TOGAF®?

February 2, 2012

At least it’s a catchy word. Now, let’s find out what it means and why was it created.

TOGAF stands for The Open Group Architecture Framework and it’s define as a framework – a detailed method and a set of supporting tools – for developing an enterprise architecture. It may be used freely by any organization wishing to develop an enterprise architecture for use within that organization.TOGAF is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries.

TOGAF was developed by members of The Open Group, working within the Architecture Forum. The original development of TOGAF Version 1 in 1995 was based on the Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM), developed by the US Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD gave The Open Group explicit permission and encouragement to create TOGAF by building on the TAFIM, which itself was the result of many years of development effort and many millions of dollars of US Government investment.

TOGAF is a high level and holistic approach to design, which is typically modeled at four levels: Business, Application, Data, and Technology. It tries to give a well-tested overall starting model to information architects, which can then be built upon. It relies heavily on modularization, standardization and already existing, proven technologies and products.

Ok, nice! I have a better idea now, but it’s still a little foggy to me. Let me back up this thing a little bit.

What does Architecture Framework mean? 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.

Building blocks? Are we starting a construction project? Lets check out the following two diagrams to see if it helps me out, because so far, it seems too complicated for me.

1. TAFIM developed by the DoD – Standards-Based Architecture Planning Process:

pastedGraphic.pdf

2. TOGAF 9 ADM:

Let’ define TOGAF in other words. These phases provide a standardized way of analyzing the enterprise and planning and managing the actual implementation. Originally designed as a way to develop the technology architecture for an organization, TOGAF has evolved into a methodology for analyzing the overall business architecture. The first part of TOGAF is a methodology for developing your architecture design, which is called the Architecture Development Method (ADM). It has the following nine basic phases:

Preliminary phase: Framework and principles. Get everyone on board with the plan.

Phase A: Architecture vision. Define your scope and vision and map your overall strategy.

Phase B: Business architecture. Describe your current and target business architectures and determine the gap between them.

Phase C: Information system architectures. Develop target architectures for your data and applications.

Phase D: Technology architecture. Create the overall target architecture that you will implement in future phases.

Phase E: Opportunities and solutions. Develop the overall strategy, determining what you will buy, build or reuse, and how you will implement the architecture described in phase D.

Phase F: Migration planning. Prioritize projects and develop the migration plan.

Phase G: Implementation governance. Determine how you will provide oversight to the implementation.

Phase H: Architecture change management. Monitor the running system for necessary changes and determine whether to start a new cycle, looping back to the preliminary phase.

The second major part of TOGAF is the Enterprise Continuum. This collection of architectural building blocks and models enable you to not only build your architecture design more easily, but also to eliminate ambiguity when discussing various concepts and items involved in the analysis and implementation — which can be a problem even between groups within a single organization.

What have I learned so far? TOGAF is needed. Large organizations can’t ignore the effect that actual business conditions have on their technology requirements. Enterprise architecture is stepping in to provide the link between a business and its technology infrastructure, and TOGAF provides a standard way, using best practices, to enable that link.

Yep, there is a lot to learn about the TOGAF!

References:

1. http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf8-doc/arch/

2. http://www.togaf.info/togafSlides91/TOGAF-V91-M2-TOGAF9-Components.pdf

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Open_Group_Architecture_Framework#History

4. http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/library/ar-togaf1/

Submitted by Roberto Rodriguez

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