Simplified Enterprise Architecture Methodology SEAM

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Simplified Enterprise Architecture Methodology SEAM

  1. 1. Simplified Enterprise Architecture Methodology SEAM Target Audience Executive Sponsors who are responsible for strategic initiatives. Department heads who are responsible for operational initiatives, owners of business processes, technical designers and architects, developers and planners who are responsible for the infrastructure and systems within the Enterprise. DRAFT Version .7 Introduction Enterprise Architecture (EA) is the model and framework for connecting the key business processes to the technical infrastructure. In the past, systems were installed and performed independent functions within the IT infrastructure. “We need a system for keeping track of Parking information”. These systems are often referenced as “stove piped” independent software applications performing a given set of functions. For example, ERP systems performed student functions through a client server interface. Administrators and data entry employees used the systems to register the students and accept their payments. Once the courses were completed, faculty members filled out the grade sheets and data entry people entered grades into the system. These applications custom point-to-point extract and load interfaces when data needed to be exchanged. Enterprise to enterprise communication happened with the same point- to-point interfaces. In the dynamic requirements of today’s enterprise, this will not serve the business operations and processes very well: students now want to register for the courses themselves anytime night or day, they want to make payments with their credit cards and interact with their professors electronically with a portal interface or with a mobile device. Many of these processes require the functionality from several applications working together in order to provide this rich dynamic on-demand functionality. An example of this would be a learning management system working together with an ERP system and portal to provide distance education functions like distribution of online course materials, 1
  2. 2. electronic grading, collaboration and • To reduce the amount of time spent communication of course events. supporting custom modifications and point to point declarative code Today you would be hard pressed to find • To allow full implementation of business business processes in the enterprise that don’t processes that cross application boundaries involve IT infrastructure of some kind. Every • To shift emphasis from an application IT vending machine on campus has the ability to centric approach to a business driven accept money from the campus one-card service oriented approach for enterprise system. There is a need to directly tie together strategic functions and be able to trace business functionality all of • To better understand consolidation of the way into and out of the IT systems. As business services more and more business services are • To better understand the impacts of implemented, it becomes apparent that many centralized or decentralized deployment of the processes require the same reusable models technical services. An example of this would be • To allow the enterprise to interoperate with an identity management service to identify other enterprises whether a person is a student or a faculty • To adopt standards member or both. These roles would need to be • To maximize and prioritize budget and verified and checked for many processes in the ongoing investments in IT. enterprise. For example, a library system may need to know whether a student is registered SEAM hopes to prevent: and has paid for admission to the institution in • Decisions being made based on order to use the facilities and take out materials individual perspectives and from the library. That same person may need viewpoints. access to a rare book or manuscript in their • Poor investment decisions faculty role and their credentials would need to • Point to point declarative interfaces be extended to include the additional library • Difficult upgrade and maintenance E C A R T privileges. cycles that require all applications to be upgraded simultaneously The SEAM model and framework and associated artifacts form an enterprise architecture and Conceptual Overview methodology to store and create a holistic viewpoint of the enterprise and a framework to For an EA to be effective, it must be traceable map new and changing goals, operations, from many viewpoints, levels and perspectives. processes and services provided by the We borrow from John Zachman’s Information institution. From the IT perspective, the Systems Architecture where perspectives, business can understand the relationship focuses and viewpoints are paralleled from between the IT assets and the business assets. classical to IT architecture. To illustrate this SEAM is designed to allow a stable set of well concept of parallels between classic documented services that are traceable as they architecture in building an IT architecture in cross the business function over to the IT maintaining an enterprise, we use a home. A functions. This allows IT to become more house contains an owners perspective that efficient and agile and be able to react quicker would contain focuses like how much will it to the changing business goals that dynamic cost, what rooms and facilities are needed in institutions need today and tomorrow. the house and what will the house look like. A designers perspective would be more SEAM aims to: focused on what structural techniques are • Assist with the planning and analysis of the needed, where will the major services be enterprise required, what materials and components will • To select, maintain and manage hardware be needed to create this house. A builders and software assets perspective would be mostly focused on • To adapt to changes in business conditions building the home from the blueprints and more rapidly 2
