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Rene_de_Daniel
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
40,221

This article provides insights into the latest version (2024) of the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework which was initially released beginning of 2023. Based on your feedback, further expansion of the reference architecture content and the acquisition of LeanIX a more sophisticated version has been released.

Enterprise Architecture Framework (EAF) - Change log

  • Updated visualisation of the EAF
  • Practice as a fifth cornerstone of the EAF introduced
  • Introduction of the domain model
  • Updated Metro Map
  • SAP LeanIX modelling of key artefacts

History: The need for a common and aligned framework

Over the course of time, we have seen as Enterprise Architects in SAP Business Transformation Services, both SAP internal as well in the interaction with customers and partners, that different methodologies, artifacts, and approaches are used in architecture engagements. With the creation of a reference architecture the need for a common Enterprise Architecture Framework at SAP was obvious as different departments within the SAP organization produce and consume the content of the reference architecture. Only one common “language” and approach would ensure that information can be leveraged in an efficient and effective way both inside and outside the organization.

SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework

The SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework is centered around the following four cornerstones:

Methodology:

The SAP EA Methodology is based on industry standards (such as TOGAF®, BPMN™, UML®, APQC®) and supports enterprise architect journeys from the definition of target architectures to implementation and continuous transformation. It introduces concepts, artifacts, techniques, and principles.

Reference Architecture Content:

SAP Reference Business and Solution Architecture Content maps the business strategy and architecture to SAP solutions.

Tooling:

EA Tooling supports documentation, adjustment and consumption of EA artifacts complying to SAP EA Methodology.  

Practice (NEW):

The EA Practice is the organizational implementation of EA. It operates enterprise architecture within the organization, by adopting the EA methodology and establishing governance processes incl. change management process for the framework.

Services:

EA Services are supporting transformations by applying the methodology and using EA tooling and reference architecture content. Services can be sourced from SAP, other external providers, or provided by the practice. They can include enablement of different EA target roles in customers’ and partners’ organizations provided

Rene_de_Daniel_0-1719474385409.png

Figure 1 – SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework

SAP Enterprise Architecture Methodology

The SAP Enterprise Architecture Methodology is structured around a well defined set of architecture domains covering the full lifecycle of an Enterprise Architecture engagement:

Rene_de_Daniel_1-1719475007030.png

Figure 2 – Enterprise Architecture Methodology - Domain Model

Definition of domains

Architecture Vision

The Architecture Vision domain focuses on an initial sketch on what the overall outcome of the architecture work is expected to be. To ensure success, relevant stakeholders should be identified and the context from both business and IT should be gathered. This includes already formulated business and IT strategies, which will be refined for the selected scope within the Strategy & Motivation domain. Finally the “statement of architecture work” defines the scope and requirements of what to do in next phasis of the project.

Strategy & Motivation

The Strategy & Motivation domain is the first part of “Business Architecture” deriving objectives (value drivers) from company strategic priorities and long-term goals establishing company's vision. This domain ensures that the enterprise architecture is not only aligned with the business strategy but also motivates stakeholders by clearly communicating the benefits and rationale behind architectural decisions and transformations.

Business Architecture

The Business Architecture domain focuses on describing an organization with reference to all business aspects including capabilities, processes, data, and organizational structure. It facilitates business-led discussions with all stakeholders and decisions on the basis of agreed business terms. It enables communication of business values and impact of architecture work to all stakeholders.

Solution Architecture

The Solution Architecture domain covers reference, base, target, and/or transition architectures focusing on capabilities, processes, data, and organizational structure. The value of Solution Architecture lies in its ability to align technology solutions with business goals and requirements. Solution architectures serve as a bridge between the business side and the technical side of an organization, ensuring that technology solutions are designed and implemented in a way that meets business needs.

Technology Architecture

The Technology Architecture domain focuses on documenting how the target solution architecture building blocks are delivered via technology components (e.g. operating systems, virtualized environments, hardware, networks) and depicts the deployment of organization’s IT systems in specific data center locations.

