The technique of providing summarized or generalized descriptions of detailed and complex content.
Abstraction, as in "level of abstraction", can also mean providing a focus for analysis that is concerned with a consistent and common level of detail or abstraction. Abstraction in this sense is typically used in architecture to allow a consistent level of definition and understanding to be achieved in each area of the architecture in order to support effective communication and decision-making. It is especially useful when dealing with large and complex architectures as it allows relevant issues to be identified before further detail is attempted.
ACME is a simple, generic software architecture description language.
Association Control Service Element.
A task or collection of tasks that support the functions of an organization. For example, a user entering data into an IT system or traveling to visit customers.
A person, organization, or system that has a role that initiates or interacts with activities; for example, a sales representative who travels to visit customers. Actors may be internal or external to an organization. In the automotive industry, an original equipment manufacturer would be considered an actor by an automotive dealership that interacts with its supply chain activities.
High-level computer programming language developed by the US Department of Defence (DoD). Ada is used as the standard programming language for DoD. It is used for real-time processing, is modular in nature, and includes object-oriented features.
Architecture Description Language - is the generic term for a language that provides a common interchange format for the exchange of information between architectural design and analysis tools.
Architecture Development Method
Architecture Description Mark-up Language - is the ADL being promoted by The Open Group to encourage the open exchange of architectural information between different architecture tool sets.
American National Standards Institute.
See 'Application Program Interface'.
See 'Application Portability Profile'.
A deployed and operational IT system that supports business functions and services; for example, a payroll. Applications use data and are supported by multiple technology components but are distinct from the technology components that support the application.
. A description of the structure and interaction of the applications as groups of capabilities that provide key business functions and manage the data assets.
The collection of technology components of hardware and software that provide the services used to support applications.
Application Portability Profile (APP)
The NIST APP is the structure that integrates US Federal, national, international, and other specifications to provide the functionality necessary to accommodate the broad range of US Federal information technology requirements.
Application Program Interface (API)
(1) The interface or set of functions, between application software and/or the application platform.
(2) The most common means by which a software programmer invokes other software functions.
Software entities which have a specific business purpose.
Ada Programming Support Environment.
The combination of distinctive features in which architecture is performed or expressed.
(1) 1. A formal description of a system, or a detailed plan of the system at component level, to guide its implementation (source: ISO/IEC 42010:2007).
(2) 2. The structure of components, their inter-relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time.
The existing system architecture before entering a cycle of architecture review and redesign.
Architecture Building Block (ABB)
A constituent of the architecture model that describes a single aspect of the overall model.
A part of the Enterprise Continuum. A repository of architectural elements with increasing detail and specialization. This Continuum begins with foundational definitions like reference models, core strategies, and basic building blocks. From there it spans to Industry Architectures and all the way to an organization's specific architecture.
The logical view of the data models, data standards, and data structure. It includes a definition of the physical databases for the information system, their performance requirements, and their geographical distribution.
Architecture Development Method (ADM)
The core of TOGAF. A step-by-step approach to develop and use an enterprise architecture.
The architectural area being considered. There are four architecture domains within TOGAF: business, data, application, and technology.
A conceptual structure used to develop, implement, and sustain an architecture.
The practice and orientation by which enterprise architectures and other architectures are managed and controlled at an enterprise-wide level. It is concerned with change processes (design governance) and operation of product systems (operational governance).
The architectural representation of assets in use, or planned, by the enterprise at particular points in time.
A qualitative statement of intent that should be met by the architecture. Has at least a supporting rationale and a measure of importance.
Depicts the configuration of the target information system.
A perspective from which an architecture may be viewed in order to ensure that a specific topic is considered in a coherent manner - e.g. Security.
(1) A succinct description of the Target Architecture that describes its business value and the changes to the enterprise that will result from its successful deployment. It serves as an aspirational vision and a boundary for detailed architecture development.
(2) A phase in the ADM which delivers understanding and definition of the Architecture Vision.
(3) A specific deliverable describing the Architecture Vision.