  3. 3. would include things like obtaining building materials and understanding the plans and techniques employed by the architect and Enterprise designers. Strategic plan Owner Designer Operational Plan s s Business Processes Business Services / View Technical Services Composite Applications Enterprise Applications Architect Contracto r s Figure 1. Differing Viewpoints on Homes and Enterprises Figure 2. Conceptual Enterprise Model Service Orientation Another important concept used in SEAM is Traceability service orientation. Systems are employed to deliver the services in the home. Examples For an EA to be effective, it must be traceable would be the electric service, the plumbing through the inception of a strategic initiative, services, and the heating and air conditioning the set of operational plans that achieve the services found in all homes. In some cases strategic goals, the business services that these services hook up to utilities outside of the implement those operations and technical home. In SEAM, we also use a service services that perform the IT related functions orientation to describe the business and required to do those business functions. technical services we require to run the institution. Examples of this would be business The Conceptual Enterprise Model (CEM) in authorization to perform a task such as figure 2 illustrates the traceability from the approving content to be rendered to a web strategic plan down to the enterprise application server or ability to add a grade to a student’s level. The Conceptual Enterprise Model provides transcript. The enterprise also needs to be able visibility and traceability between the various to access services external to the institution in a standard and consistent fashion. The viewpoints and perspectives of the enterprise. The enterprise-to-enterprise contact could be traceability is implemented by tracing the illustrated between the institution and the business services to the technical services. [more federal government when ISIR XML documents traceability will be specifically implemented to process financial aid need would get when we add in the Business Services Decision consumed by the institutions event Matrix and the Technical Services Decision infrastructure. Matrix are put into this document] CIO’s can communicate with other executives including the president and show direct relationships between the strategy and operations of the institution and the IT infrastructure. Department heads and end users can see 3
  4. 4. business functions translated into IT functions. initiative of improving student services could IT can understand business and business can operationally be achieved through the understand the technical services. introduction of self-service student functionality surfaced through portal technology. Strategic initiatives almost always translate to enterprise Domain Perspective services. Once the strategic initiative is created and Figure 3 shows the CEM with domain operational plans are identified that perspectives added. CIO’s can take strategic plans implement the strategy, the next step is to or initiatives and operational objectives or plans identify the key business processes that will and work with their equivalent business be required to implement the operations. More executives to ensure that IT objectives match up. than one key business process is often required to implement operational plans. These business Department heads and key users can create the processes will contain the business activities key business processes and abstracted business that the enterprise needs to perform in order to services from the activities to create the business achieve the operational goals. view model. Technical architects and designers can work with the business perspective to create These business activities are used as the input the technical view model that will contain the IT sources to determine the abstracted business services to implement the business functions. services required to run the enterprise. These business activities are reviewed holistically and consolidated into business services. These business services are activities that should Strategic plan contain high levels of reuse in the business and CIO make the enterprise more efficient and Operational Plan productive. The consolidation of individual common business activity should reduce the Business Processes possibility of similar business activities being User conducted in the set of enterprise business Business Services / View processes. This consolidation could perhaps be used to adjust the business policies and Technical Services processes so that services could be streamlined Tech and cost savings and efficiencies realized. For Composite Applications example, call center activities could be manifested in several business operations and Enterprise Applications could be consolidate into a single call center for the entire institution. For further clarity, the business activities are placed on layers in the Figure 3. Domain Perspectives business view model that is discussed later in this document. SEAM Progression Through the SEAM uses a strategic plan and operational plan CEM to ensure key business processes are The strategic initiative serves as buy-in from introduced into the business view model of the executive level of the institution and will be services. An institution can use other important in implementing enterprise class techniques to find strategic business processes services. Typically, the services at the as required. The important requirement is a set enterprise level require substantial investments of candidate business activities that can be and broadly affect the IT infrastructure, the consolidated into business services and placed institution, the organization and the on the business view model. Some business constituents of the institution in paradigm services may not be strategic but still need to shifting ways. For example, the strategic 4
