Where Do We Find Services in Enterprise Architectures? A Comparative Approach
In recent years, enterprise architecture (EA) has captured growing attention as a means to systematically consolidate and interrelate diverse IT artefacts in order to provide holistic decision support. Since the emergence of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), many attempts have been made to incorporate SOA artefacts in existing EA frameworks. Yet the approaches taken to achieve this goal differ substantially for the most commonly used EA frameworks to date. This paper investigates and compares five widely used EA frameworks in the way they embrace the SOA paradigm. It identifies what SOA artefacts are considered to be in the respective EA frameworks and their relative position in the overall structure. The results show that services and related artefacts are far from being well-integrated constructs in current EA frameworks. The comparison presented in this paper will support practitioners in identifying an EA framework that provides SOA support in a way that matches their requirements and will hopefully inspire the academic EA and SOA communities to work on a closer integration of these architectures.