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New Revision (“The ISO 42010 Mix”) of TRAK Released

by Nic Plum on Friday 21 January, 2011 - 16:37 GMT

Posted in Architecture FrameworkTRAKNewsStandards

Tags: architecture descriptiondefinitionincoseiso42010standardtrakviewpoint

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Just managed to shovel the last part of the documents that defines TRAK into cyberspace last night. The main purpose of the revision is to anticipate the likely requirements from ISO/IEC 42010 expected to be released under a slightly new name during 2011. There are quite a few changes to the ISO not the least of which is that it has requirements for architecture frameworks and makes reference to a framework metamodel. The opportunity has also been used to respond to constructive comments and requests made by the INCOSE UK Architecture Working Group.

In the end this has proved a bigger change to the existing documents than anticipated. We now have a 3 document set that defines TRAK since it became clear that things that were global or common or which were best dealt with as “a whole” would be best separated into an overall TRAK Enterprise Architecture Framework document. This has meant things like the bye laws, colour rules and conformance/non-conformance with TRAK being moved into this document. It also provides the better place to provide advice on choosing an architecture description language to represent TRAK and to describe how TRAK relates to ISO/IEC 42010.

This new 3 document structure has resulted in breaking out a new project on Sourceforge. The top-level reference for TRAK is now trak.sourceforge.net which is an improvement on the old bifurcated reference to both the viewpoints (trakviewpoints.sourceforge.net) and metamodel (trakmetamodel.sourceforge.net) projects / sites. Errors or feature requests for any of the documents can be made on the respective site.

As a result of comments made by Rich Hilliard (always useful) it became clear that the old viewpoint definitions needed to be sharpened up. In particular I’ve added stakeholders derived from the standard , added more detail and examples to the presentation sections. Some of this existed in the old days before release as open source but never got incorporated into the new documents. In any case some of the thinking and the changes to the ISO have changed the content and it had to be started afresh. A suggestion was to add a ‘well-formedness’ section which attempts to define the minimum acceptable content for a view of each type. The latter was quite hard work and an empirical task as you think you’ve got it nailed, draw an example to immediately find that it breaks the rules. It’s not quite complete but a lot better for the effort and therefore worth releasing rather than waiting for perfection.

No doubt there will be a few “after shocks” but nothing of the scale of this revision (I hope!).

One of the ongoing questions is how to make it more concise, less wordy but accessible and understandable to the ‘normal’ Mk1 Human Being (the “non-softie”). In particular is there a way to define the minimum content visually without words - there are ways from the software world but are these likely to understandable to the non-softie or non-tecchie? Constructive suggestions on a postcard.

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