TOGAF 9 Release and Impressions

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Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of talking with Allen Brown, president of the Open Group regarding the latest TOGAF release. Thanks to Allen and his team for taking the time to chat about the new aspects of TOGAF 9. All the details of this release will be available today on the Open Group website. Additionally, there will be a great deal of information given out at the 21st Enterprise Architecture Practitioners Conference.

I will share with all of you the highlights of the conversation. I will not be able to give a full analysis of the framework. Rather, touching on the major components, impressions, opinions, areas of improvement and concerns.

At version 9 there is quite a bit that is new. For the Open Group this is a significant milestone for TOGAF. Before we get into what’s new, lets look at current momentum behind TOGAF to date.

  • TOGAF has more than 90,000 downloads. All documentation for TOGAF is published online. While this doesn’t tell us that there are 90,000 people using TOGAF, but what it does tell us is that there is significant interest in what TOGAF has to offer.
  • This year there are over 8,491 certified practitioners. This is largely due to the how architects are certified in TOGAF. The Open Group has a franchise model that allows independent trainers and companies to certify architects. This is a brilliant way of certifying architects as it doesn’t force everyone going through the Open Group channel directly.
  • Grew 529% since October 2006, which also includes a solid stake in 80% of the Fortune 50.
  • More than 180 corporate members of The Open Group Architecture Forum
  • Over 20,000 TOGAF™ series books shipped
  • The online forum Association of Open Group Enterprise Architects has had a significant impact and it membership is at more than 8,500

What’s New in TOGAF 9

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Below are the new features of TOGAF 9. The bolded text is what was provided by the Open Group. The regular text is my commentary on it.

  1. Modular structure – I am a firm believer that enterprise processes are modular pieces that should be orchestrated based on the specific set of concerns. It is good to see that TOGAF feels the same way.
  2. Promotes greater usability & encourages incremental adoption – This is somewhat lofty and subject largely to implementation details. I do agree that the guidance provided does promote reusability. This is reinforced with the first bullet on the modular structure.
  3. Supports evolutionary release management
  4. Content framework – This is a significant step in the right direction. The content framework provides architects with a map of information that is needed. From what I have seen so far there isn’t a great amount of detail here. But I am sure there is more to come.
  5. Extended guidance on using TOGAF – The TOGAF book was expanded greatly with new guidance that extends the base concepts of TOGAF and supports new features.
  6. Explicit consideration of architectural styles – In the guidance there are linkages between the TOGAF ADM and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). I am hoping that this isn’t a tight coupling. If you are interested in my thoughts on architectural styles I wrote a post on this not too long ago. See the post What is an Architecture Style?  
  7. SOA and Security – This could be interesting. But only if done right. The Open Group needs to be careful at balancing out too much in the developer details (what OASIS & W3C provides) and high level / nebulous guidance (Analyst firms) that isn’t actionable. What could be of great value is if the Open Group embarked on true architectural patterns and styles that would aid SOA and EA architects on choosing the right architectural strategies.
  8. Further detail added to the Architecture Development Method (ADM)

What Architects Will Care About

My first thought after talking with Allen and his team was just how much there is to the new framework. It is obvious to that there are positive contributions from the new members within the past couple of years. Below are the ones that you will want to know about/

1. The Content Framework

One such member is Cap Gemini. Cap Gemini donated most of the Architecture Content Framework. In my opinion, this was long overdue.

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Content framework provides:

  • Linkages and the information that is needed in the Architecture Development Method (ADM)
  • Defines the work products that are needed
  • Classifies information and shows high level relations. In the documentation it states there is a metamodel but I did not see one. There are high level entities defined but didn’t robust metamodel definition.
  • More information is provided in the Architectural Principles, Requirements and Vision areas

2. Better ADM Guidance

The augmented crop circle diagram is a great example of new guidance that will aid architects in implementing TOGAF.

