Term:Framework

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FIPS 201-1

Framework - A structured description of a topic of interest, including a detailed statement of the problem(s) to be solved and the goal(s) to be achieved. An annotated outline of all the issues that must be addressed while developing acceptable solutions to the problem(s). A description and analysis of the constraints that must be satisfied by an acceptable solution and detailed specifications of acceptable approaches to solving the problems(s).

NIST SP 800-95

Framework - A layered structure indicating what kind of programs can or should be built and how they would interrelate. Some computer system frameworks also include actual programs, specify programming interfaces, or offer programming tools for using the frameworks. A framework may be for a set of functions within a system and how they interrelate; the layers of an operating system; the layers of an application subsystem; how communication should be standardized at some level of a network; and so forth. A framework is generally more comprehensive than a protocol and more prescriptive than a structure. (whatis.com, http://whatis.techtarget.com)