3. Dragon1 EA Method: Framework and Modeling Language

Dragon1 is an open method, framework and modeling language for Enterprise Architecture

Dragon1 is an open EA Method. It is an open standard. 'Open' means that, although the method and the specification are copyright protected, the specification of the method is freely available and/or via textbooks at nominal costs. It is a standard because in over 100 countries people are using Dragon1 to create EA models.

Dragon1 can be used by anyone for what it's meant to be used: Enterprise Architecture, without making parts of Dragon1 less open or including it in other methods or frameworks.

Read more about Dragon1 as open standard

and Artist Impression of Dragon1 EA Method and Framework

Dragon1 as a method and framework describes the why, what and how of working with enterprise architecture (a.k.a. enterprise architecting). Provides a structured approach like frameworks such as TOGAF, Zachman Framework, FEAF, and DoDAF/MODAF (UPDM).

3.1 Dragon1 Open EA Method Increases Organization Capabilities

Dragon1 as an open EA Method offers a product, process and program/project-oriented approach for Enterprise Architecture.

The added value of Dragon1 Architects is to increase the capabilities of organizations. As an architect, you can focus on creating products quickly by filling up templates without working on a process or project. You can also choose to do the activities of the process which as a result sometimes leads to the creation of products. You can also choose to work program/project-oriented, meaning a combination of process activities and producing products. Any way that fits you best, you can do with Dragon1 open EA Method.

3.2 Manage Innovation, Complexity and Change

Enterprise Architecture is a field of work that helps to innovate and control complexity and change.

Organizations want to survive and therefore they need to change to adapt to the changing environment (ecosystem). But continuous change leads to complexity, if not managed. Enterprise architecture is a way of working where one can reduce complexity or make it manageable, by means of standardization and overviews. Next to change organizations want to compete or offer clients better and new solutions. For that organizations need to innovate. But in order to be able to innovate sometimes, fundamental strategic changes need to be carried out. Here also enterprise architecture guides you.

3.3 Dragon1 Method Overview

In the model below you see how important entities are related in the Dragon1 method. Note that every bold term we use here is defined in the glossary of terms. Explanation of the relationships:

  • The owner/client of an enterprise agrees on design and construction contracts with architects
  • Architects provides services to owner/clients and stakeholders, like architecture design and construction
  • Together with the stakeholders the architects create programs of requirements.
  • The architects create architecture designs at four levels of abstraction and detail: Conceptual Design, Prelimenary (Logical) Design, Definite (Physical) Design and Detailled (Implementational) Design
dragon1 open ea method

Read the introduction presentation of Dragon1 open EA Method here

3.4 How to Learn Dragon1

A study for enterprise architecture based on Dragon1 often takes 4 years and after 3 years of practice as an enterprise architect, someone really becomes an enterprise architect.

For those who want to learn Dragon1 different training courses are available.

The basic training course Dragon1 Foundation (level 1), using the Dragon1 Fundamentals book, is only 2 days and gets you aware and started.

Next the training course Dragon1 Practitioner (level 2), using the Dragon1 Fundamentals book, is only 2 days and gets you to create your first architecture products.

If you are an experienced architect, let's say in the TOGAF and ArchiMate approaches, we have a Bridge Training for you available.

In only 5 days you will learn how to make use of Dragon1 as an addition to or instead of TOGAF and ArchiMate.

If after these training courses, you are interested to start an education in Enterprise Architecture, we are happy to inform you how that works. Please contact us via info@dragon1.com

3.5 Dragon1 Glossary of Terms (Definitions)

Dragon1 makes a point of definitions. The better the definitions. the better the products (artifacts) you create. Dragon1 brings science into Enterprise Architecture. Empirical evidence and experiments form the basis for formulating definitions. As an example here follows the definition of architecture in Dragon1.

Architecture Definition: The Architecture for a structure is a Total Concept for a Structure, consisting of a coherent set of constructive, operative and decorative concepts ('Firmitas, Utilitas & Venustas', - Vitruvius, red.). If you design and realize a structure using a total concept like this, you can predict that the quality of the structure will be higher than when designing and realizing a structure without. This is because when starting at the conceptual level for the design you are able to find answers (fitting concepts) for conflicting or mutually excluding requirements and you can find answers (fitting concepts) for future requirements.

3.6 Dragon1 open EA Method Structure Diagram

Every good method consists of 'ways', so Dragon1 is also constructed in 'ways'. We recognize four ways:

  • Way of Thinking - What is Dragon1's position on certain topics? How does Dragon1 view enterprise innovation? What function does it give enterprise architecture?
  • Way of Working- How are architects and other roles supposed to work? What activities do they carry out and what products do they make?
  • Way of Representing - What is the Dragon1 way of modeling, visualizing and documenting architecture?
  • Way of Supporting - What tools are there for architects and other roles to do the work in the Dragon1 way?
dragon1 overview

3.7 Capabilities, Concepts and Principles

In Dragon1 we define ability, disability, and capability next to concept and principle. Abilities are how well you can perform a function without any help or support. Capabilities are how well you can perform a function with the help and support of means and technology. A disability is you as an organization cannot perform a function, even with help or support. Note: a capability is not how well you should be able to perform a function.

