Historically, many organizations develop enterprise and software architectures in isolation from each other, or they try to reconcile them manually. This isolation causes several problems:
- It limits the value of the enterprise architecture, because it might deviate from reality.
- The development teams might inadvertently contravene the enterprise architecture, as they are unaware of its contents.
- It's not possible to analyze the traceability to identify traceability gaps between enterprise and software architectures.
- Individuals don't know where to find, or don't have access to, the various models that they might need. For example, a software designer might not know how to get access to the enterprise architecture but might need to see it.
By using IBM® Rational® Jazz™ technology (see jazz.net), it is now possible to link elements in an enterprise architecture stored in IBM® Rational® System Architect with model elements stored in IBM® Rational® Software Architect extension for Design Management (sometimes called Design Manager). This capability has several benefits:
- Saves time by making it quick and easy to navigate to the right part of an associated model
- Improves application quality by helping to ensure that application architecture conforms to enterprise architecture
- Facilitates reporting and gap analysis between enterprise and software architectures
If you'd like to see how to set it up - then I recently wrote a developerworks article with Jas Atwal - which walks through the steps, and also shows some of the analysis you can perform once it is set up. The article can be found here.