Using Metamodels to Improve Enterprise Architecture

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Lynn Uzzle


This case study article describes the rationale for the development, use, and benefits of a metamodel to provide the underlying data model for Enterprise Architecture (EA) content. The case study uses the “EA3 Framework” (Bernard 2004, 2005) to illustrate these points. Metamodels enable integration among models and other artifacts that constitute most EA content. Integrated EA content enables repeatable and reliable analysis and reporting, mapping content to frameworks or reference models, and transitions among EA tools for upgrades or conversions. The initial publication of the EA3 Framework in did not define a metamodel or prescribe artifact content in detail. Artifact content and examples were added in the second edition of the EA3 Framework in 2005, including 46 artifact types that document the five layers and three thread areas of this framework. Though the relationships between the layers and threads were described in the 2nd edition of the EA3 Framework, this case study article provides the first detailed meta-model. The proposed EA3 Metamodel that is described in conceptual and diagrammatic form was developed to support the use of the EA3 approach by the author within a federal government agency using a bottom-up approach based on tool capabilities and reporting obligations. The metamodel described in this case study has been implemented using a commercially-available modeling toolset, and required no tool customization.

Journal of Enterprise Architecture

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