enterprise architecture patterns

How Do Enterprise Architecture Patterns Work?

Taking enterprise architecture frameworks and applying them to real-world situations is an important part of being an enterprise architect. 

What connects those frameworks to the day-to-day decisions that are being made in enterprises around the world are enterprise architecture patterns. This is a developing field, but it’s an important step in enterprise architecture, and it’s one you can learn more about through your enterprise architecture training

What Are Enterprise Architecture Patterns?

Enterprise architecture patterns help explain different architectures and the building blocks they’re made up of. They’ve been described as “an idea that has been useful in one practical context and will probably be useful in others.”

Essentially, they put the building blocks of enterprise architecture into context, describing how you use them, when to use them, why you should use them, what you should expect when you use them, and the trade-offs of using them.

This helps enterprise architects to understand what combination of architecture and building blocks are likely to be successful in any given situation. 

Enterprise architecture patterns give you a template for solving problems. They can be used in different contexts, and provide robust solutions to common problems. Since they’re created by experienced modelers and tested extensively, they provide some level of assurance and help guide decision-making. 

Why Are Enterprise Architecture Patterns Important?

Enterprise architecture patterns are becoming increasingly important because of the diversity of enterprise architecture. EA is utilized in many different disciplines, across different domains, and in different levels of detail. 

Understanding how architecture impacts different processes in varying organizations isn’t easy. Every organization is distinct, so it’s challenging to predict how architectural decisions will impact performance. 

enterprise architecture patterns - an evolving trend

This is where enterprise architecture patterns come in, helping to provide a level of certainty and understanding that helps with decision-making. 

Enterprise architecture patterns are still in their early stages, and they continue to be developed and incorporated into the TOGAF architecture. As they do, enterprise architects are able to build a better image of systems and make more informed decisions.

Enterprise Architecture Pattern Formats

Because enterprise architecture patterns are still evolving, there is no commonly accepted format for describing patterns. Despite this, there is agreement on the basic content a pattern should have. 

  • Name: A way to refer to the pattern that’s meaningful and memorable
  • Problem: A description of why you would apply the pattern and what it aims to achieve
  • Context: A description of the conditions needed to implement this pattern
  • Forces: A description of the relevant forces at play, how they interrelate, and how they affect objectives and expected outcomes
  • Solution: A description of how to achieve the intended goals and objectives
  • Resulting Context: Expected conditions once the pattern has been implemented
  • Examples: Examples of how the pattern can be implemented to solve a specific problem
  • Rationale: A justification of the enterprise architecture pattern
  • Related Patterns: How this pattern relates to other patterns
  • Known Uses: Applications of this pattern with existing systems

Different patterns may have slightly different formats, but in general, they will contain the same basic information. This content helps practitioners to quickly understand how the pattern applies to a specific problem and decide whether it should be implemented. 

Enterprise Architecture Patterns & TOGAF

TOGAF is one of the most widely used enterprise architecture frameworks in the world, so it’s no surprise that many patterns are created with it in mind. 

A big part of enterprise architecture patterns is to make EA more practical rather than just a study, and this is very similar to the Conexiam TOGAF training. It’s designed to give you practical and predictable EA training that prepares you to deliver actionable advice across many domains. 

Patterns are an important part of this, but to implement them successfully, you’ve first got to understand the frameworks and building blocks they refer to. With the right training, you can then use this to create meaningful change in enterprises and further your career. 

Conclusion: Enterprise Architecture Patterns

Enterprise architecture patterns might not be a fully standardized practice just yet, but they can still be incredibly useful for enterprise architects. They allow practitioners to quickly assess the merits of certain actions and facilitate efficient, informed decision-making. 

To better understand enterprise architecture patterns though, you’ve first got to understand enterprise architecture framework, and this all starts with the right training program. 

As the most widely-used framework, TOGAF is the logical choice for many people, so join our practical hands-on enterprise architecture training!

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