Roadmap & Transition 

The Roadmap & Transition domain focuses on uncovering project growth opportunities and managing the transition of systems or processes. It involves pinpointing potential advantages, planning migrations, and executing changes to achieve the project's objectives efficiently.

Requirements & Governance


The Requirement and Governance domain is not linked to a particular phase of an architecture engagement, but includes relevant governance artifacts like a risk catalog, architecture principles and captures important architecture decision as Architecture Decision records (ADR).  Requirements are not only collected when creating the statement of architecture in the architecture vision domain, but can come up any architecture domain.

The overview of artifacts is visualized in form of a Metro Map (see figure 3), which depicts the architecture domains in conjunction with the artifacts rendered as stops on the metro map.

Please note that the arrows in the figure outline rather a natural flow than a strict sequence of artifacts. Majority of the artifacts are based on the TOGAF Version 10 standard.

Beside the TOGAF based artifacts, we complemented our framework with additional artifacts which have been proven to be successful in the stakeholder interaction for example the Business Model Canvas (now in its latest version as Sustainable Business Model Canvas) or the Business Context Diagram (complementing the TOGAF Solution Context diagram) 

Rene_de_Daniel_2-1719475349918.png

 

Figure 3 - SAP Enterprise Architecture Methodology – Metro Map

Reference Architecture Content

A key highlight of the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework are the Reference Business Architecture (RBA) and the Reference Solution Architecture (RSA), as both provide standardized and authored reference content provided by SAP.

The SAP Reference architecture can be applied in SAP’s Customer Facing EA ADM and supports multiple of the artifacts outlined in figure 3.

The Reference Business Architecture and Reference Solution Architecture are structured alongside the following four architecture views:

  • Capability View
  • Process View
  • Data View
  • Organization View

Rene_de_Daniel_3-1719475580535.png

 

Figure 4 - SAP Enterprise Architecture Methodology - Overview of core domains & models

The four views cover a business and IT related model and allow the navigation between these two perspectives. Having said that, navigation between different views and respective entities adds significant value, as the content of the reference architecture is an official and authored content.

For further information on the Reference Architecture, please refer to the blog of Maria Goltz SAP Reference Architecture Content: An Overview

Enterprise Architecture Tooling

The SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework is featured by a set of SAP tools, among these are

  • SAP LeanIX EAM
  • Signavio Process Explorer and Signavio Process Manager
  • SAP Business Accelerator Hub
  • SAP Discovery Center
  • SAP Trust Center

Enterprise Architecture Service

The SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework comes along with a set of predefined enterprise architecture consulting service. As every organization is unique in its setup and level of maturity, individual services can be tailored to specific needs. This happens in a modular service approach. Following services build the modular foundation alongside the known architecture domains:

Rene_de_Daniel_0-1719492522741.png

Figure 5 – Enterprise Architecture Service Offering 

The outlined services can be booked individually and are delivered by experienced SAP Enterprise Architects around the world. For further information, please get in touch with your SAP Account team.

Conclusion

The SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework is a comprehensive Framework which combines a sound methodology with a valuable reference architecture featured by a set of tools and supported by service offerings. It offers the opportunity to create a common language and practices within the SAP Enterprise Architecture community with the potential to accelerate and streamline enterprise architecture engagements.

 Interested in learning more about the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework?

If you are interest to learn more about the new SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework you can book our new training offering which is described in this blog: SAP Enterprise Architecture Training - SAP Community Groups

42 Comments
Anup
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

@Rene_de_Daniel excellent coverage of Enterprise Architecture Framework highlighting the details on Methodology, Content and Tools including Enterprise Architecture services offering 

former_member40913
Associate
Associate

Thanks, @Rene_de_Daniel . Very clear and motivating description of why the creation of a unified architectural framework is critically necessary for SAP, especially now.

Stefan_Fassmann
Advisor
Advisor

Great summary, René. Interesting to see all the different service offerings from SAP.

