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Enterprise architecture frameworks

James Luxford

Former VP, Digital Solutions



Enterprise architecture is the process of translating business goals and strategy into practical change. It does so by building, communicating, and optimizing the key requirements, rules, and models that describe the desired evolution of the enterprise.

Many enterprise architecture frameworks are available, each with different strengths and weaknesses. Some focus on modeling existing architecture, while others focus on finding solutions to business problems. Wikipedia offers the following list according to category.

Proprietary enterprise architecture frameworks

  • ASSIMPLER Framework – an architecture framework based on Mandar Vanarse's project at Wipro in 2002
  • Avancier Methods (AM) – documentation and processes methods for enterprise and solution architects, aided by certification and training
  • CLEAR Framework for Enterprise Architecture – the enterprise architecture framework of Atos Origin
  • Gartner Enterprise Architecture Framework – a practical, solution-minded/process-oriented framework developed by Gartner in 2005
  • Information FrameWork (IFW) – invented by Roger Evernden in 1996
  • Integrated Architecture Framework (IAF) – Capgemini's enterprise architecture framework from 1993
  • OBASHI – the methodology framework of OBASHI Business & IT
  • SAP's Enterprise Architecture Framework
  • Solution Architecting Mechanism (SAM) – a clear architecture framework including of a group of integral modules
  • Zachman Framework – an architecture framework built by IBM's John Zachman in the 1980s

Open-source enterprise architecture frameworks

  • GOD – a generalist observation methodology, contains an enterprise architecture framework based an innovative certified approach and on observation, from the SDFL Department of DUJ
  • LEAD Frameworks – LEAD stands for Layered Enterprise Architecture Development. It is the only open-source, community-based EA framework based on international standards in use today. LEAD includes frameworks, methods, and approaches that are integrated with each other and with maps, models, and matrices
  • MEGAF – an infrastructure for visualizing architecture frameworks that comply with the definition of architecture framework as stated in ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010
  • Praxeme – an open enterprise methodology, includes an enterprise architecture framework named the Enterprise System Topology (EST)
  • SABSA – an open methodology and framework for Service Management and Enterprise Security Architecture. It is based on risk, and it focuses on integration of security into IT and business management
  • TRAK – a framework that is systems oriented and based on MODAF 1.2. It was released under GPL/GFDL

Group-developed enterprise architecture frameworks

  • ARCON (Architecture Framework for Collaborative Networks) – not based on a single enterprise but on networks of enterprises
  • Dragon1 – A visual enterprise architecture method recognized by The Open Group as an enterprise architecture framework
  • EABOK (The Guide to the Enterprise Architecture Body of Knowledge) – a U.S. federal-backed guide to enterprise architecture in the context of legal, tactical, and strategic business needs
  • Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (GERAM)
  • Good-enough architecture methodology – an architectural methodology based on results, experiences, and best practices collected through actual implementations of building blocks that provide an actualizable architecture and real-world solutions.
  • IDEAS Group – an international effort to create a common framework and ontological system for interoperability within architecture
  • RM-ODP – the Reference Model of Open Distributed Processing (ITU-T Rec. X.901-X.904 | ISO/IEC 10746) – an enterprise architecture framework for building the requirements of open-distributed systems
  • TOGAF – The Open Group Architecture Framework – a common framework consisting of an architectural Development Method and rules for defining several kinds of architecture

Government enterprise architecture frameworks

  • Government Enterprise Architecture (GEA) – a standard framework legalized by Queensland Government departments
  • FDIC Enterprise Architecture Framework
  • Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) – an architectural framework devised in 1999 by the US Federal CIO Council for practical use within the US Government
  • NIST Enterprise Architecture Model
  • Nederlandse Overheid Referentie Architectuur (NORA) – an architectural reference framework by the Dutch Government.
  • Treasury Enterprise Architecture Framework (TEAF) – a treasury framework, produced by the US Department of the Treasury, July 2000
  • The LEAD Architecture Framework for Government

Defense industry enterprise architecture frameworks

  • AGATE – the France DGA Architecture Framework
  • DoDAF – the US Department of Defense Architecture Framework
  • DNDAF – the DND/CF Architecture Framework (CAN)
  • The LEAD Architecture Framework for Defense
  • MODAF – the UK Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework
  • NAF – the NATO Architecture Framework

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