Architecture Descriptions in ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010

ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010 defines architecture description (AD) and specifies requirements on architecture descriptions. See the [Conceptual Model] on which the requirements are based. For templates and guidance for creating ADs see [Templates].

architecture description (AD)
work product used to express an architecture

Just as building architects distinguish the architecture they have in mind from the sketches, drawings and blueprints they use to convey that vision, it is helpful to distinguish the architecture of a system or enterprise from the artifacts created to document that architecture – the architecture description.

The Standard does not prescribe the form that an AD takes, as long as it meets certain requirements. (These are the requirements found in Clause 5 of the Standard.) An architecture description might take the form of a document, hypertext or a wiki, a collection of models, a repository, or some other medium. When we say, "an AD includes contents X" below, that can mean either by physical inclusion or by reference (in a manner not defined by the Standard).

An architecture description conforms to ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2011 when it meets the requirements in Clause 5. The items below provide an informal overview; please see the original text for the actual requirements. Also, for insight into the terms used below, please refer to the conceptual model.

AD Identification and Overview

Stakeholders and Concerns

Architecture Viewpoints in an AD

In addition, a viewpoint might define any of the following to aid the architect:

Architecture Views in an AD

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