Dragon1 EA Method

    Zachman Framework

    About the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture

    On this page we briefly explain and discuss what the Zachman Framework is and how one could make use of it. And... we have the original article for you as download at the bottom of the page.

    Zachman Framework is a diagram with two axes. It was created by J.A. Zachman in 1987 and first was named 'Information Systems Architecture'.

    Axis 1 - The What, How, When, Who, Where, and Why

    This axis is about the first words in 'open'-questions: What, How, When, Who, Where, and Why.

    Axis 2 - Engineering Phases

    This axis is about engineering phases where an idea is transformed into a thing: Identification, Definition, Representation, Specification, Configuration and Instantiation.

    A fundamental structure

    The Zachman institute claims the following: 'there is substantial evidence to establish that our framework is the fundamental structure for Enterprise Architecture. It thus yields the total set of descriptive representations relevant for describing an Enterprise.'

    Historical Versions of The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture




    Definitions of Enterprise Architecture Terms by Zachman

    Zachman appears to define Architecture as a set of primitive models. Zachman: 'If you are not building (and storing, managing and changing) primitive models, you are not doing Architecture. You are doing implementations.'

    A 6 x 6 matrix

    Everyone knows the shape of the Zachman Framework as a 6 x 6 matrix, and every cell contains a set of well known diagrams. You can use the matrix as a report schema to visualize or report what type of information is available and unavailable or what type of situations are known and unknown in a certain enterprise.


    Data (What)

    Function (How)

    Network (Where)

    People (Who)

    Time (When)

    Motivation (Why)

    Objectives / Scope

    List of things important to the enterprise

    List of processes the enterprise performs

    List of locations where the enterprise operates

    List of organizational units

    List of business events / cycles

    List of business goals / strategies

    Business Model

    Entity relationship diagram (including m:m, n-ary, attributed relationships)

    Business process model (physical data flow diagram)

    Logistics network (nodes and links)

    Organization chart, with roles; skill sets; security issues.

    Business master schedule

    Business plan

    Information System Model

    Data model (converged entities, fully normalized)

    Essential Data flow diagram; application architecture

    Distributed system architecture

    Human interface architecture (roles, data, access)

    Dependency diagram, entity life history (process structure)

    Business rule model

    Technology Model

    Data architecture (tables and columns); map to legacy data

    System design: structure chart, pseudo-code

    System architecture (hardware, software types)

    User interface (how the system will behave); security design

    "Control flow" diagram (control structure)

    Business rule design

    Detailed Representation

    Data design (denormalized), physical storage design

    Detailed Program Design

    Network architecture

    Screens, security architecture (who can see what?)

    Timing definitions

    Rule specification in program logic

    Function System

    Converted data

    Executable programs

    Communications facilities

    Trained people

    Business events

    Enforced rules

    Rules of the Framework

    Zachman defines 7 rules for using huis framework:

    1. Rule 1: Do Not Add Rows or Columns to the Framework
    2. Rule 2: Each Column Has a Simple Generic Model
    3. Rule 3: Each Cell Model Specializes Its Column’s Generic Model
    4. Rule 4: No Meta Concept Can Be Classified Into More than One Cell
    5. Rule 5: Do not Create Diagonal Relationships Between Cells
    6. Rule 6: Do Not Change the Names of the Rows or Columns
    7. Rule 7: The Logic is Generic, Recursive

    Zachman vs TOGAF

    TOGAF as an approach to realize TOGAF-type-architecture and Zachman as a framework to get ideas for what models and diagrams to make or look for, is a good fit. In practice there is often not enough time available to create all the Zachman models and diagrams, your people make selections of the most important ones.

    Zachman vs Dragon1

    Zachman sees enterprise architecture as a set of (written down) primitive models. The Dragon1 open EA Method sees enterprise architecture as a total concept of an enterprise. And that total concept consists of coherent concepts. These concepts consist of elements (at a logical level) and components (at physical) level and technical products (at implementational level). The Dragon1 EA Framework recognizes all the (logical and physical) models and diagrams of Zachman but adds other (conceptual and meta) models and diagrams to that.

    A big difference or even maybe the main difference between the Zachman model and Dragon1 open EA Method is that Zachman makes the elements like process 'mandatory' to use an architect, whereas Dragon1 open EA Method states that if you as architect use business concepts that contain the element 'process', only then processes will become part of the architecture of your enterprise.

    So you might as well have an enterprise architecture without any of the elements that Zachman defines as mandatory. This means that from a Dragon1 open EA Method perspective Zachman is not a framework for enterprise architecture but a reference enterprise architecture for common process oriented - enterprises and organizations.

    In other words: Zachman limits the enterprise architectures that can be designed by an enterprise architect using the Zachman framework. And Dragon1 open EA Method does not limit the enterprise architectures that can be designed by an enterprise architect. There are no mandatory concepts or elements to use.

    When working with Dragon1 open EA Method, the Zachman framework example still is a valuable guideline for discovering primitives in your organization.

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