The Architect's Toolkit

The Architect's Toolkit

Tools by Architects for Architects

The Right Tool for the Right Job

While all standards of The Open Group are designed so they can be adopted independently of one another, the greatest value for an organization can be derived when they are used in unison — the sum of the parts should be greater than the whole.

In the Architect's Toolkit, we have collated a portfolio of the most pertinent ones for Architects together in one place.

Additionally, for most of these tools, there is certification available so practitioners can evidence they have the skills required, and recruiters can take the guess work out of the recruitment process — all backed up by our open badges program.

Better Together

Standards and Bodies of Knowledge

Open Agile Architecture™ — A Standard of The Open Group

Empowering an enterprise to succeed with its Digital-Agile Transformation.

The digital enterprise is shaped by people who work in the context of an enterprise’s organization and culture. People working within organizational entities formulate and implement strategy, design business, and operating models, and develop and run products and services.

Open Agile Architecture takes an outcome-based, product-centered approach to enable enterprises to respond to customer needs in a more nimble and Agile manner.

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Digital Practitioner Body of Knowledge™ Standard

Tools and Languages

The Open FAIR™ Body of Knowledge

The Open FAIR methodology is ideal when an Architect needs to quantify and mitigate risk. It is an open and independent information risk analysis methodology based on Open Factor Analysis of Information Risk (FAIR).

The Open FAIR Body of Knowledge consists of two standards:

  • Open Risk Taxonomy Technical Standard (O-RT)
    • This defines a standard taxonomy of terms, definitions, and relationships used in risk analysis
  • Open Risk Analysis Technical Standard (O-RA)
    • This describes process aspects associated with performing effective risk analysis

In addition, the Security Forum has also developed the Open FAIR™ Risk Analysis Tool to help perform quantitative Open FAIR risk analysis as defined in The Open Group Risk Analysis (O-RA) and Risk Taxonomy (O-RT) standards.

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Reference Architectures and Frameworks

The IT4IT™ Reference Architecture

The IT4IT Reference Architecture, a standard of The Open Group, is a powerful tool for aligning and managing a Digital Enterprise. Its flexible, value stream-based approach supports your digital business wherever you are in your journey and wherever you want to go, regardless of whether your primary business outcome is better, faster, cheaper, safer, or some combination of the four.

The IT4IT Standard is used by companies addressing many of today's challenges, whether it be moving to the cloud, deploying Agile or DevOps, undergoing a Digital Transformation, or moving to a product-centric operating model. With a focus on information needed to manage IT and the flow of data between IT management systems, the IT4IT Standard is process-agnostic and useful for businesses of all sizes and industries.

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Commercial Aviation Reference Architecture™ Standard

The Open Health Enterprise Reference Architecture

The O-HERA™ framework is a 12-step framework designed to identify and deliver digital solutions to data issues experienced by health services delivery enterprises and their vendors.

The framework is rooted in deep knowledge of:

  • Health services provider and supplier industries, including the political, technical, and socio-cultural contexts in which they operate
  • The barriers and benefits to using Healthcare IT to solve business problems
  • Best practices and lessons learned from using Enterprise Architecture methods to create efficiencies in industries as diverse as communications, financial services, and defense

The O-HERA framework is designed to be implemented by a wide range of healthcare and IT stakeholders, using the wide range of tools available to them, and tailored to legacy systems.

Download the draft reference architecture here

Dependability though Assuredness™

The O-DEF™ Standard

The Open Data Element Framework, known as the O-DEF Standard, enables basic units of data to be classified, so that equivalences and similarities between them can be easily determined. This simplifies the development of interface software and contributes to improved management and organization of data. The O-DEF Standard facilitates interoperability through the use of a common data vocabulary.

The O-DEF Standard consists of an index and a method for using it to classify data elements. Following this method, a practitioner can tag a data element by assigning a name and numeric identifier to it according to its meaning. The index is federated; comprising a core index and a collection of plugins.

Download the standard here

Service-Oriented Architecture


Knowledge-Based Certifications

The Open Group provides market-driven education and certification programs to ensure that individuals have knowledge and understanding of our vendor-neutral, open standards.

For Architects, certification in the TOGAF Standard is a core knowledge domain and with over 100,000 certifications worldwide, recognizes you as an authority in the principles defined in the TOGAF Standard.

In addition, certifications in the Digital Practioner Body of Knowledge, the IT4IT Reference Architecture, the ArchiMate Specification, and the Open FAIR Body of Knowledge improve breadth of knowledge in their pertinent subject areas and help broaden an Architect's skills base, and you may also be eligible for a TOGAF Role-Based Badge to evidence this broader knowledge.

These certification programs increase the job and salary prospects for candidates and provide confidence to employers and prospective employers.

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Frquently Asked Questions

  • Q. How does the Open Agile Architecture Standard relate to the TOGAF Standard?

    It very much complements the TOGAF approach to Enterprise Architecture, adding to the Architect’s toolkit. Open Agile Architecture takes a socio-technical approach on how to develop and support architecture for digital and business transformation in an agile manner. The two standards can be used together or separately, it is very much the Architect’s choice depending on the engagement, often the combination is the best choice.

  • Q. How does the Open Agile Architecture Standard relate to other standards such as the TOGAF, ArchiMate, or the DPBoK Standards?

    It complements existing standards from The Open Group, one part of what is known as the Architects Toolkit, a portfolio of best practices and approaches for architecting; for users of the TOGAF Standard which is the defacto standard for EA, it provides best practices for Agile EA delivery and EA supporting the Agile Enterprise.

  • Q. How does the Open Agile Architecture fit with other Agile methods like SAFe or SCRUM ?

    Most agile methods, including SAFe and SCRUM, recognise the need for architecture, but they don’t give much detail about how to do it. The Open Agile Architecture Standard and other architecture standards from The Open Group provide useful guidance for architects about how to develop architecture in an agile way, and this fits well with these sorts of agile methods.

  • Q. Is the TOGAF Standard for BUFD (Big, Up-Front Design) and Open Agile Architecture for DAUGA (Design as you go along)?

    No. There are times when both approaches are necessary, the Architect’s job is about achieving the right balance between agility and up-front planning and architecting. It is possible to architect using the TOGAF approach in an agile manner with or without using best practices from the Open Agile Architecture Standard, but together they are a powerful combination. The architect has to make a balance between full agility and total planning; in terms of Open Agile Architecture it means architecting using concepts such as the Minimum Viable Architecture, continuous architecture, intentional architecture and so on.

  • Q. Does Open Agile Architecture Practitioner certification replace any existing certifications or badges, or is this completely new?

    No this is a new certification, an additional learning progression for individuals looking to extend their skills with The Open Group training and certification

  • Q. How does Open Agile Architecture Practitioner certification differ from TOGAF Certification?

    As with the standard, the certification is complementary.  Whereas TOGAF certification has a stepwise progression starting with Foundation, this certification is aimed at experienced individuals, so is a practitioner level exam with a higher pass mark.

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