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Running head: Similarities of Data Architecture and Zachman Framework
Similarities of Data Architecture and Zachman Framework
Carol A. Harstad
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This paper will explain the Zachman Framework and Data Architecture. It will also discuss in
what ways they are similar. While the Zachman Framework is a matrix describing an enterprise’s
information architecture, data architecture is only one column of elements of that matrix, which is
the data (or what) column.
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Similarities of Data Architecture and Zachman Framework
The Zachman Framework is a two dimensional structure (or schema) describing an
enterprises information architecture. The first dimension is the roles (or perspectives) involved in
information systems design. The perspectives are the scope, enterprise model, system model,
technology model, detailed representations, and the functioning enterprise. The second
dimension represents the primitive interrogatives such as data (what), function (how), network
(where), people (who), time (when) and motivation (why).
Each cell within the framework represents a complete model. For example, within the
Technology Model perspective, under the “What” interrogative, we define the physical data
The scope defines the purpose of the enterprise and its direction. A list of things is included
in the data interrogative, which is important to the enterprise. The function interrogative lists the
processes the enterprise carries out. We define a list of locations where the enterprise operates
under the network interrogative. We list the organizational units under the people interrogative.
The time interrogative will define the list of business events and cycles and the list of business
goals and strategies are listed under the motivation interrogative.
The business or enterprise model defines the nature of the business including function,
structure, organization, and more. This perspective will define models such as the business
process model, the entity relationship diagram, the organization chart, the business plan, the
logistics network, and the business master schedule.
The system model defines the business in more meticulous information terms. This
perspective will consist of a fully normalized data model, the distributed system architecture, the
data flow diagram and the application architecture, the human interface architecture, the business
rule model and the dependency diagram.
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The technology model describes how to address the information processing needs by using
technology. For example, you may make the choice on whether to use relational or network
databases, which programming languages to use, and description of the user interfaces. Within
this perspective, you will define the structure chart, the data architecture, user interface, system
design, pseudo-code, system architecture, business rule design, security design, and the “control
The detailed representation is a view of the networks, database specifications, program
listings and more that make up a particular system. The models that are defined in this
perspective consist of the network architecture, data and physical storage design, screens and
security architecture, detailed program design, timing definitions, and program logic for rule
Data Architecture is a high level design that defines how data is stored, managed, and used
in a system. It is similar to Zachman’s data (or what) column of the Zachman Framework. Data
architecture describes how data is persistently stored, how components and processes reference
and manipulate this data, how external/legacy systems access the data, interfaces to data managed
by external/legacy systems and implementation of common data operations. Data architecture is
influenced and constrained by organization, data, economy, business policies, and technology
Each row of the Zachman Framework under the data (or what) column, corresponds with an
attribute of data architecture. Data architecture should be defined in the planning phase of the
design of a new data processing and storage system (Wikipedia, 2009).
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The data column of this row consists of a list of things important to the business. It is a list
of things that concern a company, affecting its direction and purpose.
The data column of this row within the Zachman Framework shows the entity relationship
diagram. Within data architecture, this is the area where the enterprise data model is created.
The data column of this row consists of a fully normalized data model. Data architecture
specifies that this area is where the logical data model is created.
This row consists of the data architecture, with tables and columns, and a map to the legacy
data if required. This portion of the process will also specify the database management system.
Data architecture specifies this to be the area where the physical data model is created.
This row consists of the denormalized data design and the physical storage design.
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Data architecture. (2009, January 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 04:14,
February 14, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
Lewis, G.A., Comella-Dorda, S., Place, P., Plakosh, D., Seacord, R.C., (2001). An Enterprise
Information System Data Architecture Guide. Retrieved February 14, 2009, Software
Engineering Institute Web site: http://www.sei.cmu.edu/publications/documents/01.reports/
Zachman framework. (2009, February 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved
05:04, March 2, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
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Figure 1. Zachman Framework
Figure 2. Enterprise Data Architecture Models