Although the ODP reference model provides abstract languages for the relevant concepts, it does not prescribe particular notations to be used in the individual viewpoints. The viewpoint languages defined in the reference model are abstract languages in the sense that they define what concepts should be used, not how they should be represented. This lack of precise notations for expressing the different models involved in a multi-viewpoint specification of a system is a common feature for most enterprise architecture frameworks, including the Zachman framework, the "4+1" model, or the RM-ODP.

Currently there is growing interest in the use of UML for system modelling. However, there is no widely agreed approach to the structuring of such specifications. This adds to the cost of adopting the use of UML for system specification, hampers communication between system developers and makes it difficult to relate or merge system specifications where there is a need to integrate IT systems.

ISO/IEC and the ITU-T started a joint project in 2004: "ITU-T Rec. X.906|ISO/IEC 19793:2015 Information technology - Open distributed processing - Use of UML for ODP system specifications". This document (usually referred to as UML4ODP) defines use of the UML 2 for expressing the specifications of open distributed systems in terms of the viewpoint specifications defined by the RM-ODP.

UML4ODP defines a set of UML Profiles, one for each viewpoint language and one to express the correspondences between viewpoints, and an approach for structuring them according to the RM-ODP principles. The purpose of UML4ODP is to allow ODP modelers to use the UML notation for expressing their ODP specifications in a standard graphical way; to allow UML modelers to use the RM-ODP concepts and mechanisms to structure their large UML system specifications according to a mature and standard proposal; and to allow UML tools to be used to process viewpoint specifications, thus facilitating the software design process and the enterprise architecture specification of large software systems.

In addition, ITU-T Rec. X.906 | ISO/IEC 19793:2015 enables the seamless integration of the RM-ODP enterprise architecture framework with the Model-Driven Architecture (MDA) initiative from the OMG, and with the service-oriented architecture (SOA).


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