The Open Group Architecture Framework

The Open Group Architecture Framework
TOGAF 8.1.1 ADM.[1]

The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF®) is a framework for enterprise architecture which provides a comprehensive approach for designing, planning, implementation, and governance of an enterprise information architecture. TOGAF is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the United States and other countries. [2]

TOGAF is a high level and holistic approach to design, which is typically modeled at four levels: Business, Application, Data, and Technology. It tries to give a well-tested overall starting model to information architects, which can then be built upon. It relies heavily on modularization, standardization and already existing, proven technologies and products.



An architecture framework is a set of tools which can be used for developing a broad range of different architectures.[3] It should:

  • describe a method for defining an information system in terms of a set of building blocks
  • show how the building blocks fit together
  • contain a set of tools
  • provide a common vocabulary
  • include a list of recommended standards
  • include a list of compliant products that can be used to implement the building blocks

TOGAF is such an architecture framework.

The ANSI/IEEE Standard 1471-2000 specification of architecture (of software-intensive systems) may be stated as: "the fundamental organization of a system, embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment, and the principles governing its design and evolution."

However TOGAF has its own view, which may be specified as either a "formal description of a system, or a detailed plan of the system at component level to guide its implementation", or as "the structure of components, their interrelationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time."


DoD Standards-Based Architecture Planning Process in TAFIM.[4]

TOGAF has been developed by the Architecture Forum of The Open Group and continuously evolved since the mid-1990s. In 1995 the first version of TOGAF Version was presented, which was "based on the Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM). The US Department of Defense gave The Open Group explicit permission and encouragement to create TOGAF by building on the TAFIM, which itself was the result of many years of development effort and many millions of dollars of US Government investment".[5]

TOGAF 7 ("Technical Edition") was published in December 2001, TOGAF 8 ("Enterprise Edition") was first published in December 2002 and republished in updated form as TOGAF 8.1 in December 2003, which was updated in November 2006 as TOGAF 8.1.1. According to The Open Group as of February 2011 there are over 15,000 TOGAF Certified individuals [6].

The latest version is TOGAF 9, launched on 2 February 2009. An evolutionary development from TOGAF 8, TOGAF 9 includes many new features including

  • Increased rigor including a formal Content Metamodel that links the artifacts of TOGAF together
  • Elimination of unnecessary differences
  • Many more examples and templates.

Additional guidelines and techniques include

  • A formal business-driven approach to architecture scoping and segmentation
  • Business capability-based planning
  • Guidance on how to use TOGAF to develop Security Architectures and SOAs

The Open Group provides TOGAF free of charge to organizations for their own internal noncommercial purposes.[7]

TOGAF topics

Enterprise architecture domains

TOGAF is based on four pillars, called architecture domains:

  • Business architecture or business process architecture which defines the business strategy, governance, organization, and key business processes of the organization
  • Applications architecture which provides a blueprint for the individual application systems to be deployed, the interactions between the application systems, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organization with the frameworks for services to be exposed as business functions for integration.
  • Data architecture which describes the structure of an organization's logical and physical data assets and the associated data management resources
  • Technical architecture or technology architecture which describes the hardware, software and network infrastructure needed to support the deployment of core, mission-critical applications

Architecture Development Method

The Architecture Development Method (ADM) is applied to develop an enterprise architecture which will meet the business and information technology needs of an organization. It may be tailored to the organization's needs and is then employed to manage the execution of architecture planning activities.[8]

The process is iterative and cyclic. Each step checks with Requirements. Phase C involves some combination of both Data Architecture and Applications Architecture. Additional clarity can be added between steps B and C in order to provide a complete information architecture.

Performance engineering working practices are applied to the Requirements phase, and to the Business Architecture, Information System Architecture, and Technology architecture phases. Within Information System Architecture, it is applied to both the Data Architecture and Application Architecture.

Enterprise Continuum

The Enterprise Continuum may be viewed as a "virtual repository" (as of TOGAF 9 this is not virtual any more) of all the architecture assets available to an organization. These include architectural models, architectural patterns, architecture descriptions, and other artifacts. These artifacts may exist within the enterprise and also in the IT industry at large.

The Enterprise Continuum consists of both the Architecture Continuum and the Solutions Continuum. The Architecture Continuum specifies the structuring of reusable architecture assets, and includes rules, representations and relationships of the information system(s) available to the enterprise. The Solutions Continuum describes the implementation of the Architecture Continuum by defining reusable solutions building blocks.

TOGAF Certified Tools

The Open Group has a certification program for TOGAF 8 Tools, and as of early 2011 plans to extend that to cover TOGAF 9 Tools. For the latest register of certified tools see The Open Group register [9].

Alternative enterprise architecture frameworks


  1. ^ Stephen Marley (2003). Architectural Framework. NASA /SCI. Retrieved 10 Dec 2008.
  2. ^ TOGAF Trademark
  3. ^ TOGAF Introduction The Open Group Architecture Framework. Accessed 22 Jan 2009.
  4. ^ Department of Defense (1996). Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management. Vol. 4. April 1996
  5. ^ Welcome to TOGAF Version 9 -- The Open Group Architecture Framework Accessed 03 Feb 2009.
  6. ^ 15,000 certifications
  7. ^ TOGAF® Version 9 - Download Accessed 17 Nov 2011.
  8. ^ The process flow can be seen as an image located here: Architecture Development Cycle
  9. ^ The Open Group Certification Register
  10. ^ L.M. Camarinha-Matos, H. Afsarmanesh, Collaborative Networks: Reference Modeling, Springer, 2008.
  11. ^ L.M. Camarinha-Matos, H. Afsarmanesh, On reference models for collaborative networked organizations, International Journal Production Research, Vol 46, Nº 9, May 2008, pp 2453–2469.

External links

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