IDEF1 Information Modeling - Part 1

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A Reconstruction of the Original Air Force
Wright Aeronautical Laboratory
Technical Report AFWAL-TR-81-4023

Dr. Richard J. Mayer, Ph.D., Editor

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Historical Perspective

IDEF1 can be viewed as a method for both analysis and communication in establishing CIM requirements. However, IDEF1 is primarily focused on support of the task of establishing the requirements for what information is or should be managed by an enterprise. In CIM applications, IDEF1 is generally used to: 1) identify what information is currently managed in the organization, 2) identify which of the problems identified during the needs analysis are caused by lack of management of appropriate information, and 3) specify what information will be managed in the “TO-BE” CIM implementation.

The IDEF1, Information Modeling Method, derives its foundations from three primary sources: The Entity-Link-Key-Attribute (ELKA) method developed by Hughes Aircraft Co., the Entity-Relationship (ER) method proposed by Peter Chen, and Codd’s Relational Model. The original intent of IDEF1 was to capture what information exists or should be managed about objects falling within the scope of an enterprise. Thus, the IDEF1 perspective of an information system is one which includes not only the automated component, or the computer, but also includes humans, filing cabinets, telephones, etc. A design goal for IDEF1 was that it not be a database design method. At the time of the IDEF1 development, it was the opinion of the database community that what was needed was a way for organizations to analyze and clearly state their information resource management needs and requirements. This was the motivation for the development of IDEF1.

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