An enterprise architecture framework (EAF) establishes a company-wide roadmap that aligns business processes with information technology. Simply stated, enterprise architectures are blueprints for systematically and completely defining an organization‘s current (baseline) or desired (target) environment.
Enterprise architectures are essential for evolving information systems and developing new systems that optimize their mission value. Without the enterprise architecture framework, companies risk buying and building systems that are duplicative, incompatible, and may be unnecessarily costly to maintain and integrate.
Enterprise architects know that for an enterprise architecture framework to be useful and provide business value, its development, maintenance, and implementation should be managed effectively. This framework is the backbone for all enterprise service-oriented architecture-related services.
The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is an industry-standard architecture framework that may be used freely by any organization to develop an information-systems architecture. TOGAF has been developed and evolved since the mid-90s by representatives of some of the world’s leading IT customer and vendor organizations, working in The Open Group’s Architecture Forum.
TOGAF – not a new concept for many SAP customers – is a generic enterprise architecture framework. It was not designed for applications: Two major features are missing – it’s not enterprise resource planning (ERP) aware, or service-oriented architecture (SOA) aware.
According to Paul Kurchina, director of ASUG communities and head of ASUG special interest groups (SIGs), “SAP and ASUG customers have said things would be better if there were support for enterprise SOA and applications. So SAP created the need for EAF, in essence, extending TOGAF.”
Franck Lopez, global director, enterprise architect and enterprise SOA portfolio, SAP UK, says, “It’s important for users to make sure they can use TOGAF as a practical toolset and methodology. They need to be able to ask practical questions, so they can figure out how to make it applicable to their businesses.”
Enterprise SOA is aimed at supporting SAP customers. SAP EAF can work as a business enabler; work for the whole enterprise; and help align the whole business vision and strategy.