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Author's profile photo Sri Rajagopalan

Enterprise Architecture – Part 3


In the first two blogs I talked about Enterprise Architecture – Part 1 and Enterprise Architecture – Part  2.  In this part, I will go into a brief general background on Enterprise Architecture Frameworks and focus on SAP EA Framework.


As pointed out in the first two parts, Enterprise Architecture is a discipline practiced by Enterprise Architects often by applying one or a combination of approaches prescribed in EA Frameworks. 

EA Frameworks serve as a valuable reference and offer a collection of methods, methodologies and tools to define the right architecture for an enterprise. There are a number of EA Frameworks in the industry and the basis for the EA Frameworks can be traced back to Zachman Framework originally conceived by John Zachman in the late 80’s.  It is now a de facto world standard for expressing the basic elements of an Enterprise Architecture.

Since then many EA Frameworks such as DoDAF, FEAF, TEAF (for US Federal Departments), IAF by Capgemini, E2AF (IFEAD), Gartner’s Framework and TOGAF have been developed with each addressing a specific need in the market place.  It is important to note that the origin, evolution, purpose and scope of these frameworks vary.  It is fair to say none of the existing frameworks addressed the needs of package oriented software such as SAP effectively.

To address a distinct need of SAP customers and recommendations from industry analysts, SAP launched an Enterprise Architecture Program in second half of 2006. The cornerstone of that program is the development of its own EA Framework called SAP EAF and its succesful introduction during Sapphire of 2007.  SAP EAF can be explained in a nutshell using the following figure.

SAP EAF - Overview

What SAP EAF Contains

Since SAP EAF is built on TOGAF, the highlights of SAP EAF content can be depicted in relation to TOGAF in the following table.

Content Area




TOGAF is generic to cover all options, therefore significant effort required to make it usable.

SAP EAF defines a more prescriptive extended methodology to short cut this effort.  SAP EAF also includes architecture styles to support variety of customer scenarios.

Architecture Development Method

TOGAF describes ADM phases in terms of inputs, steps and outputs without describing how to conduct each phase.

Extends TOGAF ADM by introducing four distinct iterations and provides Worksheet and Narrative for each architecture phase with details on inputs, steps and outputs per phase and how to conduct each phase

Meta Model

TOGAF Version 8.1.x did not contain an explicit Meta Model.

SAP EAF defined this explicitly and the Meta model serves important purposes that include guiding the creation of EA artifacts and serving as a schema for EA modeling tools.

Reference models for business and SAP technology

TOGAF, by its very nature cannot include specific tools and capabilities.

SAP EAF integrates with existing SAP content and tools through the SAP Meta model and resource base.

Content Example

TOGAF does not provide clear examples on how to leverage the concepts.

SAP EAF provides SAP specific examples of deliverables built on a proven case study.


TOGAF does not define all terms explicitly leading to open interpretations among the practitioners.

SAP EAF provides a clear glossary of terms and terminology with proper definition and description.

Advantages of SAP EAF

  • SAP EAF enables robust architecture definition that can be consistently applied for existing customers with large SAP footprint or new customers thinking of transitioning to SAP solutions.
  • The mapping of SAP EAF to SAP concepts and mapping of those concepts to SAP reference models and products ensures an organization’s existing investment in SAP is maximized.
  • The SAP EAF framework provides SOA-specific extensions by introducing and defining concept of “Services” across all the four domains.
  • The SAP EAF Meta model enables the development of EA artifacts in a more practical and tangible way.
  • The SAP EAF process is driven by the concept of iterative architecture development and incorporates both top-down and bottom-up approaches.

In the subsequent blogs, I will talk about the relationship between TOGAF and SAP EAF and how each of extensions depicted in the Figure above can be leveraged by customers effectively.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Goo blog! just wanted to pointed out that initially SAP EAF was based on TOGOAF 8.1 and after release of TOGAF 9 in Jan 2009, TOGAF adopted suggestion of SAP and included several features from SAP EAF, hence diagram of SAP EAF and comparision between SAP EAF and TOGAF is no longer valid (refer to new SOA200 course from SAP).
      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Sorry for spelling mistakes in previous message