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Other ways guidance is extended are:

  • Applying iteration to the ADM
  • Applying the ADM at different enterprise levels
  • Security architecture and the ADM
  • Using TOGAF to define and govern SOA

 

3. Restructured Modular Approach

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The image above shows how the pieces of the existing standard have been restructured and have additional aspects. With the restructure existing pieces where used to ensure backward compatibility with TOGAF 8.1.1. Specifically it preserves:

  • The core Architecture Development Method
  • Existing investment in people – knowledge and skills
  • Existing investment in tools

4. Architecture Modeling Notations and Architecture Markup

While I didn’t find mention of Archimate and ADML in the pre-release TOGAF 9 documentation I did however have a conversation with the Open Group folks about Archimate. It turns out that ADML and Archimate is converging and will be part of TOGAF 9. I would share more details but I just don’t have them. I do think that this important to keep an eye on.

If you are interested in my previous conversations regarding Archimate and TOGAF 9 you can find the post “ArchiMate – The Emerging Architecture Modeling Standard?” I wrote a few months back.

5. Playing Well With Others

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It’s good to see that collaboration with other standards bodies and commentary frameworks is still encouraged. This is critical for the long term success of any Enterprise Architecture Framework.

6. Community Driven

TOGAF 9 was developed, reviewed and approved by a collaborative of 300 members from some of the world’s leading IT customers and vendors. One example of the contributions is Capgemini:

Mike Turner, TOGAF Development Lead at Capgemini explained: “We consider an architecture-based approach to be essential for enterprises to manage change across business and IT, even more in a period of downturn in which tangible business outcomes come first. The open standard nature of TOGAF allows our clients to truly collaborate with their partners in the definition and management of change by using shared concepts, content, processes and tools. TOGAF 9 is a huge step forward, particularly because it standardizes and materializes the content that architects work with. We were most happy to contribute to it, leveraging much of Capgemini’s established and widely respected architecture assets.”

 

Areas that Need Work

With the good comes the bad and in this case there wasn’t anything bad, just areas that I will be looking forward to see more progress on. Below are those areas of opportunity for TOGAF v-next.

1. Processes are Abstract

Many of the areas still seem to be very high level. While this is what I like about TOGAF, it is also a liability. I have seen the same issues in other standards bodies where the standard is so abstract it isn’t useful. I don’t think that is the cases here but what I do know is that it is subject to interpretation which can result in poor execution of the framework.

2. Metadata Repository

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There still is a great deal of definition that needs to be done here. The first level of detail is good, there are linkages to the ADM and Content Framework but there is little in the area of real world implementation. I couldn’t find any schemas that would help companies build a repository in compliance with TOGAF.

The Open Group might be relying on vendors to define this for the industry. That can be problematic however.

 

3. Making the Framework Actionable

Getting started with any new framework is difficult. I was hoping with this latest release that there would be accelerators that would aid architects adopt the TOGAF framework. As I mentioned many times, TOGAF is a process framework that is abstract from a lot of the implementation details but I think it is time for the framework to become more grounded and more importantly provide immediate value through accelerators like:

  • Templates
  • Checklists
  • Samples

4. Metamodels too High Level

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TOGAF 9 does a great job at exploring the architecture metamodel at a high level. There needs to be a level or two deeper of consideration here. I was looking for more detail on:

  • interaction between the architectural domains
  • composition of the domains themselves
  • non-functional requirements called out specifically
  • organizational aspects spelled out such as geography, LOB, business unit/division, etc.

5. Limited Taxonomy and Ontology Defined

The framework has elements of a taxonomy and even borrows from some like IEEE 1471 but doesn’t have an all encompassing taxonomy to describe the structure nor an ontology to define information in that structure.

This isn’t a deal breaker for the framework. There are multiple areas where there are less formalized (from a taxonomy / ontology perspective) definitions throughout the documentation.

 

Conclusion

Whether you are using TOGAF in your organization or not TOGAF 9 is definitely a framework you want to evaluate. I didn’t find anything that was negative about TOGAF 9. Even though there are some gaps and some areas that could be more developed the bits that are refined were really good. Keep in mind that the focus for TOGAF is still mostly at the process level and dealing at a high level of abstraction should be expected.

