Managing changes in the enterprise architecture modelling context
Enterprise architecture (EA) models the whole enterprise in various aspects regarding both business processes and information technology resources. As the organisation grows, the architecture of its systems and processes must also evolve to meet the demands of the business environment. Evolving an EA model may involve making changes to various components across different levels of the EA. As a result, an important issue before making a change to an EA model is assessing the ripple effect of the change, i.e. change impact analysis. Another critical issue is change propagation: given a set of primary changes that have been made to the EA model, what additional secondary changes are needed to maintain consistency across multiple levels of the EA. There has been however limited work on supporting the maintenance and evolution of EA models. This article proposes an EA description language, namely ChangeAwareHierarchicalEA, integrated with an evolution framework to support both change impact analysis and change propagation within an EA model. The core part of our framework is a technique for computing the impact of a change and a new method for generating interactive repair plans from Alloy consistency rules that constrain the EA model.
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