Today the Open Group announced the release of TOGAF 9. Perhaps not earth shattering news to many, based on the whole scuttlebutt about SOA being dead, which to me says that the discipline of architecture is dead. However, as the design points of this release were making TOGAF easier to use and easier to plug into external frameworks including ITIL, those who are struggling with architecture within the enterprise may wish to take a second look at TOGAF 9.
The Open Group has been around for 25 years, and claims over 7,800 participants from 350 member enterprises. They are completely vendor neutral, and work with other frameworks and standards. Some other interesting statistics include over 90,000 downloads of TOGAF, 8,491 certified practitioners, and 529% growth since October 2006. When it comes to enterprise architecture, I don't think there is a competing alternative that comes close.
TOGAF 9 encompasses the entire enterprise architecture life cycle, which is important as architecture is a never ending journey, always changing and evolving. The figure below depicts the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) which covers the entire architecture life cycle.
The Open Group members were looking for an evolutionary step for version 9, not a revolution. Design goals for the release were greater usability, closer alignment with the business, and more guidance on SOA. To deliver on this, the Open group has expanded detail and clarification of existing proof points, focused on holistic enterprise change, created clear links between business and IT objects, including a metamodel for an enterprise architecture repository, and has provided more consistency of output deliverables. TOGAF 9 was developed around a web based view, and has a more modular structure than the previous version. Below is a depiction of the components.
There is also more guidance on how to use TOGAF in a consistent way within the enterprise. While there is no single architecture that fits all needs in all enterprises, there is a body of knowledge and capabilities to help organizations more successful in their enterprise architecture endeavors. This is what TOGAF 9 attempts to do - to show organizations how to apply the architecture development method (ADM) . And version 9 includes hooks to ITIL, Zachman, and other frameworks. This means that organizations looking to get a leg up on their SOA implementation by purchasing, for example, one of IBM's industry solutions, will then have a way to incorporate the framework into TOGAF and bring it under a consistent life cycle management methodology. This will help organizations develop architectural competency and consistency - both essential to long term architectural agility and ROI.
For this release the Open Group has also created a metamodel for the TOGAF framework. In another post I plan to compare this framework to the OMG SOA Consortium framework. In an effort to increase usability, the Open Group has also published a metamodel on how the different components of TOGAF 9 relate to each other.
I was looking forward to discussing this release with Alan Brown, President of The Open Group and Judith Jones, President and founder of Architecting the Enterprise which does TOGAF certification, particularly in the light of the recent pronouncement by some analysts that SOA is dead. SOA, is after all, a specific style of distributed architecture. If SOA is dead, then it is in large part because organizations are not particularly adept at the discipline of enterprise architecture. Bringing TOGAF into an organization and going through TOGAF certification represents a big commitment to architecture.
Were organizations making that commitment during the down turn?
According to Judith Jones, the answer is yes. When I asked her what reason the organizations who have recently become members cited for joining. She answered that these organizations view the downturn as both an opportunity and a necessity to take a very strategic look at their business operations and architecture, determine what is holding them back, and deciding not to keep making the same mistakes. According to Jones, these organizations are viewing architecture discipline as the basis for moving forward with agility. They regard competency in enterprise architecture a critical need. Interestingly, she noted that new members include financial services and retail organizations - both which have been hit hard by the recession.