Please browse through our Frequently Asked Questions to find answers to questions relating to UAM, the associated book, and our website.
Q: Is the methodology available online?
A: Yes, the methodology and example IT architectures are now available through a EUPL licence. They are available either online, or a ZIP of the website for download:
Q: Where did the inspiration for the book, and the methodology come from?
A: One of my first managers always said that “computer science” and “software engineering” were misnomers. His view was that there was no “science” involved in computer science, and definitely not “engineering”. Others have had this view as well, notably Michael Davis, and only recently has some of the “science” in computer science been described and acknowledged. This struck a chord with me and I wondered for many years why so many information technology (IT) projects fail, why we spend sometimes millions of dollars only to end up with systems that either did not work properly or do not meet requirements, or both. In fact, I spent the rest of my career trying to understand the science and engineering of IT with, I hope, some degree of success.
UAM originally started off as EAM, the Enterprise Architecture Method back in 2008. EAM was, as one can gather, focused on Enterprise Architecture (EA). When it was decided to progress this methodology further, it became clear that the focus needed to be dramatically changed—it had to be more encompassing. After many months of research the UAM concepts and approach became clear. It is still roughly based upon the Zachman Framework, but that is about the only thing that the two methodologies have in common—the underlying concepts and metamodel for the UAM framework are quite different.
Q: What topics does the book cover?
A: The book starts by placing IT architecture in the context of the “Computer Revolution” or “Information Age”. The notions of IT architecture, and engineering, are explored and defined, followed by a description of IT architecture in today’s context. The book then describes the author’s new and simplified approach to IT architecture: the Unified Architecture Method, including how to create, use, and maintain the IT architecture. In summary:
- Chapter 1 – Introduction to UAM and IT architecture
- Chapter 2 – IT architecture defined
- Chapter 3 – a detailed look at UAM and how to do it
- Chapter 4 – a detailed look at the Business perspective
- Chapter 5 – a detailed look at the Logical perspective
- Chapter 6 – a detailed look at the Technical perspective
- Chapter 7 – the IT Security architectural pattern defined
- Chapter 8 – a summary and future steps
- Appendix A-C – References, Glossary, and UMA defined
- Appendix D – definition of the modelling languages for each perspective
- Appendix E – example IT Architectures
- Appendix F – detailed book index
Q: How does UAM compare to other methodologies?
A: This is a complex question, but essentially all current IT architecture approaches focus on the Enterprise, they define Enterprise Architectures (EA). Also, many are based on the Zachman Framework, as is UAM. On the other hand, UAM may be used to define IT architectures at any level within the enterprise—from the EA level down to specific business units or systems. Another important difference is that IT security aspects are included within the UAM constructs, but totally neglected in other methodologies! A brief comparison of UAM with other methodologies is available online here:
Q: Is there tool support for the methodology?
A: UAM is very new and as such there is currently no tool support for this methodology.
Q: How is the methodology published?
A: UAM was developed using IBM’s Rational Method Composer; a tool used for the definition of methodologies based upon the UMA standard. The output from this tool is an integrated web site that includes all process definitions, templates, supporting material, and extensive integrated guidance to aid in the creation of IT architectures. Several example IT architectures are also included.