Monday, January 23, 2006


Enterprise Architecture is not Software Architecture

Most folks in the enterprise don't operate from a mindset of logic nor discipline as "influence" rules the day. Maybe we can start influencing them to the fact that enterprise architecture is not software architecture. Some people explaining enterprise architecture is like city planning while software architecture is like building design. While I really, really don't like the building analogy as it is inaccurate when taken to extremes, in this context it is somewhat accurate.

You may have noticed a pattern in the blogosphere in that enterprise architects frequently ask software vendors to provide publicly available reference architectures using design patterns notation. Reference architectures are like codes while design patterns are like best practices. Note, that I am of the belief that best practices don't really exist and enterprise architecture is more like gardening. Here's why...

While I am a good software architect, a great infrastructure architect, a master in information security and a guru at software engineering, I am near perfection when it comes to enterprise architecture. Now that I have fulfilled my egotistical needs to pat myself on the back, I encourage you to check out this white paper by the Danish government on enterprise architecture.

Hopefully, you aren't employed by one of those enterprises that believe that all "technical" folks are somehow interchangable and don't acknowledge the unique contributions that each individual can bring to the table. If you happen to be employed by a boss who simply doesn't get it, suggest to them that maybe he should hire a maid service to do his next break job and see if he gets the message. Enterprise Architects should be considered as the Keepers of the Flame and help spread good practices to others, demonstrate Strong Technical Leadership and most importantly, enabling the strategic intent of the business...

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