An architectural work product that describes an aspect of the architecture.
Abstract Syntax Notation.
Active Server Pages
The probability that system functional capabilities are ready for use by a user at any time, where all time is considered, including operations, repair, administration, and logistic time. Availability is further defined by system category for both routine and priority operations.Back to top
Initial or basic functions.
A specification that has been formally reviewed and agreed upon, that thereafter serves as the basis for further development or change and that can be changed only through formal change control procedures or a type of procedure such as configuration management.
The existing defined system architecture before entering a cycle of architecture review and redesign.
Processing data or the accomplishment of jobs accumulated in advance in such a manner that each accumulation thus formed is processed or accomplished in the same computer run.
Boundaryless Information Flow
(1) A trademark of The Open Group.
(2) A shorthand representation of "access to integrated information to support business process improvements" representing a desired state of an enterprise's infrastructure specific to the business needs of the organization.
An infrastructure that provides Boundaryless Information Flow has open standard components that provide services in a customer's extended enterprise that:
- Combine multiple sources of information
- Securely deliver the information whenever and wherever it is needed, in the right context for the people or systems using that information.
A specification that has been formally reviewed and agreed upon, that thereafter serves as the basis for further development or change and that can be changed only through formal change control procedures or a type of procedure such as configuration management.
Building blocks can be defined at various levels of detail, depending on what stage of architecture development has been reached. For instance, at an early stage, a building block can simply consist of a name or an outline description. Later on, a building block may be decomposed into multiple supporting building blocks and may be accompanied by a full specification. Building blocks can relate to "architectures" or "solutions".
A description of the structure and interaction between the business strategy, organization, functions, business processes, and information needs.
A grouping of coherent business functions and activities (in the context of a business sector) over which meaningful responsibility can be taken. For example, Finance, Human Resources (HR), Automobile Manufacturing, Retail, etc. The phrase is often used to identify specific business knowledge (a business domain expert).
Delivers business capabilities closely aligned to an organization, but not necessarily explicitly governed by the organization.
Concerned with ensuring that the business processes and policies (and their operation) deliver the business outcomes and adhere to relevant business regulation.
Supports business capabilities through an explicitly defined interface and is explicitly governed by an organization.
A technique that may be used prior to, and as a key input to, the development of the architecture, to derive the characteristics of the Technical Architecture directly from the high-level requirements of the business. It is used to help identify and understand business needs, and thereby to derive the business requirements that the architecture development has to address.
Hardware, software, policy statements, procedures and people which together implement a business function.Back to top
An ability that an organization, person, or system possesses. Capabilities are typically expressed in general and high-level terms and typically require a combination of organization, people, processes, and technology to achieve. For example, marketing, customer contact, or outbound telemarketing.
A highly detailed description of the architectural approach to realize a particular solution or solution aspect.
A discrete portion of a capability architecture that delivers specific value. When all increments have been completed, the capability has been realized.
Consultative Committee on International Telegraph and Telephone.
An application component which requests services from a server.
Common Management Information Service
Common Management Information Protocol
Control OBjectives for Information and related Technology
Acronym for Common Business-Oriented Language. COBOL is a computer programming language used extensively in mainframes and minicomputers for business applications.
Communications and Stakeholder Management
The management of needs of stakeholders of the enterprise architecture practice. It also manages the execution of communication between the practice and the stakeholders and the practice and the consumers of its services.
Hardware and software functions which allow Application Platforms to exchange information.
A set of products, concepts, and services, that enable the connection of computer systems for the purpose of transmitting data and other forms (e.g. voice and video) between the systems.
A node that is either internal to the communications network (e.g. routers, bridges, or repeaters) or located between the end device and the communications network to operate as a gateway.
A set of assets (transmission media, switching nodes, interfaces, and control devices), that will establish linkage between users and devices.
The key interests that are crucially important to the stakeholders in a system, and determine the acceptability of the system. Concerns may pertain to any aspect of the system's functioning, development, or operation, including considerations such as performance, reliability, security, distribution, and evolvability.