 

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Calgary Offering 1 Day EA Course

The Canadian IT Architecture Connection blog posted about a one day EA course that may be interesting to folks in that area. See below for details:

Phil Unger, from the Calgary Enterprise Architecture Forum, is organizing a one-day course focused on developing the skills Architects require in their day to day work. The course will run March 4th, 2009 in Calgary. If you are interested, please contact Phil or Craig for the abstract and registration details.

This course provides students with a theoretical and practical understanding of the subject
areas related to enterprise architecture plus technical and business opportunities and
industry trends.

The course, delivered by Jamshid A. Vayghan Ph. D, will cover topics in Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture frameworks, Enterprise Service Oriented Architecture and the unique aspects of enterprise architecture and development.

Taken directly from the abstract, the following are the key benefits to Architects:

  1. What is enterprise architecture and its importance in the current business
    environment? We will discuss barriers, opportunities, risks for implementation of
    an enterprise architecture program and ways to overcome them. We will also
    discuss how to identify the scope of an enterprise architecture to make sure it
    aligns with business strategy plus ways to identify business values from an
    enterprise architecture program.
  2. How to recognize the need for enterprise architecture in an exiting organization
    and ways to create a proposal for an enterprise architecture initiative.
  3. You will learn an implementation methodology that you can use to initiate an
    enterprise architecture program.
  4. You will learn Service Oriented Architecture and how to use it to design and
    implement enterprise applications.
  5. You will learn three enterprise architecture frameworks and how and when to use
    them: Zachman Enterprise Architecture Framework, The Open Group
    Architecture Framework (TOGAF), Enterprise Architecture Cube methodology
  6. You will learn why governance and standards are as important to development of
    enterprise application and architecture as technical architecture is.
  7. You will hear from an industry professional with practical experience in initiating
    and developing an enterprise architecture program.
  8. How to extend what you learned in the software engineering, software
    architecture, and project management courses to the enterprise application
    development and architecture domains.

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Taking the Data Center to Sea

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A interesting post from Michael Bullock talks about Google’s new patient approach to put data centers on ships. This was also covered in Time as one of the best inventions of 2008.

Like Michael, I think that this is somewhat problematic. We will have to see if this actually becomes a reality.

Briefly, I see the three primary concerns:

  • Physical Security – While we are not in a Disney movie, modern day Pirates are real. This maybe a lucrative proposition for criminals to steal data.
  • Environment – Storms and turbulent waters can cause significant issues I wonder how these will be addressed.
  • Latency – I have worked and spoken with companies that have a shipping component to their IT. Most all of them talk about challenges with network latency. This could be a deal breaker for Google.

Besides giving us insight into Google’s ambitious plans to go to sea, Michael provides a great started list of considerations that you should take into account when looking at datacenters in general:

