Tools for Architecture Development

Overview | Issues in Tool Standardization | Evaluation Criteria and Guidelines

This section discusses tools and techniques helpful in using TOGAF.


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, Applications, 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 Developing Architecture Views . This section discusses considerations in choosing automated tools in order to generate such architecture models and views, and to maintain them over time.

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.

Evaluation Criteria and Guidelines

TOGAF does not require or recommend any specific tool. However, in recognition of the problems that enterprise architects currently face in this area, this section provides a set of proposed evaluation criteria for selecting architecture tools to develop the various architecture models and views that are required.

Individual enterprises may wish to adapt these generic evaluation criteria to their particular circumstances and requirements. In particular, such an exercise would typically produce weightings of the various criteria that can be used to produce a "score" for the specific tools evaluated.

Tool Criteria

Key Features and Functions
Intuitiveness/Ease-of-Use Factors
Organizational Compatibility Factors
Tool Capacity/Scalability Constraints
Architecture of the Tool
Full Lifecycle Support
Interoperability Factors
Financial Considerations
Vendor Factors

General Pointers

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Downloads of the TOGAF documentation, are available under license from the TOGAF information web site. The license is free to any organization wishing to use TOGAF entirely for internal purposes (for example, to develop an information system architecture for use within that organization). A hardcopy book is also available from The Open Group Bookstore as document G063.

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