Enterpise Architecture (EA) Affiliations

As Enterprise Architecture and SOA is a core competency of our ALG Systems, we are proud of our affiliation with The Open Group.

So what is an Enterprise Architecture?

An architecture is the framework of principles, guidelines, standards, models and strategies which directs the design, construction and deployment of business processes, resources and information technology throughout the enterprise.

Architectures are usually high-level views of the system they describe. An architecture is typically made up of

  • a picture of the current state
  • a blueprint or vision for the future
  • a road-map on how to get there

An enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of an enterprise architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives.

Zachman defines an Enterprise Architecture as...

..."that set of descriptive representations (i.e. ‘models’) that are relevant for describing an Enterprise such that it can be produced to management’s requirements (quality) and maintained over the period of its useful life (change)"

Enterprise Architecture Frameworks are commonly used to organize enterprise architectures into different views that are meaningful to system stakeholders. These frameworks, commonly referred to as enterprise architecture frameworks are often standardized for defence and commercial systems. Frameworks may specify process, method or format of architecture activities and products. Not all frameworks specify the same set of things, and some are highly specialized.

The practice of Enterprise Architecture involves developing an architecture framework to describe a series of "current", "intermediate" and "target" reference architectures and applying them to align change within the enterprise. Another set of terms for these architectures are "as-is“and "to-be".

Among many EA frameworks that exist, ALG Systems tends to utilize TOGAF by The Open Group.

TOGAF has been developed by the Architecture Forum of The Open Group and. The Architecture Forum at The Open Group is currently working on TOGAF 9, which will be the next version of the three major TOGAF components – Architecture Development Method (ADM), Enterprise Continuum and Resource Base.

The Enterprise Architecture consists of:

  • A Business Strategy Architecture - defines the overall strategic direction of the business, the vision, mission, business plans and overall business objectives.
  • A Business Process Architecture describes the business processes that have to be put in place in order for the business to operate efficiently and support effectively the enterprise business objectives.
  • A Data/Information Architecture describes the structure of an organization's logical and physical data assets and data management resources.
  • An 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.
  • A Technology Architecture describes the software and hardware infrastructure intended to support the deployment of core, mission-critical applications.
  • Integration Architecture documents the cooperation and interoperability among applications (Integration Services), the definition of the roles, technologies and standards to protect information assets (Security and Directory Services) and portal requirements to provide access to applications and data within the enterprise (Web Services)
  • A Security Architecture is a unifying framework and reusable services that implement policy, standards, and risk management decisions. The security architecture is a strategic framework that allows the development and operations staff to align efforts, in addition the security architecture can drive platform improvements which are not possible to make at a project level.