"An artifact (in the UML) is the specification of a physical piece of information that is used or produced by a software development process, or by deployment and operation of a system."
Artifacts are the physical entities that are deployed on Nodes (ie. Devices and Execution Environments). Other UML elements such as classes and components are first manifested into artifacts and instances of these artifacts are then deployed. Artifacts can also be composed of other artifacts.
- OMG (2008). OMG Unified Modeling Language (OMG UML), Superstructure, V2.1.2 p.197.