Enterprise architecture repository

Written by
Reviewed by
Joel Hansen
Joel Hansen


Enterprise architecture repository resource center

An enterprise architecture repository is a critical component of enterprise architecture management. Also called a single source of truth IT repository, it’s typically a central location where enterprise architecture-related information is stored.

1. Introduction

An enterprise architecture repository is a central location where all enterprise architecture artifacts are stored, managed, and maintained.

According to Gartner, Inc: “Enterprise architecture management tools provide a centralized repository to capture data and metadata about the artifacts that an enterprise cares about and their related life cycles.” [1]

2. The importance of an enterprise architecture repository in enterprise architecture management

Using an enterprise architecture repository to show how change impacts the IT landscape improves decision-making. Besides decision support, a single source IT repository saves time when generating a project-start architecture. It also eliminates the need to host workshops to collect and harmonize various homegrown Microsoft PowerPoint and Visio drawings.

Enterprise architecture management teams often use a collection of homegrown tools to store their enterprise architecture artifacts. When their team scales, they see the need for upgrading to an enterprise architecture tool so that artifacts can be stored centrally, reused, shared, and maintained effectively. They then often define objectives around the enterprise architecture repository centered around:

  • Aligning business and IT strategies
  • Improving decision-making
  • Fostering collaboration, and
  • Promoting the reuse of architectural artifacts

How mature is your enterprise architecture management team?

3. Components of an effective enterprise architecture repository

A good enterprise architecture repository can manage and publish model content, including version management, check-in/check-out functions, and role-based authorizations. Different states (as-is, to-be) and versions (draft, under review, published, etc.) can be described in the model repository.
Here are some considerations with real-life examples:

READ: Enterprise Architecture Tools Vs. Excel, Visio, and PowerPoint

API integrations: The enterprise architecture management tool needs to populate and synchronize the repository with available data sources easily

Source: Bizzdesign Horizzon – An example of data integration in an enterprise architecture tool 


Data management: The enterprise architecture management tool needs to deliver fast and simple data management for non-technical users who need to contribute and verify data.

Source: Bizzdesign Horizzon – An example of data management and governance functionality in an enterprise architecture management tool


Data governance and workflows: The enterprise architecture management tool needs to include this functionality to ensure that data is managed effectively and efficiently. [1]
RELATED WIKI: Enterprise architecture governance 

Source: Bizzdesign Horizzon – An example of data maintenance and governance workflow functionality in an enterprise architecture management tool 


Version management to track changes made in an enterprise architecture management tool over time. Role-based access control restricts access to certain features or data based on a user’s role within the organization.

Source: Bizzdesign Horizzon – An example of ‘version management and role-based access control’ functionality in an enterprise architecture management tool 

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4. Enterprise architecture repository best practices

  1. Assign ownership 
    Nominate stakeholders to take charge of maintaining and updating repository assets. Implement standardized processes so that this saves time with data management.
  2. Consider your target group 
    Heavyweight repository users tend to be architects and analysts who need to find, update, and reuse information frequently. Always keep their working methods in mind, and organize them accordingly.
  3. Make use of open standards 
    Use open standards enterprise architecture frameworks, which gives you a usable, simple way to find information. I.e., TOGAF [2], ArchiMate, and BPMN.
  4. Keep the enterprise architecture repository flexible 
    Often organizations have a structure in mind, others just want to bring the information in and think about re-shuffling afterward. Luckily both are options – very rarely do people perfect it upfront. If, later on down the line, the structure doesn’t work, it’s very simple to update and just drag-and-drop to move things around.
  5. Make the enterprise architecture repository a priority 
    When populating an enterprise architecture repository with data, it’s possible to get a holistic view of your current state almost immediately. So, the faster the repository is populated, the faster the ability to adapt to change.

READ: How a centralized repository gives you visibility into application portfolio management 

5. Designing and implementing an enterprise architecture repository

Designing and implementing an enterprise architecture model repository requires careful planning and consideration.

