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EA Principles for Application Software


The EA Domain Team for Application Software is built upon five EA Conceptual Principles and six EA Principles for Application Software:

  1. Optimization
  2. Standard User Interface
  3. Mirror Business Process
  4. Business Recovery & Continuity
  5. Security Requirements

1. Optimization

Applications will promote a modular design, support common data structures and use standard development tools.


  • Reusability
  • Minimize impact of rewrites
  • Cost effective
  • Promote scalability of application
  • Minimize duplication
  • Consistency across enterprise
  • Leverage existing knowledge base
  • More rapid application development


  • More complex to develop
  • Define and follow documentation standards
  • Common libraries and routines will be used across the enterprise
  • Agencies may need to change to defined standard development tools


  • Modular application benefits do not justify initial investment in training.
  • Vendor and federal program packages may not support common data structures.
  • Agency resources and/or software requirements may not allow the use of standard development tools

2. Standard User Interface

Applications will promote standardized user interfaces.


  • New user training will be more efficient and increase consistency and predictability in how a new application functions
  • Common expectations of user and support desk staff
  • More familiarity across enterprise at application level (enterprise applications will function similar to agency specific applications)


  • Agencies will adhere to industry/enterprise standards
  • Training requirements will need to be defined
  • Quality Assurance plans will need to be developed
  • Plan or process to promote agency cooperation will need to be developed Counter Argument
  • Standard user interfaces restrict agencies individualization
  • Vendor and federal program packages may not comply with these standards 

3. Mirror Business Process

Applications will align with business plan and mirror desired business processes.


  • Have a defined scope and reduce scope-creep
  • Higher end-user involvement
  • Higher user acceptance
  • Less modifications to final product
  • Would identify unnecessary functions or processes
  • May increase life-span of application
  • Increase customer satisfaction 


  • Agencies will need to develop business plan
  • May increase time spent in planning and analysis
  • Business process re-engineering will be considered when developing new applications
  • Projects will require a project plan, project manager and adherence to project management standards
  • May require a feasibility study to ensure ROI (Return on Investment) and includes developing for the agency vs. the enterprise
  • Requires Quality Assurance process be defined
  • Record retention requirements need to be defined & followed as part of the application 


  • Inflexibility if business process cahnges

4. Business Recovery & Continuity

Applications will have business recovery and continuity plans.


  • Risks and responses to risks will be identified
  • Will reduce downtime
  • Resources required will be better identified
  • Legacy applications will be addressed as part of plan 


  • Plan will be maintained along with the application
  • Adequate resources are available to support application
  • Agencies will develop a disaster recovery plan for their applications & shared applications 


  • Systems have performed well without recovery and continuity plans
  • Complexity of plan may not justify reward
  • Plan becomes out-dated if not maintained

5. Security Requirements

Applications will adhere to defined business process security requirements.


  • Reduced security risks
  • Ability to use common authorization and authentication process
  • Maintains confidentiality of information
  • Less confusion for users
  • Easier method of sharing information across applications
  • Reduce security administration resource requirements
  • Higher end-user confidence


  • Security needs & requirements must be identified early in the planning process
  • Security needs to be continuously re-evaluated
  • Evaluate and utilize enterprise security solution 


  • Limits agencies options
  • Technology may not conform to security requirements

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