ADM and the Zachman Framework

Introduction | The Zachman Framework | Mapping TOGAF to the Zachman Framework

This chapter provides a mapping of the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) to the Zachman Framework.


A number of architecture frameworks exist, each of which has its particular advantages and disadvantages, and relevance, for enterprise architecture. Several are discussed in Other Architectures and Frameworks .

However, there is no accepted industry standard method for developing an enterprise architecture. The Open Group goal with TOGAF is to work towards making the TOGAF ADM just such an industry standard method, which can be used for developing the products associated with any recognized enterprise framework that the architect feels is appropriate for a particular architecture. The Open Group vision for TOGAF is as a vehicle and repository for practical, experience-based information on how to go about the process of enterprise architecture, providing a generic method with which specific sets of deliverables, specific reference models, and other relevant architectural assets can be integrated.

To illustrate the concept, this section provides a mapping of the various phases of the TOGAF ADM to the cells of the well-known Zachman Framework.

The Zachman Framework

The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture, sometimes simply referred to as the "Zachman Framework", has become a de facto standard for classifying the artifacts developed in enterprise architecture. It is a logical structure for classifying and organizing the design artifacts of an enterprise that are significant to its management. It draws on a classification scheme found in the more mature disciplines of architecture/construction and engineering/manufacturing, used for classifying and organizing the design artefacts relating to complex physical products such as a building or an aircraft. Zachman adopts this classification scheme to the design and construction of information systems.

The Zachman Framework comprises a 6x6 matrix.

The columns represent various aspects of the enterprise that can be described or modeled; and the rows represent various viewpoints from which the aspects can be described. Thus each cell formed by the intersection of a column and a row represents an aspect of the enterprise modeled from a particular viewpoint. The architect selects and models the cells that are appropriate to the immediate purpose, with the ultimate objective of modeling all the cells.

The six viewpoints are:

  1. The Scope (Contextual) viewpoint - aimed at the planner
  2. The Business Model (Conceptual) viewpoint - aimed at the owner
  3. The System (Logical) viewpoint - aimed at the designer
  4. The Technology (Physical) viewpoint - aimed at the builder
  5. The Detailed Representations (Out-of-Context) viewpoint - aimed at the subcontractor
  6. The Functioning Enterprise viewpoint

The six aspects - and the interrogatives to which they correspond - are:

  1. The Data aspect - What?
  2. The Function aspect - How?
  3. The Network aspect - Where?
  4. The People aspect - Who?
  5. The Time aspect - When?
  6. The Motivation aspect - Why?

Although the Zachman Framework applies to enterprises, the Framework itself is generic. It is a comprehensive, logical structure for the descriptive representations (i.e., models or design artefacts) of any complex object, and it does not prescribe or describe any particular method, representation technique, or automated tool.

The strength of the Framework is that it provides a way of thinking about an enterprise in an organized way, so that it can be described and analyzed. It also enables the individuals involved in producing enterprise information systems to focus on selected aspects of the system without losing sight of the overall enterprise context. In designing and building complex systems, such as enterprise systems, there are simply too many details and relationships to consider simultaneously. At the same time, isolating single variables and making design decisions out of context results in sub-optimization, with all the attendant costs and risks. The challenge is the same whether the system is physical (like an aircraft) or conceptual (like an enterprise system). How do you design and build it, piece by piece, and step by step, such that it achieves its purpose without losing its value and raising its cost by optimizing the pieces and sub-optimizing the overall?

Mapping TOGAF to the Zachman Framework

The scope of the four architecture domains of TOGAF align very well with the first four rows of the Zachman Framework, as shown in the following mapping of these domains.

Several domains overlap in the above diagram: the earliest domain to address a cell has precedence in the coloring scheme.

The mappings of the individual phases of the ADM are shown in detail below.

In addition to the mappings to specific cells given below, the detailed representations and functioning enterprise viewpoints (the lowest two rows) of the Zachman Framework are also addressed and represented in TOGAF, through the Architecture Governance Framework (see Architecture Governance Framework), and through ADM deliverables such as the various Architecture Contracts (see Architecture Contracts). These ensure the validity and viability of the delivered solutions to meet the business needs.

Preliminary Phase: Framework and Principles

The outputs of this phase are:

Phase A: Architecture Vision

The outputs of this phase are:

Phase B: Business Architecture

The outputs of this phase are:

The Business/Data cell is covered by the Data and Applications Architectures.

Phase C: Informations System Architectures: Data Architecture

The outputs of this part of Phase C are:

Phase C: Informations System Architectures: Applications Architecture

The outputs of this part of Phase C are:

Phase D: Technology Architecture

The outputs of Phase D are given below, first by relevant individual step, and then as a composite for the whole phase.

Step 1: Create a Baseline Description in the TOGAF Format

The outputs of this step are:

Step 2: Consider Different Architecture Reference Models, Viewpoints, and Tools

The outputs of this step are:

Step 3: Create an Architectural Model of Building Blocks

The outputs of this step are:

Step 4: Select the Services Portfolio Required per Building Block

The outputs of this step are:

Step 8: Conduct a Gap Analysis

The outputs of this step are:

Composite Mapping for Phase D

For more detailed information on the Zachman Framework, refer to any of John Zachman's publications, or the Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement (ZIFA) (
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Downloads of the TOGAF documentation, are available under license from the TOGAF information web site. The license is free to any organization wishing to use TOGAF entirely for internal purposes (for example, to develop an information system architecture for use within that organization). A hardcopy book is also available from The Open Group Bookstore as document G063.

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