Enterprise Architecture: A comprehensive but
Companies are facing an environment which gets more competitive every
day. Competition becomes wider and faster (everywhere and all
the time). The pace of change is increasing. So does uncertainty.
In this context, organizations are seeking how they can develop their agility.
IS/IT has a role to play in the development of the flexibility
of the enterprise. IS/IT solutions have usually been built over time in
successive generations. Consistency of the overall applications
portfolio was seldom a priority. Complexity has grown in the
IS/IT landscape, often hindering the development of the business instead
of enabling it. Today, Enterprise Architecture appears as a key solution
to set the information systems in order and align them to the
This involves playing on several fields at the same time from business
process optimization to IS/IT simplification. Many approaches exist to
help in these areas but none of them is simple and comprehensive enough
to provide a general answer to the problem. Our objective is to get the
best out of all these initiatives to deliver a public,
state-of-the-art, comprehensive yet easy to understand set of best
practices to help companies in solving their complexity challenge.
The CEISAR aims at delivering white papers which are practical
and ready to use in companies today. Our work is not lab research but
hands-on pragmatic findings from the best practices of international
You will discover our white papers are very consistent as they reuse a
condensed set of key concepts. We have tried to use as few terms as
possible. They are available in this glossary.
Our white papers can be freely downloaded. We welcome any feed-back
or contribution to make them even more useful to contact (at)
You can also read the story of George
The Baker for a playful introduction to the concepts of
English versions of CEISAR white papers
||10 concepts to analyze an Enterprise System
|Business Information Modeling
||How to define Business Entities
|Business Process Modeling
||Business Process Modeling
||Introduction to Enterprise Architecture - The Baker Tale
|Business Information Modeling
||Most common Business Entities
||How to simplify Legacy Systems
||Rule Engine to simplify Legacy Systems
||Enterprise Architecture Governance Executive Summary
||Enterprise Architecture Governance
||Introduction to Business value of EA
||Some Enterprise Organization Scenarios
|EA and Agility
||Enterprise Architecture and Agility
||Some Enterprise Organization Scenarios
||Foundation Executive Summary
||Language of Transformation
||George The Baker
Livres blancs du CEISAR en français
||(Dernière) date de publication
||Architecture d'Entreprise et Agilité
||Comment intégrer des Progiciels dans une Architecture
d’Entreprise - Executive Summary
||Comment intégrer des Progiciels dans une Architecture
||Architecture Métier - Executive Summary
||Impact du Cloud Computing sur l'Architecture d'Entreprise
||George Le Boulanger
Découvrez les aventures de George
Le Boulanger pour une approche ludique des concepts de la
CEISAR provides courses for executive training delivered at
CentraleSupelec. Our training is based on the small number of concepts
we have developped and a rich set of real-life case studies.
You might enjoy sharing with other companies in one of our standard
courses. Executive training can also be customized to fit your specific
requirements. We are ready to build specific case studies and provide
coaching after the training course to make sure our concepts deliver the
value you expect on the field.
Executive Education Website
The CEISAR is involved in the continuous improvment of the courses
taught at Ecole Centrale Paris in Computer Science and MIS. Our students
get an introduction to Enterprise Architecture featured with examples
from international companies. They learn how to model and manage the
complexity of the business and its related IS/IT components.
An applied research center from a top French engineering school
The Center of Excellence in Enterprise Architecture is an applied
research center from CentraleSupelec,
sponsored by leading international firms and delivering best practices
through white papers and executive training in Enterprise Architecture.
Objectives and guiding principles
Make it simple
Most companies are facing accelerated competition in a globalized
context. In this hostile environment, IT is a tremendous opportunity to
gain a competitive advantage. Alas, the complexity of IT applications
has often grown to an extent where IT is more a constraint to business
agility rather than an enabler.
Reducing complexity in information systems is a major challenge for
business and IT partners. This requires the ability to speak the same
language and identify the fundamentals of the company : business basics,
business and organization processes, and the related IT data and
services. All this can be shared and reused and forms the heart of the
architecture. Having a common architecture accross the enterprise is key
to reducing complexity and restoring business agility.
With a myriad of expert groups trying to standardize a part of the
equation (from enterprise architecture to SOA, BPM, MDA, ...), it is
increasingly difficult to get a complete and simple picture of this
topic. Our objective is not to create a new expert group which will add
new concepts, rules, and advice. Based on the experience of business and
IT professionals and architecture experts, the ambition of the CEISAR is
to take advantage of all the good ideas which have been already
delivered by existing groups, and make them accessible through
standardisation of language, and formalisation of best practices.
What does the CEISAR deliver?
The CEISAR delivers white papers and executive training on best
practices in enterprise and IS architecture based on real life examples
from our sponsors and partners.
