Architecture  >>  IT Architect

Enterprise Architecture

Language: English Source: Other Media: PDF Posted On: 18 Jun 09

Welcome to the inaugural issue of JOURNAL! Software architecture is a tough thing—a vast, interesting, and largely unexplored subject area. As an art, it requires intuition and understanding of well-established architectural disciplines. As an engineering practice, it leads to formation of system models consisting of parts; with descriptions of their shape and form in terms of properties, relationships, and constraints. The rationale for their existence often derives from the system requirements. And of course, everyone has or wants to say something about it!

The richness of this topic is one of the reasons we have launched JOURNAL—Microsoft Architect's Journal. It will be a platform for thought leadership on a wide range of subjects on enterprise application architecture, design and development. Authors will discuss various business and 'soft' concerns that play a key role in enterprise systems development. It will provide a unique source of information previously not available through any other Microsoft offering.

The responsibilities and required capabilities of the architect vary, depending on the particular role that is being fulfilled during the enterprise solutions development cycle. Typically, during the early business and IT strategy phases, the architect provides a supporting role. This involvement serves to add value in visioning and scoping, helping to reduce complexity and risks, and ensuring the strategy is viable and feasible.

The architect also gains knowledge of the business and its aspirations, which will provide the basis for architecture design. The architect can translate between the technology view and business view of the strategy.

As the organization moves into enterprise and project architecture design phases, the architect role becomes much more significant. The architect is responsible for structuring, modelling and design of the architecture.

Finally, as the organization moves through subsequent phases to implement, deploy and maintain the solution, the architect performs a guiding and verification role: ensuring quality and architectural implementation conformance to the design. The architect may also optimise the architecture, as the problem domain becomes better understood. In all stages, the architect will perform as part of the assignment team, and frequently a team will fulfil the architecture role. An indicative list of typical architect responsibilities is:

  • Support business visioning and scoping activities.
  • Translate between business and IT requirements.
  • Communicate with stakeholders, both within business and IT.
  • Weigh different interests.
  • Determine solution alternatives.
  • Create a viable and feasible design.
  • Choose solutions.
  • Manage quality.
  • Manage complexity.
  • Mitigate risks.
  • Communicate.

This requires a diverse range of skills, including knowledge of architecture design, workgroup and communications skills, and consultancy skills.

In this issue of JOURNAL, we reflect the wide variety of architectural issues in today's software industry—from Service-Oriented Architecture and best practices for rule-based systems to the role of blogging in an enterprise solution. Our authors come from organizations throughout the world, and each offers a unique perspective on software architecture and design.

Andrew Macaulay, a technical architect at Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, writes about enterprise architecture design and the Integrated Architecture Framework, and describes a model for enterprise architecture and its importance in helping software architects understand the business as a whole.

David Sprott and Lawrence Wilkes, analysts at CBDI Forum, provide an insight into Service-Oriented Architecture. In their article they outline some of the principles of architecting solutions with services and emphasize the importance of a service-oriented environment.

Gerke Geurts and Adrie Geelhoed, architects at LogicaCMG, discuss communication patterns and their role in defining business processes and services. They assert that such patterns afford decomposition of business processes into business, informational and infrastructural services and the definition of their dependencies, thus providing a solid basis for enterprise information and application architecture.

Kevin Perera, systems architect with Temenos, will present a pragmatic "late-bound" approach using metadata descriptions of artifacts at design time, to make development time implementation of his applications extremely flexible.

Dennis Merrit, a principal in Amzi! Inc., discusses the problem of encoding logical rules, and argues for a rules processing engine-based approach to business automation in which the rules are abstracted from the process.

Clemens Vasters, an executive team member at newtelligence AG and prominent blogger, expounds the merits of Web logs as a means of sharing knowledge and ideas. He describes the lessons he learned while designing and implementing dasBlog, a Web service–based Web log engine built using Microsoft .NET technologies.

Tags: Enterprise Architecture, EA, Architecture, SOA, eBook, Microsoft, Journal, Service, .net, MetaData, architecturejournal,     [SUGGEST  A  TAG]

Created : 2004-01-01      Format : PDF