[¤1] Introduction to Building Blocks   

[¤2] Introduction to Building Blocks

[¤3] Overview    Generic Characteristics    Architectural Building Blocks    Solution Building Blocks

[¤4] Overview

[¤5] This subsection describes the characteristics of building blocks. The uses of building blocks in the ADM is described separately, under Building Blocks and the TOGAF Architecture Development Method.

[¤6] Generic Characteristics of Building Blocks

[¤7] Building Blocks have generic characteristics as follows:

[¤17] A Building Block is therefore simply a package of functionality defined to meet business needs. The way in which functionality, products and custom developments are assembled into building blocks will vary widely between individual architectures. Every organization must decide for itself what arrangement of building blocks works best for it. A good choice of building blocks can lead to improvements in legacy system integration, interoperability, and flexibility in the creation of new systems and applications.

[¤18] Systems are built up from collections of building blocks, so most building blocks have to interoperate with other building blocks. Wherever that is true, it is important that the interfaces to a building block are published and reasonably stable.

[¤19] Building blocks can be defined at various levels of detail, depending on what stage of architecture development has been reached.

[¤20] For instance, at an early stage, a building block can simply consist of a grouping of functionality such as a customer database and some retrieval tools. Building blocks at this functional level of definition are described in TOGAF as Architecture Building Blocks (ABBs). Later on, real products or specific custom developments replace these simple definitions of functionality, and the building blocks are then described as Solution Building Blocks (SBBs).

[¤21] More detail on each of these aspects of building blocks is given below.

[¤22] Architectural Building Blocks

[¤23] Architectural Building Blocks (ABBs) relate to the Architecture Continuum, and are defined or selected as a result of the application of the Architecture Development Method.

[¤24] Characteristics

[¤25] Architectural Building Blocks:

[¤30] Specification Content

[¤36] Solution Building Blocks

[¤37] Solution Building Blocks (SBBs) relate to the Solutions Continuum, and may be either procured or developed.

[¤38] Characteristics

[¤39] Solution Building Blocks:

[¤44] Specification Content

[¤45] Solution Building Block specifications include the following as a minimum:

[¤54] Copyright The Open Group, 1998, 1999