Home > Articles > Software Development & Management > Architecture and Design

This chapter is from the book

3.9 Applying Standards to Application Systems

In the adoption of object-oriented architectures and technologies, many common questions are raised. They must be resolved to understand the implications fully. The questions of defining object orientation and the component technologies that comprise object technologies have already been reviewed, as has a discussion on how object technologies compare with others, such as procedural technology.

Many other questions and requirements are crucial to certain categories of applications. Questions about performance, reliability, and security on the Internet and how these technologies integrate with vendors that have significant market share are all important considerations in the adoption of these technologies. The next few chapters explain some of the fundamental concepts that describe the commercial and application sides of object-oriented architecture. Furthermore, the case is made for the application of open systems technologies in object-oriented software development practice. Additionally, application development issues on applying object technology, integrating legacy systems, and monitoring the impact of these technologies on procurement and development processes are addressed.

It is important to understand that commercial technologies based upon open systems evolve according to certain underlying principles. These principles are clearly defined through a model developed by Carl Cargill that describes the five stages of standardization (Figure 3.17). To initiate an open systems standards process, it is necessary to define a reference model. A reference model defines the common principles, concepts, and terminology that are applied across families of standards. These reference models also apply to object-oriented architectures and the integration of application systems. Reference models are an element that is often missing in software engineering processes that address complex issues. Developing a formal reference model through a formal open systems process takes a considerable amount of effort from numerous people.

03fig17.gifFigure 3.17. The Five Stages of Standardization

A typical reference model from the international standards organization may take up to ten years to formulate. Based upon a reference model, a number of industry standards can be initiated and adopted on a somewhat shorter time scale for formal standardization; this ranges up to seven years. Both reference models and industry standards are usually the intellectual product of groups of technology vendors. The standards represent the most general common denominator of technologies across the largest consumer base. In order to apply these technologies, it is necessary to define a number of profiles that serve the role of reducing the complexity of applying the standard within a particular domain or set of application systems (refer to Figure 2.13b).

There are two different kinds of profiles. Functional profiles define the application in general terms of a standard for a specific domain. Typical domains might include mortgage lending or automobile manufacturing. The functional profiles define the common usage conventions across multiple companies within the same industry. Functional profiles can be the product of information technology vendors but usually are a joint product between the users of technology and the vendors.

The next level of profiles is called system profiles. System profiles define how a particular family of systems will use a particular standard or set of standards. The family of systems is usually associated with a certain enterprise or virtual enterprise. For example, a set of electronic data interchange standards for the Ford Motor Company defines how the company and its suppliers for the manufacturing process can provide just-in-time inventory control so that Ford's assembly lines can proceed in an organized fashion without interruptions.

Above system profiles are application systems, which are specific implementations. Even though the concept of profiles is new to many software engineers, profiles are implemented, perhaps implicitly, in all systems. Whenever a general-purpose standard or a commercial technology is applied, decisions are made regarding the conventions of how that technology is used, and those decisions comprise a profile. Unfortunately, many of the important profiles are buried in the implementation details of information systems. Notice that, in Figure 2.13b, the time scales for developing each of the types of specifications is decreasing. The intention is that the reference models provide a stable architectural framework for all the standards, profiles, and systems that are developed over a longer term. The industry standards provide the next level of stability and continuity, the profiles provide stability and consensus across domains and application families, and all these mechanisms support the rapid creation of application systems on the order of half a year to a year and a half.

Figure 3.18 shows the breakout of reference models and profiles from the perspective of a particular vendor of information technology. In general, a vendor is working from a single reference model that spans a number of industry standards. The vendor implements technologies conformant with these standards and then works with various application developers and vertical markets to define the usage of the technology for valuable business systems. There is a multiplying factor for vendors in this approach in that for a small group of vendors potentially numerous customers are enabled by the technologies that they supply.

03fig18.jpgFigure 3.18. Standards from the Vendor's Perspective

Figure 3.19 portrays the concept from the perspective of the end-user application developer. This diagram is somewhat amusing in a dark sense, but it is very representative of the kind of challenges that object-oriented architects in all kinds of information technology are facing today. For a given application system, numerous standards and reference models are potentially applicable to the development of that system. A smaller number of functional profiles and system profiles can be obtained off the shelf to guide application system development. In general there is a gap between the application implementations and the industry standards in the area of profiling. Because profiling is primarily the responsibility of users, it's appropriate to say that the users are to blame for this gap in guidance.

03fig19.gifFigure 3.19. Standards from the User and Application Developer's Perspective

When profiles are not agreed to between application system projects, the likelihood is that the systems will not be interoperable, even though they are using identical industry standards and even products from the same vendors. This can be a confusing and frustrating situation for application architects. It is necessary to understand these principles in order to resolve these kinds of issues for future system developments.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020