The Unified Architecture Method (UAM) defines a methodical approach to the creation of IT architectures. All aspects of IT architecture are covered, from entity modeling, process modeling, network modeling, and modeling of actors and roles. Architectures are defined at the enterprise level or the component level, and every level in-between. The heart of UAM is the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN), extended with additional modeling elements that permit the definition of complete architectures that, by default, include IT security constructs. A methodology supporting this approach is also defined, and includes detailed example architectures.

UAM is described in the book A Simplified Approach to IT Architecture with BPMN A Coherent Methodology for Modeling Every Level of the Enterprise. The book distills the insights a seasoned IT professional gathered over the course of thirty-five years spent studying, designing, deploying, critiquing, and refining IT architectures. This approach, rooted in models, follows a logical process for creating architectures that can unify corporate IT across every level of the enterprise. Anyone involved in IT, IT design, IT management, and IT development would benefit from reading this book—not just IT architects. The book:

  • Demystifies IT architecture – learn what IT architectures are and how they are used;
  • Defines IT architectures – understand the models required and how to create them;
  • Describes the IT Security architectural pattern – this pattern is integrated into UAM, a must in this interconnected world;
  • Describes the architecture life-cycle – learn how IT architectures are created, validated, maintained and used.

In a nutshell, the book and UAM, clarifies what IT architecture is, where it fits within the enterprise, how to produce valid IT architectures, and how to apply the resulting models to advance the goals of the enterprise. Also, with IT security constantly in the news (there seems to be another incident almost every week) IT architectures must include this aspect. This book, and the associated UAM Methodology, integrate IT security right into your IT architecture. Regardless of the methodology that you use, read this book to understand IT architectures and how to integrate IT security into your models! The book is available for purchase directly from Amazon or from iUniverse.

“I applaud the author for accomplishing all that he has. He has taken software development methodologies industry best practices, customized them with his own material — some of which I find refreshingly unique, made them available in a customizable repository, and written this great book on how to use it. This book is nicely organized and easy to read. It does a great job of presenting the material. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about IT Architecture and SDLC (systems development life cycle) tailoring. Personally I think it is a great contribution to the industry.”

“The very best book I’ve ever seen on IT Architecture. And I’ve seen a lot. I am an “Enterprise Architect” in a Fortune 20 company, and have been for decades. This book seems to bring more knowledge together in a single place than any other IT Architecture book I’ve ever seen.”

There is a lot of information about the UAM on this web site, but basically the UAM architecture framework (the set of models as defined in the methodology) is different from other approaches; and using this framework separates concerns for the target audiences in two ways:

  1. Vertically – the top level perspective is for business people, the next level is a mix (Logical models, where lots of decisions are made both business and technical … they go together), the Technical Perspective is naturally very much aimed at all the techies involved.
  2. Horizontally – the Data, Process, Location and People aspects are aimed at and of interest to different sets of stakeholders.

The other important difference is that a methodical and logical approach (i.e., a well-defined development process) is used to define IT architectures. It is not hap-hazard or even arbitrary like many methodologies out there! And the architectures are complete—all interrogatives are addressed.

Finally, this methodology can be applied anywhere within the organization, from EA down to specific systems, and if carefully done all of these architectures are clearly related.

A simplified version of UAM is view-able online here: UAM Online. The methodology provides an overview of notations used and other background information, definition of the processes used in creating IT architectures, along with extensive help and guidance. A very simple overview of UAM using example diagrams is available here: Overview. Background information and the motivations for the creation of UAM, along with an introduction to the methodology is available here: UAM Introduction.