DV
Advisor
Advisor

Thank you so much Rene, very good insights.

 

stevang
Active Participant

Nice, I like the fact "Metro Map" stays as is with the Lean EA toolkit... 

Amin_Omidy
Active Participant
0 Kudos

HI @ Rene_de_Daniel 

A great content and information and thanks for sharing !

I just have a quick question does the "Well-Architected Framework" plays any role in this training ?

Myself as Azure Solution Architect Expert and MCT who works in SAP field with  customers to go to cloud  and also sometimes trains AZ-120, wants to know does this training considered to have this framework included in the materials already .

Since "Well-Architected Framework" is a methodology and also a tool that any customer can leverage in Hyperscalers or even on premises I believe it is one of moderns adopted frameworks plays a crucial role for go to cloud.

Here is just the Azure link for this methodology and tool:

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/framework/

Thanks,

Rene_de_Daniel
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi @Amin_Omidy 

thank you for your question.

We have built the SAP Enterprise Architecture Framework primarily on TOGAF V.10 with strong focus on the alignment between Business and IT.

The "Well-Architected Framework" is currently not part of it.

Thanks for sharing the link here in the community.


Regards,

Rene

 

 

Amin_Omidy
Active Participant
0 Kudos

Hi  @Rene_de_Daniel 

Thanks for your quick remark!

Here is Microsoft Azure Well-Architected Framework link for SAP workload Micrsoft published very recently may help your team in future:

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/architecture/framework/sap/quick-links

Thanks,

0 Kudos

Hi @Rene_de_Daniel 

Thanks for great article explaining Enterprise Architecture Framework, I have one question regrading what kind of architect roles are should  cover this whole framework.  EA, Solution Architect, Integration architect, Technology architect etc? 

Also what are their responsibilities or areas they cover.

thanks

AndreasPoth
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

@former_member9430 

One special characteristic of the SAP EA Framework is that it is consistently linked to other architecture domains.
We link e.g. concepts and reference content of the Solution Architecture to detailed aspects of Data Architecture, Integration Architecture, and Landscape Design.
Therefore it can help to give many roles a good entry point and relate their focus topics with the underlying Business or IT respectively. Our intention is of course to avoid hickups on the way from target/transition architecture definition to the actual implementation.
Of course, any EAF always addresses Business Architects, Solution Architects,  and 😉 Enterprise Architects. 
In customer engagements I had been involved we could also collaborate successfully with business matter experts, IT experts, integration architects and developers, C-level leaders.
Just wanted to add, the colleagues will also outline the target groups of the training.

Jit
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
0 Kudos

@Rene_de_Daniel, we also have the SAP Enterprise Architecture Reference Library which has similar content and it was previously aligned with TOGAF 9.0 onwards.  How does SAP EAF differ to the SAP EARL?  

Rene_de_Daniel
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi @Jit ,

the SAP EAF is first of all an EA Framework. One key corner stone is the SAP Reference Architecture Content consumable through the Signavio Process Explorer (publicly available). The content itself originates from SAP EARL.

Rene_de_Daniel
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert
0 Kudos

HI @former_member9430 ,

as Andreas outlined, multiple architecture roles are covered by the framework. Our training offer takes a holistic perspective of the framework (from strategy to implementation) and is geared towards Enterprise Architects with foundational TOGAF knowledge.  

AndreasPoth
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi @Jit,

the SAP EAF framework consists of the TOGAF(R)-oriented methodology, SAP Reference Content, tools, and services.
EARL is the internal library where the reference content is stored (EA Reference Library).

 

 

palvarbiro
Associate
Associate

I cannot wait to see the upgrade here with LeanIX

joy3130
Explorer

Very interesting article! Curious to know how SAP Enterprise Architecture framework supports Agile architecture development and which phases are amenable to agile principles?

joy3130
Explorer
0 Kudos

Can agile principles be applied to all phases in the ADM?

stevang
Active Participant

 

@joy3130 well, the answer is no, and yes... (at least this is my view)

E.g. agile frameworks like SAFe are frameworks on it's own - stipulating different way of reaching the business goals... I wouldn't say TOGAF and SAFe do not have touching points, but I couldn't see they work together as equals... I would say "no" - this would not work. Its not about artifacts we deliver (any framework we can adjust to more, or less, "ridged" - or more, or less, "lean"), its about "ways of working" - each framework has its on routines... 

