The Architecture Content Framework

The TOGAF Architecture Framework is comprised of the following main components

  • Building Blocks
  • Artifacts
  • Deliverables
  • An Architecture Repository

Before detailing the main components in the TOGAF Architecture Content Framework lets understand why an Enterprise would want to leverage the Content Framework.

Leveraging the TOGAF Content Framework provides the following benefits:

  • Detailed meta model
  • A detailed open standard for how architectures should be described
  • Comprehensive checklist of the architecture outputs
  • Greater consistency in terms of the outputs of the ADM
  • Promotes better integration of work products

The TOGAF Architecture Content Framework provides a specific and detailed model of work products that form the architecture. These models include:

  • Deliverables (Including the artifacts that fall within the deliverables)
  • The building blocks that form the architecture (Otherwise known as ABBs)

Deliverables

In terms of the TOGAF ADM a deliverable is defined as a formal work product(s) or a specified output(s) where the output is based on a specified contract. It is important to understand that a deliverable many contain one or more artifacts.

Further, a deliverable or work product is based on a contract and because of this will be formally agreed upon, reviewed and then signed off by the relevant stakeholders within the enterprise.

At the completion of a project any deliverables that form any type of documentation will be archived and may be placed into the Architecture Repository for future use as a standard, reference model or architecture snapshot at a set point in time.

Artifacts

TOGAF describes an artifact as a much smaller work product that is used to describe an architecture from as set view point.

An artifact falls into one of three categories:

  1. Lists or catalogs – (A list of things)
  2. Diagrams – Images of things
  3. Matrices – Relationships between things

As an example, an artifact may include items such as:

  • Network diagram
  • A use case specification
  • Server specification
  • A set of requirements for the architecture
  • A business interaction matrix

An architectural deliverable is able to contain more than a single artifact and these artifacts will be the content of the Architecture Repository.

Building Blocks

Simply put a building block is a component of Information Technology, Organisation (Business) or architectural capability that can be combined with other building blocks to deliver the Solutions or Architectures. It is worth noting that a building block may be able to be re-used.

There are two different types of building blocks:

  1. Solution Building Blocks otherwise known as SBBs
  2. Architecture Building Blocks otherwise known as ABBs

A Solution Building Block (SBB) is the implementation of the designs as specified by the Architecture Building Blocks.

An Architecture Building Block is the output of the design.

Architecture Repository

The Architecture Repository is a model which is used for storing the different Architectural output types as produced by the ADM.