Terms and Definitions
Note: Unless stated otherwise, these terms of reference are
defined by the Open Systems Joint Task Force (OSJTF).
The organizational structure of a system or component, their
relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing
their design and evolution over time. (IEEE 610.12)
The CI definition can be found in Federal Acquisition Regulation
(FAR) Subchapter A General, Part 2, 2.101 Definitions at http://www.arnet.gov/far/
A product that is not subject to decomposition from the perspective
of a specific application. (ISO 10303-1)
Privately controlled system/subsystem boundary descriptions
that are not disclosed to the public or are unique to a single
De facto standard
A standard that is widely accepted and used but that lacks
formal approval by a recognized standards organization. (FED-STD-1037C)
An arrangement of design elements that provides the design
solution for a product or life cycle process intended to satisfy
the functional architecture and the requirements baseline.
A grouping of related items within a certain area of interest.
The portion of a system that performs the operational functions
and is delivered to an acquirer. (IEEE 1220)
Evolutionary acquisition is the preferred DoD strategy for
rapid acquisition of mature technology for the user. An evolutionary
approach delivers capability in increments, recognizing, up
front, the need for future capability improvements. The objective
is to balance needs and available capability with resources,
and to put capability into the hands of the user quickly.
(DoDI 5000.2 approved May 12. 2003)
An arrangement of functions and their sub-functions and interfaces
(internal and external) that defines the execution sequencing,
conditions for control or data flow, and the performance requirements
to satisfy the requirements baseline. (IEEE 1220)
The functional and physical characteristics required to exist
at a common boundary or connection between systems or items.
A standard that specifies the physical, functional, and operational
relationships between various elements (hardware and software),
to permit interchangeability, interconnection, compatibility
The ability of systems, units, or forces to provide data,
information, materiel, and services to and accept the same
from other systems, units, or forces, and to use the data,
information, materiel, and services so exchanged to enable
them to operate effectively together. (DoDD 5000.1)
The ability to (1) interchange and use information, services
and/or physical items among components within a system (platform,
program or domain) and (2) support the common use of components
across various product lines.
Joint Integrated Architecture
An architecture that establishes the basis for rapidly acquiring
affordable and evolving joint warfighting capabilities through
collaborative planning, analysis, assessment, and decision
A common boundary shared between system modules that provides
access to critical data, information, materiel, or services;
and/or is of high interest due to rapid technological change,
a high rate of failure, or costliness of connected modules.
A design approach that adheres to four fundamental tenets
of cohesiveness, encapsulation, self-containment, and high
binding to design a system component as an independently operable
unit subject to change.
Modular Open Systems Approach
An integrated business and technical strategy that employs
a modular design and, where appropriate, defines key interfaces
using widely supported, consensus-based standards that are
published and maintained by a recognized industry standards
An independently operable unit that is a part of the total
An architecture that employs open standards for key interfaces
within a system.
Standards that are widely used, consensus based, published
and maintained by recognized industry standards organizations.
A system that employs modular design, uses widely supported
and consensus based standards for its key interfaces, and
has been subjected to successful validation and verification
tests to ensure the openness of its key interfaces.
A standard that is exclusively owned by an individual or organization,
the use of which generally would require a license and/or
A structure which allows the modules and interfaces of a system
to be described in a consistent manner.
A process for implementing evolutionary acquisition within
which the end-state requirements are not known at program
initiation but are refined through continuous user feedback,
demonstration, and risk management so that each increment
provides the user the best possible capability.
An enterprise, organization, or individual having an interest
or a stake in the outcome of the engineering of a system.
(EIA-632, Annex A)
A document that establishes engineering and technical requirements
for products, processes, procedures, practices, and methods
that have been decreed by authority or adopted by consensus.
(EIA-632, Annex A)
A grouping of items that perform a set of functions within
a particular end product. (EIA-632,
A combination of two or more interrelated pieces of equipment
(or sets) arranged in a functional package to perform an operational
function or to satisfy a requirement. (Defense Acquisition
Glossary of Terms, Jan 2001)
The composite of the design architectures for products and
their life cycle processes. (IEEE 1220-1998)
An item or set of items that can be used directly by warfighters
to carry out combat or combat support missions to include
tactical communication systems. (DoDI 5000.2)