On the other hand, if we stick with TOGAF routines and ADM as an umbrella EA framework - this does not stop us to deliver specific activities within ADM in the agile manner - so "yes" we can deliver specific deliverables in each ADM phase, or individual projects etc. in the agile manner (like Scram). This would normally work just fine.

Versa-vise, integrating TOGAF into SAFe routines, where SAFe is as an umbrella - I do not believe it would work (never did try - nor consider to try - to be honest).

At the end, what I always say - any EA framework can broad our knowledge and can help us make more educated architectural decision. Frameworks are only guidelines - not rule books (well, noting new I said)…

 

 

joy3130
Explorer
0 Kudos

Very good, and thought provoking response. 

I think once the business architecture is finalized, agile principles can be applied to subsequent ADM phases, what do you think?

stevang
Active Participant

I would say "B" we can still run in agile manner as well... "A" might be challenging... 

AndreasPoth
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Dear all,

we often see the re-occuring misperception, that agile principles can not be applied to the architecture development method from TOGAF(R) or the SAP Enterprise Architecture Methodology architecture development method (derived and tailored by the TOGAF(R) ADM).

Please have a look at the SAP EA Framework training material or The Open Group material that outlines, how agile principles can be applied to phases, across phases and or across various cycles

joy3130
Explorer

Thanks for the clarification Andreas! Yes, as per SAP EAF and Open Group training material, I see that both Togaf as well as SAP Enterprise architecture ADM embraces agile principles within each phase and across different phases and follows a cyclical approach.

 

DavidsonIzefler
Explorer
0 Kudos

Dear @Rene_de_Daniel 

Congrats!!! Very usefull article!!! #EA #TOGAF #LeanIX

rajeshps
Participant
0 Kudos

Good Day! @Rene_de_Daniel  @AndreasPoth 

Is this again changed? please provide referenced togaf open group related references. Very confusing with phases and versioning.

nmillare
Advisor
Advisor
0 Kudos

Great blog Rene and I love it. Are you working on extending the SAP EA framework to include Clean Core principles?

DriesG
Explorer
0 Kudos

Excellent work, René and thanks for sharing this very valuable content 👍 

Some thoughts about involvement of innovation and how it relates to in the EA Framework:

- besides AI / Automation as very important innovation discipline where would you place the other very prominent topic of sustainability as an EA practice in this framework? 
- where would you place all new architecture artifacts which arises like GenAI, Quantum Computing, Robotics e.g. which might be testet in PoCs, MVP or other proof points while being implemented later in the EA? 

BR, Dries 

 

William-El-Kaim
Explorer

Hello

In the article I just see some drawings, but not a clear description of a methodology or a framework. I'm still struggling to see what is SAP EAF in concrete terms.

SAP needs to disclose now and openly its methodology.  

rajeshps
Participant
0 Kudos

@William-El-Kaim  Very true. Its not clear and not having ample visibility with clear framework or methodology.

Needs proper EAF.

cc: @Rene_de_Daniel 

simonpolovina1
Participant
0 Kudos

Hi @Rene_de_Daniel and @everyone, this version of the SAP EAF has advanced the state-of-the-art, spurring interesting questions and critiques in the responses to this blog thus far. I look forward to contributing to this endeavour. Good work!

Hi @AndreasPoth,

It was mentioned that the proposed framework is based on TOGAF. However, due to many practitioners, TOGAF is not used in real life. I also refer to a research done by Svyatoslav Kotusev that resulted at a book with practical recommendations and CSVLOD model https://eaonapage.com

Will be interesting to hear your thoughts on that.

