Describe an Architecture

In its simplest form, think of an Architecture in terms of TOGAF as the central properties or concepts in a system; specifically:

  • The individual elements that form the system
  • The fundamental principles that govern the systems evolution and design
  • How the elements in the system relate to each other

Describe an Enterprise

Think of an Enterprise in the terms of Architecture as a set of business or organisations that share a set of common goals. Examples of an Enterprise may be:

  • A large multinational company that spans multiple countries
  • A single company or corporation
  • A subset or part of a company or corporation

It is important to understand that a large company or corporation may consist of multiple enterprises. An enterprise may even extend out to other businesses such as a companies customers, suppliers and any other business partners.

Essentially, an Enterprise in terms of Architecture can be summarised as a set of entities that are working together to reach a common goal.

What does “Architecture” mean?

People often ask, what is the meaning of “Architecture” when talking about the TOGAF standard?

Whilst TOGAF does embrace the IEEE Standard 1471 it does not strictly adhere to it.

Briefly, the term Architecture in the context of TOGAF has two different meanings and these two meanings are different depending on the context. In terms of TOGAF Architecture can be defined as:

  • A plan or formal description detailing a system broken down into components to help guide the implementation – Or
  • The structure and relationships between components as well as the principles and guidelines that govern the evolution and design of a system over a period of time

TOGAF Certification; An Introduction

Why would you want to use the TOGAF standard as an Architecture Framework?

The TOGAF Architecture Framework is a good place to start when implementing an Architecture Framework because it:

  • Provides a set of baseline resources that can be re-used
  • Simplifies and speeds up Architecture Development
  • Provides complete coverage of the specified solution
  • Allows for future growth as the needs of the business grow

Because Architecture design is complex, frameworks such as TOGAF are able to provide a way for businesses to demystify the architecture process. This demystifying of the Architecture Development process allows businesses to create open systems-based solutions that will fit the needs of the business moving forward.