Polysemy in Enterprise Architecture

polysemy n : the ambiguity of an individual word or phrase that can be used (in different contexts) to express two or more different meanings . syn: [ lexical ambiguity] [ant: monosemy]

The term ServiceComponent continues to serve as the most obvious example of polysemy in Enterprise Architecture (EA). ServiceComponent is a single term in the Service Componenet Reference Model used to specify two separate and distinct elements of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) that have to become as clearly differentiated in EA as they are in SOA. For example, the W3C Web Services Architecture clearly differentiates service and its realization as a concrete agent. See http://www.w3.org/TR/ws-arch/ for a complete description.

If our stakeholders are confused about EA, we Enterprise Architects only have ourselves to blame if we continue to use polysemy. Precise semantics are required not only in machine translation, but in all our communications. We need clarity, not ambiguity, to best inform our stakeholders!