Architecture Design Content Framework

An Architecture Design is created by following a series of iterative steps. With each step, another level of abstraction is designed.

The steps below are often followed to create an architecture design for an enterprise, domain, function, process, system or solution:

  • Get a Design Contract
  • Create / Moderate a Program of Requirements
  • Do a Feasibility Study
  • Create a Conceptual Design
  • Create a Preliminary Design (Functional)
  • Create a Definite Design (Functional)
  • Create a Detailed Design (Technical)
  • Create a Technical Specification (a legal document)

The following activities are continuously in parallel:

  • Create and update a library for norms, values, standards, frameworks, methods and languages
  • Create and update a library for concepts, patterns, principles, concepts, reference models, viewpoints and views
  • Create and update a glossary of terms
  • Document and improve the processes of working with architecture

There are four levels of abstraction that are used during the design:

  • Conceptual
  • Logical
  • Physical
  • Implementational

There are three roles that collaborate in this process:

  • The owner/client
  • The architect
  • The stakeholders (the user community (often employees and customers), contract party for realizing the solution, clients, suppliers, government, etc...

Dragon1 Architecture Design Content Framework

Levels of abstraction

Entity types

(Types of data)

Design Contract


Program of Requirements

(moderated by the architect)

Concept Design

(Concept Design)

Preliminary Design / Overall / Solution Design(s)

(address: feasibility / business case)

Definite Overall / Solution Design(s)

Detail (Solution/) Designs

(Definite Design)

Technical Specifications


Glossary of Terms Document

Norms, Values and Standards (Languages, Methods & Frameworks) Library (i.e. reference architecture)

Concepts, Principles and Patterns, Ref. Models, Views and Viewpoints Library (i.e. reference architecture)

Types of visualizations

Context Sketch, Problem sketch

Functional Design

(requirements from stakeholders)

Norms, standards, rules

Design Sketch,

Artist impressions, Metaphoric sketch symbols per concept

Landscapes, Blueprints, Roadmaps, Principle detail diagrams, UML models, BPMN models, ArchiMate Models

Landscapes, Blueprints, Roadmaps, Principle detail diagrams, UML models, BPMN models, ArchiMate Models

Landscapes, Blueprints, Roadmaps, Principle detail diagrams, UML models, BPMN models, ArchiMate Models

Conceptual Level

Concepts & Principles & Patterns






Logical level

Concepts, Principles & Patterns +






Implementational level

Concepts +

Elements + Components




Technical product level

Concepts +

Elements +

Components +

Technical Products

Bit and pieces of everything:

Concepts +

Elements +

Components +

Technical Products

Unfortunately often bits and pieces of everything:

Concepts +

Elements +

Components +

Technical Products



In an organization you would normally have high-level large overall architecture documents together in an Enterprise Architecture Dossier and EA Repository:

Ref Archs, EA, BA, IA, TA and per business domain, business function, business process or information system solution/system architecture documents.

An architecture document consists of 4 levels of architecture design.

The architect does many iterations with the owner/client and stakeholders in order to get reviews and feedback on the architecture designs.

User Models should as much as possible be compliant to Meta Models.

And diagrams should contain as few levels of abstraction as possible.

Every document at one point in time should be approved of/signed by the owner/client.

Glossary of Terms and Definitions

Dragon1 makes use of specific definitions for core terms. Here are the most important ones:

  • Architecture -
  • Structure -
  • Concept -
  • Principle -
  • Element -
  • View -
  • Pattern -
  • Model -
  • Viewpoint -
  • Architect -
  • Owner/Client -
  • Stakeholder -
  • Meta Model -
  • Entity -
  • Component -
  • Object -
  • Design -
  • Technical Product -

Link to Dragon1 glossary: Dragon1

Architecting Solutions

DEMO: Concept Mapping Software

How to generate diagrams using Excel on Dragon1 EA Tool

Learn to generate diagrams using repositories
DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Example

DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Diagram - Measure Rules Compliance

Manufacturing, Financial Solutions
DEMO: Enterprise Architecture Blueprint Template

DEMO: Generate an Enterprise Architecture Blueprint to discover and solve RISK

Banking, Logistics, Healthcare
DEMO: Data Mapping Software

DEMO: Generate Application Landscape for SECURITY

Automotive, Financial Services, Health Care
DEMO: Strategy Mapping Software

DEMO: Generate Strategy Map for CLOUD ADOPTION

Government, Logistics, Banking
DEMO: Process Application Map

DEMO: Generate Landscape for RPA AUTOMATION

Retail, Agriculture, Energy, Oil & Gas