A discipline applying technical and administrative direction and surveillance to:
(a) identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a configuration item.
(b) control changes to those characteristics and,
(c) record and report changes to processing and implementation status.
A service area of the External Environment entity of the technical Reference Model that provides end-to-end connectivity for communications through three transport levels (global, regional, and local). It provides general and applications-specific services to platform end devices.
An external factor that prevents an organization from pursuing particular approaches to meet its goals. For example, customer data is not harmonized within the organization, regionally or nationally, constraining the organization's ability to offer effective customer service.
Common Object Request Broker Architecture.Back to top
A description of the structure and interaction of the enterprise's major types and sources of data, logical data assets, physical data assets, and data management resources.
A specialised type of database containing metadata, which is managed by a data dictionary system; a repository of information describing the characteristics of data used to design, monitor, document, protect, and control data in information systems and databases; an application of data dictionary systems.
A basic unit of information having a meaning and that may have subcategories (data items) of distinct units and values.
Structured or organised collection of information, which may be accessed by the computer.
Database Management System
Computer application program that accesses or manipulates the database.
Data Interchange Service
A service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides specialised support for the interchange of data between applications on the same or different platforms.
Data Management Service
A service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides support for the management, storage, access, and manipulation of data in a database.
Database Management System.
Distributed Computing Environment.
Data Definition Language.
Command which is automatically executed if none is specifically indicated.
An architectural work product that is contractually specified and in turn formally reviewed, agreed, and signed off by the stakeholders. Deliverables represent the output of projects and those deliverables that are in documentation form will typically be archived at completion of a project, or transitioned into an Architecture Repository as a reference model, standard, or snapshot of the Architecture Landscape at a point in time.
Part of the network services of the Application Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides locator services that are restricted to finding the location of a service, location of data, or translation of a common name into a network specific address. It is analogous to telephone books and supports distributed directory implementations.
US Department of Defence Information Systems Agency.
(1) A database that is not stored in a central location but is dispersed over a network of interconnected computers.
(2) A database under the overall control of a central database management system but whose storage devices are not all attached to the same processor.
(3) A database that is physically located in two or more distinct locations.
Data Management Facility.Back to top
European Computer Manufacturers Association.
Electronic Data Interchange.
External Environment Interface.
Person who ultimately uses the computer application or output.
The highest level (typically) of description of an organization and typically covers all missions and functions. An enterprise will often span multiple organizations.
A categorization mechanism useful for classifying architecture and solution artifacts, both internal and external to the Architecture Repository, as they evolve from generic Foundation Architectures to Organization-Specific Architectures.
A high level model of an organisation's mission, function, and information architecture. The model consists of a function model and a data model.
The provision and management of the environment required to support the operations of the enterprise architecture practice, including facilities, equipment, tools, and information systems.
Enterprise Resource Planning
Ability to resize objects to produce better organisation of on-screen material, usually a graphic or a window.
External Environment Interface (EEI)
The interface that supports information transfer between the application platform and the external environment.Back to top
Any specifically identified collection of information stored in the computer.
The management of the financial aspects of the enterprise architecture practice; e.g., budgeting and forecasting.
Federal Information Processing Standard.
Acronym for FORmula TRANslator, which is a high level computer language used extensively in scientific and engineering applications.
Generic building blocks, their inter-relationships with other building blocks, combined with the principles and guidelines that provide a foundation on which more specific architectures can be built.
A structure for content or process that can be used as a tool to structure thinking, ensuring consistency and completeness.
File Transfer, Access, and Management.
A useful capability provided by one or more components of a system.Back to top
A statement of difference between two states. Used in the context of gap analysis, where the difference between the Baseline and Target Architecture is identified.
Government Network Management Profile.
Government Open System Interconnection Profile.
The discipline of monitoring, managing, and steering a business (or IS/IT landscape) to deliver the business outcome required.
General Security Service.
Graphical User Interface.Back to top
(1) Physical equipment, as opposed to programs, procedures, rules, and associated documentation.
(2) Contrast with software.
