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Enterprise Architecture Tool Definition

What does Enterprise Architecture Tool mean?

The last decade a new software tool has made his way into our organizations. First only at a few, now almost every large to medium enterprise (LME) has an Enterprise Architecture Tool on his premises to create and manage enterprise architecture. But what exactly is an Enterprise Architecture Tool and why do organizations have an Enterprise Architecture Tool?

Definition

Enterprise Architecture Tool is a tool with which you can create models, viewpoints, views and visualizations of the enterprise architecture for different stakeholders of an organization and generate various reports on it. You can analyze the AS-IS enterprise-architecture and model or design the TO-BE enterprise architecture. And not only enterprise architecture, also governance architecture, business architecture, information architecture, application architecture, security architecture and technical architecture are normally supported in an Enterprise Architecture Tool.

Enterprise Architecture in this context means the coherent set of entities that the organization now or in the future exists of. With an Enterprise Architecture Tool one can create models, views and visualizations of this coherence or (dis)alignment

Often an Enterprise Architecture Tool is a software application with which one can administer, store and manage data on the entities of the enterprise. Also you can create models, view and visualizations like Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERD) of the entities. For instance business process models and IT system models. And you can create reports and matrices of the models and views.

Three types of applications often sum up an Enterprise Architecture Tool: the EA Repository application, the EA Modeling application and the EA Reporting application

Usage

PowerPoint, Visio, Excel and Word still are often used as Enterprise Architecture Tool (in name only) by architects. Of course you can create (visualize) models and define entities in these software applications, but you cannot enforce consistency or rules in models. After a period of changes the architecture products created with these software products are hard to keep consistent and updated. This often leads to recreating documents from scratch and creating an archive of unused documents.

A real Enterprise Architecture Tool offers a repository in which an architect can define build blocks and help keeping models consistent. And then the architect can publish those building blocks for re use by himself or others and create variations of models to explore different scenarios.

A real Enterprise Architecture Tool also offers reporting functionality for analysis of impact of change and generating visualizations and documents.

Enterprise Architecture Tool Diagram

A typical Enterprise Architecture diagram consist of a coherent set of stakeholders, concerns, users, requirements, organizations, products, services, processes, information, applications, databases, interfaces, networks, servers, clients and locations.

With Architecture Tools, like Dragon1, you can create these kind of models or diagrams and use is to improve the coherence or alignment of the entities on it. This again will result in complexity reduction, standardization, vendor independency, cost reduction and increase of adaptivity.

Symbol

A symbol often used for Enterprise Architecture Tool is:  a toolbox.

Examples

Examples of Enterprise Architecture Tools are:

  • Dragon1
  • Archi (Open Source)
  • PowerPoint, Excel, Visio and Word

Further reading

Are you interested in reading more about this?
Here we have a page about everything a CIO needs to know about an Enterprise Architecture Tool.

Our intention is not to provide a complete dictionary on enterprise architecture here, but to provide only the most frequent used words in the field.

If you have a suggestion for us to improve the list or a definition, please contact us via info@dragon1.com

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If you have comments or remarks about this term or definition, please mail to specs@dragon1.com.