Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Communicating Architecture : Key Terms of 42010

This is in continuation to my earlier post Understanding ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2011 : Standard for Architecture description. If you have landed directly to this post, I recommend to read the earlier post first.

Reposting the conceptual model of the Standard for easy reading.


In this I will discuss the key terms of the Standard.

Architecting :  contributes to the development, operation and maintenance of a system from its initial conception through its retirement from use and disposal. It is performed throughout the system life cycle.

AD Element : Architecture Description Element. The  most  primitive  construct in AD. Every stakeholder, concern, architecture viewpoint, architecture view, model kind, architecture model, architecture decision and rationale is considered an AD element.

Stakeholders : anyone who has interest in the system. e.g.

  • users
  • operators
  • owners
  • suppliers
  • developers
  • maintainers

Concerns : interest in a system relevant to one or more of its stakeholders. e,g, technological, business, operational, performance, resource utilization, etc.

Viewpoint : establishes the conventions for the construction, interpretation and use of architecture views for specific concern(s). A concern can be framed by more than one viewpoint. Viewpoint conventions can include
languages, notations, model kinds, design rules, and/or modelling methods, analysis techniques and other
operations on views.

View : expresses the architecture of a system from the perspective of specific system concern(s) in accordance to its Viewpoint.

Model Kinds : conventions for a type of modelling. e.g. class diagrams, data flow diagrams, etc.

Architecture Model : An architecture model uses modelling conventions appropriate to the concerns to be addressed. These conventions are specified by the model kind governing that model. Within an architecture description,  an architecture model can be a part of more than one architecture view.

Rationale : Architecture rationale records explanation, justification or reasoning about architecture decisions that have been made. The rationale for a decision  can  include the basis for a decision, alternatives and trade-offs considered, potential consequences of the decision and citations to sources of additional information.

Decision : something which affect the architecture in context of a concern.

Correspondence Rules : Correspondences are governed by Correspondence Rules.

Correspondences : defines a relation between AD elements. Correspondences and correspondence rules are used to express and enforce architecture relations such as composition, refinement, consistency, traceability, dependency, constraint and obligation.

Architecture Framework :  conventions, principles and practices for the description of architectures established within a specific domain of application and/or community of stakeholder. Uses of architecture frameworks include, but are not limited to: creating architecture descriptions; developing architecture modelling tools and architecting methods; and establishing processes to facilitate communication, commitments and interoperation across multiple projects and/or organization. e.g.

  • Zachman’s information systems architecture framework
  • UK Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework
  • The Open Group’s Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
  • Kruchten’s “4+1” view model
  • Reference Model for Open Distributed Processing (RM-ODP)

Architecture Description Language (ADL) :  An ADL provides one or more model kinds as  a means to frame some concerns for its audience of stakeholders. An ADL can be narrowly focused, defining a single model kind, or widely focused to provide several model kinds, optionally organized into viewpoints. Often an ADL is supported by automated tools to aid the creation, use and analysis of its models. e.g.

  • Rapide
  • Wright
  • SysML
  • ArchiMate

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