The Architecture Continuum illustrates how architectures are developed and
evolved across a continuum ranging from Foundation Architectures, through
Common Systems Architectures, and Industry Architectures, and to an
enterprise’s own Organization-Specific Architectures.
A Foundation Architecture is an architecture of building blocks and
corresponding standards that supports all the Common Systems Architectures
and, therefore, the complete enterprise operating environment.
Common Systems Architectures guide the selection and integration of specific services
from the Foundation Architecture to create an architecture useful for building common
(i.e., highly reusable) solutions across a wide number of relevant domains.
Examples of Common Systems Architectures include: a security architecture, a
management architecture, a network architecture, an operations architecture, etc. Each
is incomplete in terms of overall system functionality, but is complete in terms of a
particular problem domain (security, manageability, networking, operations, etc.), so that
solutions implementing the architecture constitute re-usable building blocks for the
Industry Architectures guide the integration of common systems components with
industry specific components, and guide the creation of industry solutions for targeted
customer problems within a particular industry.
A typical example of an industry-specific component is a data model representing the
business functions and processes specific to a particular vertical industry
Organization-Specific Architectures are the most relevant to the IT customer community,
since they describe and guide the final deployment of solution components for a
particular enterprise or extended network of connected enterprises.
There may be a variety of Organization-Specific Architectures that are needed to
effectively cover the organization’s requirements by defining the architectures in
increasing levels of detail. Alter natively, this might result in several more detailed
Organization-Specific Architectures for specific entities within the global enterprise.
A Common Systems Solution is an An Organization-Specific Solution is an
implementation of a Common Systems implementation of the Organization-
Architecture comprised of a set of Specific Architecture that provides the
products and services, which may be required business functions. Because
certified or branded. It represents the solutions are designed for specific
highest common denominator for one business operations, they contain the
or more solutions in the industry highest amount of unique content in order
segments that the Common Systems to accommodate the varying people and
Solution supports. processes of specific organizations
Foundation Solutions are An Industry Solution is an
highly generic concepts, tools, implementation of an Industry
products, ser vices, and Architecture, which provides re-usable
solution components that are packages of common components
the fundamental providers of and services specific to an industry.
The TOGAF ADM describes the process of developing an enterprise-specific
architecture and an enterprise-specific solution(s) which conform to that
architecture by adopting and adapting (where appropriate) generic
architectures and solutions (left to right in the continuum classification). In a
similar fashion, specific architectures and solutions that prove to be credible
and effective will be generalized for re-use (right to left in the continuum
TOGAF itself provides two reference models for consideration for use in
developing an organization’s architecture:
1. The TOGAF Foundation Architecture, which comprises a TRM of generic services and functions
that provides a firm foundation on which more specific architectures and architectural
components can be built.
2. The Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model (III-RM), which is based on the
TOGAF Foundation Architecture, and is specifically designed to help the realization of
architectures that enable and support the vision of Boundary less Information Flow.
TOGAF Version 9, The Open Group
Architecture Framework (TOGAF), 2009