The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) has long set a high standard in enterprise architecture. In fact, it’s the first framework anyone thinks of when it comes to studying or implementing EA.
However, it is not without its competition. Both students and practitioners can benefit from making themselves aware of alternatives such as the Zachman framework, as well as the less well-known FEAF.
So, what is FEAF? What is its primary focus? Is it a serious alternative to TOGAF? In this article, we aim to answer all your questions about the relationship between FEAF and TOGAF.
What is FEAF?
The Federal Enterprise Architecture Framework (FEAF) was first published by the US Federal CIO Council in September 1999. Developed by the US Federal Government, it is designed to increase mission effectiveness and integration between agencies. It helps to promote shared development for federal processes, along with interoperability and information sharing between federal agencies and other government organizations.
FEAF was originally based on the works of Spewak and Zachman, two EA planning and conceptualization specialists. However, it is also linked to information systems planning methodologies from the 1960s and 1970s, giving it somewhat of an old-school approach that does not always mesh with modern EA.
How does FEAF work?
The FEAF framework utilizes a methodical approach. Students become familiar with a comprehensive taxonomy (classification) for enterprise architecture, with the FEAF documentation describing 8 EA components:
- Architecture Drivers
- Strategic Direction
- Current Architecture
- Target Architecture
- Transitional Processes
- Architectural Segments
- Architectural Models
FEAF defines cross-agency business areas called ‘segments’ that transcend federal agency backgrounds. These include patient records, grants, international trade agreements, and so on. It is these segments that constitute the federal enterprise architecture.
These architectures are partitioned into:
- Business Architectures
- Data Architectures
- Applications Architectures
- Technology Architectures
It also incorporates columns from the Zachman framework as well as the Spewak Enterprise Architecture Planning (EAP) methodology.
Who uses FEAF?
Given the background of the FEAF framework, it should come as no surprise that it is primarily used by federal agencies.
Standardizing its usage was intended to promote collaboration and effectiveness, reducing the costs of EA and boosting both effectiveness and ROIs.
How does FEAF relate to TOGAF?
The FEAF framework is fairly well aligned with the TOGAF ADM. Much of its guidance is quite similar to TOGAF Foundation Architecture and architecture viewpoints/ views.
However, the two frameworks have different points of focus. FEAF is heavily oriented toward enterprise architectures. While TOGAF previously focused primarily on IT architectures, it has also expanded over the years to cover other areas such as Business Architecture, Security Architecture, and so on.
In short, FEAF is similar to TOGAF on a basic level. However, it is concerned with different aspects of architecture, and TOGAF has become much more comprehensive over time.
Which is better, FEAF or TOGAF?
The truth is that FEAF and TOGAF were never particularly close in terms of popularity. FEAF is primarily used by US agencies, and much of its appeal comes from its standardized, widespread application within this context. Many outside EA specialists view it as an outdated methodology that does not have unique, useful, or practical advice to suit modern EA programs.
TOGAF, on the other hand, is a more expansive framework. Its matrix is also more comprehensive than FEAF’s, addressing areas such as usability, performance, and security. This has only continued with the release of TOGAF® Standard, 10th Edition, which offers the most comprehensive EA library on the market.
If you are new to enterprise architecture, your best option will be to start with TOGAF. The framework still sets a benchmark for quality with EA. The recently released TOGAF® Standard, 10th Edition offers both a simplified structure and more comprehensive insight into modern components of EA.
Want to find out more about TOGAF enterprise architecture training? Visit the Good e-Learning website today!