Enterprise architecture patterns have been defined as any useful idea in a single practical context that will probably be useful to others. But to The Open Group Architecture Framework, these patterns are useful methods for the enterprise architects when putting the various building blocks into a right context. There is no actual common definition of the enterprise architecture patterns. Due to the absence of a standardized pattern, some organizations are only contented to define the common elements found in different enterprise architecture patterns.
Included to the common elements in enterprise architecture patterns are the name, problem, context, forces, and solution. The “name” is a memorable and meaningful way in order to identify the enterprise architecture pattern. This is typically a one-word or a short-phrase identification. The “problem” in the enterprise architecture pattern is the description of the predicament on why the pattern should be applied. It also includes the intended objectives within the “forces” and the “context.” The “context” defines the preconditions on where the pattern can be applied. “Forces” is used to describe the related constraints and how these constraints interact with one another. “Solution” is the element which describes how the intended goals will be achieved. The presentation of the solution usually involves using of graphics and special texts.
Other than these major elements, there are still other common elements in various enterprise architecture patterns like the resulting context, examples, rationale, related patterns, and known uses. Many patterns may also begin with the Abstract which provides the overview of the architecture pattern.
As long as the enterprise architect knows the common elements in different patterns, he can surely be very versatile in using any enterprise architecture patterns even with the absence of the common pattern definition.