Zachman Framework

In 1987, John Zachman published the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture. He wrote "To keep the business from disintegrating, the concept of information systems architecture is becoming less of an option and more of a necessity."


The Zachman Framework is influenced by principles of classical architecture that establish a common vocabulary and set of perspectives for describing complex enterprise systems. This influence is reflected in the set of rules that govern an ordered set of relationships that are balanced and orthogonal. By designing a system according to these rules, the architect can be assured of a design that is clean, easy to understand, balanced, and complete in itself. Zachman's Framework provides the blueprint, or architecture, for an organization's information infrastructure.


The Zachman Framework describes a holistic model of an enterprise's information infrastructure from six perspectives: planner, owner, designer, builder, subcontractor, and the working system. There is no guidance on sequence, process, or implementation of the framework. The focus is on ensuring that all aspects of an enterprise are well-organized and exhibit clear relationships that will ensure a complete system regardless of the order in which they are established.


By defining clear architectural design principles, Zachman ensures that any tailored or extended implementation will be equally well built as long as the designer and builder continue to follow the rules.

The major principles that guide the application of the Zachman Framework include:
1. A complete system can be modeled by depicting answers to the questions -
why, who,what, how, where, and when.
2. The six perspectives capture all the critical models required for system development.
3. The constraints for each perspective are additive; those of a lower row are added to those of the rows above to provide a growing number of restrictions.
4. The columns represent different abstractions in an effort to reduce the complexity of any s ingle model that is built.
5. The columns have no order.
6. The model in each column must be unique.
7. Each row represents a unique perspective.
8. Each cell is unique.
9. The inherent logic is recursive.