People: Ensure clarity in the enterprise architecture repository 
To begin, set clear goals for your enterprise architecture repository. Define specific objectives such as aligning business and IT strategies, improving decision-making, fostering collaboration, and promoting the reuse of architectural artifacts.

Establish a transparent model ownership structure and document it comprehensively. Utilize tools like the RACI matrix to clarify responsibilities [2]. In automated repository solutions, implement role-based access levels for ArchiMate modeling.

Offer guidance on using the ArchiMate language to suit your organization’s needs. Introduce a Model Style Guide to prevent the emergence of conflicting “dialects” and inconsistent levels of detail across different domains. Encourage the use of organization-specific, reusable model patterns within domain architectures.

Process: Establish effective governance and data quality
Identify and document governance processes, roles, and responsibilities. Utilize traditional formats like flow charts and organization charts to visualize this structure. Ensure the governance process outlines the steps to set up and maintain the model repository in an organized manner.

Implement review processes to uphold a high level of quality. These reviews should focus on maintaining consistency and accuracy in model content and attribute data.

To ensure data quality, regularly review and update information in the repository. This practice facilitates informed decision-making and guarantees the precision of your architecture artifacts.

WATCH: Optimize data-driven decision-making with your enterprise architecture repository 

Technology: Select a suitable enterprise architecture management tool 

  • Select an enterprise architecture management tool that can help you:  Develop a clear folder structure and naming conventions to organize your repository and manage architecture artifacts effectively
  • Implement standardized models and frameworks for consistency and efficiency, fostering improved collaboration and productivity.
  • Integrate your enterprise architecture repository with other tools and frameworks to maximize productivity and support decision-making and future state design.
  • Maintain data quality in your repository through regular reviews and updates, enabling informed decision-making and accurate architecture artifacts.

[1] https://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/enterprise-architectures-role-in-building-a-data-driven-organization 
[2] https://www.opengroup.org/togaf 
[3] https://www.cio.com/article/287088/project-management-how-to-design-a-successful-raci-project-plan.html#:~:text=The%20RACI%20matrix%20is%20a,to%20be%20Consulted%20or%20Informed. 

Enterprise architecture repository

Joel Hansen is a customer success consultant at  Bizzdesign focusing on the DACH region. With over five years of experience in Enterprise Architecture, Joel has specific expertise in Application Portfolio Management. He holds a master’s degree in Information Systems and is a certified ArchiMate practitioner. His professional journey has spanned diverse sectors such as energy, finance, insurance, automotive, and governmental organizations. Joel has consistently delivered impactful solutions in various roles, driving success in enterprise architecture and strategic IT planning.

Frequently asked questions on enterprise architecture repository

1. What is an enterprise architecture repository?

An enterprise architecture repository is a centralized storage system where an organization’s architecture artifacts, components, standards, and relationships are stored, managed, and accessed.

2. Why is an enterprise architecture repository important for businesses?

It provides a structured way to manage, visualize, and analyze the organization’s architecture, enabling consistent decision-making, improved alignment between IT and business, and efficient change management.

3. How can an enterprise architecture repository help in managing complex IT systems?

An enterprise architecture repository offers a holistic view of IT systems, highlighting interdependencies, redundancies, and inefficiencies. As a result, it can assist in optimization, impact analysis, and streamlined change management.

4. What are the key features to look for in an enterprise architecture tool?

Essential features include user-friendly visualization, version control relating to the commit history/ timeline, access control, integration capabilities, metadata management, reporting tools, and support for standard architecture frameworks.

5. Are there any best practices for effectively implementing and using an enterprise architecture repository?

Yes. Best practices for effectively implementing and using an enterprise architecture repository include:

  • Secure executive buy-in
  • Maintain consistent taxonomy
  • Ensure regular updates
  • Train stakeholders
  • Integrate with other tools
  • Periodically review and refine the repository for relevancy and accuracy