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
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
The question before companies today is not whether to become intelligent, it’s a question of how and how fast. The key is to adopt and deploy an intelligent application strategy while simultaneously preparing to scale that intelligence. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sangeeta Chakraborty, Chief Customer Officer at Ayasdi, will provide a tactical framework to become a truly intelligent enterprise, including how to identify the right applications for AI, how to build a Center of Excellence to...
Most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes a lot of work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reduction in cost ...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st 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 w...
Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
Vulnerability management is vital for large companies that need to secure containers across thousands of hosts, but many struggle to understand how exposed they are when they discover a new high security vulnerability. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, will address this pressing concern by introducing the concept of the “Vulnerability Risk Tree API,” which brings all the data together in a simple REST endpoint, allowing companies to easily grasp the severity of t...
Any startup has to have a clear go –to-market strategy from the beginning. Similarly, any data science project has to have a go to production strategy from its first days, so it could go beyond proof-of-concept. Machine learning and artificial intelligence in production would result in hundreds of training pipelines and machine learning models that are continuously revised by teams of data scientists and seamlessly connected with web applications for tenants and users.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
IT organizations are moving to the cloud in hopes to approve efficiency, increase agility and save money. Migrating workloads might seem like a simple task, but what many businesses don’t realize is that application migration criteria differs across organizations, making it difficult for architects to arrive at an accurate TCO number. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO of CloudHealth Technologies, will offer a systematic approach to understanding the TCO of a cloud application...
Connecting to major cloud service providers is becoming central to doing business. But your cloud provider’s performance is only as good as your connectivity solution. Massive Networks will place you in the driver's seat by exposing how you can extend your LAN from any location to include any cloud platform through an advanced high-performance connection that is secure and dedicated to your business-critical data. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Paul Mako, CEO & CIO of Massive Networks, wil...
"With Digital Experience Monitoring what used to be a simple visit to a web page has exploded into app on phones, data from social media feeds, competitive benchmarking - these are all components that are only available because of some type of digital asset," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Secure Channels, a cybersecurity firm, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Secure Channels, Inc. offers several products and solutions to its many clients, helping them protect critical data from being compromised and access to computer networks from the unauthorized. The company develops comprehensive data encryption security strategie...
An increasing number of companies are creating products that combine data with analytical capabilities. Running interactive queries on Big Data requires complex architectures to store and query data effectively, typically involving data streams, an choosing efficient file format/database and multiple independent systems that are tied together through custom-engineered pipelines. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Tomer Levi, a senior software engineer at Intel’s Advanced Analytics ...