ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010 website

ISO on conformity

IEEE on conformity

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Rich Hilliard

ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010, Systems and software engineering — Architecture description is the international standard for architecture description. Based on best practices for architecting, it specifies minimal requirements for conformance of several kinds of architecture work products. These kinds are:

These terms follow their definitions in accordance with ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010. For an overview of the Standard’s terms and concepts, see the Conceptual Model.

The Standard specifies several requirements for each item. These are the basis for assessment using the ADCA.

What is Conformity Assessment?

The overall aim of certifying products, processes or services is to give confidence to all interested parties that a product, process or service fulfills specified requirements.

From: ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment

Conformity assessment determines whether an assessment object (AO) meets a specified set of requirements. In addition, assessments are often valuable for looking at the overall quality, understandability and usability of an AO for its intended uses.

Benefits of Conformance

The value of certification is the degree of confidence and trust that is established by an impartial and competent demonstration of fulfillment of specified requirements by a third-party.

From: ISO/IEC 17065, Conformity assessment

There are various reasons for assessing the conformance of architecting work products, including:


ADCA is a conformity assessment scheme for the conformance cases in ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010. The initial offering focuses on assessment of architecture frameworks and architecture description languages. Since, architecture viewpoints are a key element of both items, ADCA also covers viewpoint conformity. ADCA assessments are conducted by inspection, based upon mutually-agreed material sources between the offeror and the independent assessor.

Conformity Forecasts

Conformity forecasts are “quick looks” at various published artifacts, examined using the ADCA conformity assessment scheme. This Conformity Forecast is based on a quick analysis of the Assessment Object using the same methods and analysis techniques as the ADCA. It is not intended as a substitute for a full Architecture Description Conformity Assessment and cannot be used as a basis to claim conformance to the Standard. The findings contained in Forecasts have not been reviewed by the AO Offeror. This site will publish conformity forecasts of published architecture frameworks and ADLs from time-to-time.

Updated: 6 February 2015 — Rich Hilliard