TOGAF vs. DODAF? Seriously? We are going to select between the DODAF, the pre-eminent defense industry architecture framework and a modular comprehensive architecture framework? Let's play to their strengths by putting them together.

If you are in the defense industry, you will use DODAF. Or one of its siblings, DNDAF, MODAF, or TAF. They will focus your architecture on integrating long-lived stable systems. Systems that live in one of the most dynamic environments. DODAF doesn't tell you how to develop an enterprise architecture, or how to develop your enterprise architecture team.

The situation gets more interesting if you are not in the defense industry. Then, look at DODAF as a domain architecture framework for the integration domain.


Companies and government organizations need to understand how to balance conflicting objectives, utilize current investments, and coordinate their essential resources to fulfill their business plan. Today's world of limited resources and competing goals raise the stakes. It turns out that building an Enterprise Architecture capability has this as its primary objective. Enterprise architecture describes how organizations intend to organize and use technology to achieve their intended business goals. However, there must be routes for flexibility and direction built into the design. To adapt to the inner workings of the larger business picture, communication, analysis, and feedback must be ongoing.

In fact, some of our clients are positioning enterprise architecture as the enterprise decision support capability, offering a data-based, architecture-based method for making business architecture and IT choices. Many government agencies and contractors have been participating in the EA game for a while, frequently in the context of being required to adhere to architectural frameworks like the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DODAF) and The Open Group's  Architecture Framework (TOGAF).

But what makes these frameworks different? Are they mutually exclusive? In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the TOGAF vs DODAF.


The United States Department of Defense invented the DODAF Framework to solve the department’s single largest problem – the integration of long-lived systems. It has spawned several associated frameworks, such as DNDAF (Canada's Department of National Defence Architecture Framework), MODAF (the UK's Ministry of Defense Architecture Framework), and NATO’s TAF.

The DODAF framework, which evolved from the preceding C4ISR framework created in the 1990s, first appeared in the mid-2000s as a standard approach to design for the U.S. Department of Defense. DODAF outlines the viewpoints that ought to be included in an architecture, the particular products that ought to be developed to explain them, and the procedures that ought to be used to build these deliverables.

The Open Group developed TOGAF starting in the 1990s. The TOGAF framework provides an all-in-one, complete set of guidance for any EA practices, including the steps required to develop enterprise architecture (the TOGAF ADM). The ADM provides steps to develop different domains - Phase B business architecture, Phase C application architecture, and Phase D technology architecture. In addition, TOGAF covers governance models and a wide range of other diverse recommendations. Currently, the TOGAF framework is the most well-liked EA framework and is widely considered as the industry standard for enterprise architecture.

What is the Difference Between the TOGAF Framework and the DODAF Framework?

To put it simply, the TOGAF framework offers a standard vocabulary for creating and consuming that material, whereas DODAF offers a common vocabulary for architecture content. They are not mutually exclusive and can be used in addition to one another.

TOGAF vs DODAF - Level of Detail

These frameworks frequently place a lot of emphasis on the taxonomies and reference models that businesses must employ to describe both their present situation and their desired future state. We are witnessing a new generation of firms that seek to take advantage of the business transformation aspect of EA and move beyond contractual compliance. Thus, both the TOGAF framework and the DODAF framework are highly detailed.

This is partly a result of the new capability-driven feature of DODAF version 2.0 in the Department of Defense, which allows an organization to align its architecture with a set of capabilities that are pertinent to its mission.

Organizations may now articulate their capability needs as well as how their organization supports and delivers those capabilities thanks to the integration and development of the Capability Viewpoint, or CV, in DODAF’s second version. Models for illustrating capability gaps and how new capabilities will be implemented over time and managed within the framework of a larger capability portfolio are also provided by the CV.

DODAF - Long lived systems

Using an Architecture Framework

How to Develop Enterprise Architecture

Helping businesses consolidate, organize, and subsequently maximize the usage of enterprise infrastructure components, including capabilities, applications, components, services, technologies, data, processes, and functions, is one of the key characteristics of enterprise architecture. The best course of action in this situation is to structure, organize, and standardize how you develop, use, and store data regarding your enterprise architecture. And there are many other standards available that can assist you in doing so.

To formally define and organize the way you implement and practice enterprise architecture in your business, the TOGAF framework and its Architecture Development Method may be of tremendous assistance.

DODAF is silent on how to develop enterprise architecture.

How to Document Enterprise Architecture

Enterprise architects have a difficult time designing and documenting systems in a way that supports agile delivery techniques while making sure that documentation is not an afterthought but a step in the entire process.

Agile and lean methodologies encourage concentrating on and documenting what is important, rather than advocating forsaking documentation. Without the proper documentation, they make choices without management, business risks are concealed, and designs become complicated, leading to brittle systems that cannot be scaled, supported, or expanded over time. When quickly creating new systems, architects must constantly ensure that artifacts are there; dealing with undocumented ones makes modernizing or expanding them exceedingly difficult.

To document an architecture, the DODAF framework is much better than the TOGAF Framework. DODAF provides a comprehensive Viewpoint library optimized for integrating long-lived systems. Whether you are looking at assembling systems into an activity, or technical interfaces, DODAF has you covered.

How to Develop an Enterprise Architecture Team

You must understand your complex collection of institutional forces in order to construct and develop an effective EA team and practice. If executed properly, your EA practice will assist your business in adjusting to the possibilities and difficulties it confronts. Incorrect implementation wastes everyone's time. Rejected, ineffective systems squander scarce change resources.

DODAF - Integration Architecture

TOGAF vs DODAF - Leveraging DODAF in Enterprise architecture

It is crucial to bear in mind the goal for which integrated architectures, such as those that comply with the DODAF framework, were created: the rigorous and reliable linking of complex information. The goal of the DODAF framework has remained the same throughout all of its revisions: to provide a standardized means of describing the systems or capabilities that the DOD has purchased or built, in order to guarantee that the next item it purchases or constructs will interact with existing systems in the intended manner and that the second and third order effects of its relationships with those systems are taken into account. Architectures are useful for generating security requirements as well as designing weapons systems because of their rigor, uniformity, and use of current studies. As a result, the TOGAF framework should be utilized, but the DODAF framework can also be leveraged.

TOGAF vs DODAF - When Does Conexiam Use DODAF?

Conexiam uses the DODAF framework whenever we have an integration problem, when making IT systems work together, or when making companies work together. We have used the DODAF framework in digital transformation, integrating an oil refinery, building a public cloud, and integrating highway safety across seven state agencies (including highway patrol, highway construction, health, etc.)

How was our guide to the differences between the TOGAF 10 framework and DODAF framework? Tell us your thoughts about these frameworks in the comments below.

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