft technologies. He also enjoys writing and talking about his work as well as his enthusiasm for clean code, software evolution and test automation in its various forms.

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About the Contributors

Peter Hruschka
Peter Hruschka


Table of Contents

  • Preface
    • Acknowledgements
    • Conventions
    • Disclaimer
  • I - Introduction
    • I.1 What is arc42?
    • I.2 Why this Book?
    • I.3 What this Book is Not
    • I.4 Overview of the Examples
    • I.5 Table of arc42 Topics
  • II. HTML Sanity Checking
    • II.1. Introduction and Goals
    • II.2 Constraints
    • II.3 System Scope and Context
    • II.4 Solution Strategy
    • II.5 Building Block View
    • II.6 Runtime View
    • II.7 Deployment view
    • II.8 Cross-cutting Concepts
    • II.9 Architecture Decisions
    • II.10 Quality Requirements
    • II.11 Risks and Technical Debt
    • II.12 Glossary
  • III - Mass Market Customer Relationship Management
    • III.1 Introduction and Goals
    • III.2 Constraints
    • III.3 System Scope and Context
    • III.4 Solution Strategy
    • III.5 Building Block View
    • III.6 Runtime View
    • III.7 Deployment View
    • III.8 Cross-Cutting Concepts
    • III.9 Architecture Decisions
    • III.10 Quality Requirements
    • III.11 Risks
    • III.12 Glossary
  • IV - biking2
    • IV.1 Introduction and Goals
    • IV.2 Constraints
    • IV.3 System Scope and Context
    • IV.4 Solution Strategy
    • IV.5 Building Block View
    • IV.6 Runtime View
    • IV.7 Deployment View
    • IV.8 Cross-cutting Concepts
    • IV.9 Architecture Decisions
    • IV.10 Quality Requirements
    • IV.11 Risks and Technical Debt
    • IV.12 Glossary
  • V - DokChess
    • V.1 Introduction and Goals
    • V.2 Constraints
    • V.3 System Scope and Context
    • V.4 Solution Strategy
    • V.5 Building Block View
    • V.6 Runtime View
    • V.7 Deployment View
    • V.8 Cross-cutting Concepts
    • V.9 Architecture Decisions
    • V.10 Quality Requirements
    • V.11 Risks and Technical Debts
    • V.12 Glossary
  • VI - docToolchain
    • VI.1 Introduction and Goals
    • VI.2 Constraints
    • VI.3 System Scope and Context
    • VI.4 Solution Strategy
    • VI.5 Building Block View
    • VI.6 Runtime View
    • VI.7 Deployment View
    • VI.8 Cross-cutting Concepts
    • VI.9 Architecture Decisions
    • VI.10 Quality Requirements
    • VI.11 Risks and Technical Debt
    • VI.12 Glossary
  • VII - Foto Max
    • VII.1 About this document
    • VII.2 Introduction and Goals
    • VII.3 Quality Requirements
    • VII.4 Constraints
    • VII.5 System Scope and Context
    • VII.6 Solution Strategy
    • VII.7 Building Block View
    • VII.8 Runtime View
    • VII.9 Deployment View
    • VII.10 Cross-cutting Concepts
    • VII.11 Architecture Decisions
    • VII.12 Risks & Technical Debt
    • VII.13 Glossary
    • VII.14 Organizational Topics
  • VIII - Mac-OS Menubar Application
  • The Authors
    • Gernot Starke
    • Hendrik Lösch
    • Michael Simons
    • Stefan Zörner
    • Ralf D. Müller
    • Contacting the Authors
  • Further Reading
  • Notes

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