Reuse of Existing Architectures

by David McAfee

Most architectures available to the public are from government entities.  While you may not want to pattern your architecture after that of a government organization, tremendous amounts of effort and thought have gone into these architectures.  Consider basing your architecture on these efforts--you can get your architecture operational earlier by using the information that is available on-line.  Surprising amounts of information is transferable to a new architecture effort.  Most public “keepers of the light”, the enterprise architects, are more than willing to assist by letting you know what areas to emphasize (or avoid) and what processes they used.

How to reuse an architecture

I have seen many attempts to clone an architecture by doing a copy, then doing search and replace to make it applicable to a new organization.  The problems with that are twofold: the organization has not done the buy-in process, and they are overwhelmed with the sheer size of the architecture.  However you can reuse many parts of that architecture.  

If you follow these simple rules, you can reduce much of the effort, and accelerate getting to the ”good stuff” on your architecture.  Many of the consultants hired to create an architecture simply reuse a previously developed architecture (including those done at government expense), modifying it to make it more applicable to the latest customer.

 Let me know if you agree or disagree.

 David A. McAfee


See our links to state Enterprise Architecture sites (

Back To:


Last Modified: July 6, 2001

Click Here!