TOGAF 9 means better architecture

Enhancements in The Open Group's TOGAF 9 make enterprise architecture a bit easier for the masses

I'm at the Open Group Conference in San Diego this week, and the organization just released TOGAF Version 9, the next generation of its enterprise architecture framework. In looking into it, I've found it to be much more aligned with the needs of architects, and it creates better links with the business. Moreover, it offers a better approach for those looking to incorporate SOA.

For those of you who don't know The Open Group, they are a vendor- and technology-neutral consortium focused on open standards and global interoperability within and between enterprises. I've been working with the Open Group for years, and I've found them to be one of those odd standards organizations that cares about both their members and their standards. It's certainly one of the most loyal groups of enterprise architects I've found that is dedicated to improving their art.

So, what's new in Version 9?

  • Detailed overview on how to apply the Architecture Development Method (ADM) to specific infrastructure situations, such as SOA and security architecture;
  • Expanded content framework with a content meta-model that formalizes the definition of an enterprise architecture and establishes clear links between business and IT objects;
  • Revised modular structure for simplified consideration of the specific aspects of an architecture's core capabilities;
  • Extended set of concepts and guidelines to support the creation of integrated hierarchies of architectures within organizations that have design governance models."

Another key enhancement in TOGAF 9 is the introduction of a seven-part structure and reorganization of the framework into modules with well-defined objectives. This will allow future modules to evolve at different speeds and with limited impact across the entire blueprint -- something that's needed if you're looking to create architecture within compartments and have those compartments operating independently.

A lot of bloggers are covering this, but the best post by far was from Nick Malik.

The new version has a comprehensive model for the content, insuring that the stakeholders for architecture have separate sections of the framework dedicated to each of their varied concerns. This makes navigation and adoption considerably easier. In addition, substantially new content, along with new models and a richer set of descriptions, have been added. The new framework is more readable and more usable than its predecessor.

If you're doing SOA, I always recommend leveraging and architectural framework as a mechanism to understand your domain and gather and manage requirements. Those feed into an information-, service-, and process-level understanding of the domain or enterprise, which is the perfect jumping-off point for defining the SOA.

If you're doing enterprise architecture, you should be considering TOGAF 9. Like the front of the cereal box says, it's "new and improved."