TOGAF stands for The Open Group Architecture Framework. The most recent version is TOGAF 9.1, published in December 2011. First developed in 1995, TOGAF was based on the US Department of Defense Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM)
It is a model used in the field of Enterprise Architecture, and as such it provides guidelines, templates, models, framework, tools, methods, processes and much else.
The elements of TOGAF cover the entire lifecycle for Enterprise Architecture (EA), right from setting up EA as an idea within an organization, to creating and maintaining established Enterprise Architectures.
So what is Enterprise Architecture?
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.
There are four major parts to Enterprise Architecture; TOGAF assists in creating all of them:
- Business Architecture
- Data or Information Architecture
- Application Architecture
- Technology Architecture
There are six overall elements to TOGAF documentation (see fig):
- Architecture Capability: This element offers guidance to those looking to set up an Enterprise Architecture practice. It offers organizational models and defines roles and responsibilities.
- Architecture Development Method (ADM): The central element to TOGAF. The ADM provides a step-by-step approach to developing an enterprise architecture.
- Guidelines & Techniques: Building on the previous element, this piece helps in adapting and customizing the ADM based on the more specific nature of your business.
- Reference Models: This element offers two architectural reference models, these being the TOGAF Technical Reference Model (TRM), and the Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model (III-RM).
- Enterprise Continuum & Tools: This addresses the taxonomies and tools to classify and store the enterprise’s architecture activity output. The Enterprise Continuum offers a view of the Architecture Repository. This view shows the related architectures and their evolution; from generic to specific, from abstract to concrete and from logical to physical.
- Architecture Content Framework: This element outlines the TOGAF content framework.