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Tooling around with TOGAF and ARIS (part II)

ARIS TOGAF v9 Reference Content – Databases and Filters


In the Tooling around with TOGAF and ARIS (part I) of this blog series, we have discussed why using the right tool as an Enterprise Architecture artifact repository is an important aspect of an Enterprise Architecture implementation success, and how the evolution of TOGAF leverages the use of more sophisticated artifact keeping-and-governing instruments.

In this second part of the blog “Tooling around with TOGAF and ARIS”, we’re going to walk through the ARIS Business Architect tool and its predefined TOGAF content and see how it is organized. This was the tool used in our real-life scenario, and is fit for a good in-depth modeling situation. Having said that, the ARIS IT Architect tool is a bit more complete in terms of modeling objects when using more ARIS-related content, providing, in special, more ARIS hardware and infrastructure objects. While the main TOGAF content is available as modified ARIS objects that can be used by both tools, it may be useful to use more “visually significant” ARIS original objects when stricter visual semantics is demanded. For more information about ARIS original X TOGAF-adapted objects, please refer to Parts 3 and 4 of this blog.

The main tools used were the ARIS Business Architect 7.1 and the ARIS TOGAF v9 reference template database and filter that can be found in Software AG’s download site; once there, look for “ARIS Databases and Filters”.

In addition to the above-mentioned TOGAF reference, ARIS IT Architect customers can also get additional model types and more content when they receive the ARIS IT Architect license key from Software AG.

In the database, there is a big amount of predefined content that is ready to use, such as the ADM (Architecture Development Method) description, the Enterprise Architecture process (with narratives, inputs, outputs and artifacts), the ACF (Architecture Content Framework) theoretical examples, TOGAF-to-ARIS mapping diagrams, and sample architectural diagrams, arranged as examples of possible views throughout the architecture landscape.


Content walkthrough


Let’s take a look at the first diagram, which is the main entry point to the rest of the repository, where we can see the main components of the TOGAF framework:


 TOGAF ARIS Repository Main Entry Point

 Figure 1: TOGAF ARIS Repository main entry point diagram


In this diagram, we can see the main areas of the ARIS TOGAF Repository. For instance, we can follow the link to the ADM and see how this cycle is here depicted:


 TOGAF Architecture Development Method diagram

 Figure 2: TOGAF Architecture Development Method diagram


From each one of the phases, the architect can navigate to the process representation of the associated narrative, as shown below in the example for Phase B: Business Architecture (pictures were trimmed down and squeezed for the sake of fitting the visualization area). Figure 3 shows the phase’s inputs, outputs and objectives, and Figure 4 shows its development process. Both links are assigned to the Phase element in the ADM diagram, and the person who is navigating through the repository can choose which link to follow:


 Phase Narrative for Business Architecture 1

Figure 3: Phase narrative example for Business Architecture: Inputs, Outputs and Objectives



Phase narrative example Business Architecture

Figure 4: Phase narrative example for Business Architecture: Development Process


Going back to the diagram depicted in Figure 1, and following the Architecture Content Framework link, we can find the ACF Viewpoints, the Metamodel Concept and, the most important, the TOGAF 9 – ARIS Mapping diagrams. Let’s take a look at this diagram. Notice that, for each TOGAF metamodel element (with names written in black or white, depending on the box) there is a corresponding ARIS modeling element whose name is in red.


TOGAF to ARIS Mapping

Figure 5: TOGAF-to-ARIS mapping diagram


The ARIS TOGAF v9 reference content also provides modified ARIS elements as symbols (following the conventions described in the diagram above) that correspond to the TOGAF metamodel elements, thus actually providing those elements, when there are no homonyms in ARIS object set. They are described as “User-defined” and can be seen in the picture below:


Modified TOGAF Objects 

Figure 6: Modified TOGAF objects as seen in ARIS Administration view


Here is a recommendation: as often as possible, architects/modelers should use the TOGAF-modified objects, and use ARIS original, “pure” objects only when a particular semantics has to be enforced, and always use the TOGAF 9 – ARIS Mapping diagram as guideline. This guarantees that the TOGAF metamodel relationship scheme stays coherent throughout the modeling space.

The links from the other two areas – Enterprise Continuum and TOGAF Reference Model are just diagrams to use as reference for TOGAF Content, and are useful when really assembling together material that compose those areas.

In the third part of this blog, we are going to focus on the ADM, the predefined examples and the real-life scenario.

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