4.3. Reference Architecture

While the infrastructure describes and characterizes the main components that support an electronic business, a reference architecture covers not only the components, but the way those components are structured and the way they interact with each other. In other words, an infrastructure model provides a static description of resources and services, whereas the architecture includes the dynamics of the system. A reference architecture of a system describes its structure, its components, and their interrelationships. The importance of an architecture is emphasized by the following quotation: "If a project has not achieved a system architecture, including its rationale, the project should not proceed to a full-scale system ...

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