Hi @Rene_de_Daniel  and everyone,

It is good to remember that any framework is not prescriptive but rather a trial to standardise a way of working. The same was communicated about TOGAF by The One Group.

I would suggest to emphasise that SAP EAF is flexible framework and Architects are supposed to make thoughtful choices to tailor it to specific context and need. We should be reminded to add our human creativity to work not just "enforced" to follow the standards.

What are your thoughts? 

iryna_bintsarovska_0-1720359123711.png

 

simonpolovina1
Participant
0 Kudos

Hi iryna_bintsarovska
I agree. It sets the architectural way of thinking, which leads to the architectural way of working, which leads to the architectural way of modelling.
Enterprises are human endeavours upon which we bring computer productivity to enhance these endeavours without technical debt. That is the remit of EA.
Simon

0 Kudos

Hi @simonpolovina1 ,

As far as I am aware, the way of thinking is not taken into consideration by TOGAF or SAP EAF. Cognitive skills are not developed just by reading about something or passing 30 mins exam.

I am attaching an image that shows how different ways of thinking applied to different levels of Information system. Way of working should start with context, however majority focus on Physical level that refers to documented (prescribed) way of thinking. In my opinion, this is a short-cut to the technical debt. Hope this is not the goal.

Source https://www.globaluniversityalliance.org/research/enterprise-architecture

iryna_bintsarovska_0-1720382363527.png

 

simonpolovina1
Participant
0 Kudos

Hi @iryna_bintsarovska 
Nice diagram. I was involved in constructing it 😊 The way of thinking is embedded in TOGAF but easily overlooked, even in passing the certification. TOGAF is a complete proof of concept and offers a helpful basis for SAP EAF and other EAFs, but we need to explain the cognitive mindset you pointed out. As the diagram suggests, the way of working and modelling applies to all the layers.
Tackling technical debt is only one outcome of EA, which focuses on bringing computer productivity to the human creativity that epitomises enterprise and avoiding going down the technical debt alley in the first place.
Towards endeavor architecture to support knowledge dynamics of societal adaptation - Sheffield Halla... is a paper I co-authored recently to highlight the broader context of EA that I intend to apply to the SAP EAF case study along with informal and formal concert analysis. I plan to publish that work later this year.

 

Rene_de_Daniel
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi iryna_bintsarovska,

correct, the SAP EAF is a flexible framework which needs to be tailored to a given context. The usage of standardised artefacts helps in the ways of working, communication and interaction with stakeholders.

Creativity is required for the tailoring and in particular for potential extension. The understanding of stakeholder concerns will be the driving force to extend the framework. As it is an open framework additional artefacts etc. can be included.

Regards,

Rene 

simonpolovina1
Participant

Hi @Rene_de_Daniel , @simonpolovina1 

My point is that SAP EAF refers to Physical level which is the last one in the way of working. Architects should focus on Contextual, Conceptual (model in mind) and Structural (logical model) levels before learning some standard artifacts. Each level require different skills starting from understanding the context of enterprise as a system and concept (model in mind) creation. 

Stakeholders (users) concerns or wants often are not aligned with a company purpose. And I agree with Gregor Hohpe that this is Architect role to understand this gap as a priority. Then, by applying systems thinking, transcend a current system state to future feasible one.

I believe that your work could help to bring this awareness to the wider audience.

simonpolovina1
Participant
0 Kudos

Hi @iryna_bintsarovska
I agree with your comment about stakeholders, as the discipline of stakeholder management testifies. They are the human interface of the enterprise. They reflect that enterprises are human-run endeavours to which we bring computer productivity. As an EA, our role is to ensure the stakeholders align with the purpose of the enterprise as identified by the metamodel in TOGAF, Zachman, etc., and proprietary and open EA tools (the LeanIX Meta Model and Essential Meta Model, respectively, for example). As you highlight, it is indeed a priority.
The SAP EAF draws upon the upper layers, akin to Zachman, including higher-level artefacts that, as @Rene_de_Daniel indicates, can be added. The way we do architectural work is how we, as an EA, act for all levels based on our architectural way of thinking. That is reflected in our architectural models at all those levels.
Simon

Hi @simonpolovina1 ,

Thanks for referring to Essential Meta Model, which is similar to that published by Global University Alliance (just Context is missed). However, I have a difficulty to map LeanIX Meta Model v4 to any of those two. Therefore, author's way of thinking could be different. And the model just confirms that.

