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Open Group Announces Architecture Description Markup Language (ADML)

The Open Group Announces Publication of Architecture Description Markup Language (ADML) Version 1

A Standard XML-Based Language for Describing Software Architectures to Enable Their Representation, Evaluation, and Analysis

MENLO PARK, California. June 21, 2000.

The Open Group, a vendor and technology-neutral consortium dedicated to enterprise interoperability, today announced the availability of ADML Version 1, the first release of the Architecture Description Markup Language, an XML-based mark-up language for describing system architectures.

A software architecture describes the structural properties of the software, typically the components and their interrelationships and guidelines about their use. ADML provides a means of representing an architecture that can be used to support the interchange of architectural descriptions between a variety of architectural design tools.

ADML is based on Acme, a software architecture description language developed at Carnegie Mellon University and the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California. ADML is an XML-based version of Acme developed by the Micro-electronics and Computer technology Consortium (MCC) as part of its Software and Systems Engineering Productivity (SSEP) project. MCC joined The Open Group Architecture Program Group and its members, including NCR and the U.S. Department of Defense, to develop ADML into an Open Group Technical Standard.

"The NCR architecture community is pleased to see The Open Group and the Micro-electronics and Computer technology Consortium (MCC) pulling together to take state of the art applied research into the open standardization process," stated Terence Blevins, Director of Strategic Architecture of NCR Corporation, and architect of The Open Group and MCC relationship. "ADML opens up a future where computer architecture takes a step toward the rigor we see in the building industry, allowing the computer industry to move to true architectural excellence."

"ADML has been a key part of MCC's Software and Systems Engineering Productivity Project (SSEP)," said Bob Marcus, VP of Technical Strategy and Business Development at MCC in Austin. "SSEP is an architecture-based approach to product-line engineering aimed at achieving unprecedented levels of productivity and reuse. MCC's role in developing the ADML technology has been to bridge the gap between the academic approach to architecture definition, and the needs of industry for a practical, general-purpose architecture description language. We are delighted to see the results of this work adopted as an Open Group standard."

"We applaud all of the members of The Open Group's Architecture Program for their determination in reaching another significant milestone in their on-going process of defining tools and methodologies for developing and managing enterprise architectures using open standards," said Allen Brown, President and CEO of The Open Group. "ADML represents the work of many talented people representing both buyers and suppliers, and will help deliver The Open Group's objective of reducing the time, cost and risk of enterprise integration."

"This standard information description makes possible the broad sharing of ADML models so that many present and future applications can manipulate, search, present, and store the model," said Jean Gilleo, Deputy Director, Architecture Management, DISC4, U.S. Army. "Given the ongoing adoption of XML by the industry, XML-based ADML models will be in a format that will not become orphaned. In addition, a standard open representation will de-couple an enterprise's architectural models from vendors and enable the models to remain useful despite the rapid change in software tools."

"The Composable Systems Group in the School of Computer Science at CMU applauds the work of The Open Group and MCC in bringing the results of its research on software architecture description and the Acme language (funded in part by the US DARPA Agency) to market in the form of the Architecture Description Markup Language standard," said Professor David Garlan, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University. "As a center of excellence in software engineering, CMU's School of Computer Science has long advocated the direct application of its research products to industrial practice, and therefore supports the aims of ADML as a standard architecture description language, and as the basis for COTS tools for architecture definition."

The ADML Technical Standard is now available from The Open Group Publications web server at:

About The Open Group

The Open Group, a vendor and technology-neutral consortium, is committed to delivering greater business efficiency by bringing together buyers and suppliers of information systems to lower the cost and risks associated with integrating new technology across the enterprise. Recognizing that standards alone are insufficient, The Open Group's mission is to deliver assurance of conformance to Open Systems Standards through the testing and certification of suppliers' products.

More information on the organization can be found at

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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