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I already posted about enterprise architecture views while describing our enterprise architecture framework (SAP EA Framework repository ). In this post I’m going to explain why views are so essential for enterprise architecture and what is an enterprise architecture visual executive summary.  Probably 80 percent of the average enterprise architect work is dedicated to modeling and communication with different stakeholders in the enterprise. Modeling the enterprise domains serves two main goals. First, it helps our humble enterprise architect to better understand the enterprise architecture. Second, it helps our architect to better communicate with different stakeholders. “One picture is worth ten thousand words” is the best saying to describe views contribution to enterprise architecture work.   Having tons of building block definitions and their relation won’t help us to explain certain problem that the enterprise faces or different viewpoints, which cause conflict that need to be resolved. A view that shows, for example, certain enterprise objectives and the enterprise capabilities that support them can help us to identify easily (as you can see below) objectives without any capabilities to support them, secondary objectives that have more capabilities to support them then primary objectives and capabilities that exist in the enterprise but doesn’t support any objective (why we need them?).

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Views are very powerful when you want to show others your findings and to communicate with them. Therefore we invest a lot of efforts to create different types of views to reflect as many as possible angles of enterprise architecture viewpoint. We have around 60 views defined in the framework and you can decide whether you want to use all of them or only part of them. Parts of those views are hard to create and take effort to maintain (at least that is an argument that I’ve heard more then once). But, as far as I can see it, those views let you communicate efficiently with your users and they are defiantly worth the effort.  You can’t use 60 views in order to articulate visually your enterprise architecture work and to preset it in front of the corporate CxOs. Therefore, we followed the idea of executive summery that you can find in any document and we create a visual enterprise architecture executive summary. As you can see below our enterprise architecture visual executive summary is a collection of 16 views.

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We looked for the four most important views in each one of the enterprise architecture domains and collected them together as a visual executive summary. The business layer consists of principle and constraints view, visual concept of the enterprise, business capabilities and the main business processes modeling. The information layer consists of conceptual model of the information, enterprise logical services, security view of services usage and logical model of the enterprise information. The system (or application) layer consists from applications, enterprise services exposed by applications, security view of application usage and applications usage over enterprise locations. The technology layer consists of infrastructure view of all needed infrastructures to run the business, communication view, cost view of applications and capabilities and standards view.   Natty Gur.

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