EA Frameworks galore – Theory to Practice

Several Books have been written on this topic and thanks to Google books you can find a few below for reference. Enterprise Architecture A to Z has a bird’s eye-view of Business Process Modeling, SOA , Infrastructure and Networks with some perspectives around reference to Zachman & TOGAF. EA BoK is evolving to guide Architects. A practical guide to Enterprise Architecture as the name implies is a pragmatic book that covers the topic thru’ the lens of Agile & EA stalwarts. Patterns of EA by Martin Fowler is a very good reference as well. Another interesting book with deals with TOGAF and some its secrets of success.

The advent of the profession on Enterprise Architect has permeated several government agencies through Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework and also in the Department of Defense(DoD) thru the C4ISR and DODAF. It is practiced heavily in the Federal as well as state CIO offices throughout the United States. And several countries are getting into eGovernance and creating EA teams and CIO offices. We may even see CTO offices coming up in Governments as Technology as an enabler has been proven in many instances and there is a widespread speculation on this topic. There are several organizations like Mitre, Opengroup & others working on bringing System Engineering and EA practice as a profession.

The era of Enterprise Architect for commercial Global Enterprises has already begun its journey, but it is often mis-interpreted and mis-represented for the design/development tools or the model-to-code-generation tools. But a practising Enterprise Architect knows it is neither. One of the open EA framework that has been gaining grounds in the past few years in the The Open Group Architecture Framework – TOGAF that has major IT services, product vendors as well as enterprises membership. The current version of TOGAF 8.1.1 Guide is freely available for reference. You can find all you want to know about TOGAF and how it can work with other Frameworks such as Zachman also can be found in this close to 600 Page document.

The key takeaways from the TOGAF framework is that it comprises of TOGAF Architecture Development Method – ADM breaking the Architecture to have Business, Data, Application & Technology domains providing a PROCESS , Enterprise Continuum – a set of reference Architectures & Resource Base – a set of tools and techniques for applying TOGAF and ADM. The site map for this documentprovides a quick overview and referfence. The whole document can be downloaded as a PDF as well as a web-site.

Similar to how a Designer to developer is differentiated with modeling tools for applications – like UML/RAD tools or Data design tools like ER-Win – EA tools can be abstracted to be above the DESIGN tools. Another parallel normally drawn to this EA profession is like the “Blueprint” used for Metro, City, Town planning versus sub-division, apartments & homes in terms of early architecture layout.

Some of the EA tools and their capabilities are depicted by EA Institute. Troux, System Architect, Sparxsystems & MEGA are some of them used in several Enterprises. The evolution of the tools are from a Data, Business process modeling perspective and depending on the core strengths, these products provide views and viewpoints that are often sought by Enterprise Leaders.

Apart from this from every major IT product vendor and Services and solution providers, you can see the EA practice is becoming an offering – that does include several outsourcing vendors as well indicated by current trends. It is no longer just coding and maintanance but some parts of Design & Architecture are also offered by some of the leaders in the Gartner’s Quadrant and Forrester waves for service providers and IT major suppliers. So with all this how will the future of IT management look like as “Business Technology” takes the front seat with a “Business Solution” focus rather than just dry technology push.

The Global IT Services vendor EA practices have emerged as a Business Offer and several Enterprises and Government organizations around the Globe are aleready utilizing such offerings.

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