Welcome!

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable...
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Without a clear strategy for cost control and an architecture designed with cloud services in mind, costs and operational performance can quickly get out of control. To avoid multiple architectural redesigns requires extensive thought and planning. Boundary (now part of BMC) launched a new public-facing multi-tenant high resolution monitoring service on Amazon AWS two years ago, facing challenges and learning best practices in the early days of the new service. In his session at 19th Cloud Exp...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...