Human-Computer Interface (HCI)
Human Computer Interface Hardware and software allowing information exchange between the user and the computer.Back to top
The International Electrotechnical Commission, the international standards body which is responsible for electrical standards.
Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.
Integrated Information Infrastructure
Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model
Any communication or representation of facts, data, or opinions, in any medium or form, including textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or audio-visual forms.
A set of commonly and unambiguously labelled information objects with a common security policy that defines the protections to be afforded the objects by authorised users and information management systems.
The computer-based portion of a business system.
Information Technology (IT)
(1) The lifecycle management of information and related technology used by an organization.
(2) An umbrella term that includes all or some of the subject areas relating to the computer industry, such as Business Continuity, Business IT Interface, Business Process Modeling and Management, Communication, Compliance and Legislation, Computers, Content Management, Hardware, Information Management, Internet, Offshoring, Networking, Programming and Software, Professional Issues, Project Management, Security, Standards, Storage, Voice and Data Communications. Various countries and industries employ other umbrella terms to describe this same collection.
(3) A term commonly assigned to a department within an organization tasked with provisioning some or all of the domains described in (2) above.
4) Alternate names commonly adopted include Information Services, Information Management, et al.
Interconnection and inter-relationships between two devices, two applications, or the user and an application or device.
(1) The ability to share information and services.
(2) The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange and use information.
(3) The ability of systems to provide and receive services from other systems and to use the services so interchanged to enable them to operate effectively together.
Information System Architecture.
International Standards Organisation.
Information Technology Infrastructure LibraryBack to top
A Joint Technical Committee established by ISO and IEC to take responsibility for their shared interests in IT standardisation.Back to top
The awareness and understanding of facts, truths, or information gained in the form of experience or learning (a posteriori), or through introspection (a priori). Knowledge is an appreciation of the possession of interconnected details which, in isolation, are of lesser value.Back to top
Local Area Network.
The period of time that begins when a system is conceived and ends when the system is no longer available for use.
An implementation-independent definition of the architecture, often grouping related physical entities according to their purpose and structure. For example, the products from multiple infrastructure software vendors can all be logically grouped as Java application server platforms.Back to top
Metropolitan Area Network
Data about data, of any sort, in any media, that describes the characteristics of an entity.
A model that describes how and with what the architecture will be described in a structured way.
Metaview (also known as a Viewpoint)
A specification of the conventions for constructing and using a view. A metaview acts as a pattern or template of the view, from which to develop individual views. A metaview establishes the purposes and audience for a view, the ways in which the view is documented (e.g., for visual modeling), and the ways in which it is used (e.g., for analysis).
A defined, repeatable approach to address a particular type of problem.
A defined, repeatable series of steps to address a particular type of problem, which typically centers on a defined process, but may also include definition of content.
Management Information Systems.
Message Transfer Agent.
A representation of a subject of interest. A model provides a smaller scale, simplified, and/or abstract representation of the subject matter. A model is constructed as a "means to an end". In the context of enterprise architecture, the subject matter is a whole or part of the enterprise and the end is the ability to construct "views" that address the concerns of particular stakeholders; i.e., their "viewpoints" in relation to the subject matter.
A technique through construction of models which enables a subject to be represented in a form that enables reasoning, insight, and clarity concerning the essence of the subject matter.
A service of the Technical Reference Model that provides the capability to manipulate and manage information products consisting of text, graphics, images, video, and audio.Back to top
US National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Network Layer Security Protocol.Back to top
A time-bounded milestone for an organization used to demonstrate progress towards a goal; for example, "Increase Capacity Utilization by 30% by the end of 2009 to support the planned increase in market share".
Office Document Architecture.
Office Document Interchange Format.
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
OSI Implementors Workshop.
Object-Oriented Database Management System.
Public specifications that are maintained by an open, public consensus process to accommodate new technologies over time and that are consistent with international standards.
A system that implements sufficient open specifications for interfaces, services, and supporting formats to enable properly engineered applications software: (a) to be ported with minimal changes across a wide range of systems, (b) to interoperate with other applications on local and remote systems, and (c) to interact with users in a style that facilitates user portability.
