TOGAF – The Open Group Architecture Framework

February 3, 2011

TOGAF – The Open Group Architecture Framework

What is TOGAF?

TOGAF is an enterprise architecture framework. This framework provides a detailed approach to designing, planning, implementing and governing an enterprise information architecture. (2) Ok, so what does that really mean? Maybe we should start with – “What is an architecture framework?” The Open Group describes an “architecture framework” in the following way:

“An architecture framework is a tool which can be used for developing a broad range of different architectures. It should describe a method for designing an information system in terms of a set of building blocks, and for showing how the building blocks fit together. It should contain a set of tools and provide a common vocabulary. It should also include a list of recommended standards and compliant products that can be used to implement the building blocks.” (1)

So basically what I get from this is: an architecture framework is a structured model to facilitate enterprises with setting up their different architectures that are catered to their needs. It’s a blueprint. When I started my research the first thing that came to mind was the Zachman Framework (ZF), which we have discussed in class. During my research, I have found that the Zachman Framework has been the “industry standard”. With this being said, I have found that many have compared TOGAF to Zachman. One self-proclaimed enterprise architecture expert states, “Zachman not only demonstrates the concept, he implements it, and as a result, obscures the right of others to implement the same concept in a different way.”(3) He goes on to say, “The Zachman Framework can easily be viewed as one implementation within TOGAF.”

What architectures does TOGAF address?

So we keep throwing around this word “architecture”. What architectures are we talking about? There are four subsets of enterprise architecture that are commonly used. These are the architectures that TOGAF and many other frameworks address. The four subsets are: Business Architecture, Data Architecture, Application Architecture, and Technology Architecture.

Business Architecture

The Business Architecture subset defines the business strategy, governance, organization, and key business processes of the organization. (1)

Data Architecture

The Data Architecture describes the structure of an organization’s data assets and data management resources. (1)

Application Architecture

The Application Architecture provides a blueprint for the individual application systems to be deployed, their interactions, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organization. (1)

Technology Architecture

The Technology Architecture describes the software and hardware capabilities that are required to support the other subsets, which includes applications critical to the enterprise. This includes IT infrastructure, middleware, networks, communications, processing standards, and etc. (1)(2)

What does TOGAF consist of?

TOGAF consists of the following three main parts:

TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM)

According to The Open Group, the key to TOGAF is the ADM (Architecture Development Method). The ADM is a proven method for developing IT enterprise architecture that meets the specific business needs of the adopter. It explains exactly how to develop custom requirement-centric enterprise architecture.

The Enterprise Continuum

The Enterprise Continuum is a repository of models, patterns, and architecture descriptions that exist in the IT industry. TOGAF includes two reference models for the architects consideration. The TOGAF Foundation Architecture and the Intergrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model (III-RM). The TOGAF Foundation Architecture is an architecture of generic services and functions that will provide an enterprise with a foundation. The III-RM is specifically geared toward enabling organization to implement Boudaryless Information Flow. The III-RM is based on the TOGAF Foundation Architecture.

The TOGAF Resource Base

The TOGAF Resource Base is set of guidelines and templates to assist an organization in the use of the ADM.

In conclusion, TOGAF is an architecture framework that allows an organization to design, evaluate, and build the right requirements-centric architecture for their organization. Typically an organization implements systems and architectures to answer some business need or concern. Because TOGAF is developed by The Open Group, a not-for-profit consortium, this is an cost-effective way to help build the systems/architectures that can answer those business needs.

Resources

1. The Open Group – http://www.opengroup.org

2. Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Group_Architecture_Framework

3. A First Look at TOGAF 9.0, Nick Malik – http://blogs.msdn.com/b/nickmalik/archive/2009/02/02/a-first-look-at-togaf-9-0.aspx

4. TOGAF – The Continuing Story, Chris Greenslade – http://www.enterprise-architecture.info/Images/Documents/Togaf%20seminar.pdf

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2 Responses to “TOGAF – The Open Group Architecture Framework”

  1. Jason Chuang said

    That was very informative and interesting to know that the TOGAF is still being even though Zachman Framework (ZF)is the most logical approach in my opinion.

  2. denise jeffries said

    And isn’t it great to have a free reference site, giving you good information? Busineses are always paying consultants to give them alot of the same information.

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