SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

Blog Feed Post

Equipping Your Toolbox with TOGAF Building Blocks

A cornerstone of the TOGAF Architecture Development Methodology (ADM) is that of the elusive ‘building block’.  I say that it is ‘elusive’, because the Open Group describes the characteristics of building blocks and articulates various uses of these blocks, but stops short of giving a truly concrete implementation of the concept.  I have developed a tangible implementation of the TOGAF Building Block concept that includes real artifacts and concrete deliverables. After a quick introduction to building blocks, I will describe this implementation.

TOGAF Building Blocks Background

Building Block Uses

  • Defining the baseline architecture for each domain
  • Defining the target architecture for each domain
  • Populating the repository with reusable assets
  • Retrieving previously vetted assets from the repository
  • Performing a gap analysis and producing a roadmap of building block changes to evolve the architecture landscape
  • Identifying solutions (SBBs) that map against architectural functionality (ABBs)

Building Block Characteristics

  • A package of functionality defined to meet the business needs across an organization
  • A building block has published interfaces to access functionality
  • A building block may inter-operate with other, inter-dependent building blocks
  • Considers implementation and usage and evolves to exploit technology and standards
  • May be assembled from or a subassembly of other building blocks
  • Is reusable and replaceable

TOGAF Specification References

Building Block Implementation

I have defined Function Blocks (FBs), Infrastructure Blocks (IBs), and Utility Blocks (UBs) as a tangible implementation of TOGAF’s ABB and SBB concepts.  I collectively refer to this as the Function Block technique (although supporting Infrastructure and Utility blocks exist as well).  The intent of the FB technique is to provide a concrete instantiation of TOGAF’s building block concept in the form of a descriptive template, BPMN and UML diagrams, and supporting tables, lists, interfaces, and association / dependency references.

FBs allow a system designer to construct solutions in a modular fashion.  It allows systems to be defined in terms of logically connected modules that are capable of running on different processing resources.  Complete applications, can be built from a collection of function blocks, formed by interconnecting their inputs and outputs.  Functional Blocks are intended to improve productivity in terms of re-use, reliability, flexibility and interoperability.

Use Cases / User Stories / Business Scenarios and applicable requirements are connected to FBs / IBs / UBs.  Functional Blocks are self contained work units that have direct co-relation to the use cases and  functional requirements developed during the business architecture phase (Phase B of TOGAF’s ADM).  Simple blocks might only map to a single Use Case (UC) while more complex blocks may map to multiple UCs.  A given UC can map to multiple blocks in order to fulfill all of its identified functionality.

Function / Infrastructure / Utility Block Template

  • Context Diagram (Provides a high-level visual overview)
  • Description (Text-based narrative that introduces the block)
  • Core Functions (List of significant functionality as identified by Use Cases)
  • Use Case Mapping (List of UC numbers)
  • Related FBs (List of other FBs that this one talks to)
  • Interfaces (List of data entities that this FB sends/receives)
  • Artifacts (Diagrams that support the block definition)

Want to learn more about Function Blocks?  Check out my pre-recorded webinar: A Tangible Implementation of TOGAF Building Blocks.

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Kyle Gabhart

Kyle Gabhart is a subject matter expert specializing in strategic planning and tactical delivery of enterprise technology solutions, blending EA, BPM, SOA, Cloud Computing, and other emerging technologies. Kyle currently serves as a director for Web Age Solutions, a premier provider of technology education and mentoring. Since 2001 he has contributed extensively to the IT community as an author, speaker, consultant, and open source contributor.

Latest Stories
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's