What is Dragon1?

Dragon1 Open EA Method for Visual Enterprise Architecture

Dragon1 is the open method for working with Visual Enterprise Architecture, as applicable to both profit and non profit organizations.

Making use of architecture designs and architecture principles enables an architect to ensure a more predictable and controllable quality of integrated IT business solutions and strategic innovations for Company Board members and management.

Communication Oriented Visualizations

Organizations increasingly use architecture for a variety of reasons and purposes. For instance governments use architecture as a strategic management instrument to realize chain oriented e-services or digital workspaces. Banking and insurance companies use architecture for instance to align their information systems and to improve the interoperability of business processes with the best possible business support and automation.

dragon1 in one view

Figure 1: Dragon1 at a glance: the four way, including, Dragon1 concepts

In order to professionally assist in the visualizing of integral IT business solutions, the Dragon1 open method is constructed around four distinct ‘modes’:

1. A way of thinking
2. A way of working
3. A way of representing and
4. A way of supporting

This way Dragon1 envelops how to work with architecture for an entire organization. Dragon1 is unique in that it integrates building architecture, business administration and information science in the the method's foundations.

Project-oriented and process-oriented approach

Dragon1 is build around a process model, a service model and a product model, enabling controlled, structured and repeatable creation and usage of enterprise architecture designs, reference architectures and architecture descriptions in projects and in organizations.

Dragon1 process model

Dragon1 enables architects to create an architecture design in a controlled way of a new, durable and sustainable enterprise-wide structure or framework - for instance, in the case of creating the architectural design for an IT infrastructure, an information facility or an enterprise wide integral IT business solution such as e-Self service.

In an architectural design there are different and sometimes contradictory stakeholder and client requirements. They need to be approved in a weighed manner to create a coherent set of needs. The architectural design itself is an input to engineers for realizing a solution or structure on the basis of distinct project phases.

Dragon1 service model

Dragon1 aims to have architects, clients, stakeholders and engineers collaborate more often and more frequently and more effectively to become more successful in working with enterprise architecture. For this purpose we recognize the importance of an architecture services model: to Inspire, to Create, to Communicate and to Control.

Dragon1 product model

For architects, clients and other stakeholders including employees, customers, contractors to perform better together and to be more successful in the application of enterprise architecture, Dragon1 recognizes the importance of incorporating the use of a product model.

The Dragon1 product model enables architects to create architecture products, such as design books for structures or integral IT business solutions, effective in supporting strategic management decisions by Board members and management.

Dragon1 focuses on an entire organization with various generic architectures, such as security architecture, technical architecture, information architecture, business architecture and enterprise architecture. Every architecture defines specific architecture products, product parts and partial products.

Basic Principles

Unlike other methods, such as the American TOGAF, the European Dragon1 is based on the following three principles.

1) By focusing, as an architect, on creating architecture designs of structures or a companny IT business solution, stakeholders are assured that they obtain more usable architecture products,providing insight and overview, which assists them to make better decisions.

2) By looking at the conceptional level of an organization, rathet than the component level in accordance with the Dragon1 architecture definition, the architect is assured of of being able to make complex systems simple and professional. This allows more governance of innovation as well as more risk control by the Board and management.

3) By using the new Dragon1 definition of architecture principles, according by which principles are all about the enforced way concepts work and produce results, it is ensured that solutions have more predictable quality in the organization and produce better results.

Read more about principles on the Dragon1 Standard Specification:


The name Dragon1 method

Dragon1 method adopted its name from the uncomprimising Dragon, and its strenght comes from its ability to create a greenfield in seconds, enabling the creation of new and better things. Architecture forces us to view the context of change and the impact change creates. The ‘1’ in the name indicates that architecture precedes design and projects. So here you have it: an 'Open Group' certified Dragon1 accepted for its high standards.

Dragon1 has been under continuous developementsince its inception in 2002 by the Dutch company Dragon1 Inc. It became sustainable for further development by the Dragon1 Architecture Foundation from 2007 onward.

Need more information?

If you need to know more about Enterprise Architecture or contact the Dragon1 Architecture Foundation, or an ATO (Dragon1 accredited training organization), or an ACO (Dragon1 accredited consultancy organization).