What is TOGAF?

The TOGAF standard is a framework - a framework for Enterprise Architecture. It defines a standard approach that can assist you in working with an Enterprise Architecture. That includes acceptance, production, use, and maintenance of Enterprise Architectures. It can be used for developing a broad range of different Enterprise Architectures.

A key part of the TOGAF standard is the method – the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) – for developing an Enterprise Architecture that addresses business needs. TOGAF is based on an iterative process model. It is supported by best practices and a set of architectural assets.

There are many other architecture frameworks. Most of them focus on specific deliverables for particular vertical sectors such as Government, Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Defense, and Finance. TOGAF complements and can be used in conjunction with such frameworks.

The TOGAF standard is developed and maintained by members of The Open Group, working within the Architecture Forum.

It started with the US Department of Defense Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM). TOGAF version 1 (1995) was based on it.

The original development of TOGAF Version 1 in 1995 was based on this TAFIM. Over the years, "The Open Group Architecture Forum" has developed successive versions of TOGAF at regular intervals. The current TOGAF Standard Version 9.2 was first published in April 2018.

What is Architecture?

In order to understand enterprise architecture, it is important to first understand what is architecture.

The TOGAF standard embraces but does not strictly adhere to ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2011 terminology.

ISO/IEC/IEEE 42010:2011 defines architecture as:

"The fundamental concepts or properties of a system in its environment embodied in its elements, relationships, and in the principles of its design and evolution."

The TOGAF standard defines:

"The structure of components, their inter-relationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time."

Types of Architecture

TOGAF defines four different types (domains) of architecture

Business Architecture

This deals with the business aspects of the architecture. It includes the business strategy, governance, organization and other key business processes. The enterprise architecture has to be in line with the way of the organization's business policies; and the business policies have to be in line with the enterprise architecture. Hence the Business architecture is a fundamental component of the enterprise architecture.

Data Architecture

The core vision of the Open Group is "Boundary-less information flow". This requires the organization's logical and physical data assets and data management resources to be aligned in a way that would allow such information flow. A good data architecture is required to ensure this.

Application Architecture

Data alone is not sufficient. Applications that accesses this data have to be streamlined with the enterprise - in order to allow the information flow. An Application Architecture provides a blueprint for the individual applications to be deployed, their interactions, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organization

Technology Architecture

The underlying technology carries the load of any development. The choice of technology has to be aligned with the enterprise goals. Hence the technology architecture forms the basis of any enterprise architecture. It describes the logical software and hardware capabilities that are required to support the deployment of business, data, and application services; this includes IT infrastructure, middleware, networks, communications, processing, standards, etc.

The TOGAF Standard

The TOGAF documentation consists of the TOGAF standard, and a portfolio of guidance material, known as the TOGAF Library, to support the practical application of the standard.

The TOGAF Standard v.9.2 document consists of 6 parts

  • Part I: Introduction
  • Part II: Architecture Development Method
  • Part III: ADM Guidelines and Techniques
  • Part IV: Architecture Content Framework
  • Part V: Enterprise Continuum and Tools
  • Part VI: Architecture Capability Framework