The Value of Architecture, Reference Architecture and Architecture Framework (IT Toolbox Blogs)

There are many common sense reasons, such as predictability, repeatability, consistency, standardization etc., for the use of models, templates, standards, paterns, frameworks, reference or/and generic architectures. A class in OO (Object Oriented) is a template, for instance.

But why do we use frameworks, why do we use reference or generic architectures or, for that matter, why do we employ architecture in general are indeed different questions with different answers.


Nevertheless, there is a clear distinction, often not made, between the value of architecture, the value of a reference or generic architecture and the value of an architecture framework. That is because we have to distinguish in the first place between an architecture, a reference and generic architecture and an architecture framework.



An architecture describes a system in terms of its nodes and their interconnections that channel the system flows.

An architecture establishes the structure and its components, connections and the resources that realise a system. In our case this is the enterprise.

Any system has an architecture or structure but some structures are more easy to control, maintain and change than others.


The value of architecture itself resides

– in the more efficient structuring of a system

– in the documented and structured knowledge about the system that enables its faster comprehension, analysis, management, change and transformation

– the architecture principles that support the system transformation


Generic and Reference Architecture

To represent a whole class of systems. an architecture must be “generic” enough.

A reference architecture is a generic architecture used as a template for the analysis and design of other systems in the same class.

To be validated as reference, an architecture must be reused in many endeavours.


To rehearse, an architecture is

–   “generic” if it consists of a model general enough to represent a class of systems

–  “reference” if it generic and it is used in practice by many efforts- rather than declared as such from start by its promoters. 

A reference architecture enables predictable design, repeatability, reproducibility. It saves time and costs as such.



EA material


Enterprise Architecture
reference architecture

Source: SANS ISC SecNewsFeed @ May 5, 2017 at 06:12AM