We believe in :
- simple terms, to develop the essence of the subject and avoid
unnecessary complexity for the business leader
- a common glossary of terms, for all key stakeholders to speak the
same language and understand each other
- fact based publications and training, to build on current best
practices as they occur in international corporations today
Our publications are fully public and available on the web. We hope to
link with any institution willing to formalize and develop best
practices in enterprise architecture.
You can contact us at : contact (at) ceisar.org
Naming things badly adds to the
misfortunes of the world. (Albert Camus - 1944)
- The selected terms must be understandable for both
- The definitions should be
short and extendable by Role
- The glossary concepts start with a
- No homonyms
- Service: Business-Service, IT-Service, Software-Service, by
default means "Business-Service"
- Architecture: Architecture Model or Architecture Discipline, by
default mean "Architecture Model"
- Task executed by an
Can be a
Process or a
Function or an
Recursive: an Action is decomposed into Actions. Always named by a
- Group of
Functions of an
Organized Process executed by the same
Actor at the same time.
Example: taking an order and the delivery are both Activities from the
same Order Process.
- One who executes an
A difference is made between a
machine or "digital object") or an
Assisted-Actor (when a Human-Actor
and an IT-Actor are combined).
- Agility and Reactivity
- Agility is the ability to
Transform fast and well. It enables us to
reduce the time between the arrival of a new idea and its availability
in the Enterprise
Reactivity is the ability to Operate fast and well.
Transformation process. We generally distinguish:
Linear Approach: each stage must be finished before starting on
the next one (e.g., define all requirements before starting to
Agile Approach: we proceed by iteration
- Architecture has 2 meanings:
Architecture Description represents the structure
(in the sense of structuring elements) of a
Model (cf. IEEE 1471
Architecture Discipline represents the
Processes to build the Architecture Description.
- Building a Model
Action of creating a new
Model or of modifying an existing Model.
After being Built, the Model must be
- Business Process
Function chain (excluding Organization Functions) triggered
by an independent Business Event and executed to deliver
Value to an
Actor who is the "customer" of the Process.
Example: Hire a new employee, Handle an order, Sell a Product...
- Business Solution
Solution whose needs are specific to a Business, such as
It is often a Solution that enables us to differentiate ourselves from
- Enterprise Capability is what the Enterprise is capable of doing
- Commodity Solution
Solution whose needs are the same in different Businesses.
E.g., Solutions for accounting, payroll...
They are relatively stable and are often implemented as Software
Packages or Cloud services.
- Defines what the
Actor knows how to do (and not "should do"). For
IT-Actors, the competence is called "Configuration".
- Enterprise employee behavior
- One for whom the
Product is intended.
A Customer regroups different roles which may or may not be carried
out by the same individual or legal entity:
- Part of the
Transformation Process that aims to adapt the
Resources to the new
Model that has been
reorganization, training, installing IT hardware, loading software,
data migration, adapting the premises,...
- An Enterprise is an agent that brings
Value to its Customers through
It covers not only capitalistic Enterprises, but also public
institutions, universities, research centers, associations...
An Enterprise may be a legal entity, a subpart of a legal entity or a
network of legal entities.
- Enterprise Architecture
- The Enterprise Architecture Description represents the structure of
the Enterprise Operation
Model and Transformation Model.
It generally takes the form of maps, which provide a global view, in
order to better understand a complex Model: Process Map, Entity Map,
Function map and Solutions map are the most frequently used.
The Enterprise Architecture Discipline represents all the
Transformation Processes and principles necessary for building the
- A Fact is a piece of
Information describing the reality either in
Operations (e.g., data on a
Customer) or the
- Function (or Rule)
Action within a
Process. A Function can call other Functions. The
same Function can be reused in different Processes.
A Business Function is independent of the Organization chosen by the
Enterprise. Example: "verify a piece of information", "calculate a
An Organization Function is added to implement the Organization.
Example: "verify authorization".
- Groups together everything that can be reused for the common good in
Reusing Models is a way of creating synergy and harmonizing the work
methods in the different Organization Units.
- What the
Enterprise would like to reach at the end of a
Transformation. Not to be confused with
Enterprise Model: the Goal
describes "why" we Transform, whereas the new Enterprise Model
contains the "how".
A Goal includes:
- The scope: geographic,
- The objectives (productivity, time to market, new product, new
Market, new partners,...) and the related indicators
- The constraints on the
Transformation Program: budget,
deadlines, extent of involvement of internal teams, Approach,...
Model of the way the outside world perceives the
(customers and prospects, partners, competitors and the authorities).
- That which enables the brain to communicate, both in input and
A piece of information is either a
Fact or a
- Real or virtual space where
Products are exchanged. A space is
defined by all or part of the following dimensions:
E.g., vehicle market for seniors in Asia
- Representation that simplifies the real world to better apprehend,
memorize, communicate and modify it.
