Monday, May 19, 2014

Musings : Of a Bridge and Enterprise/Solution Architecture

Musings : Of a Bridge and Enterprise/Solution Architecture!

Few days ago during the daily commute caught an NPR radio program ("A Big Bridge in the Wrong Place") where the radio-journalist was trying to find out the reason why the Tappan Zee Bridge in NYC is located at the broadest point on the river (despite higher cost of construction , more difficult build, extra fuel consumed etc.) when more narrower spots are available downstream. 

The reason it turns out is that any point downstream from where it is currently located would have taken it into Port Authority jurisdiction rather than NY State jurisdiction. That would have resulted in all the tolls going to the Port Authority. Something which NY State did not want.

Well, that's not the first or last time a sub-optimal decision has been taken due to extraneous reasons. But now, since all the infrastructure surrounding the bridge has come up at this current "broad" location any future enhancements would need to be made at current site despite the long length. Drives up costs considerably!

What's all this got to do with Enterprise/Solution Architecture? For me it was a reminder that a sub-optimal platform decision/solution design/tool choice now esp. if driven by extraneous factors will not only be sub-optimal now but will continue to drive sub-optimality down the years too as the cost of correcting a poor decision will become prohibitive. That's not counting the extra maintenance costs ("fuel charges"). 

Moral of the story: Build your bridges where the river is narrow (aka make the correct architectural decisions or be prepared to spend extra down the road)

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