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The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is a framework for enterprise architecture which provides a comprehensive approach for designing, planning, implementing, and governing an enterprise information architecture.[2] TOGAF has been a registered trademark of the Open Group in the United States and other countries since 2011.[3]

TOGAF is a high level and holistic approach to design, which is typically modeled at four levels: Business, Application, Data, and Technology. It tries to give a well-tested overall starting model to information architects, which can then be built upon. It relies heavily on modularization, standardization, and already existing, proven technologies and products.


An architecture framework is a set of tools which can be used for developing a broad range of different architectures.[4] It should:

  • describe a method for defining an information system in terms of a set of building blocks
  • show how the building blocks fit together
  • contain a set of tools
  • provide a common vocabulary
  • include a list of recommended standards
  • include a list of compliant products that can be used to implement the building blocks

TOGAF is such an architecture framework.

The ANSI/IEEE Standard 1471-2000 specification of architecture (of software-intensive systems) may be stated as: "the fundamental organization of a system, embodied in its components, their relationships to each other and the environment, and the principles governing its design and evolution."

However TOGAF has its own view, which may be specified as either a "formal description of a system, or a detailed plan of the system at component level to guide its implementation", or as "the structure of components, their interrelationships, and the principles and guidelines governing their design and evolution over time."


TOGAF was initiated early 1990s as methodology for the development of technical architecture, and has been developed by The Open Group into an extensive enterprise architecture framework.[6] In 1995, the first version of TOGAF (TOGAF 1.0) was presented. This version was mainly based on the Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM), developed since the late 1980s by the US Department of Defense

In December 2001 TOGAF 7, the "Technical Edition", was published. As of September 2012 the official register has over 20,000 certified individuals.

The latest version is TOGAF 9.1, launched on 1 December 2011. An evolutionary development from TOGAF 8, includes many new features including:

  • Increased rigor, including a formal Content Metamodel that links the artifacts of TOGAF together (although there are some problems with the Metamodel)[11]
  • Elimination of unnecessary differences
  • Many more examples and templates

Additional guidelines and techniques include:

  • A formal business-driven approach to architecture
  • Business capability-based planning
  • Guidance on how to use TOGAF to develop a Security Architecture or SOA

The Open Group provides TOGAF free of charge to organizations for their own internal noncommercial purposes.[12]

TOGAF topics

Enterprise architecture domains

TOGAF is based on four interrelated areas of specialization called architecture domains:

  • Business architecture which defines the business strategy, governance, organization, and key business processes of the organization
  • Applications architecture which provides a blueprint for the individual application systems to be deployed, the interactions between the application systems, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organization with the frameworks for services to be exposed as business functions for integration
  • Data architecture which describes the structure of an organization's logical and physical data assets and the associated data management resources
  • Technical architecture, or technology architecture, which describes the hardware, software, and network infrastructure needed to support the deployment of core, mission-critical applications

Architecture Development Method

The Architecture Development Method (ADM) is applied to develop an enterprise architecture which will meet the business and information technology needs of an organization. It may be tailored to the organization's needs and is then employed to manage the execution of architecture planning activities.[13]

The process is iterative and cyclic. Each step checks with Requirements. Phase C involves some combination of both Data Architecture and Applications Architecture. Additional clarity can be added between steps B and C in order to provide a complete information architecture.

Performance engineering working practices are applied to the Requirements phase, and to the Business Architecture, Information System Architecture, and Technology architecture phases. Within Information System Architecture, it is applied to both the Data Architecture and Application Architecture.

Enterprise Continuum

The Enterprise Continuum may be viewed as a "virtual repository" (as of TOGAF 9 this is no longer virtual) of all the architecture assets available to an organization. These include architectural models, architectural patterns, architecture descriptions, and other artifacts. These artifacts may exist within the enterprise and also in the IT industry at large.

The Enterprise Continuum consists of both the Architecture Continuum and the Solutions Continuum. The Architecture Continuum specifies the structuring of reusable architecture assets and includes rules, representations, and relationships of the information system(s) available to the enterprise. The Solutions Continuum describes the implementation of the Architecture Continuum by defining reusable solutions building blocks.

TOGAF Certified Tools

The Open Group has a certification program for TOGAF 8 Tools, and as of early 2011 plans to extend that to cover TOGAF 9 Tools. For the latest register of certified tools see The Open Group register.[14]


External links

  • TOGAF 9.1 Online
  • TOGAF 8.1.1 Online
  • The TOGAF information site
  • IBM developerWorks: Understand The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and IT architecture in today's world (February 2006)
  • TOGAF: Establishing Itself As the Definitive Method for Building Enterprise Architectures in the Commercial World (June 2004)
  • TOGAF or not TOGAF: Extending Enterprise Architecture beyond RUP (January 2007)
  • Practical advice: How to bring TOGAF to life (October 2007)
  • Togaf Modeling using UML and BPMN (May 2010)
  • TOGAF Certification

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