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More on EA, DODAF and SOA

In a previous post, I talked about how EA can be used to influence SOA to provide the strategic perspective. Here are some more thoughts along those lines, with some guidance on service-oriented analysis using DODAF views.

I mentioned that SOA should be aligned to the organization's strategic objectives and that EA can help drive this. So how?

The DODAF defines a view called the OV-1 (high level operational concept) that describes/depicts the key entities (i.e. operational nodes), their activities, and interactions in support of the organization's mission(s). So once the organization's strategic objectives are determined, how the organization will execute on those objectives can be modeled using the OV-1. The OV-1 is a simple high level view, but the creation of it forces you to think about how the different groups/sub-organizations will interact to execute the strategic objectives. If you can't figure this out, then you have some unachievable objectives!

With the OV-1 created, you now have the organization's strategic objectives codified in an architectural artifact. Scoping your SOA using the OV-1 and using it as the starting point for service-oriented analysis ensures that your SOA is aligned to the organization's strategic objectives.

As I mentioned earlier, the OV-1 depicts the operational nodes (groups, departments, etc.), their activities, and interactions in support of the execution of the organization's objectives. Since SOA's all about creating and sharing capabilities across different ownership domains, the key things to focus on first from the OV-1 are the operational nodes and their interactions (the activities within each operational node can be useful later for further decomposition). With these operational nodes and their interactions, you have your candidates for the service providers, service consumers, and services. From that point on, it's just further analysis and decomposition to identify the services that comprise your SOA and who should provide them.

So there you have it--step-by-step guidance on how to ensure your SOA is aligned to the strategic objectives of your organization. Of course, this is all easier said than done.

Stay tuned, in a future installment I will discuss how other DODAF views can be used in that further analysis and decomposition.

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More Stories By Tieu Luu

Tieu Luu works at SuprTEK where he helps the U.S. government create and implement strategies and architectures that apply innovative technologies and approaches in IT. You can read more of Tieu’s writing at his blog at