The TOGAF Glossary is intended to define terms essential to the understanding of TOGAF. It is not intended as a general-purpose open systems glossary and does not contain terms considered to be in common use.


Access Control


Association Control Service Element


High-level computer programming language developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD). Ada is used as the standard programming language for the DoD. It is used for real-time processing, is modular in nature, and includes object-oriented features.


Architecture Development Method


American National Standards Institute


See Application Program Interface.


See Application Portability Profile.


A classification of computer programs designed to perform specific tasks, such as word processing, database management, or graphics.

Application Platform

The collection of hardware and software components that provide the services used by support and mission-specific software applications.

Application Portability Profile (APP)

The NIST APP is the structure that integrates US federal, national, international, and other specifications to provide the functionality necessary to accommodate the broad range of US federal information technology requirements.

Application Program Interface (API)

  1. The interface, or set of functions, between the Application Software and the Application Platform.
  2. The most common means by which a software programmer invokes other software functions.

Application Software

Software entities which have a specific business purpose.


Ada Programming Support Environment


Architecture has two meanings depending upon its contextual usage:

  1. A formal description of a system, or a detailed plan of the system at component level to guide its implementation.
  2. The structure of components, their inter-relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time.

Architecture, Baseline

The existing system architecture before entering a cycle of architecture review and redesign.

Architecture Continuum

A part of the Enterprise Continuum. The Architecture Continuum provides a repository of architectural elements with increasing detail and specialization. This Continuum begins with foundational definitions like reference models, core strategies, and basic building blocks. From there it spans to Industry Architectures and all the way to an organization's specific architecture.

Architecture, Database

The logical view of the data models, data standards, and data structure. It includes a definition of the physical databases for the information system, their performance requirements, and their geographical distribution.

Architecture Framework

A tool for assisting in the production of organization-specific architectures. An architecture framework consists of a Technical Reference Model, a method for architecture development, and a list of component standards, specifications, products, and their inter-relationships which can be used to build up architectures.

Architecture, Target

Depicts the configuration of the target information system.

Architecture View

A perspective from which an architecture may be viewed in order to ensure that a specific topic is considered in a coherent manner; e.g., security.


Abstract Syntax Notation


Active Server Pages


The probability that system functional capabilities are ready for use by a user at any time, where all time is considered, including operations, repair, administration, and logistic time. Availability is further defined by system category for both routine and priority operations.

Base-Level Functions

Initial or basic functions.


A specification or product that has been formally reviewed and agreed upon, that thereafter serves as the basis for further development and that can be changed only through formal change control procedures or a type of procedure such as configuration management.

Batch Processing

Processing data or the accomplishment of jobs accumulated in advance in such a manner that each accumulation thus formed is processed or accomplished in the same computer run.

Business System

Hardware, software, policy statements, procedures, and people which together implement a business function.


Consultative Committee on International Telegraph and Telephone


An application component which requests services from a server.


Common Management Information Service


Common Management Information Protocol


Control OBjectives for Information and related Technology


Acronym for Common Business-Oriented Language. COBOL is a computer programming language used extensively in mainframes and minicomputers for business applications.

Communications Mechanism

Hardware and software functions which allow Application Platforms to exchange information.

Communications Network

A set of products, concepts, and services that enable the connection of computer systems for the purpose of transmitting data and other forms (e.g., voice and video) between the systems.

Communications Node

A node that is either internal to the communications network (e.g., routers, bridges, or repeaters) or located between the end device and the communications network to operate as a gateway.

Communications System

A set of assets (transmission media, switching nodes, interfaces, and control devices) that will establish linkage between users and devices.

Configuration Management

A discipline applying technical and administrative direction and surveillance to:

  1. Identify and document the functional and physical characteristics of a configuration item
  2. Control changes to those characteristics
  3. Record and report changes to processing and implementation status

Connectivity Service

A service area of the External Environment entity of the Technical Reference Model (TRM) that provides end-to-end connectivity for communications through three transport levels (global, regional, and local). It provides general and application-specific services to platform end devices.


Common Object Request Broker Architecture

Data Dictionary

A specialized type of database containing metadata, which is managed by a data dictionary system; a repository of information describing the characteristics of data used to design, monitor, document, protect, and control data in information systems and databases; an application of data dictionary systems.

Data Element

A basic unit of information having a meaning and that may have subcategories (data items) of distinct units and values.


Structured or organized collection of information, which may be accessed by the computer.

