This set of terms are related to the concerns of architects who need to relate other key concepts to data and information elements and models. Many of the terms relevant to this area are shared terms, and appear in that list instead. A few of the terms in the EITA area are relevant to this area as well.

This is clearly a subset of terms relevant to information management, a complete and complex science.  The terms appearing here represent the shared overlap between the needs of enterprise architects and those folks who provide the care and feeding of the enterprise’ information architecture.

Business Transaction

The work products of value streams, Business Transactions represent a measurable exchange of value either within or between organizations.  A business transaction is frequently the trigger for one or more additional processes.  Information about business transactions is normally managed in a data object.  Examples include Invoice, Sales Order, Purchase Order, Shipping Manifest, Credit Memo, etc.

Data Element

The smallest independent unit of information.  Data elements may be described by attributes and properties and are typically manipulated by applications.  In order for automated checks to occur validating a business rule, the systems of an enterprise must capture business terms as data elements.

Data Object

A data object refers to any “thing” that a business process manipulates where a representation is stored in data. Specifically a data object is a specific composition of data elements either produced by or consumed by a business process.  The data object may originate outside the organization or may be generated during the course of operations. A “business document” is a special case data object that represents 100% of the relevant information of a business transaction.