Department of Defense Architecture Framework

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What Does Department of Defense Architecture Framework Mean?

The Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) is a customized framework of the US Department of Defense (DoD) used for creating different enterprise architectures that can work together, at least at the very basic level. The framework defines a common approach for presenting, describing and comparing DoD enterprise architectures. It also promotes the use of common terminology, assumptions and principles in order to facilitate integration better.


Techopedia Explains Department of Defense Architecture Framework

The Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) is a foundation for representing and developing architecture descriptions that possess a common denominator for understanding, comparing and especially integrating different architectures across organizational, joint or multinational boundaries. It is an architecture that must be followed by all joint agencies and contractor organizations working for the DoD in order to facilitate better integration and compatibility of resources, such as enterprise information systems and defense and weapon systems. All US DoD weapons and IT systems acquisitions are required to develop and document their enterprise architectures in accordance with the guidelines set in the DoDAF.

The objective of DoDAF is to concretely define models and concepts that are usable in the DoD’s core processes:

  • Joint Capabilities and Integration Development (JCIDS)
  • Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution (PPBE)
  • Defense Acquisition System (DAS)
  • Systems Engineering (SE)
  • Operational Planning (OPLAN)
  • Capability Portfolio Management (CPM)

Version 2.0 of the DoDAF had the following specific goals:

    • Establish guidance for creating architecture content as a function of purpose or “fit for purpose.”


  • Enhance the effectiveness and utility of architectures through a rigorous data model so that it can be analyzed, evaluated and eventually integrated with more precision. This data model is called DoDAF Meta Model (DM2).

The current version as of this writing is 2.02.

Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.