42. Tools for Architecture Development

Chapter Contents
42.1 Overview | 42.2 Issues in Tool Standardization

42.1 Overview

As an enterprise architecture framework, TOGAF provides a basis for developing architectures in a uniform and consistent manner. Its purpose in this respect is to ensure that the various architecture descriptions developed within an enterprise, perhaps by different architects or architecture teams, support the comparison and integration of architectures within and across architecture domains (business, data, application, technology), and relating to different business area scopes within the enterprise.

To support this goal, TOGAF defines numerous deliverables in the form of architectures, represented as architecture models, architecture views of those models, and other artifacts. Over time, these artifacts become a resource that needs to be managed and controlled, particularly with a view to re-use. This concept is referred to in TOGAF as the "Enterprise Continuum".

Architecture models and views are discussed in detail separately in Part IV, 35. Architectural Artifacts. This section discusses considerations in choosing automated tools in order to generate such architecture models and views, and to maintain them over time.

42.2 Issues in Tool Standardization

In the current state of the tools market, many enterprises developing enterprise architectures struggle with the issue of standardizing on tools, whether they seek a single "one size fits all" tool or a multi-tool suite for modeling architectures and generating the different architecture views required.

There are ostensible advantages associated with selecting a single tool. Organizations following such a policy can hope to realize benefits such as reduced training, shared licenses, quantity discounts, maintenance, and easier data interchange. However, there are also reasons for refusing to identify a single mandated tool, including reasons of principle (endorsing a single architecture tool would not encourage competitive commercial innovation or the development of advanced tool capability); and the fact that a single tool would not accommodate a variety of architecture development "maturity levels" and specific needs across an enterprise.

Successful enterprise architecture teams are often those that harmonize their architecture tools with their architecture maturity level, team/organizational capabilities, and objectives or focus. If different organizations within an enterprise are at different architecture maturity levels and have different objectives or focus (e.g., Enterprise versus Business versus Technology Architecture), it becomes very difficult for one tool to satisfy all organizations' needs.
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Downloads of TOGAF®, an Open Group Standard, are available under license from the TOGAF information web site. The license is free to any organization wishing to use the TOGAF standard entirely for internal purposes (for example, to develop an information system architecture for use within that organization). A book is also available (in hardcopy and pdf) from The Open Group Bookstore as document G116.