Database Management System

Computer application program that accesses or manipulates the database.

Data Interchange Service

A service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides specialized support for the interchange of data between applications on the same or different platforms.

Data Management Service

A service of the Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model that provides support for the management, storage, access, and manipulation of data in a database.


Database Management System


Distributed Computing Environment


Data Definition Language


Command which is automatically executed if none is specifically indicated.

Directory Service

Part of the network services of the Application Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model (TRM) that provides locator services that are restricted to finding the location of a service, location of data, or translation of a common name into a network-specific address. It is analogous to telephone books and supports distributed directory implementations.


US Department of Defense Information Systems Agency

Distributed Database

  1. A database that is not stored in a central location but is dispersed over a network of interconnected computers.
  2. A database under the overall control of a central Database Management System (DBMS) but whose storage devices are not all attached to the same processor.
  3. A database that is physically located in two or more distinct locations.


Data Management Facility


European Computer Manufacturers Association


Electronic Data Interchange


External Environment Interface

End User

Person who ultimately uses the computer application or output.


The highest level in an organization; includes all missions and functions.

Enterprise Continuum

Comprises two complementary concepts: the Architecture Continuum and the Solutions Continuum. Together these are a range of definitions with increasing specificity, from foundational definitions and agreed enterprise strategies all the way to architectures and implementations in specific organizations. Such coexistence of abstraction and concreteness in an enterprise can be a real source of confusion. The Enterprise Continuum also doubles as a powerful tool to turn confusion and resulting conflicts into progress.

Enterprise Model

A high-level model of an organization's mission, function, and information architecture. The model consists of a function model and a data model.


Enterprise Resource Planning


End System


Ability to resize objects to produce better organization of on-screen material, usually a graphic or a window.

External Environment Interface (EEI)

The interface that supports information transfer between the Application Platform and the External Environment.


Any specifically identified collection of information stored in the computer.


Federal Information Processing Standard


Acronym for FORmula TRANslator, which is a high-level computer language used extensively in scientific and engineering applications.


File Transfer, Access, and Management


A useful capability provided by one or more components of a system.


Government Network Management Profile


Government Open System Interconnection Profile


General Security Service


Graphical User Interface


  1. Physical equipment, as opposed to programs, procedures, rules, and associated documentation.
  2. Contrast with software.

Human Computer Interface (HCI)

Human Computer Interface hardware and software allowing information exchange between the user and the computer.


The International Electrotechnical Commission, the international standards body which is responsible for electrical standards.


Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers


Integrated Information Infrastructure


Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model


Any communication or representation of knowledge such as facts, data, or opinions, in any medium or form, including textual, numerical, graphic, cartographic, narrative, or audio-visual forms.

Information Domain

A set of commonly and unambiguously labeled information objects with a common security policy that defines the protections to be afforded the objects by authorized users and information management systems.

Information System

The computer-based portion of a business system.

Information Technology (IT)

The technology included in hardware and software used for information, regardless of the technology involved, whether computers, communications, micro graphics, or others.


Interconnection and inter-relationships between two devices, two applications, or the user and an application or device.


  1. The ability of two or more systems or components to exchange and use information.
  2. The ability of systems to provide and receive services from other systems and to use the services so interchanged to enable them to operate effectively together.


Information System


Information Systems Architecture


International Standards Organization


Information Technology


Information Technology Infrastructure Library


A Joint Technical Committee established by ISO and IEC to take responsibility for their shared interests in IT standardization.


Local Area Network


The period of time that begins when a system is conceived and ends when the system is no longer available for use.


Metropolitan Area Network

Metaview (also known as a Viewpoint)

A specification of the conventions for constructing and using a view. A metaview acts as a pattern or template of the view, from which to develop individual views. A metaview establishes the purposes and audience for a view, the ways in which the view is documented (e.g., for visual modeling), and the ways in which it is used (e.g., for analysis).


Management Information Systems


Multi-Level Security


Message Transfer Agent

Multimedia Service

A service of the Technical Reference Model (TRM) that provides the capability to manipulate and manage information products consisting of text, graphics, images, video, and audio.


US National Institute of Standards and Technology


Network Layer Security Protocol


Office Document Architecture


Office Document Interchange Format


Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development


OSI Implementors' Workshop


Object-Oriented Database Management System

Open Specifications

Public specifications that are maintained by an open, public consensus process to accommodate new technologies over time and that are consistent with international standards.

