DoDAF feature overview

You can use the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) feature to describe the architecture of a complex system. The DoDAF 1.0 feature uses the Unified Modeling Language (UML) as a base to represent a system's structure in visual, textual, and tabular formats.
Note: The DoDAF feature provides support for DoDAF 1.0. You can use the feature to work with existing DoDAF 1.0 models. To create new DoDAF 1.5 and 2.0 models, use the UML Profile-based Integrated Architecture (UPIA) modeling feature, which provides complete support for the later DoDAF specifications.

DoDAF architectural descriptions

A DoDAF architectural description of a system comprises a set of descriptions, or views, that are linked to each other, and that each contain information about the system from a particular perspective. In DoDAF, these perspectives are called products.

DoDAF classifies products according to their specific architectural attributes in three views: the Operational View (OV), the Systems View (SV), and the Technical Standards View (TV). Certain aspects of a system's architecture are best described by all three views. The DoDAF combines overview and summary information, and definitions of DoDAF product terminology in a view called All Views (AV).

Operational View (OV)
The Operational View describes all aspects of Department of Defense (DoD) functions, including war-fighting and business missions. Such aspects include the structure and behavior of the components that make up an operational environment, their relationships and dependencies, tasks and activities, operational elements (nodes), and the type and frequency of information exchanges and flows between nodes.
Systems View (SV)
The Systems View describes the internal structure and behavior of components that support DoD functions. This view also describes the relationships between system resources and the Operational View.
Technical Standards View (TV)
The Technical Standards View describes the standards and rules that govern the organization, interaction, and dependencies between existing and future states of the systems that the Systems View describes.
All Views (AV)
The All Views products provide information that applies to the entire architecture description of an operational environment. These views do not provide one perspective of the system, but describe information such as the scope, purpose, intended use, mission objectives, and strategies of the operational environment, and a dictionary of terms.

DoDAF syntax and semantics

DoDAF is designed to enable you to describe the structure of, and the relationships between, the components of an operational environment. To do this, DoDAF defines elements such as nodes, needlines, services, and information exchanges. It then provides rules that you use to model an operational environment to demonstrate how nodes co-operate and interact with each other to meet a mission objective.

A node represents a logical or physical element in an architecture description of an operational environment that produces, consumes, or processes data. Nodes can be soldiers, sailors, aircrew, civilian workers, systems, or subsystems that are inside or outside the operational environment, and that interact with other elements in the environment.
Needlines are the DoDAF equivalent of UML dependencies and relationships and they describe how nodes interact with each other. Needlines express the requirement by one node for services or information from other nodes, so they represent dependencies and the logical flow of information.
A service is an operational capability that is transferred between nodes. The transfer of capabilities between nodes implies the transfer of information.
Information exchanges
An information exchange is a collection of information characteristics, such as timeliness and quality, and requirements that govern how information is gathered, shared, and used.