Enterprise Architecture: Patterns, Strategy & Principles

Instructor: David Gloag
The foundation for a business must be strong, if the business is to succeed. In this lesson, we'll take a look at enterprise architecture, patterns, a strategy for creating them, and some principles.

Architecture for Success

No two businesses are the same. They each have a different set of products, customers, and goals. No big surprise! Still, the success of any business is tied to the strength of its foundation, the structure that the owners put in place to meet those goals.

But will the foundation actually succeed? Will it provide the necessary structure a business needs to move forward and prosper? Nobody really knows. There are a number of factors that come into play, although the odds can be significantly improved by placing your focus in the right area: the enterprise architecture.

Enterprise Architecture

An enterprise architecture is a plan or template that describes how a business will function. It defines the main characteristics that a business needs to fulfill its objectives.

It's important to note that one-size-doesn't fit all. An enterprise architecture will vary depending on the size of the business, the type of products or services it sells, and the goals the business has.

For example, Dell, a computer hardware manufacturer that sells primarily face-to-face, has a different enterprise architecture than a company like Amazon, which sells a wide variety of products and services customers over the Internet. Their products are different, their customers are different, and their goals are different, leading to differences in the overall enterprise.

Enterprise Architecture Patterns?

There will be some similarities however, and ways to optimize how those similarities work. Elements of an architecture, grouped together in this fashion, are known as patterns. Many patterns exist. So many in fact, that some place them into groupings called 'catalogs'. Here are some examples:

  • Enterprise Application Architecture Catalog - focuses on the applications a company implements and how they work together.
  • J2EE Catalog - similar to the catalog above, this group of patterns focuses on Java, and J2EE implementations.
  • Microsoft Solutions Catalog - focuses on Microsoft and Microsoft-related solutions and technologies.

Strategy

An enterprise architecture strategy is the sequence of steps needed to determine an enterprise architecture. A fair number exist. Here is a summary of the basic steps:

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