Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence
Enabling Operational Excellence


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Is There Such a Thing as Meta-Architecture?

Louis Marbel, President, Interactive Design Labs, commented[1]: Is there such a thing as “meta-architecture”? This is a simple one – yes! Let me explain. Essentially, an architecture description is a specification of the structure/form for organizing the function of system of interest in order to achieve its intended purpose effectively. The system of interest can be a building, bridge, enterprise, software system, application, enterprise/business data, etc. Now a meta-architecture is a high-order system that operates on an architecture specification as an instance/object, and can validate and/or evaluate the specification to determine consistency and coherence. This view of meta-architecture is consistent with predicate logic and concepts such as meta-types for software type systems, which are also specifications of the behavior of objects. My reply: You say “meta-architecture is a [high-order] system”. But you also say an “architecture [description] is a specification of … structure/form”. “Structure/form” is not the same thing as a “system”. So doesn’t that violate the fundamental meaning of meta- … something that operates on other things of its own kind? I have no doubt that there’s such a thing a meta-system. Should we think of (true) architecture as a system? http://www.brsolutions.com/

[1] This series of point/counterpoint replies is a follow-up to my post “Meta Here. Meta There. Meta Everywhere?” (March 31, 2014), which generated a surprising amount of great discussion. (Thanks all!) Refer to: http://www.brsolutions.com/2014/03/31/meta-here-meta-there-meta-everywhere/ The definition I’m using for meta- is from Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary [3b]:

3b: of a higher logical type – in nouns formed from names of disciplines and designating new but related disciplines such as can deal critically with the nature, structure, or behavior of the original ones *metalanguage* *metatheory* *metasystem*

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Ronald G. Ross

Ron Ross, Principal and Co-Founder of Business Rules Solutions, LLC, is internationally acknowledged as the “father of business rules.” Recognizing early on the importance of independently managed business rules for business operations and architecture, he has pioneered innovative techniques and standards since the mid-1980s. He wrote the industry’s first book on business rules in 1994.