EA supports planning and decision-making through documentation and information that provides an abstracted view of an enterprise at various levels of scope and detail. There are six sub-architecture domains in the common approach to Federal EA:

  • Strategic
  • Business Services
  • Data and Information
  • Enabling Applications
  • Host Infrastructure
  • Security

These six sub-architecture domains delineate the types of analysis and modeling that is necessary for an architecture to meet stakeholder requirements.

Based on EA best practices, the following set of documentation associated with each sub-domain represents a minimum set of “core” artifacts that need to be considered and/or tailored to support a robust set of EA artifacts for the organization adopting the principles in this guide. To ensure interoperability and share-ability of services that will be developed as part of a cross-organization extended Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), a detailed meta-model of data in these artifacts will be required to sufficiently described and specify the attributes of components in the EA.
Each sub-architecture domain represents a specific area of the overall framework. The type and depth of documentation should be guided by the need for detail and answers to questions about requirements, applicable standards, timeframes, and available resources.

In this guidance for the Common Approach to Federal EA, there is one required core documentation artifact for each of the six sub-architecture views, which serves to promote consistent views within and between architecture as well as promoting interoperability within and between government organizations. There are also several dozen elective artifacts to support additional analysis if that is needed. Table A provides a list of each of the required core artifacts in this common approach.

Sub-Architecture Domain Required Core Artifact

  • Strategy: Concept Overview Diagram
  • Business: High-Level Process Diagram
  • Data: High-Level Logical Data Model
  • Applications: Application Interface Diagram
  • Infrastructure: High-Level Network Diagram
  • Security: Control List

Table A. Required Core Artifact List

Strategy Sub-Architecture Domain
The strategic sub-architecture domain identifies the mission, vision, and goals of the enterprise being documented. The primary documentation of this domain, is accomplished through a concept overview diagram and the identification of strategic drivers and goals, as should be specified in the Agency’s Strategic Plan. The questions that should be asked for this domain begin with “for what purpose does the enterprise exist” (usually expressed in the mission statement) and “what does the enterprise want to do and be known for” (often given in the vision statement). Include artifact – mapping of initiative to appropriate performance goals or objectives. The questions then move to “what are the primary goals (strategic goals) of the enterprise” and “what then are the strategic initiatives (ongoing programs or new projects) that will enable the enterprise to achieve those goals”, and “what are the measures of success (outcome measures) in each initiative area.”

Table B provides core and elective artifacts in the strategy sub-architecture domain:

Strategy Sub-Architecture Domain

  • S-1 Concept Overview Diagram (core)
  • S-2 Strategic Plan
  • S-3 Concept of Operations Scenarios
  • S-4 SWOT Analysis
  • S-5 Performance Measures Scorecard

Table B. Strategy Domain Artifacts

Business Sub-Architecture Domain
The questions to ask in the business sub-architecture domain begin with “what is the business plan (operating plan) and “how does this relate to the strategic plan’s goals and metrics.” Then, “what are the business units” (usually depicted in the organization chart) and “what are the mission and support services within and between the business units.”

This follows with “how do we measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the line of business processes” (input/output measures) and their contribution to strategic goals (outcome measures) and “do any of these business services or manufacturing processes need to be reengineered/improved before they are made to be part of the future architecture”? Finally, “what are the workforce, standards, and security issues in this sub-architecture domain?” Table C provides core and elective artifacts for the business domain:

Business Sub-Architecture Domain

  • B-1 Business Process Diagram (core)
  • B-2 Business Operating Plan
  • B-3 Business Service Catalog
  • B-4 Organization Chart
  • B-5 Use Case Narrative and Diagram
  • B-6 Business Case / Alternatives Analysis

Table C. Business Domain Artifacts

Data Sub-Architecture Domain
In the data sub-architecture domain of the EA framework, after the lines of business and specific business services have been identified, it is important to ask “what are the flows of information that will be required within and between service areas in order to make them successful” and “how can these flows of information be harmonized, standardized, and protected to promote sharing that is efficient, accurate, and secure”, as well as “how will the data underlying the information flows be formatted, generated, shared, and stored?” Also, “what are the workforce, standards, and security issues in this domain?” Table D provides core and elective artifacts in the data sub-architecture domain:

Data Sub-Architecture Domain

  • D-1 Logical Data Model (core)
  • D-2 Knowledge Management Plan
  • D-3 Data Quality Plan
  • D-4 Data Flow Diagram
  • D-5 Physical Data Model
  • D-6 CRUD Matrix
  • D-7 State-Transition Diagram
  • D-8 Event Sequence Diagram
  • D-9 Data Dictionary
  • D-10 Object Library

Table D. Data Domain Artifacts

Applications Sub-Architecture Domain
In the applications sub-architecture domain of the EA framework it is important to ask “which systems and applications will be needed to generate, share, and store the data, information, and knowledge that the business services need” and “how can multiple types of IT systems, services, applications, databases, and web sites be made to work together where needed?” Also, “how can configuration management help to create a cost-effective and operationally efficient common operating environment (COE) for systems and applications? Additionally, “what are the workforce, standards, and security issues in this sub-architecture view?” Finally, “what are the workforce, standards, and security issues in this domain?” Table E provides core and elective artifacts in the applications sub-architecture domain:

Application Sub-Architecture Domain

  • A-1 Application Interface Diagram (core)
  • A-2 Application Communication Diagram
  • A-3 Application Interface Matrix
  • A-4 Application Data Exchange Matrix
  • A-5 Application Service Matrix
  • A-6 Application Performance Matrix
  • A-7 System/Application Evolution Diagram
  • A-8 Enterprise Service Bus Diagram
  • A-9 Application Maintenance Procedure
  • A-10 Application Inventory
  • A-11 Software License Inventory

Table E. Application Domain Artifacts

Infrastructure Sub-Architecture Domain
In the infrastructure sub-architecture domain of the EA framework it is important to ask “what types of voice, data, mobile, and video networks will be required to host the IT systems/applications and to transport associate, data, images, and conversations”, as well as “what type of physical infrastructure is needed to support the networks” (e.g. buildings, server rooms, points of presence, and other equipment). It is also important to ask “will highly scalable cloud computing environments be needed and if so will the organization be a provider or consumer” and “how can these networks be integrated to create a cost-effective and operationally efficient hosting environment” as well as “will these networks extend beyond the enterprise” and “what are the physical space and utility support requirements for the networks.” Will cloud-based concepts be used (virtualization, scaling, metering)? Finally, “what are the workforce, standards, and security issues in this sub-architecture domain?”

Table F provides core and elective artifacts in the infrastructure sub-architecture domain:

Infrastructure Sub-Architecture Domain

  • I-1 Network Diagram (core)
  • I-2 Hosting Concept of Operations
  • I-3 Technical Standards Profile
  • I-4 Technology Forecast
  • I-5 Cable Plant Diagram
  • I-6 Wireless Connectivity Diagram
  • I-7 Rack Elevation Diagrams (front and back)
  • I-8 Data Center/Server Room Diagram
  • I-9 Wiring Closet Diagram
  • I-10 Point of Presence Diagram
  • I-11 Asset Inventory
  • I-12 Facility Blueprints

Table F. Infrastructure Domain Artifacts

Security Sub-Architecture Domain
The security sub-architecture pervades all of the other five areas of the EA framework because security and privacy controls, to be most effective, need to be “built into” service workflows, data flows, systems, applications, and host networks. This is also true for standards and workforce skills and is why it was the final question in each of the other domain areas. Table G provides core and elective artifacts in the security domain:

Security Sub-Architecture Domain

  • SP-1 Security Controls Catalog (core)
  • SP-2 Security and Privacy Plan
  • SP-3 Certification & Accreditation Documentation
  • SP-4 Continuous Monitoring Procedures
  • SP-5 Disaster Recovery Plan
  • SP-6 Continuity of Operations Plan

Table G. Security Domain Artifacts


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