A reference architecture is an (abstract) Architecture description that can serve as reference for creating architecture and systems descriptions of a "real site" Work system.

A reference architecture is a generalized architecture of a solution, based on best-practices, domain neutral and, occasionally, with a focus on a particular aspect.

The goal of a reference architecture is reusability; it reduces the amount of work, reduces errors and accelerates the development of solutions.

A reference architecture should be based in a [reference] model and in a style.

The reference model covers the ontology of the components and their interrelationships. In the case of the EIRA©, the reference model is ArchiMate®.

The architecture style covers the architecture design principles and patterns. In the case of the EIRA© it is “Service Oriented Architecture” (SOA).

The focus of the EIRA© is interoperability in public administrations.

In several countries inside and outside Europe (Germany, Canada, Denmark, USA, Norway), large-scale Enterprise Architecture projects have in the past successfully been executed (9), and national or sectorial reference architectures are in place notably in the Netherlands (NORA (10)) and in Denmark (eHealth Reference Architectures (11)).

Category: Business Layer

Example: HORA (Higher education reference architecture) in Dutch: HORA (NL).