Thursday, August 31, 2006


Thoughts on Enterprise Architecture Tools

A peer had asked me my opinion on which enterprise architecture tools we should consider and I didn't have an answer. I figured I would gain insight from the blogosphere as to what I should be noodling here...

Let me start off by saying that this is not an opportunity for a vendor to blow up my phone with a thinly veiled sales pitch on all of the wonderful tools they may sell.

I have always been of the school of thought that one should focus in on people, then process then tools in that order. This probably results in me never thinking about wonderful productecture and the assistance that software vendors provide in doing Powerpoint demos to large audiences.

Some enterprises are focusing in on this notion of ERP4IT. Charles Betz frequently discusses tools that help IT run as a business. He has a philosophy that is interesting at some level and talks about ITIL, COBIT, Six Sigma and how they converge with EA.

Other architects in the blogosphere have taken a different approach. Robert McIllree and others talk more about repositories for storing enterprise models. Having a view of what all the systems do helps enable business architecture. Others still seem to pursue more content management approaches with stronger typed taxonomies that help folks find stuff that is already documented and to counter the trend of simply storing stuff in folders in Sharepoint or on a file share that no one can ever seem to find.

There are probably more dimensions that I haven't thought about. I would love to know from my fellow EA peers, what tools are they currently using, the rationale for using them and most importantly is the effort expended in implementing them worth it.

For the record, in thinking about it I would also want to know why an EA would need any tool beyond Powerpoint,Visio and a Wiki?

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