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Conformance Criteria for Enterprise-Reference Architectures



Jim G. Nell


he purpose of this paper is to evaluate the feasibility of imposing conformance criteria on enterprise-reference architectures. Determining whether a software implementation conforms to a specification or standard is expensive because of the number of operations needed to assure conformance. Conformance is related to another process--validation, which can be carried out early in the design to improve the probability, and reduce the cost, of conformance. Assuring the conformance of architectures is similar to assuring conformance for software. Analysts can show an implemented architecture to conform to an abstract architecture. An enterprise-reference architecture, because of its nature, can be shown only to be in some state of completeness because reference architectures are collections of tools and methodologies, each of which can be tested. To test the conformance of the whole, however, is somewhat meaningless, because any given enterprise-engineering project may or may not need all of the components in the reference.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 6824
Report Number


conformance testing, enterprise-reference architecture, software testing, validation testing


Nell, J. (2001), Conformance Criteria for Enterprise-Reference Architectures, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD (Accessed May 28, 2024)


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Created October 1, 2001, Updated October 16, 2008