Enterprise architecture components

Seventeen components of an enterprise architecture are classified and described in this chapter download.

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The following excerpt from Enterprise Architectures is printed with permission from Whitemarsh Information Systems Corporation, copyright 2007. Click here to read the complete chapter, Enterprise architecture components.

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"An enterprise's architecture is the engineering and structure of the enterprise's mission, organizations, functions and database domains so that they can be extended and/or integrated with other more technical architectures such as hardware, business information systems, and business events," according to Michael Gorman, the book's author.

"The objective of the enterprise architecture effort is to clearly know what the enterprise is, what are its critical components, and to set all the descriptions of these components into their proper relationship with othe components," he writes. The table below classifies and describes 17 components of an enterprise architecture.

 

Enterprise Architecture Components
Name Description
Business Events A Business Event is an intersection between a business information system and a business function. A business event is a triggering event. It is invoked by the business function, and the business information systems execute in response. Business events may be set within business event cycles and calendar cycles, or both.
Business Organizations An Organization is a unit within an enterprise. It is hierarchical so any quantity of organizational levels can be represented.
Business Cycle A Business Cycle is a cycle during which business events occur such as financial reports, holidays, business planning and the like. A business cycle may be simple or complex. If complex, the business cycle actually consists of other business cycles as represented in the business cycle structure.
Business Calendar A Business Calendar Cycle is a set of recurring calendar-based dates that are of interest to the enterprise. For example, quarterly, bi-weekly, monthly, daily, and the like. Business Calender cycles are linked to Business Events so that the timing of business event triggering can be known.
Business Functions A Business Function is a set of hierarchically organization text that describes the activities performed by a position within an organization. Business functions are entirely human-based and if support is needed from a business information system then a business event is triggered. Business functions are independent of organizations and may be allocated to more than one business organization.
Business Information Systems A Business Information System is a computer-based business information system that is being managed through the Metabase. It is known by its characteristics, its operation cycles (business and calendar), subordinate business information systems, employed databases, views, and associated Resource Life Cycle nodes.
Database Domains A Database Domain is a hierarchically organized set of noun-intensive descriptions associated with a mission leaf. Analyzed database domains lead to the identification of Database Object Classes, enterprise data elements, and property classes. Property classes, in turn, often become tables in databases.
Database Object Classes A Database Object Class is a large collection of data and processes that are tied together for business-based reasons, and when instantiated, proceeds through well defined states. A database object can exist in two forms: a collection of interrelated database tables, or the set of a columnbased nested structures within a table. The rows that comprise an object are transformed from one valid state to another via database object table processes and database object information systems. Database objects are related to one or more database domains.
Database Object Information Systems A Database Object Information System is a collection of processes defined within the domain of the DBMS usually as a stored procedure that transforms one or more rows of a database object from one valid state to another. A database object information system accomplishes one or more database object table processes.
Management Level Management level is a named and defined level of bureaucratic management within an organizational setting. Examples could be executive, senior, mid-level, and first-level.
Missions Missions are hierarchically organized textual descriptions that define the very existence of the enterprise, and that are the ultimate goals and objectives that measure enterprise accomplishment from within different business functions and organizations. An enterprise is incomplete if one of its missions is not defined. Not all enterprises accomplish their missions simultaneously or in an ideal state. Missions are accomplished over time and are subject to revisions.
Organizations Perfoming Missions An Organization Performing Missions, that is, a Mission-Organization is the association of an organization with a mission. There can be multiple organizations associated with a mission and an organization can be associated with multiple missions. The description contained within the Mission-Organization may be more refined than the description contained in either the mission or the organization.
Organizations Accomplishing Functions An organization accomplishing a function in support of a mission, that is, a Mission-Organization-Function is the association of a missionorganization with a function. A mission-organization can be associated with multiple functions and a function can be associated with multiple mission-organizations. One or more mission-organization-functions may be associated with a business information system. When they are, business events are created.
Positions A Position is a named and defined collection of work tasks that can be performed by or more persons. Positions are often assigned to one or more organizations.
Positions Performing Missions A Mission Organization Function Position Role is the assignment of a position to a particular function within an organization as it accomplishes a mission. Once a position is assigned, its role can be described.
Resource Life Cycle Analysis Node A Resource Life Cycle Node is a life cycle state within the resource. If the resource is employee, the life cycle node may be employee requisition, employee candidate, employee new hire, assigned employee, reviewed employee, and separated employee.
Resources A Resource is an enduring asset of value to the enterprise. Included for example are facilities, assets, staffs, money, even abstract concepts like reputation. If a resource is missing then the enterprise is incomplete.

Once these are all identified, described, and entered into the Metabase, the Database Object Classes and Resource Life Cycle nodes are intersected. Database Object Classes and Business Information Systems are interrelated though the creation of a Database Object Information System. Database Object Class details are discussed in the Database Object Classes architecture section.

 

This was first published in June 2007

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