Enterprise Architecture Meta Models

2 August 2006

I’m trying to define good meta model for Enterprise Architecture.

The Archimate meta model is a good starting point,
see the Archimate Resource Tree (http://www.telin.nl/NetworkedBusiness/Archimate/ART/index.html) for details.

It is open to use, but perhaps is not yet known to the world at large, outside of the Netherlands.

Are there any other Enterprise Architecture meta models ?
What is the meta model for the Zachman Framework for instance ?

Many tool vendors do publish some meta models for their tools.
One issue I find is that very often there is a suite of tools from the same vendor, for example one for Business Process Modelling, another for UML modelling, another for Data Modelling and so on.
These individual meta models often are not integrated and many concepts end up being represented in different and overlapping ways.

Interesting questions are:

  • How is the information in a business process model related to classes in a UML class diagram?
  • How are different modelling levels represented ?
  • How are Business Processes related to Services and to Applications?
  • How are different scenarios (current, target) represented?
  • How are strategy and performance concepts related to the other concepts ?
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8 Responses to “Enterprise Architecture Meta Models”

  1. chris_aitken Says:

    Have you considered using RM ODP to provide an EA meta-model. Compare the RM ODP Enterprise Language concepts with the Archimate material and I think you will see what I mean.

  2. samuel Says:

    In my company, we have developed our meta models. On for each layers : business (process, activity, …), functional (functionality, business object,…) , applicative (application, services, …), Technology (network, server, …), Organization (actors, projects,…) and Documents (document, notes, …).

    For each one we have defined links between each other. We have modeling that by class diagram in UML. For example Business process are linked to activities, which are linked to procedure, which are linked to functionality used. Functionality manipulates business object and are linked to application. How do you think about that ?


    • I think that your ‘Functional’ layer is not clear.
      Business Objects are usually part of the Information Architecture (see Archimate).

      Functionality is a strange word that has a fuzzy meaning to me. Do you mean Business Function or Business Capability? Or perhaps Functionality is supposed to be a super class of Business Function (Business Capability) and Business Processes, Activities etc?.
      Functionality sounds like it should be in the Business Layer.
      Archimate is clearer about the distinction between Business Function and Business Process.

      Also your use of the word ‘Applicative’ is rather odd.
      Most people would talk about Application Architecture or Information Systems Architecture.
      Here you mention Services.
      Services exist at each layer, so thus I distinguish between Business Services, Organisational Services, Application Services and Infrastructure Services (also known as Platform Services), again following the Archimate meta model.

      TOGAF 9 now has a similar meta model, not so well developed as Archimate, but I expect that to be addressed in TOGAF 9.1.
      See http://www.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf9-doc/arch/Figures/34_contentfwk8.png

  3. samuel Says:

    I’m sorry for my words…I’m french and it’s the first time I have that kind of talk in English. And I know that words are important and have to be used at the good place. Excuse me. I’ll try to do it better.

    By functional layer I mean Information Architecture I think. In that layer we have business function used in procedure of our process. These business functions manage business object. I think it’s that. An example of business function could be “print a document” in my way. But our function are only automatized functions. When we have function, we have an application to support this business function. And we do that link between business function, application service and application. Is that more clear ?

    When I say service, I should be more precise. Like in french we have several meanings. In my last post I mean Application services.

    We don’t use the concept role. We have some difficulties to manage actors and we don’t want to had a complexity with role. We haven’t a good, clear, and exhaustive definition of it.

  4. samuel Says:

    I didn’t see that this post was posted in 2006…but your blog is very interesting for me : continue to that way. When do you have a rss feed ? It would be better for me/us to follow you day after day. I go back reading you !

  5. samuel Says:

    I didn’t study them a lot, but I think there are more unsophisticated than ours. Because at each layers we have lot of concepts, more than that it’s showed on both meta model. I think that ours are more complex but the question is : are we complex because we want to be complex ? Or there is a real complexity in our enterprise architecture….I’ll study both of metamodel, and give you a feedback later. Have you visit my blob ? It’s in french but there are some searches about EA.


  6. On architecture meta models

    First, read “Function!” top right of the page at http://avancier.co.uk

    The read “architecture meta models” on the same site, where you’ll find about 8 different meta models.


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