The Zachman framework

In 1987, John Zachman created a model to help documenting enterprise architectures. The Zachman model is a classic under the architecture models, and one of the first ones. A picture of the model is shown below.


Figure: Zachman framework

The model has six basic questions (columns) which must be answered by each of six viewpoints (rows) in order to describe an architecture. The basic questions are: What, How, Where, Who, When, and Why, and the viewpoints are:

  • Scope (as seen from a planner)
  • Business model (as seen from a business owner)
  • System model (as seen from a designer)
  • Technology model (as seen from an implementer)
  • Detailed Representation (as seen from a subcontractor)
  • Functional areas (as seen from the functioning system)

This leads to a matrix with 36 cells. When the cells are filled an overview of the complete enterprise architecture is created. In the cells the document is stated. For instance, the “What” of a Technology model (as seen from the implementer of the system) is a document describing the physical data model.

The big advantage of the model is that it is well known by most architects. It creates a common vocabulary amongst architects and it organizes architecture descriptions quite well.

A drawback of the model is that it can lead to creating a large number op documents, when everything is described in full detail. Furthermore, the model is primarily meant for architects; it is not very suited for end users, developers, or management. It is basically a framework for architects only.

Infrastructure architects could use the Zachman framework to create documents to describe the infrastructure. The relevant fields for infrastructure architecture are grayed in the picture below.


Figure: Relevant fields for infrastructure architecture

Zachman describes no method for filling in the framework. TOGAF has an Architecture Development Method (ADM) that can be used for this.

The Zachman model was 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 Zachman framework.

26 Jan 2015 Added: Here is an interesting interview with John Zachman about the origins of his model.

This entry was posted on Vrijdag 24 Mei 2013

Earlier articles

Quantum computing

My Book

Security bij cloudproviders wordt niet beter door overheidsregulering

Passend Europees cloudinitiatief nog ver weg

Data Nederlandse studenten in cloud niet grootschalig toegankelijk voor bedrijven VS

VS kan nog steeds Europese data Microsoft opeisen ondanks nieuwe regels

The cloud is as insecure as its configuration

Infrastructure as code

DevOps for infrastructure

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

(Hyper) Converged Infrastructure

Object storage

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

What's the point of using Docker containers?

Identity and Access Management

Using user profiles to determine infrastructure load

Public wireless networks

Supercomputer architecture

Desktop virtualization

Stakeholder management

x86 platform architecture

Midrange systems architecture

Mainframe Architecture

Software Defined Data Center - SDDC

The Virtualization Model

What are concurrent users?

Performance and availability monitoring in levels

UX/UI has no business rules

Technical debt: a time related issue

Solution shaping workshops

Architecture life cycle

Project managers and architects

Using ArchiMate for describing infrastructures

Kruchten’s 4+1 views for solution architecture

The SEI stack of solution architecture frameworks

TOGAF and infrastructure architecture

The Zachman framework

An introduction to architecture frameworks

How to handle a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack

Architecture Principles

Views and viewpoints explained

Stakeholders and their concerns

Skills of a solution architect architect

Solution architects versus enterprise architects

Definition of IT Architecture

What is Big Data?

How to make your IT "Greener"

What is Cloud computing and IaaS?

Purchasing of IT infrastructure technologies and services

IDS/IPS systems

IP Protocol (IPv4) classes and subnets

Introduction to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

IT Infrastructure Architecture model

Fire prevention in the datacenter

Where to build your datacenter

Availability - Fall-back, hot site, warm site

Reliabilty of infrastructure components

Human factors in availability of systems

Business Continuity Management (BCM) and Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP)

Performance - Design for use

Performance concepts - Load balancing

Performance concepts - Scaling

Performance concept - Caching

Perceived performance

Ethical hacking

Computer crime

Introduction to Cryptography

Introduction to Risk management

The history of UNIX and Linux

The history of Microsoft Windows

Engelse woorden in het Nederlands

Infosecurity beurs 2010

The history of Storage

The history of Networking

The first computers

Cloud: waar staat mijn data?

Tips voor het behalen van uw ITAC / Open CA certificaat

Ervaringen met het bestuderen van TOGAF

De beveiliging van uw data in de cloud

Proof of concept

Een consistente back-up? Nergens voor nodig.

Measuring Enterprise Architecture Maturity

The Long Tail

Open group ITAC /Open CA Certification

Human factors in security

Google outage

SAS 70

De Mythe van de Man-Maand

TOGAF 9 - wat is veranderd?

Landelijk Architectuur Congres LAC 2008

InfoSecurity beurs 2008

Spam is big business

De zeven eigenschappen van effectief leiderschap

Een ontmoeting met John Zachman

Persoonlijk Informatie Eigendom

Archivering data - more than backup

Sjaak Laan

Recommended links

Genootschap voor Informatie Architecten
Ruth Malan
Gaudi site
XR Magazine
Esther Barthel's site on virtualization
Eltjo Poort's site on architecture


XML: RSS Feed 
XML: Atom Feed 


The postings on this site are my opinions and do not necessarily represent CGI’s strategies, views or opinions.


Copyright Sjaak Laan