By now, we had to learn enough of lessons from Agile or Design thinking "mythologies" and should apply critical thinking to new methodologies and frameworks. 

Due to many EA practitioners, TOGAF, Zachman etc. are not used in real life. I also refer to a research done by Svyatoslav Kotusev that resulted at a book "The practice of Enterprise Architecture". On the other hand, something that is true and tested by time is not questioned. For instance, we don't have doubts about an accounting equation or that parallel lines don't intersect (at least in 2-dimentions reality).

Enterprise Architecture is still developing and many of us try to find a way of working based on individual perception of reality. Taking into consideration many perspectives could lead to more objective view on EA practice development. And SAP could play an important role in this process.

simonpolovina1
Participant
0 Kudos

Hi  @iryna_bintsarovska 

Being open, the Global University Alliance and Essential Metamodels offer higher fidelity as the metamodel detail can be viewed, whereas LeanIX is proprietary and hence may be encapsulated.

Svyatoslav Kotusev's resources are most helpful.

Considering the perception of reality, EA could appropriate the outer layers of Saunders' Research Onion, e.g. Understanding research philosophy and approaches to theory development (researchgate.net). Ontology (the 'what': metamodel, reference architecture), epistemology (the 'how', referring to the SAP EAF Metro Map in this case), and axiology (principles and constraints) are exhibited in EA, alongside philosophical positions such as pragmatism, which is my view is the most appropriate for EA, as it cuts across positivism and interpretivism, and requires abductive reasoning. Hopefully, we won't baffle others reading this thread - my apologies! (NB: Saunders' Onion is textbook reading for undergraduate and graduate business students, so it isn't rocket science - phew!)

Meanwhile, we can make excellent use of the SAP EAF, enhanced as @Rene_de_Daniel describes in his original post above. The SAP EAF brings EA off the page so it can be used in real life and not only for SAP, as it has broader considerations.

One of my endeavours is to bring the above into EA with SAP EAF as the exemplar. @iryna_bintsarovska, so we don't bore or lose everybody else along the way (unless they are interested), perhaps you and I could have a private chat to move it forward.

Thanks,

Simon

 

 

AndreasPoth
Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Hi @iryna_bintsarovska,
you stated "TOGAF .... are not used in real life". 

You need to understand that TOGAF(R) is a generic EA framework.
That means it has been described in a way that it is/shall be relevant for different types of projects in different industries.
To actually use it, you need to tailor for your concrete EA work or engagement.
What does this mean: you need to decide which activities are helpful for you and which architecture work products are of value for you and you want to go for.

Having this in mind, you will find (successful) EA activities in real life and many companies.

The SAP EA Framework is already a concretization of TOGAF. We have selected the -form our and key customer's perspective- most important concepts, artifacts, techniques, ... for typical transformation projects. We decribed these concepts, artifacts and techniques in more detail than a generic framework could do. Therefore, the still needed (!) tailoring is therefore shorter, less extensive than starting from a more generic framework.

In addition, we added reference architecture content to the framework.
My experience shows that it is significantly easier for customers to start architecture work with example content and adapt it that to their needs and specific situation instead of starting on an empty white board or an within an empty tool.
Of course, it is also possible to map a customer's business architecture to SAP's reference architecture, in case customers did already invest in a formalization of their business 
architecutre.

@Rene_de_Daniel described also the other pillars of the SAP EA Framework.
I could apply different aspects of TOGAF and the SAP EA Framework many times.

Best regards,

Andreas

 

simonpolovina1
Participant
0 Kudos

@AndreasPoth, spot on! It's what makes the SAP EAF such an excellent concrete starting point.