What does “Architecture” mean?

People often ask, what is the meaning of “Architecture” when talking about the TOGAF standard?

Whilst TOGAF does embrace the IEEE Standard 1471 it does not strictly adhere to it.

Briefly, the term Architecture in the context of TOGAF has two different meanings and these two meanings are different depending on the context. In terms of TOGAF Architecture can be defined as:

  • A plan or formal description detailing a system broken down into components to help guide the implementation – Or
  • The structure and relationships between components as well as the principles and guidelines that govern the evolution and design of a system over a period of time