Navy tries a new tack with EA

The Navy Department chief information officer’s office is trying to make it easier for program managers to position information technology initiatives within the Global Information Grid.

The Navy recently issued Version 2 of its enterprise architecture, which provides a management view that aligns the service's various architecture projects with the Navy's goals and objectives.

The document introduces the concept of architecture federation. Rather than strive for a single architecture, the service seeks to create relationships among existing and divergent service architectures and maximize the reuse of their common components.

The management view defines a domain as a comprehensive mission area incorporating subordinate mission areas and their associated programs.

The size of the Navy Department’s enterprise and the diversity of its missions make it impossible to meet all the needs with a single integrated architecture, the document states.

“A federated approach to architectures is essential,” the document states. “The DON EA management view categorizes architecture development (e.g., warfighting, business or infrastructure domain) and positions related architecture efforts for federation into a larger enterprise view. As a result, DON decision-makers will be better informed and able to make more accurate and timely decisions.”

The management view’s approach to a federated architecture involves cataloging departmental architecture development to let users identify and build relationships.

“Federation techniques allow disparate architectures to be meaningfully related through the DON EA and permits the acceleration of new architectures to support DON decision-makers,” the document states.

Two key elements were identified as part of the architecture federation process: maximizing the reuse of existing architectures and shifting from the product-centric approach taken by the Defense Department Architecture Framework to a data-centric architecture approach that focuses on common semantics.

Buxbaum is a freelance writer in Bethesda, Md.

About the Author

Peter Buxbaum is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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