Information Architecture Articles

Information Architecture


part-of-speech: noun

contexts:  information science, enterprise architecture, computer science, information architecture

The conceptual and logical components of enterprise architecture describing and defining the structure of an enterprise.  These architecture components are independent of physical implementation and technology considerations, such as computer system and database design and implementation factors.

part-of-speech: noun

context:  website design

“The structural design of shared information environments; the art and science of organizing and labeling websites, intranets, online communities and software to support usability and findability; and an emerging community of practice focused on bringing principles of design and architecture to the digital landscape.”

Definition Source:  Wikipedia based on Information Architecture Institute

Do Information Architectures Have Anything To Do with Website Design and Management?

The short answer is yes - absolutely!  Information architecture concepts are independent of technology, and therefore they apply to any system.  This is something I have always believed - it is something I have always known.  Most importantly, my website design and management experience further solidified my previous opinion that information management and architecture skills are necessary to properly design and manage any computerized system – even a small website. 

The journey to get my website up and running and managing it while starting down a new career path has been very interesting - and in some respects it has been surprising. I learned WordPress while managing a website for a friend, and I leaned Joomla while creating my own website. I love learning new technologies, and the experience has been surprisingly fun compared to what I thought it would be when I first started. Right after I started working on the websites I began thinking of it as my next career path.

The only downside in the whole WordPress and Joomla experience is some portions of these technologies go against my logical thinking. And at times, the whole website design and management experience with WordPress and Joomla has greatly tried

Is There Gray When It Comes To Technology Independence for Ontology Models, Semantic Models, and Logical Data Models?

When it comes to ontologies, semantic models (conceptual data models), and logical data models, as well as the conceptual and logical architectures they represent, achieving technology independence can be a little tricky. Often, there is a lot of gray when determining if these models or architectures are truly technology independent. It can also be a matter of great discussion - and disagreement. Sometimes the line between being technology independent and technology dependent is clear, and sometimes it is a little blurry, especially when it comes to the primarily technology constrained modeling notations and tools available on the market. Sometimes, however, the meaning of technology independence is simply misunderstood.

What Does "Independent of Technical and Implementation Considerations" Really Mean? 

The statement that "conceptual and logical architectures or models are independent of technical and implementation considerations" is often misunderstood. It does not mean modeling at these levels is not "technical" or that advanced technology is

Data Normalization Is Not Just About Normalizing Relational Models or Databases

Data normalization is about normalizing logic. Unfortunately, data normalization is often incorrectly considered to be a process only applied to physical models or physical databases, specifically, relational models and databases. There are just as many benefits, if not more, to normalizing semantic models (conceptual data models) and logical data models as there are to normalizing physical data models or databases. The highest number of benefits are realized when ontology or other semantic models and logical data models are normalized to at least 4th normal form (4NF). Some data architects even prefer 5th normal form (5NF).

Ironically, in this day and age almost all physical models and databases are DE-normalized, typically for performance reasons. At least this has been true at most of the companies where I have worked. This is especially true for specialized databases such as data warehouse and data marts. Therefore, to say that normalization only applies to relational physical models or databases is being very shortsighted and ignorant (meaning lacking awareness or knowledge).

Who Invented Data Normalization?

I have read articles that incorrectly claim normalization was invented by the father of relational modeling. Codd may have been the first one to introduce the concept of using mathematical systems to construct more sound relational models, and he



part-of-speech:  noun

contexts:  information science, enterprise architecture, computer science, information architecture

Data models (diagrams and textual information), policies, standards or rules, and guidelines governing which data is collected, how data is named and defined, and how data is to be structured, integrated, arranged, stored, and used in organizations and their business systems. 


part-of-speech:  noun

contexts:  information science, enterprise architecture, computer science, information architecture

An architecture consisting of the logical (implementation and technology neutral) representation of the concepts and facts about which an enterprise records information.   The recording of this information is done regardless of whether they are automated or manual - which in this day and age means regardless of whether they are stored and managed in a database or on paper.

Additional Information:

The primarily objects of a Logical Data Architecture are Entities or Classes, Attributes, and Relationships. The model used to represent this architecture should be fully attributed and normalized.

A Logical Data Architecture is typically described and depicted in a data modeling tool using one of the following formalisms or notations: E/R (Entity Relationship), ERD (Entity Relationship Diagram), or UML (Unified Modeling Language) in a Class Diagram.