Factor 8 – Meta levels primarily add value in the administration of information about the architecture.
The prefix “meta” means beyond or above, as in metamathematics, which is the logical analysis of the concepts, terminology and use of symbols in mathematics; or metalanguage, which is a language or system of symbols used to discuss another language or symbol system.
If we go up one meta level it is where we would keep information about the many instances of address, for example we might have information that describes the meaning and structure of address information. We might also include details of how the information is created, accessed and used. This “higher level” information is meta-information.
There could be still further levels – meta-meta-information about the meta-information!
This factor describes the various meta levels that are required.
The key questions include:
- Is this information an example of corporate data, or from one of the higher meta levels?
- Would it be easier to use the information about the architecture if it used different meta constructs?
- Could we simplify the meta model for the architecture?
One of the key benefits from meta levels is in automating some of the processing that takes place on a type of information. For example, if some additional information were added at a higher meta level would allow the automated validation or correction of the information?