Structure Definition

Dragon1 Icon for Structure
Dragon1 Icon for Structure

Dragon1 Definition for Structure:
A structure is an arrangement of the relations between the entities or parts of a complex system. At the logical level, the entities of a system are called elements and at the physical level, they are called components. Bridges, churches, buildings, enterprises, and information systems can be seen as structures each having architectures.

Let us define Structure

What is Structure meaning? Many systems we know, have a structure. Some people argue that not all systems have a structure, such as, for example, a bag of sand.

However for the context of enterprise architecture, we will work with the notion that every system in an organization has a structure. We also work with the notion that architecture is a set of concepts with their principles applied to a structure. Therefore we can say that every system has an architecture.

Often 'structure' and 'an architecture' are mixed up. Some people even define architecture as the structure of a system.

Below are two diagrams. The first example is a diagram of a structure. The other diagram is an example of an architecture. The reason that the first diagram is not an architecture diagram, is because it does not show the concepts or principles that are applied. One can only see or know this implicitly.

Example of a Structure Diagram

The visualization below shows an information system at a logical level (the elements of the system). The processes, applications, and servers of the information system are shown. You do not see here the concepts or conceptual relationships between the elements.

Therefore this diagram is a structure diagram, not an architecture diagram.

Example of an Architecture Diagram

The visualization below shows an information system at a conceptual level (concepts of the system). The concepts the information system consists of are shown. You also see some of the key elements per concept and the principles of the concepts.

Therefore, this diagram is an architecture diagram, not a structure diagram.


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