As we move along the roadmap to version 3.0 of the ITABoK (if you are not familiar with the ITABoK, read more here),  I will overview each of our current working groups.  In the Part I,  we looked at the Iasa Engagement Model.  In Part II of this series I will cover the Views and Viewpoints working group.

The concept of views and viewpoints is nothing new. Since the 1970’s views and viewpoints has been widely used across the architectural community to discern various stakeholder groups typical of IT development projects, describe the typical viewpoint of each group, and to determine the set of views needed to satisfy project requirements.

The principles of views and viewpoints are defined in slightly different ways in different places; the definitions adopted by IASA are:

An architectural view is a representation of one or more aspects of an architecture that illustrates how the architecture addresses the concerns held by one or more of its stakeholders.

A viewpoint is a collection of patterns, templates, and conventions for constructing one type of view. It defines the stakeholders whose concerns are reflected in the viewpoint and the guidelines, principles, and template models for constructing its views.

Consider the CFO of a company is looking to provide financial statement for shareholders in the end of each quarter. That is the View that the CFO (Stakeholder) is concerned about.

P/L and balance sheet reports (the viewpoints) all are specific elements that when combined with Company X GL will yield the financial statement (the view).  In summary the Viewpoints that builds the view for the stakeholder.

Most architecture documents include a set of views and viewpoints which comprise the main content of the document. In a general sense the key viewpoints common to many architectural frameworks will include a description of the functions required, the data structures to be held, a description of the processing to be carried, how the software is developed and managed and how the software is deployed on the infrastructure.

In version 3 of the ITABoK we are working to provide a list of available viewpoints as well as completed examples when possible. These new additions will help IT architects to compare/contrast concept of views, viewpoints, and perspectives, understand the differences between them and how they work together to describe an architecture.

It is not too late to join the team. There are volunteer opportunities available for everyone no matter how much time you have. Build a Professional Network, Gain Skills and Experiences and Develop as a Subject Matter Expert by volunteering today!

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