  1. Power Density – What type of systems do you expect to house in the new facility?  If you’re expecting to support high density systems (like blade servers requiring 10kW per rack or more), how much room will you need? And if you’re planning to move into an area that only supports 150 W/SF, you will need to space out your racks accordingly  (for proper airflow), increasing the amount of raised floor space you thought you needed by a factor of 4.
    Power Availability – Is there sufficient power available in the grid to supply the site? If not, be prepared to foot the bill for power company infrastructure upgrades which may take 18-24 months to complete.
  2. Power Redundancy – Is the space serviced by a redundant substation with independent power feeds to your location (or maybe even multiple substations)?  You want that unless you’re prepared to deal with downtime.
  3. Power Backup – If you’re looking at an existing facility, you have to ask if it has backup power to cover the center’s full load. It’s also wise to find out if there’s a clear plan in place to increase capacity as you grow. If you’re looking at a new facility, you have to find out if there’s sufficient space for backup power generators and their fuel storage tanks.  And are there any zoning issues which may cause delays or add to your costs when you try to install these backup systems?
  4. Cooling – Is there sufficient cooling capacity to maintain a proper operating temperature in the facility even when it’s operating on backup power?  Is there sufficient floor to ceiling clearance to allow for adequate cool air supply and the removal of hot air exhaust?  Quick test: If you’re moving into a facility with 200 W / SQ ft. capacity, are there at least 36-inches of raised floor space to assure adequate airflow for system cooling?  If you’re planning on 400 W/SQ FT? Look for a floor raised 4 feet or more.  Lack of sufficient height is one of several reasons why conventional office space is suboptimal for anything more than 100W / SQ ft.
  5. Network Access – Ideally there should be multiple WAN providers capable of serving your facility, each with redundant fiber / network connections.  This will assure long term competition on price and an alternative if one provider’s price or service levels become an issue.
  6. Geographic Considerations – Are you planning on putting your data center someplace where earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis or floods occur from time to time?  I wouldn’t. Will planes flyover it making their approach to a nearby airport? I’d think about that. Will it be easy to deliver replacement parts and get professionals there for needed repairs or maintenance? Is the location safe from terrorism or desperate profiteers like Somali pirates?
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Reducing the Cost of IT

I ran across a good post by Ed Carroll called "Reducing the Cost of Engineering/IT" on the CIO forums. He outlines 4 Areas to Reduce Cost. Below are the 4 ways to reduce cost in IT:

  • Simplify the operating structure of the department by focusing on role specialization
  • Reduce cost by simplifying the architecture
  • Reduce cost by simplify the tools
  • Reduce cost by simplifying the development methodology

While I think there are more here this is a great resource to get an idea of what to do in challenging economic times.

Two New Walker’s Join the World

I am excited to announce a new Microsoft employee product, two new Walker’s. On Thursday January 22nd the proud mom and dad (me) delivered two healthy baby boy twins.

 The Walker Family

As some of you may of noticed, my blogging has dropped significantly over the past two months. My wife (wonder woman) had a really tough time and needed to support her through her long and difficult pregnancy. Now with the twins born, will have my hands full over the next month so you will not be seeing too much blogging from me.

Thanks to all that read my blog and will be writing soon.

Regards,
Mike

Forrester: Leadership in IT Planning and EA Tools Report

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If you would like a free version of the report from Forrester Troux is giving away a limited number of copies. See the details below from their promotional mailer:

We’re delighted that Troux’s market leadership in IT Planning and EA Tools has been recognized in the New Forrester IT Planning/EA Wave vendor comparison.

To celebrate, we’ve purchased a limited number of copies of the report and would like to invite you to download it at no cost at http://www.troux.com/resources/events/special/forrester_wave.

Out of all the ratings, we’re particularly pleased to be the only company scoring a full 5/5 for customer satisfaction references.

I am neither endorsing or not endorsing Troux in either way. I am just letting all of you know you can get a free copy of the report. Enjoy!

 

The Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE)

There is a lot of EA events happening in the next few weeks. The Open Group is having an event that looks to be the most significant in years. They are launching two other practitioner conferences in conjunction with the architecture practitioner conference. The launch of the 1st security and enterprise cloud summit. They will also be using this conference as the release of TOGAF 9. Most of the details are under wraps till the conference on Feb. 2nd though. Once it is released I will provide more details.

image Another development in the EA space is the Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE). Lead by Sam Holcman, former president of ZIFA looks to mature the EA certification space. He breaks down the architecture certification space in a nice way with his Top 10 Enterprise Architect Certification Program Characteristics .

The mission of the Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence (EACOE) is to be an independent industry-wide practitioner-based source for the purpose of advancing the implementation and understanding of Enterprise Architecture:

  • To help business and information technology teams understand Enterprise Architecture;
  • To help teams implement Enterprise Architectures, and
  • To certify Enterprise Architects with consistent measures of success.

They too are having an event in early February, the 9th – 13th. The Enterprise Architect Certification Workshop will be held in Orlando, Florida.

You can find more information on their website here: