Architecture Styles

Architecture styles are derived from the design and management criteria used to realize, operate, and evolve enterprise systems. By applying different architecture styles, Enterprise Architects can decide on relevant functional features, extent of process automation, the appropriate management style, and optimal technical infrastructure for an application landscape. As the first part of two, this article provides a theoretical foundation for developing architecture styles by considering the characteristics of an architectural style, some analogies that are useful in explaining architecture styles, and considerations for implementing style diversity in enterprises.

Interfaces for Enterprise Solutions

This article compares current and future interface concepts and the dramatic cost implications of interfaces. With the increased importance of exchanging information between enterprise solutions, a coordinated interface architecture should be considered. An interface architecture for the extended enterprise requires a shared communication language, one that standards greatly facilitate. While traditional interface approaches, such as point-to-point and hub and spoke, have been widely deployed in the past, they are costly to maintain and do not provide loose-coupling and fast return-on-investment. Web services and the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) are promising interface technologies that provide access to loosely-coupled services using commercial standards and existing infrastructure to support a service oriented architecture. Numerous cost drivers, such as the interface architecture and functional, technical, and organizational characteristics significantly impact the cost of an interface. An understanding of interface technology and cost drivers will ensure system architects are better equipped to design and deploy cost-effective interface architecture.

Simplify the Creation of Enterprise Architecture with Special Expert Teams

The classic development waterfall consists of two sequential stages. There is an ‘architectural synthesis’ stage that creates new architecture, new fundamental structure. This is followed by an ‘engineering design’ stage that develops and optimizes a system to satisfy requirements produced by the first stage. In addition, to having different goals, these two stages employ different tools, different processes, and demand different skills. Synthesis, the creation of new architecture, employs inductive reasoning, insight, and creative problem solving. Synthesis requires holistic solutions consistent with a single unified vision. As a result, the synthesis stage resists partitioning into subtasks. The synthesis of complex architectures stresses the capacity of individual architects and is best executed with Special Expert Teams (SETs). SETs are temporary task-directed teams of experts that benefit from special management tools. SETs have the capacity to conceptualize overarching concepts. This paper presents the concept of SETs for the creation of enterprise architecture.