Architectural tactics are a key abstraction of software architecture, and support the systematic design and analysis of software architectures to satisfy quality attributes. Since originally proposed in 2003, architectural tactics have been extended and adapted to address additional quality attributes and newer kinds of systems, making quite hard for researchers and practitioners to master this growing body of specialized knowledge. This paper presents the design, execution and results of a systematic mapping study of architectural tactics in software architecture literature. The study found 552 studies in well-known digital libraries, of which 79 were selected and 12 more were added with snowballing, giving a total of 91 primary studies. Key findings are: (i) little rigor has been used to characterize and define architectural tactics; (ii) most architectural tactics proposed in the literature do not conform to the original definition; and (iii) there is little industrial evidence about the use of architectural tactics. This study organizes and summarizes the scientific literature to date about architectural tactics, identifies research opportunities, and argues for the need of more systematic definition and description of tactics.
This study is published in the Journal of Systems and Software