EA Framework

There are many EA frameworks, and all EA practitioners should know at least a few different frameworks.

The EA framework identifies the scope of the architecture to be developed and establishes relationships between the architecture’s areas. The framework’s scope is reflected through its geometric design and the areas that are identified for documentation. The framework creates an abstracted set of “views” of an enterprise through the way that it collects and organizes architecture information.


Figure 1-7: EA³ Cube Analysis & Design Framework

Known as the EA³ Cube Framework™ the levels of this example framework are hierarchical so that the different sub-architectures (that describe distinct functional areas) can be logically related to each other. This is done by positioning high-level strategic goals/initiatives at the top, business products/services and data/information flows in the middle, and supporting systems/applications and technology/infrastructure at the bottom. In this way alignment can be also be shown between strategy, information, and technology, which aids planning and decision-making. Chapters 4 through 6 provide more details on EA frameworks, components, and methods.

To lower risk and promote efficient, phased implementation methods, the EA framework is divided into segments of distinct activity, referred to as Lines of Business (LOBs). For example, each LOB has a complete subarchitecture that includes all five hierarchical levels of the EA³ framework. The LOB therefore can in some ways stand alone architecturally within the enterprise except that duplication in data, application, and network functions would occur if each LOB were truly independent. An architecture encompassing all five framework levels that is focused on one or more LOBs can be referred to as a segment of the overall EA.

Key Term: Line of Business

A Line of Business (LOB) is a distinct area of activity within the enterprise. It may involve the manufacture of certain products, the provision of services, or internal administrative functions.

Key Term: Architecture Segment

A part of the overall EA that documents one or more lines of business at all levels and threads. A segment can exist as a stand-alone part of the EA.

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