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Architecture Continum's

Enterprise Continum

  • The Enterprise Continuum enables the organization of re-usable architecture artifacts and solution assets to maximize the Enterprise Architecture investment opportunities.
  • The Enterprise Continuum provides methods for classifying architecture and solution artifacts, both internal and external to the Architecture Repository, as they evolve from Generic Foundation Architectures to Organization-Specific Architectures.


The simplest way of thinking of the Enterprise Continuum is as a view of the repository of all the architecture assets. It can contain Architecture Descriptions, models, building blocks, patterns, architecture viewpoints, and other artifacts - that exist both within the enterprise and in the IT industry at large, which the enterprise considers to have available for the development of architectures for the enterprise.

The Enterprise Continuum is a combination of two concepts:

  • The Architecture Continuum — It provides a method of defining and understanding the rules, representations, and relationships present in an information system.
  • The Solutions Continuum — It supports the Architecture Continuum by providing a method to describe and understand the implementation of rules, representations, and relationships found in the Architecture Continuum

Architecture Continum

The TOGAF Architecture Development Method is a process for moving from the TOGAF Foundation Architecture to an Enterprise/Org specific architecture.

The enterprise needs and business requirements are addressed in increasing detail from left to right (as shown in the above diagram). The architect will typically look to find re-usable architectural elements toward the left of the continuum. When elements are not found, the requirements for the missing elements are passed to the left of the continuum for incorporation. Those implementing architectures within their own organizations can use the same continuum models specialized for their business.

TOGAF provides 2 reference models that could be included in an organization’s Enterprise Continuum:

  • TOGAF Foundation Architecture — a set of generic services and functions that provide a foundation for more specific architectures to be developed
  • Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model (III-RM) — It is based on the TOGAF Foundation Architecture to enable and support a Boundaryless Information Flow vision

Foundational Architecture

A Foundation Architecture consists of generic components, inter-relationships, principles, and guidelines that provide a foundation on which more specific architectures can be built. The TOGAF ADM is a process that would support specialization of such Foundation Architectures in order to create organization-specific models.

For The Open Group, this Foundation Architecture is the Technical Reference Model (TRM) and Standards Information Base (SIB).


The Technical Reference Model (TRM) is a component of the TOGAF Foundation Architecture, which provides a model and taxonomy of generic platform services. It is comprised of taxonomy and a graphic


The Standards Information Base (SIB) is a database of industry standards used for:

  • Architecture Development
  • Acquisition and Procurement
  • General Information

The content of the SIB is a collection of works from various sources, including IEEE, ISO, ISACA, WWW Consortium, or the Object Management Group. The content includes guidelines, technical processes, product standards, and other documentation relevant to widely accepted best practices. The SIB is managed by The Open Group.

To be considered for inclusion in the SIB, a specific standard must meet some criteria, including: - Ability to be implemented in a non-discriminatory way - Available of dependent products or services to interested parties. - Implementation of the standard is commercially available. - Organizations are free to develop a practical solution that supports or utilizes the standard. - Future versions of the standard remain available.


The Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model (III-RM) is a component and extension of the TOGAF Technical Reference Model, which addresses the ability of an enterprise to enable Boundaryless Information Flow. Like other components of the TOGAF, the IIS-RM is comprised of taxonomy and an associated graphic representing the taxonomy.

The concept of Boundaryless Information Flow has its roots in the modern enterprise’s growing need for speed, flexibility, and responsiveness in the organization’s ability to work together. The solution is the creation of an infrastructure that integrates the information requirements of the organization and provides integrated access to that information for all members of the organization.

The core components of an III-RM at a high-level are: - Business Applications (BA) - Infrastructure Applications (IA) - Application Platform - Interfaces - Qualities

Common Systems Architectures

Common Systems Architectures guide the selection and integration of specific services from the Foundation Architecture to create an architecture useful for building common (i.e., highly re-usable) solutions across a wide number of relevant domains.

Examples of Common Systems Architectures include: a security architecture, a management architecture, a network architecture, an operations architecture, etc.

Each is incomplete in terms of overall system functionality, but is complete in terms of a particular problem domain (security, manageability, networking, operations, etc.), so that solutions implementing the architecture constitute re-usable building blocks for the creation of functionally complete operating states of the enterprise.

The TOGAF Integrated Information Infrastructure Reference Model (III-RM) - is a reference model that supports describing Common Systems Architecture in the Application Domain that focuses on the requirements, building blocks, and standards relating to the vision of Boundaryless Information Flow.

Industry Architectures

It integrates Common systems components with Industry specific components to create solutions for target customer problems.

Organization Architectures

It represents the deployed solutions for a particular enterprise.

Solution Continum

The Solutions Continuum represents the detailed specification and construction of the architectures at the corresponding levels of the Architecture Continuum. At each level, the Solutions Continuum is a population of the architecture with reference building blocks - either purchased products or built components - that represent a solution to the enterprise's business need expressed at that level.

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