The Model can be
global via Maps (business Entity maps, Process maps,
Function maps, Block maps, Service maps...) or
Actor Model: Formalizes the
Role of the
Action Model: Describes the instructions given to an Actor to ensure
the proper execution of the
- For Human-Actors, the instructions are
(procedures, user guide, instruction manual, recipe,...)
- For IT-Actors, the instructions are
- For Assisted-Actors, the instructions are documentation +
Process Model ("Sell", "Produce", "Manage")
- the Model of the
Functions which make up the Processes ("Fixing
the price", "Print").
Enterprise Model: Formalizes the running of the
. It includes
the Models that can be formalized:
- The Product Model
- The Execution Model
- The Operation Model
- The Transformation Model
- The Financial Model
and the Models that cannot:
Image (for outside the Enterprise)
Culture (for inside the Enterprise)
The Execution Model has 3 parts:
Actor Model: the Human-Actor Model is called "
(Seller, Producer, Administrator), the IT-Actor Model is called "
IT-Configurations" (Hardware, Software, network).
Information Model of the Customer, Product, Contract,
Information Model (or Data Model)
Defines the common Business language, the Object Models, their
relations and inheritance.
Describes how the Objects are identified, versioned, linked together
and detailed with Attributes and Types.
An Execution Model which describes the Operations: Production Model,
Distribution Model, Resource management Model, Management Model.
Formalizes the Product decomposition, its Utilization Model, its
Production cost and the
Formalizes the Production cost of the Service and the Value it brings.
An Execution Model which describes the
: to Define the
, Define the Architecture and Foundation, Build the Model and
Deploy the Model.
- Identifiable element from the real world. For example: Mr. Smith,
Mr. Smith's Contract, Mr. Smith's Account...
Business Object is required for the Business, independently of the
Enterprise Organization. Example: Product, Customer, Contract or
Organization Object is required for the Organization of the work.
Example: Organizational Unit, Position, Rights, Duty, Role.
- What the Enterprise Distributes. The Offer Model is made up of:
- the Product(s) or Service(s) that constitute(s) the Offer
- the conditions of the Offer (cost, eligibility)
- the Value the Offer brings
- All the
Resources that contribute to delivering the
Product to the
Customer: essentially, Produce, Distribute, manage the
Resources and Drive the Enterprise.
- Organizational Unit (or Unit)
- Node of the hierarchical structure of an Enterprise like Management,
The smallest Organizational Unit is that of Position, to which we can
only allocate one
Example: "Sales rep N°2 in branch X", "Assistant to the CEO".
IT-Actors are assigned to Organizational Units.
- Organized Process
- Set of Business Process Functions triggered by an Organization
Example: the Business Process "Manage a Customer Order" can be
expressed in two Organized Processes "Get the Customer Order"
triggered by the Event "Customer inquiry" and " Deliver the Products"
triggered by the Event "The truck is full".
Object which brings
Value to the
A Product can be
Goods (like a car or a sandwich or electricity), or
Information (like News, customer data or a Model), or a
Goods and Information are stockable, a Service is not.
A Product line is a set of similar Product Models.
- Means that are required to execute Operation and Transformation
They are first and foremost the
Actors: Human-Actors and IT-Actors,
but also the Information, financial means, premises, Components,
supplies and equipment.
- Reusable Component
- Model elements that can be assembled to build more important Models.
There are 2 types of Components:
- Product Components which are part of the Product Model
- Solution Components which are part of the Operation Model
- Reuse and Sharing
- Definition of the Shared Resources or Reusable Models grouped
together in the "Foundation".
- Rights and duties of an
Actor. Not to be confused with an Actor's
- Coherent grouping of Action Models and Information Models. A
Solution is both
Solutions have different levels of granularity: for example, a CRM
Solution gathers together Processes, whereas a Pricing Solution
gathers together Functions.
- software for the IT-Actors, called "Application"
- documentation for the Human-Actors describing Processes and
- Solution Component
- Model element which is reusable by different Solutions: Class,
Function, information model, type, pattern…
Black Component (public interface, hidden
implementation like a "black box") from the
White Component (inheritance, types, patterns).
- Creation/Modification of an
Enterprise Model and adaption of the
Resources to this Model.
- Transformation Tools
- Tools to support the execution of the Transformation Functions.
E.g., Tools for simulation, mapping, requirements management, Process
modeling, analysis/design, Development, programming, quality control,
collaborative work, tests, configuration management, documentation,
- What the
Customer seeks: satisfy the basic needs, security,
knowledge, image, simplicity, comfort, power, pleasure,...
The basic Value includes the essential functionalities of a
Service: a vehicle enables us to get about with a certain degree of
comfort, safety and performance.
- Presentation of a part of a
Model adapted to an
Actor. The same
Model has to offer different views: one for the Business expert, one
for the IT developer, one of the operational actor, one for the
- The Vision describes the Transformation
Goal (why are we
Transforming?) and the new
Enterprise Model, which enables this Goal
to be satisfied (the new Offer Model, Operation Model, the new
or the new