An introduction to the IBM Views and Viewpoints Framework for IT systems

In 1995 Philippe Kruchten of Rational Software Corporation published his now famous paper, The "4+1" View Model of Software Architecture. The paper presented a model for describing the architecture of software-intensive systems based on the use of multiple, concurrent views which allowed the concerns of various stakeholders of the architecture to be addressed. Since the publication of that paper many of its ideas have been incorporated in development processes such as the IBM® Rational Unified Process®, and standards, such as the IEEE 1471 - Recommended Practice for Architecture Description of Software-Intensive Systems. In this paper we describe how the ideas put forward by Philippe Kruchten have been advanced in IEEE 1471 and subsequently incorporated into a new framework for describing systems based on the concepts of views and viewpoints.


Denise Cook (, Software engineer, IBM Japan

Denise CookDenise Cook is a method architect and method content author, contributing to the definition of IBM’s software development methods, including the Rational Unified Process (RUP). Specializing in the Architecture and Design domains, she is a core member of the team defining the Unified Method Framework.

Peter J Cripps (, Senior IT Architect, IBM Japan

Peter CrippsPete Cripps is a Senior IT Architect in Global Business Services in the UK. His areas of technical expertise and interest include: the application of component and service based development techniques, the use and practical application of methods and the development of good architecture practice across the IBM architectural community. As well as being an experienced teacher of IBM’s method classes he has recently been involved in the development of the IBM Unified Method Framework.

Philippe Spaas (, Executive IT Architect, IBM Japan

Philippe SpaasPhilippe Spaas is an Executive IT Architect within the Finance Sector in Belgium. He has played a pivotal role in the development of IBM’s Architecture System Description Standard (ADS) and recently completed the work on its successor, the System Description Standard. Most recently, he was involved in the work leading to the incorporation of the Architecture Domain within the Unified Method Framework.

08 January 2008

Citations used in this article:

  • IEEE1471: IEEE Architecture Working Group, IEEE Recommended Practice for Architectural Description of Software-Intensive Systems, IEEE Std 1471-2000, IEEE, 2000.
  • SPEM06: OMG. Software Process Engineering Meta-Model (SPEM 2.0), OMG Submitted Specification ad/2006-08-01
  • UML05: OMG. Unified Modeling Language: Superstructure Version 2.0, OMG Formal Specification formal/05-07-04
  • Kruchten, Philippe. Architectural Blueprints: The "4+1" View Model of Software Architecture, IEEE Software 12 (6), November 1995
  • Rozanski, Nick and Woods, Eoin. Software Systems Architecture: Working With Stakeholders Using Viewpoints and Perspectives, Addison-Wesley, 2005
  • Spaas, Philippe. System Description Standard - Semantic Specification, R 3.0, September 2007


Article in PDF formatViews_and_viewpoints.pdf533KB



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ArticleTitle=An introduction to the IBM Views and Viewpoints Framework for IT systems