  5. 5. be put onto the business view model in order to maintain a layer-to-layer relationship between show traceability to the technical view model. the business side and the technical side of the enterprise. Enterprise Model The enterprise model has two viewpoints: a business view and a technical view. These models Business Technical are both service oriented and contain layers where the services are delivered. Presentation Presentation Enterprise Business Business Data Services Data Services Application Application Enterprise Enterprise Business Services / View Technical Services Figure 3. Parallels Between Business and Technical View Models As new business process activities are Figure 3. Business View / Technical View introduced to the business view model, they could potentially take advantage of existing Touch points business services in the EA that are already in place. As new business processes are added to the model, the business view model of For further clarity, the business activities are abstracted business services in the SEAM is placed on layers in the business view model. reviewed for business impact. By viewing the The main point of strategic plans, operational business view model as new business activities plans and business processes are to ensure a are added to the SEAM, the design or good business view model. This is the main implementation of the process could be input in the SEAM from the business. Both the adjusted to accommodate an already existing business view model and the technical view service which would streamline the business models contain parallel layers for presentation, and perhaps save money. Business services are business, data, application and the enterprise highly reusable. applications services. These layers allow categorization of the business and technical Once the business view model is created and services. Each layer will be described later in the business services are placed onto the this document. layers, the technical viewpoint is created to include the technical services Technical The Technical Services are mapped onto these Services are highly reusablein a service layers in the technical view model. The oriented enterprise architecture. layers in the technical view model are the same layers used in the business services model and 5
  6. 6. After the technical services are created, and you’ll need to further educate me – or, it Composite applications are introduced to may be that you need more/better explanations form an amalgam of one or more Enterprise here. Applications that will ultimately work together to implement the technical services. Composite The benefits of service-oriented architectures applications are reusable. These composite are: applications are important because they surface the interface touch points required in the • Increased reuse architecture. The technical services interfaces • Reduced Maintenance that are exposed help determine the • Business Process Implementation requirements for the interfaces., The event • Improved Security infrastructure is a set of application services • Improved Performance that are described below below in the Event • Increased Reliability Driven section of this document. • Increased Efficiency Enterprise Applications are the applications Event Driven that work together to make up the composite applications. These systems work lower down in When key changes happen in the enterprise, the EA together using the event infrastructure alerts are exchanged via standard messages providing the core functionality abstracted away and interfaces. The event architecture from the technical and business functions. This manifested in the application services layer provides insulation and promotes minimal provides the mechanisms for applications to business impact when these applications take actions when pre-planned or when require maintenance or replacement. By exception events happen in the enterprise. In exposing service interfaces instead of SEAM, the event infrastructure is achieved application interfaces allow functionality to be through Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) enhanced, new functionality to be implemented systems. Supported events include publish and while the enterprise continues to operate under subscribe and point to point models. the current service interfaces. Authoritative source, synchronization, Preceding sentence is not grammatically correlation, aggregation, transformation are all correct. Also, this is where the premise starts event services typically implemented in EAI. to get real technical, and without an example, will not be understood by most readers. The benefits of event driven architectures are: The hardware infrastructure can use the EA • Real time message exchange technical view model to distribute the assets • Communication with other message required for the services. standards based enterprises • Systems are aligned to system lifecycles not system schedules Service Orientation • Reduced declarative code • More flexibility in upgrades and With a service orientation, applications work maintenance cycles together as services. Composite applications can be segmented and broken down into operationally independent services. These Overall Benefits of SEAM services are surfaced in the EA though layers that implement the business processes and The overall benefits of service oriented event ultimately the operational and strategic goals of driven architectures are: the institution. I’m having a lot of trouble in • Creates a traceable, concrete relationship foreseeing how I would explain all this talk between the business and the IT about “abstracting” and “surfacing”, and how infrastructure that provides benefits - it may just be me, 6
