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What is an Enterprise Architecture Framework?

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  • Written By: Troy Holmes
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 15 September 2016
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Enterprise architecture is an engineering technique that captures the technical requirements of an organization. This is typically accomplished by using templates that help engineers prepare and validate the system software artifacts. An enterprise architecture framework is a standard set of templates and tools that help system engineers create useful software.

An enterprise architecture framework starts with an inventory of the technology available in the company. This is an opportunity to document all networks, hardware, and software used within an organization. This information can then be added to a standards catalog.

Architecture review and oversight is managed by a chief technical officer (CTO)of the company. The CTO is responsible for creating and managing the technical guidelines of an organization. This typically includes the technical standards on hardware, data storage requirements, network capacity requirements, and approved operating systems.

The enterprise architecture framework includes the guidelines on how a company's software should operate. Some examples of this technique in practice include the Department of Defense architectural framework (DODAF) and the federal enterprise architecture framework (FEAF). These standards are considered the blueprint on how applications should be built for those agencies.

Adding any new technology into an existing enterprise architecture framework requires approval from the company's executives. That is because new technology is a significant investment. When a business spends money on new technology, the costs must be evaluated closely to determine the long-term investment required for the product.

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Over the last few decades, information technology has become increasingly more expensive and unmanageable for most organizations. An enterprise architecture framework attempts to create standards on the technical assets of the organization. This is typically accomplished with architecture review boards and oversight committees that manage the technology in a company.

Computer standards are known as the defined software and hardware specifications of an business. These standards should be documented in the enterprise architecture framework. Most templates include a vast array of artifacts, work flows, and business process models that define how technology is used throughout the company.

Most processes also include the steps necessary to develop and deploy a software product into the organization. This is often referred to as the system development life cycle process (SDLC). Each organization has specific milestones and reviews that are necessary to ensure the system meets the architecture requirements of the company.

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