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RE: RE: A Two Day Workshop for Software Architects

software architect workshop
> From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) [mailto:clbullar@i...]


> Ummm.... "a series of self contained, mutually suspicious, 
> marginally cooperating" customers is a perfect 
> description of the enterprises some of us build 
> software for.  In my case, cops and lawyers, the first 
> of whom work in fortresses and the second of whom 
> live in them. :-)

Yeah, it is a good description. But then, many of the enterprises some of us
build software for are dysfunctional. I don't think imitating that
dysfunctionality in the techniques for modeling the enterprise provides a
rich enough framework for *successful* efforts at enterprise-wide
integration. But to be sure, many of the techniques that do point to the
right way don't offer enough real-world advice for addressing the political
and cultural challenges that can kill a project. The enterprise architect
needs to be both a politician and an engineer.

Of course, I may be coming at this from a different angle from you. The
domain of my experience is that of corporate IT, not governmental agencies
(though I did work for a pharmaceutical company, at one point, that needed
to contend with regulatory agencies such as the FDA).

This ObjectWatch seminar seems to offer an approach that views the diversity
within the enterprise as a sort of warlordism, rather than as a federation.
In practice, that is often the case. But more enlightened and mature
enterprise learn to act more as a federation. I would think a sound
enterprise architecture would want to base its lessons upon best practices.
Indeed, a sound enterprise architecture can provide a basis for business
process reengineering, not simply building systems, by putting light on
those aspects of the enterprise that are misaligned with its goals.

In one slide, there is a picture of what it terms "the traditional view of
the enterprise". What it presents is a three-tier *system* architecture, not
an *enterprise* architecture. It then offers a view of systems as autonomous
islands that interact with each other -- with no overarching holistic view
of the enterprise to provide context for these islands. So it *still* is not
presenting an enterprise architecture. 

> I just thought the idea was hilarious.  Maybe not....
> Where is your SES neighbor bunkering down this week?

Yeah, it is hilarious. But I couldn't resist the opportunity to use it as a
segue for pointing people to some resources I've found very useful in the
past in understanding *real* enterprise architecture. It still seems that
few people really understand this stuff, and there is a lot of snake oil out
there that can mislead people.


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