Knowledge Base

Welcome to our knowledge base, this is where you can find information on various topics like Togaf, Enterprise Architecture, EA tools, IT trends and more. This section is purely intended as a free information library. If there are specific topics you would like to see described please email these to info@whitecloudsoftware.ca

WIKIPEDIA: Enterprise architecture is a well-defined practice for conducting enterprise analysis, design, planning, and implementation, using a holistic approach at all times, for the successful development and execution of strategy.

GARTNER: Enterprise architecture is the process of translating business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating, and improving the key principles and models that describe the enterprise's future state and enable its evolution.

FORRESTER: Enterprise architecture consists of the vision, principles and standards that guide the purchase and deployment of technology within an enterprise.

THE OPEN GROUP: Enterprise architecture is a discipline that helps the enterprise define, develop and exploit the capabilities in order to achieve the enterprise’s strategic Intent. An ‘enterprise’ is any collection of organizations that has a common set of goals and/or a single bottom line.

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    TOGAF Overview

TOGAF is an EA Framework really an EA tool with a step-by-step procedure for development of enterprise architecture. The tool can be downloaded for free from the Open Group website.

TOGAF Goals
TOGAF has become a standard in enterprise architecture and a proven way for quicker and effective enterprise architecture development. This highly scalable framweork can be used by both big and small companies without exceptions. When it comes to the different levels of enterprise architecture a framework could support, TOGAF supports all levels from technology architecture to enterprise business architecture.

The Framework
TOGAF consists of these areas:

- An architectural development method (ADM)
- The enterprise continuum (theoretical base)
- A technical reference model (TRM)
- Standard information base (SIB)

We'll review each tool individually in the article.

Architectural Development Method
The architectural development method is a set of detailed instructions with step by step explanation on how to form, maintain and implement enterprise architecture. It has 8 different phases:

- Phase A - Architecture Vision
- Phase B - Business Architecture
- Phase C - Information System Architecture
- Phase D - Technology Architecture
- Phase E - Opportunities and Solutions
- Phase F - Migration Planning
- Phase G - Implementation Governance
- Phase H - Architecture Change Management

Requirements
All ADM phases have different requirements. TOGAF does not force a specific way of managing these requirements, it only states what an efficient Requirements Management process should be able to achieve. TOGAF does, on the other hand, contain specific technique for collection and description of requirements called Business Scenarios.

Business Scenarios
This is used to describe a framework in business taxonomy. Business scenarios are used to link the requirements to the enterprise architecture and aid the business process.

The Enterprise Continuum
While ADM describes the process and creates the architecture, the Enterprise Continuum is there to help with the communication and clarity of the company's architecture, by providing language consistency, so that individuals with different perspectives can discuss the same architecture equally.

The Architecture Continuum
The Architecture Continuum incorporates the relations between different architectures. Below is the picture of 4 architecture types that are a part of the Architecture Continuum.

The Solutions Continuum
This part of the Enterprise Continuum contains the implementation of the stages presented in the Architecture Continuum. Below is the picture of 4 corresponding solutions that are a part of the Solution Continuum.

When combined, we get the Enterprise Continuum which contains the relationship between the Solutions Continuum and the Architecture Continuum.


Technical Reference Model (TRM)
The TOGAF TRM contains Architecture taxonomy and a graphical representation of that taxonomy. There are three layers in TRM:

- Application Software contains specific applications and software needed for a particular company.
- Application Platform is a platform needed to run the software. Usually, it is reused in the Technology architecture as the building block.
- Communication Infrastructure is a way to interconnect systems. It can involve networking, online communication, basically, anything that is required to enable communication between applications.


Standards Information Base (SIB)
The SIB lists the standards of informational systems, created by the Open Group and is used for developing architectures. These standards are proven the technology and the biggest part of industry support them, so by using them we can avoid many possible issues with vendors.

Conclusion
Enterprise architecture takes time and money to be successful and there are still a few reasons why EA initiatives fail . Many companies don't get the planned benefits mainly because the management doesn't make an effort to pair the business goals with the architecture goals. With proper planning and TOGAF, your changes to be successful will increase significantly.

keywords: TOGAF, enterprise architecture, enterprise architecture framework, EA tools, TOGAF framework

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