Open System

A system that implements sufficient open specifications for interfaces, services, and supporting formats to enable properly engineered Application Software:

  1. To be ported with minimal changes across a wide range of systems
  2. To interoperate with other applications on local and remote systems
  3. To interact with users in a style that facilitates user portability

Open Systems Environment (OSE)

The comprehensive set of interfaces, services, and supporting formats, plus user aspects for interoperability or for portability of applications, data, or people, as specified by IT standards and profiles.

Operating System Service

A core service of the Application Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model (TRM) that is needed to operate and administer the Application Platform and provide an interface between the Application Software and the Platform (e.g., file management, input/output, print spoolers).


Object Request Broker


Operating System


Open System Environment


Open Systems Interconnection


PHIGS Extension to X Windows


Programmer's Hierarchical Interactive Graphics System


See Application Platform.


  1. The ease with which a system or component can be transferred from one hardware or software environment to another.
  2. A quality metric that can be used to measure the relative effort to transport the software for use in another environment or to convert software for use in another operating environment, hardware configuration, or software system environment.
  3. The ease with which a system, component, data, or user can be transferred from one hardware or software environment to another.


Portable Operating System Interface (for Computer Environments)


A set of one or more base standards and, where applicable, the identification of those classes, subsets, options, and parameters of those base standards, necessary for accomplishing a particular function.


Selecting standards for a particular application.


Remote Access Services


Remote Database Access


Relational Database Management System


A system that manages all of the data of an enterprise, including data and process models and other enterprise information. Hence, the data in a repository is much more extensive than that in a data dictionary, which generally defines only the data making up a database.


Reference Model


Remote Procedure Call


The ability to use the same Application Software on many different classes of hardware/software platforms from PCs to super-computers (extends the portability concept). The capability to grow to accommodate increased work loads.


Services which protect data, ensuring its confidentiality, availability, and integrity.


An application component which responds to requests from a client.


Standard Generalized Markup Language


Standards Information Base


Security Management Application Process


Simple Mail Transfer Protocol


System Network Architecture


Simple Network Management Protocol

Solutions Continuum

A part of the Enterprise Continuum. The Solutions Continuum contains implementations of the corresponding definitions in the Architecture Continuum. In this way it becomes a repository of re-usable solutions for future implementation efforts.


Structured Query Language


Special Working Group


A collection of components organized to accomplish a specific function or set of functions (taken from Draft Recommended Practice for Architectural Description IEEE P1471/D5.2).

System and Network Management Service

A cross-category service of the Application Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model (TRM) that provides for the administration of the overall information system. These services include the management of information, processors, networks, configurations, accounting, and performance.

System Stakeholder

An individual, team, or organization (or classes thereof) with interests in, or concerns relative to, a system (taken from ANSI/IEEE Std 1471-2000).


Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management

Taxonomy of Architecture Views

The organized collection of all views pertinent to an architecture.


Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol


Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria

Technical Reference Model

A structure which allows the components of an information system to be described in a consistent manner.


Transparent File Access


Transport Layer Security Protocol


Trusted Network Interpretation


Transaction Processing


Interaction between a user and a computer in which the user inputs a command to receive a specific result from the computer.

Transaction Sequence

Order of transactions required to accomplish the desired results.


Technical Reference Model


Trusted Systems Interoperability Group


User Interface Definition Language


User Interface Management System


User Interface System Reference Model


  1. Any person, organization, or functional unit that uses the services of an information processing system.
  2. In a conceptual schema language, any person or any thing that may issue or receive commands and messages to or from the information system.

User Interface Service

A service of the Application Platform entity of the Technical Reference Model (TRM) that supports direct human-machine interaction by controlling the environment in which users interact with applications.


A representation of a whole system from the perspective of a related set of concerns.

Viewpoint (also known as a Metaview)

A specification of the conventions for constructing and using a view. A metaview acts as a pattern or template of the view, from which to develop individual views. A metaview establishes the purposes and audience for a view, the ways in which the view is documented (e.g., for visual modeling), and the ways in which it is used (e.g., for analysis).


Wide Area Network
return to top of page


The TOGAF document set is designed for use with frames. To navigate around the document:

return to top of page


Downloads of the TOGAF documentation, are available under license from the TOGAF information web site. The license is free to any organization wishing to use TOGAF entirely for internal purposes (for example, to develop an information system architecture for use within that organization). A hardcopy book is also available from The Open Group Bookstore as document G063.

Copyright © 1999-2006 The Open Group, All Rights Reserved
TOGAF is a trademark of The Open Group