  7. 7. • Introduces Business Process Orientation into the IT planning function Design Goals of the Enterprise • Creates enduring, sustained Model of the Enterprise Architecture As part of the SEAM methodology, we state • Creates a reusable set of business and design goals for the EA: traceable technical services. • The enterprise must be reliable and every enterprise application highly available. Each Service Layers application must be available at all times. • The enterprise must be extensible and The Presentation Services Layer contains flexible to support new technical services portal, thin clients, web, mobile devices, and quickly and efficiently. rich clients as well as legacy user interface • The architecture must be committed to services in the enterprise. and enduring for a long period of time. • The architecture must be resilient and give The Business Services Layer contains the the business capacity to absorb change business process models, repositories, business quickly and smoothly. policies, rules, workflows, modelers, analysis tools and orchestration services. The business These sample design goals for the services layer is not to be confused with the institution should be stated for the SEAM business view model, which is a layered model enterprise being modeled. of business services. The Data Services Layer is a set of services Transformations that extract, reuse, and recombine information for usage as Enterprise data. Enterprise Data Institutions that wish to adopt an Enterprise Warehouses and Data Marts isolate and re- Architecture should first state the orient the enterprise data and abstract the transformations that will occur from software information from the transactional data that applications to service oriented business driven exists in the composite and enterprise architectures. applications. Data can be loaded in this layer from other enterprise or non-enterprise class Transformations could include: applications inside of the institution or from other enterprises outside of the institution. The • Adoption of an EA data services layer also houses all of the data • Service Oriented Architecture Adoption models in the enterprise. • Event Driven Adoption • Automated Command and Control Adoption The Application Services Layer contains the • Business Process Orientation Adoption components that the Enterprise Applications and Composite Applications use for things such These transformations for the institution as security, identity, directory, event services, should be stated for the SEAM enterprise high availability, persistence, instrumentation being modeled. tools, and development tools. The Enterprise Application Layer contains CMM the applications that perform and implement Enterprise architectures are large undertakings. enterprise level functionality. Examples would They do not happen overnight and be ERP systems, Learning Management transformation will take time. For this reason, Systems, Library Systems as well as other we use the SEI Capability Maturity Model for enterprise wide systems. organizations to progress. • Stage 1 – conversion from applications to stable Enterprise Applications. This includes 7
  8. 8. robust infrastructure, highly available and not fitting the reference models would require solid system foundations. All enterprise special adaptors, re- training, additional applications, event infrastructure and infrastructure and possible disparities between application services must be stable in order existing application services or other services or to deliver highly available reusable services. layers. • Stage 2 – Efficient message-driven applications work together to deliver system Conclusions functionality. This stage is a transitional point where some enterprise applications The adoption of a SEAM enables the institution form composite applications and implement to more closely integrate its business to IT. The while other enterprise application directly EA is a archetype for future applications and surface functionality to the business. These allows the IT function to react more quickly to organizations still lack quickness and changing business conditions and goals than efficiency when business services change. without one. The framework helps the various • Stage 3 – Agile service oriented stakeholders with different viewpoints and applications surface all or mostly all of the perspectives to participate and communicate technical services. IT can react very quickly today and tomorrow. An SEAM EA can be the to changing business conditions. initial framework for institutions needing to move to a enterprise wide set of services. New Standards applications such as portals require institutions to tackle integration and required new The EA should state a set of technologies that functionality that involves many applications are ideally the ones that the enterprise would working together as a composites to deliver the use to deliver the services. When a new services. Institutions need abstracted business standard or standards are being introduced into services to decompose the many business an EA , this should trigger special non-standard process activities and IT needs abstracted feedback loops and careful considerations given business services in order to understand what to new tools, methodologies, languages or technical services are required to support the components are entering the EA. All existing institution. SEAM will provide the methodology technical services and business impact should and models to bolt business and technical be considered when any of these things are services onto a parallel-layered traceable being introduced. The main purpose of stating frame. the standards employed in the SEAM is to ensure that administrators and managers understand when new standards are being injected and try to understand why they are being introduced into the EA. EA Reference Models Each layer should include a reference model of ideal technologies and standards for new applications being purchased or developed and then added to the EA. The reference models could be used during funding and exception loops created when applications do not fit the reference model. Ideally, applications that match the reference model would more easily match existing applications and make it easier to create new composite applications and thus deliver new service. Conversely, applications 8

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