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U.S. Army Workshop on Exploring Enterprise, System of Systems, System, and Software Architectures

March 2009 Technical Report
John K. Bergey, Stephen Blanchette, Jr., Paul C. Clements, Michael J. Gagliardi, Rob Wojcik, William G. Wood, John Klein

This report confirms that various architectural genres enjoy more commonalities than differences. Each one has its own important knowledge base, and openness among the various architectural tasks within an organization is growing in importance.


Software Engineering Institute

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This report summarizes a U.S. Army workshop on architecture that was held at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in September of 2008, under the auspices of the Army Strategic Software Improvement Program (ASSIP). The workshop organizers invited accomplished practitioners from government, academia, and industry to discuss the various "genres" of architecture: Enterprise Architecture, system of systems architecture, system architecture, and software architecture. The goal of the workshop was to clarify the relationships among the different genres, explore and identify areas of commonality and difference, and to discuss the role of the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) in helping to capture these architectures. 

After a selection of opening talks by individuals that provide overviews of each subject area, the workshop dissolved into working groups. Each group was tasked with working on a specific set of issues and summarize their conclusions for the whole workshop. The issues discussed by each group include these:

  1. What are the major activities involved in each genre?
  2. What is the boundary (e.g., information flow) between architecture in one genre and architectures in the other genres?
  3. What do architectures in each genre need to consider in order to be considered successful?
  4. How do we capture (document) an architecture in each genre? What notations and approaches are available? What are the minimum views and information necessary to ensure the architecture documentation will be adequate to support development and to conduct an evaluation as part of an acquisition?
  5. How can the DoDAF be used to represent an architecture in each genre? What are its strengths and weaknesses with respect to each genre? How could it be improved? What is the current state of the practice with respect to using the DoDAF with each genre?

This report summarizes the workshop and its findings.