Saturday, April 12, 2008

Levels in IT-architecture - nice picture

I love simplicity. But I also love completeness. I love correctness and consistency. I love elegance and art. That is why I am an architect.

I came across the picture below (click to enlarge). It is complete, it is correct, it is consistent, it is elegant, and above all, it is simple.

(Picture taken from Wikipedia)


Mark Liversedge said...

Your statement that it is complete is a sure-fire red rag to a bull!

I like it too, but frankly it's not that earth shattering.

It doesn't cover risk which surely is one of the most important factors considered at the three levels.

I think the motivational drivers at the three levels are very different, for example; compliance, business advantage thru IT management and IT efficiency down to technology maturity and constraints.

Maybe i'm arguing semantics?

Jack van Hoof said...


I could have expected such a comment ;-)

The picture is not earth shattering, but nonetheless - IMHO - it is complete with regard to architectural levels.

It is another question what aspects should be covered by the architecture at these three levels. Risk is at least one of them.

Why I think the picture is complete is because it clearly shows the complete architectural context, while recognizing distinct boundaries.

I mainly posted the picture because I know from my own - sometimes frustrating - daily experience that these levels in architecture are not recognized by many, whereas the characteristics and levels of detail are very different at each level. It maybe the struggle of most of the enterprise IT-architects.

So, is this a semantics discussion? Uh,I think so...