Zachman architecture model

ZachmanIn 1987 John Zachman created a model for describing enterprise architectures. The Zachman model is a classic under the architecture models, and one of the first.

A picture of the model can be found here (PDF file).

The model has 6 basic questions (What, How, Were, Who, When and Why) that can be asked to 5 stakeholders (Planner, Owner, Designer, Builder and Subcontractor). This gives a matrix with 30 cells.

The answers to the questions give a general overview of an enterprise architecture. The final architecture description can be based on these answers.

A complete description of all cells can be found here (PDF file).

A problem with the model is that it can create a large amount of paper, when everything is described in full detail. Furthermore, the model is mainly meant for architects, and not very suited for end-users, developers or management.

Zachman describes no method for filling in the matrix. TOGAF (The Open Group Architecture Framework) has an Architecture Development Method (ADM) that can be used for this.

The Zachman model is originally created when John Zachman worked for IBM (He is retired now), and IBM has put the framework in the public domain. Therefore no license is needed for using the model.

This entry was posted on Friday 20 April 2007

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Sjaak Laan

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