Today there are four major Enterprise Architecture "Frameworks" or methodologies:
- Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture,
- The Open Group Architectural Framework,
- The Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework, and
- Gartner Enterprise Architecture Framework
While all of these are called "Frameworks" they are not actually a framework by modern definition, but rather methodologies for collecting and analyzing meta data about an organization, its processes, organization, and infrastructure. The overall objective is to provide a means or framework for analyzing a large enterprise to make it more efficient, insure that computer systems and technology are meeting its business objectives and that the organization is meeting market pressures and demand as efficiently as possible.
I was unaware of this body of work as were most of my contemporaries while I was pursuing a parallel initiative that I had never labelled, but follows the same general line of thought presented in these frameworks.
Over my 40 year career, I have had the amazing good fortune to have the privilege of being able to lead the architecture and development of not one, but four separate enterprise level systems development projects three for for fortune 100 insurance companies and one for an insurance software house.
In the upcoming weeks, I will publish a series of articles on my view of Enterprise Architecture and will follow up with a book on the subject.
While none of the afore mentioned works are true frameworks, it is my contention that an enterprise framework can be (and SHOULD be) built as an open source initiative to form the basis of all enterprise systems for the future.
IMHO the major ERP vendors have outlived their usefulness and need to be replaced by a new modern collection of entrepreneurs producing small specialized software components and a new open market place to help consumers of systems acquire exactly what they need.
The framework defines the enterprise, its functions, processes, workflows, and organization. There are specific points where process oriented computer programs or even interfaces to machines or manual tasks can integrate into the framework. This means that if an enterprise were to utilize the framework and define themselves to the framework then they could buy or build components and plug them into the framework.
This means that enterprises would pay a fair market price for specific functionality that they may require instead of artificially inflated prices for 25 year old ERP packages.
Much more detail very soon.