Open Systems Environment (OSE)
The comprehensive set of interfaces, services, and supporting formats, plus user aspects for interoperability or for portability of applications, data, or people, as specified by information technology standards and profiles.
Operating System Service
A core service of the Application Platform entity of the technical Reference Model that is needed to operate and administer the application platform and provide an interface between the application software and the platform (e.g. file management, input/output, print spoolers).
Object Request Broker.
A self-contained unit of resources with line management responsibility, goals, objectives, and measures. Organizations may include external parties and business partner organizations.
Open System Environment.
Open Systems Interconnection.Back to top
A technique for putting building blocks into context; for example, to describe a re-usable solution to a problem. Building blocks are what you use: patterns can tell you how you use them, when, why, and what trade-offs you have to make in doing so.
The monitoring, control, and reporting of the enterprise architecture practice performance. Also concerned with continuous improvement.
PHIGS Extension to X Windows.
Programmer's Hierarchical Interactive Graphics System.
A description of a real-world entity. Physical elements in an enterprise architecture may still be considerably abstracted from Solution Architecture, design, or implementation views.
A combination of technology infrastructure products and components that provides the pre-requisites to host application software.
A technical capability required to provide enabling infrastructure that supports the delivery of applications.
(1) The ease with which a system or component can be transferred from one hardware or software environment to another.
(2) A quality metric that can be used to measure the relative effort to transport the software for use in another environment or to convert software for use in another operating environment, hardware configuration, or software system environment.
(3) The ease with which a system, component, data, or user can be transferred from one hardware or software environment to another.
Portable Operating System Interface (for Computer Environments).
See 'Architecture Principles'.
A set of one or more base standards, and, where applicable, the identification of those classes, subsets, options, and parameters of those base standards, necessary for accomplishing a particular function.
Selecting standards for a particular application.Back to top
The management of the quality aspects of the enterprise architecture practice; e.g., management plans, quality criteria, review processes.Back to top
Remote Access Services
Remote Database Access.
Relational Database Management System.
Reference Model (RM)
A reference model is an abstract framework for understanding significant relationships among the entities of [an] environment, and for the development of consistent standards or specifications supporting that environment. A reference model is based on a small number of unifying concepts and may be used as a basis for education and explaining standards to a non-specialist. A reference model is not directly tied to any standards, technologies, or other concrete implementation details, but it does seek to provide common semantics that can be used unambiguously across and between different implementations (Source: OASIS - refer to www.oasis-open.org/committees/tc_home.php?wg_abbrev=soa-rm).
A system that manages all of the data of an enterprise, including data and process models and other enterprise information. Hence, the data in a repository is much more extensive than that in a data dictionary, which generally defines only the data making up a database.
A statement of need that must be met by a particular architecture or work package.
The acquisition, development, and management of human resources within the enterprise architecture practice in response to demand for enterprise architecture services and financial constraints.
An abstracted plan for business or technology change, typically operating across multiple disciplines over multiple years. Normally used in the phrases Technology Roadmap, Architecture Roadmap, etc.
(1) The usual or expected function of an actor, or the part somebody or something plays in a particular action or event. An Actor may have a number of roles.
(2) 2. The part an individual plays in an organization and the contribution they make through the application of their skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities.
Remote Procedure Call.Back to top
The ability to use the same application software on many different classes of hardware/software platforms from personal computers to super computers (extends the portability concept). The capability to grow to accommodate increased workloads.
Services which protect data, ensuring its confidentiality, availability and integrity.
A detailed, formal description of areas within an enterprise, used at the program or portfolio level to organize and align change activity.
An application component which responds to requests from a client.
The management of the execution and performance of the enterprise architecture practice services. This includes managing the "pipeline" plus current service portfolio.
A way of thinking in terms of services and service-based development and the outcomes of services.
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)
An architectural style that supports service orientation. It has the following distinctive features:
- It is based on the design of the services - which mirror real-world business activities - comprising the enterprise (or inter-enterprise) business processes.
