A Survey of Approaches to Virtual Enterprise Architecture: Modeling Languages, Reference Models, and Architecture Frameworks

As the theory and practice of enterprise architecture became mature, researchers and practitioners have started applying similar concepts and approaches to virtual enterprises. The virtual enterprise is a temporary coalition of enterprises joining hands to exploit a particular opportunity. Virtual Enterprise Architecture addresses a Virtual Enterprise holistically at a strategic level. This article provides a definition of Enterprise Architecture, Virtual Enterprise, and Virtual Enterprise Architecture and presents results from a study of six approaches to virtual enterprise architecture for virtual enterprises (NEML, CAML, AVERM, VERAM, BM VEARM, and ARCON). Interestingly, all of these approaches attempt to provide a holistic coverage of Virtual Enterprises, but have significant difference in the way they approach it. This article is aimed as an aid for researchers and practitioners to study different approaches for strategic planning of enterprise architecture.