Next to capabilities Dragon1 defines concepts. They are similar in capabilities, but in essence different. Architecture is defined as a set of concepts, not as a set of capabilities. A concept is an approach or idea, abstracted from its implementation. The concept principle is the way a concept works, its working mechanism.

24 x 7 Self Service and Printing bridge elements in 3D are two concepts and two capabilities. As a concept, they exist without being applied or used in the company. We will look inside of them, at their principles, how a concept works and what elements are needed. As a capability, we will look only to the outside of them. A capability cannot exist if an organization cannot execute a function at a certain level of performance. In architecture, it is much better to work with concepts than with capabilities as a core construct.

Dragon1 defines enterprise architecture as the total concept of an enterprise, so the better you design and implement a total concept, the better you can perform functions. Architects are designers of total concepts, so Dragon1 Architects will design technical solutions (forms) to show what you as an organization need to improve on the ability side or need to organize or cooperate on the capability to remove a disability.

Dragon1 defines principles as working mechanisms and not general rules or guidelines. For example: Single Source of Truth is a concept. That concept works in a certain way so that it brings benefits. The principle of the SSOT concept explains how that works: by storing and retrieving data only from its appointed official source, it prevented these inconsistent versions of that data will exist In our world on earth, this is pretty much always true. If you create a Principle Details diagram of this principle (=working mechanism), that diagram will support decision-making and guide development in innovation projects. Formulating principles as generic rules or guidelines will hardly lead to the same effect.

3.8 Dragon1 Enterprise Performance Framework

Dragon1 open EA Method begins with positioning enterprise architecture as a conceptual design instrument of enterprise-wide integral business / IT solutions between enterprise strategy and enterprise change.

Because enterprise architecture in this way increases the efficiency and effectiveness of integral enterprise change based because of strategy, enterprise architecture directly increases the enterprise performance

This model defines an enterprise strategy reference model, enterprise architecture reference model and business change reference model. These three models can be found here below.

Read more about the Enterprise Performance Framework

3.9 Dragon1 Enterprise Strategy Reference Model

Dragon1 as open EA Method defines a reference model for enterprise strategy.

On Dragon1, you can re-use this reference model to make it part of your enterprise meta model. And of course, you can alter the reference model to your own theory about enterprise strategy.

Read more about the Enterprise Strategy Reference Model.

3.10 Dragon1 Enterprise Architecture Core Reference Model

Dragon1 sees Enterprise Architecture as Total Concept for an Enterprise Structure. In general, the Architecture of a Structure is seen as the Total Concept (with a coherent set of Constructive, Operative and Decorative Concepts) of that Structure.

The Dragon1 EA Core Reference Model below shows a generic decomposition of an architecture of a structure with its most important entities and relationships.

3.11 Dragon1 EA Framework

Part of Dragon1 is Dragon1 EA Framework. Dragon1 EA Framework is a set of reference architectures, with reference concepts, principles, building blocks, patterns, models and views that you can use to quickly create your own enterprise architecture, reference architecture and solution architectures.

Dragon1 Framework for Enterprise Architecture has five basic reference models in its core (called the Big Five): enterprise reference model, governance reference model, business (processes) reference model, information (system) reference model and technology/it-infrastructure model.

Read the introduction presentation of Dragon1 EA Framework here.

3.12 Dragon1 EA Modeling Language

Part of the Dragon1 open EA Method is the Dragon1 EA Modeling Language. Read more about Dragon1 EAML here

Architecting Solutions

DEMO: Concept Mapping Software

How to use Dragon1 EA Tool

Learn to generate architecture diagrams using repositories
DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Example

DEMO: BPMN Onboarding Process Diagram - Measure Rules Compliance

Manufacturing, Financial Solutions
DEMO: Enterprise Architecture Blueprint Template

DEMO: Generate an Enterprise Architecture Blueprint to discover and solve RISK

Banking, Logistics, Healthcare
DEMO: Strategy Map Template

DEMO: Generate Strategy Map for CLOUD ADOPTION

Government, Logistics, Banking
DEMO: Process Application Map

DEMO: Generate Process Application Landscape for RPA

Retail, Agriculture, Oil & Gas
DEMO: Data Mapping Software

DEMO: Generate Application Portfolio Diagram

Automotive, Financial Services, Health Care