- Service representation utilizes business descriptions to provide context (i.e., business process, goal, rule, policy, service interface, and service component) and implements services using service orchestration.
- It places unique requirements on the infrastructure - it is recommended that implementations use open standards to realize interoperability and location transparency.
- Implementations are environment-specific - they are constrained or enabled by context and must be described within that context.
- It requires strong governance of service representation and implementation.
- It requires a "Litmus Test", which determines a "good service".
Standard Generalised Markup Language.
Standards Information Base
The ability to perform a job-related activity, which contributes to the effective performance of a task.
Security Management Application Process.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol.
System Network Architecture.
Simple Network Management Protocol.
A description of a discrete and focused business operation or activity and how IS/IT supports that operation. A Solution Architecture typically applies to a single project or project release, assisting in the translation of requirements into a solution vision, high-level business and/or IT system specifications, and a portfolio of implementation tasks.
Solution Building Block (SBB)
A candidate solution which conforms to the specification of an Architecture Building Block (ABB).
A part of the Enterprise Continuum. A repository of re-usable solutions for future implementation efforts. It contains implementations of the corresponding definitions in the Architecture Continuum.
An individual, team, or organization (or classes thereof) with interests in, or concerns relative to, the outcome of the architecture. Different stakeholders with different roles will have different concerns.
Standards Information Base (SIB)
A database of standards that can be used to define the particular services and other components of an Organization-Specific Architecture.
A summary formal description of the enterprise, providing an organizing framework for operational and change activity, and an executive-level, long-term view for direction setting.
Structured Query Language.
Special Working Group.
People, machines and methods organised to accomplish a set of specific functions.
System and Network Management Service
A cross-category service of the Application Platform Entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides for the administration of the overall information system. These services include the management of information, processors, networks, configurations, accounting, and performance.
An individual, team, or organization (or classes thereof) with interests in, or concerns relative to, a system (taken from ANSI/IEEE Std 1471-2000).Back to top
Technical Architecture Builder and Browser - an IT Architecture design and constraint tool.
The description of a future state of the architecture being developed for an organization. There may be several future states developed as a roadmap to show the evolution of the architecture to a target state.
Taxonomy of Architecture Views
The organized collection of all views pertinent to an architecture.
Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.
Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria.
Technical Reference Model (TRM)
A structure which allows components of an information system to be described in a consistent manner (i.e., the way in which you describe the components).
See also 'Reference Model (RM)'.
A description of the structure and interaction of the platform services, and logical and physical technology components.
Transparent File Access.
Transport Layer Security Protocol.
Trusted Network Interpretation.
Interaction between a user and a computer in which the user inputs a command to receive a specific result from the computer.
A formal description of the enterprise architecture, showing periods of transition and development for particular parts of the enterprise. Transition Architectures are used to provide an overview of current and target capability and allow for individual work packages and projects to be grouped into managed portfolios and programs.
Order of transactions required to accomplish the desired results.
Technical Reference Model.
Trusted Systems Interoperability Group.Back to top
User Interface Definition Language.
User Interface Management System.
User Interface System Reference Model.
(1) Any person, organisation, or functional unit that uses the services of an information processing system.
(2) In a conceptual schema language, any person or anything that may issue or receive commands and messages to or from the information system.
User Interface Service
A service of the Application Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that supports direct human-machine interaction by controlling the environment in which users interact with applications.Back to top
The representation of a related set of concerns. A view is what is seen from a viewpoint. An architecture view may be represented by a model to demonstrate to stakeholders their areas of interest in the architecture. A view does not have to be visual or graphical in nature.
A definition of the perspective from which a view is taken. It is a specification of the conventions for constructing and using a view (often by means of an appropriate schema or template). A view is what you see; a viewpoint is where you are looking from - the vantage point or perspective that determines what you see.Back to top
A set of actions identified to achieve one or more objectives for the business. A work package can be a part of a project, a complete project, or a program.Back to top