Assessment of the integration capability of system architectures from a complex and distributed software systems perspective
Procurement and design of system architectures capable of network centric operations demand for an assessment scheme in order to compare different alternative realizations. In this contribution an assessment method for system architectures targeted at the C4ISR domain is presented. The method addresses the integration capability of software systems from a complex and distributed software system perspective focusing communication, interfaces and software. The aim is to evaluate the capability to integrate a system or its functions within a system-of-systems network. This method uses approaches from software architecture quality assessment and applies them on the system architecture level. It features a specific goal tree of several dimensions that are relevant for enterprise integration. These dimensions have to be weighed against each other and totalized using methods from the normative decision theory in order to reflect the intention of the particular enterprise integration effort. The indicators and measurements for many of the considered quality features rely on a model based view on systems, networks, and the enterprise. That means it is applicable to System-of-System specifications based on enterprise architectural frameworks relying on defined meta-models or domain ontologies for defining views and viewpoints. In the defense context we use the NATO Architecture Framework (NAF) to ground respective system models. The proposed assessment method allows evaluating and comparing competing system designs regarding their future integration potential. It is a contribution to the system-of-systems engineering methodology.