In this article, we will compare the differences and similarities of Zachman Framework and the TOGAF Framework (The Open Group Architecture Framework). A quick intro to Zachman and TOGAF
The Zachman Framework is based on the idea that the same complex thing can be described for different purposes in a different way with different types of descriptions. The main goal of Zachman framework is to enable different persons to observe the same thing from various perspectives.
The main goal of the Open Group with TOGAF is to create an industry standard on how to develop architectures. They aim to develop a tool and repository for experience-based, practical information on how to act when it comes to the enterprise architecture processes. Also, it provides a specific technique with particular sets of architectural assets, strategies and deliverables can be integrated.
So as a starting conclusion: Zachman is focused on identifying the different viewpoints that might be relevant for different purposes while TOGAF is focused on the process of developing architectures. The overlap between these two is that TOGAF produces viewpoints as part of the process. Basically, the Zachman framework is used for descriptive representations of any complex models and it does not describe any particular EA method, technique or tool. Closer Comparison of the Zachman Framework and TOGAF
TOGAF is one of the enterprise architecture software tools which provide a far-reaching approach to the planning, design, implementation and management use of enterprise architecture.
TOGAF defines 9 phases as part of the overall process framework to develop enterprise architecture
. However only the “first” 5 phases can be considered an overlap with Zachman. The last 4 phases (E – H) are more unique to TOGAF and deal with the development of enterprise architecture change management and enterprise architecture governance.
Fundamentally TOGAF breaks the architecture down into 4 domains:
• Business - specifies the business strategy, administration, organization and important business processes.
• Technology - presents the software, hardware and IT infrastructure required for the setup of core applications.
• Data - presents the structure of the physical and logical data resources and related information management.
• Application - defines the model and interactions for the application frameworks to be setup to the core company's processes.
TOGAF also includes a set of artifacts in order to enable enterprise architecture team to picture the present and future state of the architecture. These artifacts include Diagrams, Catalogs, Matrices and Deliverables. A total of 75+ have been identified.
The Zachman Framework is much more limited framework and essentially only consists of a matrix view to define a list of viewpoint that might be relevant to an enterprise. The Zachman Framework is a basically a logical structure for organizing and classifying items developed in enterprise architecture. It uses classification methods from engineering and architecture. There are 6 viewpoints in the 6 rows of the Zachman Framework:
1. Row - The Scope (Contextual) – directed to the planner
2. Row - The Business Model (Conceptual) – directed to the owner
3. Row - The System view point (Logical) – directed to the designer
4. Row - The Technology viewpoint (Physical) – directed to the builder
5. Row - The Detailed Representations viewpoint (Out of Context) – directed to the subcontractor
6. Row - The Functioning Enterprise viewpoint
The 6 questions which they have to answer are:
- The Data aspect – What?
- The Motivation aspect – Why?
- The Network aspect – Where?
- The Time aspect – When?
- The People aspect – Who?
- The Function aspect – How?
So now if we map the first 6 phases of TOGAF to Zachman this is where / how they overlap. Again the overlap is on the sets of viewpoints that both frameworks have identified as relevant to describing the enterprise architecture. Also please note as TOGAF is an iterative framework multiple phases would update the same artifact/viewpoint and when mapping this to Zachman you would have multiple phases mapping to the same Zachman matrix itemConclusion
Both, TOGAF and Zachman Framework are bringing value to the ever evolving enterprise architecture practice. Zachman provides a simple overview of the different architecture viewpoints and what questions they answer while TOGAF gives a detailed process approach on how to develop enterprise architecture (and produce the viewpoints).These frameworks allow architects to choose their perspective and provide better results and exactly that is their greatest benefit. Our recommendation is to leverage what you can from each framework, you don’t have to choose!Enterprise Architecture Tools
As you can see below, we are a creator of a best-of-breed SaaS based enterprise architecture tool
. There are various enterprise architecture software tools and all of them have advantages and disadvantages. Our product provides full support for the TOGAF process (the TOGAF ADM and each of the ADM phases) .Our product is also able to produce all Zachman outputs from within our product. This gives you closed loop between process and outputs while fully supporting the top two leading EA frameworks. We make Enterprise Architecture easier so you can focus on developing & maintaining the actual architecture!
keywords: TOGAF, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture Software, Zachman, EA tools