Extending the RUP with the Enterprise Architecture Discipline


An effective enterprise architecture promotes consistency across your organization's systems by guiding development teams towards using a common set of proven approaches to application architecture. This enables both reuse and system integration through common mechanisms and compatible semantics across systems. Enterprise architects are concerned with how their work impacts multiple systems for both the present, in the form of "as is" models, and for the future, in the form of "to be" models. They look further than the needs of a single application and assess architectural impact on the entire enterprise, looking beyond the current information technology (IT) needs and laying the foundation for future efforts. 

Enterprise architects are responsible for formulating, proving, and then supporting the enterprise architecture.  The architecture itself is built out through the efforts of your enterprise administrators who are responsible for your data, security, network, and hardware infrastructures.  Your enterprise architecture will also be built out by application project teams.  Your enterprise architects should not only support these build out efforts they should also be actively involved in them.

The main difference between enterprise and application architecture is one of scope. Whereas an application architect on a development project identifies architectural solutions for a system, an enterprise architect defines architectural solutions, frameworks, patterns, and reference architectures for use across multiple systems within the organization. Application architects guide the team of application designers and implementers in their efforts of understanding and applying the application architecture; enterprise architects guide application architects in their understanding and applying of the enterprise architecture. Just as application architects take a broader yet generally shallower view than the designers and implementers of a system, enterprise architects take a broader and generally shallower view than application architects. Although the enterprise architect establishes the architecture for your organization, the actual implementation of it is done by your application development teams and by enterprise administrators (who often build infrastructure in advance of systems being released).

An important thing to note is that the EUP distinguishes between an Enterprise Business Modeling discipline and an Enterprise Architecture discipline. Some organizations choose to combine these two things into a single discipline, which is perfectly fine.  Do the right thing for your environment.

The workflow for the Enterprise Architecture discipline is shown in Figure 1. Enterprise architecture is not just about modeling the "big picture." Models are an important part of enterprise architecture efforts because they help depict and convey the enterprise architecture, but it is more accurate to say that enterprise architecture is represented in the structure and distribution of technical and business assets of the enterprise.

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Posted on 05/28/2009 by


Extending the RUP with the Enterprise Architecture Discipline author sourabhhajela

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