Definition

enterprise architecture (EA)

This definition is part of our Essential Guide: EA in transition: Guide to keeping up with disruptive technologies

An enterprise architecture (EA) is a conceptual blueprint that defines the structure and operation of an organization. The intent of an enterprise architecture is to determine how an organization can most effectively achieve its current and future objectives.

Microsoft's Michael Platt offers a view of enterprise architecture as containing four points-of-view, called the business perspective, the application perspective, the information perspective, and the technology perspective. The business perspective defines the processes and standards by which the business operates on a day-to-day basis. The application perspective defines the interactions among the processes and standards used by the organization. The information perspective defines and classifies the raw data (such as document files, databases, images, presentations, and spreadsheets) that the organization requires in order to efficiently operate. The technology perspective defines the hardware, operating systems, programming, and networking solutions used by the organization.

Purported advantages of having an enterprise architecture include improved decision making, improved adaptability to changing demands or market conditions, elimination of inefficient and redundant processes, optimization of the use of organizational assets, and minimization of employee turnover.

This was last updated in June 2007

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Enterprise Architecture software are really beneficial for any organization out there. There are many ea softwares out in the market like togaf, eacomposer.com, sparxsystems.com etc. One must go in details before opting for any of them.
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This definition is not incorrect, but not quite perfect.  ISO says that an architecture is a set of components, their relationships, and the principles by which the thing operates.  It also indicates context.

According to US Government FEA practice guidance in 2007, adopted by TOGAF and FEAF and implicit in DODAF, there are 3 levels.  These correspond to the complete organization, a single line of business, and a solution.

Zachman's interrogatives cover who, what, where, when, why and how. Then there are viewpoints.  All that is widely accepted.

Therefore, Enterprise Architecture is a set of components (covering who, what, where, when, why and how), relationships between them, and operating principles for a complete organization, a line of business, or a solution from several viewpoints.  Roughly.


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