Architecture Content Framework

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Introduction

The Architecture Content Framework (also known as the "TOGAF Content Framework") is defined as

"The TOGAF content framework provides a detailed model of architectural work products, including deliverables, artifacts within deliverables, and the architectural building blocks that artifacts represent. The intention of including a content framework within TOGAF is to drive greater consistency in the outputs that are created when following an Architecture Development Method (ADM)". [1]

Description

The TOGAF Architecture Framework contains two main parts:

  • the Architectural Work Product - defining the main products that result from "doing" the Architecture Development Method
  • the Content Metamodel - defining the concepts with which an architecture can be described.

Architectural Work Product

The Architectural Work Product is, as a concept, not defined very precisely in TOGAF, but is used as "type" for the three main product types: the deliverable, the artifact and the building block.

Deliverables (TOGAF mentions 22 different deliverables) contain artifacts, and artifacts refer to building blocks. Building blocks, on their turn, are described using the content metamodel. Artifacts are practically the same as viewpoints; TOGAF describes a taxonomy of 56 viewpoints.

Content Metamodel

The Content Metamodel is a metamodel itself, and defines the concepts with which an architecture can be described. TOGAF provides a metamodel with 17 core entities (e.g. service, function, principle) and another 18 extensions (e.g. goal, event, logical data component). The Content Metamodel is extensively described in TOGAF (in particular figure 34-8 gives a good overview) and has been subject for ontology research [2]. The Content Metamodel has a similar purpose as Archimate, but their concepts are not the same.

Definitions

"The TOGAF Architecture Content Framework (...) provides a structural model for architectural content that allows major work products to be consistently defined, structured, and presented" [3]
"The Architecture Content Framework provides a detailed model of the outputs to be created by the ADM". [4]
"The ADM describes what needs to be done to create an architecture and the content framework describes what the architecture should look like once it is done". [5]
"The TOGAF content framework provides a detailed model of architectural work products,including deliverables,artifacts within deliverables,and the architectural building blocks that artifacts represent". [6]

Concepts

References

  1. TOGAF9, ch. 4.1, p. 41
  2. Aurona Gerber, Paula Kotzé and Alta van der Merwe, "Towards the formalisation of the TOGAF content metamodel using ontologies", june 2010
  3. TOGAF9, ch. 2.5, p. 11
  4. TOGAF9, ch. 4.2, p. 43
  5. TOGAF9, ch. 33.3, p. 364
  6. TOGAF9, ch. 4.1, p. 41
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