Fact Sheet: Unified Architecture Framework (UAF)

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Short description/
Transmitted information
  • Standard for model-based Enterprise Architecture

  • Provides a graphical, descriptive, semi-formal modeling language and an architecture framework
  • Implemented as an extension of SysML
Normative document
Version / Release state
  • 1.1
Release date
  • April 2020
Application scope
  • Focus on Enterprise Architecture (i.e. Systems of Systems) rather than on specific systems
  • Based on existing standards from military, but generic and applicable to other industries
  • Bring the benefits of the model-based approach (traceability etc.) to Enterprise Architecture
  • Provide a model-based Enterprise Architecture standard for industries other than military as well
    • Support the analysis and development of complex Systems of Systems
    • Describe strategies, goals, missions and the required resources
    • No focus on specific systems (technical implementation etc.)
Promoting bodies
  • OMG
  • OMG Standard
IT Standard Classification
  • Modeling Standard
Data format
  • Graphical modeling language
Additional available resources
  • Slides sets (and some Youtube videos) from OMG and different software vendors freely available online
  • These slide sets / videos try to introduce UAF and explain what it is, rather than talking about how to use it
  • Documentation shipped with authoring tools
Relevant prostep ivip project groups
  • -

Positioning of UAF in V-Model

  • UAF does not focus on the development of specific systems, e.g. mechanical or E/E design or integration are not part of UAF
  • Positioning in the SSB V model needs to be discussed


UAF provides a modeling language and an architecture framework

Modeling language:

  • Defines entities (Capabilities, Activities, Resources, Measures etc.) and relations that make up an Enterprise architecture
  • UAF is implemented as a SysML extension
    • Looks and feels very much like SysML
    • Integration of UAF (SoS model) and SysML (system model) possible
    • UAF is integrated in current releases of all major SysML authoring tools

Architecture framework:

  • UAF provides a structure (the UAF Grid) to organize the Enterprise Architecture model into views
  • The UAF Grid breaks down an Enterprise Architecture into different domains / layers (rows, e.g. Strategy, Services, Security)
  • Each domain / layer can be described by different model kinds (columns, e.g. Structure, Behavior, Parametrics)

Relevance and Benefit for MBSE

Little adoption of UAF yet → currently there's simply a vision for the relevance and benefits of UAF in Collaborative Systems Engineering:

  • Vision based on analogy between military and automotive
  • UAF‘s origins: military domain
    • Military needs to ensure that Systems of Systems (consisting of personnel, aircraft, marine etc.) collaboratively accomplish a mission
    • Enterprise Architecture models provide a specification and communication platform to manage information and complexity
    • This platform supports military in creating and managing Systems of Systems (procurement, development, maintenance etc.)
  • Automotive domain has the same challenge: Develop and manage Systems of Systems
    • How to ensure different systems (manufacturer, maintenance, infrastructure etc.) collaboratively accomplish the mission Personal Mobility?
    • Enterprise Architecture / UAF can support development & execution of new strategies / business models
  • Model-based & Standardized from head to toe:
    • UAF could provide the highest-level building block for an integrated chain of standards
    • System of System architecture (UAF) ↔ Processes (BPMN) ↔ System architecture (SysML) ↔ Implementation (DSL, e.g. UML)

Risks and Impediments

  • UAF is a new standard (version 1.0 released in 11/2017) with low maturity, little penetration and low visibility especially in non-military domains
  • UAF itself is complex
    • Statement from INCOSE: UAF has a long and shallow learning curve → expect slow adoption
  • Little real-world experience / best practices / documentation available that could help with adoption
  • Risk and impediments of SysML also apply to UAF