Understanding EA frameworks with the IT Architecture Journal
Quite right Stephen observes that the frameworks have appeared because people noticed that the process of describing the IT of an enterprise looked similar in too many ways.
Still, what EA frameworks are not is a topic best left alone because there are too many items that can be added to the list.
And while frameworks may not be not patterns they are about a pattern of describing the enterprise IT after all, as above and patterns of organization.
Also, the EA framework is much more than a metamodel.
A complete framework should describe the EA
* Development process
* Organization and governance to create and manage the practice
* Associated or recommended
– best practices, tools to assess risks, business case, progress, maturity, value returned
– standard views, models, templates, patterns for Information, Application architecture,…
* Modelling framework, consisting of:
– a generic business architecture showing the basic functions and flows of a business
– the framework itself illustrating the EA structuring concepts: layers, views, nodes, links…
– a metamodel showing how EA components (nodes, links…) are placed in layers, views
– a synoptic EA model showing the key artefacts link together in the whole
I would also say that from the well known frameworks only TOGAF remains because Zachman is an ontology according to the man himself, and FEA and DODAF are used mainly by Government and Defence.
And TOGAF is a much too rich IT solution development process and a loose collection of practices.
Hence, what we are left with is our own effort to sort out by ourselves the EA modelling and development process.
But it has to be said at this point that IT architecture without business architecture makes little sense because IT only automates patches of an enterprise operation.
In any case, the IT architecture neither offers the end to end picture of the enterprise nor illustrates its processes.
Besides, EA is increasingly accepted today as the integrated picture of the whole enterprise consisting of business, technology and people architectures.
The IT architecture is only an important view in this big picture.