Concepts are an important part of the Dragon1 Way of Thinking.

A concept is defined as a way of working abstracted from its implementation.

Concepts are helpful for architects when creating a design, because it helps to solve problems of creating a solution that answers to a variety of requirements, that may even be conflicting. For instance, creating a large object that is light weight, or a big space that feels small or an open website that is very secure.

With concepts you can design starting from conceptual level onto logical level onto physical level onto implementation level.

Sometimes the meaning a word get abstracted from its implementation because of time. One can often use etymology sources find the original meaning of a word, which might be completely different from its meaning now.

Dragon1 has chosen to define about 350 terms in the glossary to make clear what is meant. All other non EA specific but commonly used words are defined in the Oxford English Dictionary. And several specific concepts that are value within Dragon1 are defined as concepts here.

Enterprise Concepts

Service Orientation

Business Concepts

Business Process Orientation



What are Concepts & Principles ?

A concept is an idea, an approach, way of working and an abstraction of an implementation.

In an organization there a lots of business concepts, information concepts and technology concepts that have a constructive function, operative function or decorative function.

Examples of concepts are: process, process orientation, service, self service. There are smaller and bigger concepts.

  • Some concepts are elements of other concepts: concept --> Self Service, concept as element --> Customer, Order, etc...
  • Some concepts are partial concepts of total concepts: total concept -> e-Health, sub concept -> e-Agenda
  • Some concepts are specializations or generalization of concepts: Computing, Server Computing, Client Server Computing.

In Dragon1 architecture is defined as the coherent set of concepts of a structure (a system with constructive, operative and decorative dimensions). If the concepts address and melt construction, operation and decoration in the correct way, the total concept becomes a total work of art. Even with organizations and IT this can become true. So concepts are the bricks of architecture. So it is very important to know what the main concepts are that form a total concept or an architecture.

Example definition of the concept Self Service: Self Service is the concept where customer can select/choose. and pay for goods, products and services by themselves with intervention of resources or people of the organization.

This concept saves the organization resources and thus time and money in the sales process and increases the numerb of sales.

A principle is the enforced of managed way an entity works, behaves or is constructed producing certain results.

  • without an effective enforcement-mechanism, the principle will not always produce the same results
  • without knowing about the always and ever produced results of a concept, you as architect wuld not know why to choose a certain concept and make it part of an architecture.
  • If you know how a concepts works (out of what collaborating entities it exists) you are more able in recreating that way of working (collaboration) in the structure (and thus the produced results).

Every concept has a first principle (the principle that describes the whole way of working of a concept) and principles per function or element.

Example title of the Self Service Principle: Making customers select and pay by themselves, increases sales and saves the organization time and money.

Example short statement of the Self Service Principle: By having customer select and pay for goods, products and services by themselves anytime, anyplace, enabled by always available facilities, sales will go up and sales costs will be lower than with intervention of the organization resources.

Why do Architects work with Concepts & Principles ?

Three main reasons architects work with concepts are:

  • by defining and visualizing the main concepts of a total concept, you in fact visualize the architecture of a structure. With this visualization you can easily relate concepts to ambitions, strategic starting points and goals. With this you enable for board members, directors and management direct and impact full steering on changes, renewal and innovation in the organization.

Three main reasons architects work with principles are:

  • By formulating and visualizing the principles of concepts and phenomenon that will become part of the architecte, you guide projects in the way they design and realize solutions/

A Dragon1 reference model for Concepts & Principles


Examples of Concepts & Principles

There are different types of principles. The most common types are:

  • Everyday Life Principles
  • Design Principles
  • Analysis Principles
  • Concept Principles
  • Phenomenon Principles
  • System Principles
  • Architecture Principles
  • Scientific Principles
  • Decorative Principles
  • Operative Principles
  • Constructive Principles
  • Business Principles
  • Information Principles
  • Technical Principles
  • Security Principles
  • Quicksand Principles
  • First Principles

Every concept, phenomen and system consists of principles. Concepts and Phenomenon are specializations of System.

If a concept principle or phenomenon principle is used at design time, the principle becomes a design principle.

If a concept principle or phenomenon principle are or will be integrally present, without exception, in a structure (= bouwwerk, NL), these principle become architecture principles for that structure.