The EBMM is, first and foremost, an ontology of terms with relationships to other terms.  For a number of years, I have expected visitors to the EBMM to click the objects in the model to “discover” the definitions under them.  I’ve found that no one actually does that.  So, to make these terms more useful, I’m publishing them here in the WordPress portion of the site.

An ontology is different than a glossary or a taxonomy.

Glossary – an alphabetical list of terms related to a specific subject or topic. A brief dictionary. Taxonomy – a system of classification.  Used in science to identify and differentiate between similar items in a field of study.  (geology, biology, paleontology, etc). Ontology – a comprehensive set of concepts placed in the context of surrounding concepts used to create understanding of the “nature of existence”.

While most methodologies of Enterprise Architecture, including TOGAF, provide glossaries (and in the ADM content metamodel, a taxonomy), there are rarely efforts to create an ontology.  For nearly ten years, the EBMM has provided an ontology.  The ontology is an attempt to provide understanding into the nature of an enterprise.

To describe an ontology, the EBMM provides “viewpoints” that frame the concerns of stakeholders of the enterprise. Within each viewpoint, a set of terms are provided. Some terms are shared by more than one viewpoint, or refer to the “whole” enterprise instead of the concerns of a viewpoint. Other terms are more relevant to the architects themselves, and are therefore more relevant to the process of creating or using an architecture. (just as a “building” architect may care about the definition of a “T-square” while the builder or owner of a home would not).  Many of the definitions in the “Architecture Process and Methods” category are not in the EBMM itself, but were provided by the Center for the Advancement of the EA Profession (CAEAP) as a glossary.

Note that many terms are “shared” even when they are relevant to a specific viewpoint.  The groupings below are mutually exclusive, so any term appears once and only once. If you don’t find the term in the group you think it should be in, look in the Shared terms group.

Glossary of Architecture Process and Methods (from CAEAP) Current State, Future State, Transition State, Milestone, Architectural Permit, Stage Gate, Architectural Significance, Architectural Concern(s), Enterprise Segment, Architectural Perspective, Architectural Opportunity, Architectural Governance, Intention, Architectural Model, Architectural Diagram, Architecture, Architectural Vision
Shared Terms across Viewpoints Business Capability, Business Goal, Business Model, Business Process, Business Scorecard, Charter, Company, Customer, Business Strategy, Driving Stakeholder, Enterprise, Governance Body, Influencer, Key Performance Indicator, Mission, Outcome / Benefit, Principle, Process Metric, Project, Proposed Change, Regulation, Success Metric / Measure, Vision
Customer Viewpoint Brand Perception, Brand Promise, Channels, Customer Needs, Customer Scenario, Channel Touchpoint, Offering, Product Touchpoint
EITA Viewpoint Application, Business Information Model, Business or Information Tool, Business Requirement, Host, Platform, Service Level Agreement, Software Component, System Interaction Point, System Quality Requirement, Tool Feature, Use Case / User Story
Enterprise Strategy Viewpoint Architectural Risk, Assessment Metric, Capability Roadmap, Goal Group, Measurement Category, Objective, Perspective
Business Model Assessment Viewpoint Barriers to Entry, Business Model Assessment, Business Trend, Buyer Power, Competitive Opportunity, Competitive Pressure, Degree of Rivalry, Industry, Issue, Legislative Edict, Potential Reward, Recommendation of Change, Risk, Strength or Weakness, Supplier Power, Threat of Substitutes,
Business Model Viewpoint Business Partner, Cost and Revenue Models, Customer Type, Geographies and Locales, Partner Type, Products and Services, Required Competency, Resource / Asset, Value Proposition
Business Rules Viewpoint Business Policy, Business Rules and Facts, Business Term, Directive, Vocabulary
Business Unit Viewpoint Asset, Business Initiative, Business Role, Business Unit / Org Unit
Information Management Viewpoint Business Transaction, Data Element, Data Object
Service Management Viewpoint Business Capability Taxonomy, Business Process Taxonomy, Business Service
Value Chain Viewpoint Value Chain, Value Stream, Value System