An analysis of the zachman framework for enterprise architecture from the geram perspective

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Annual Reviews in Control 27 (2003) 163–183

An analysis of the Zachman framework for enterprise architecture from the GERAM perspective
Ovidiu Noran∗
Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia Received 18 August 2003; received in revised form 30 August 2003; accepted 8 September 2003

Abstract This article presents an analysis of the Zachman framework for enterprise architecture and itsmapping onto the Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (GERAM) framework/ISO IS15704:2000 requirements. Aspects covered concern the ability of the Zachman framework to cover the complete scope of the GERAM metamodel, such as life cycle/life history concepts, modelling framework, enterprise entities and entity recursion, associated enterprise engineering methodologies, modellinglanguages and reference models. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Reference model; Enterprise modelling; Life cycle phase; Modelling framework; Modelling language

1. Introduction This analysis aims to assist prospective users of the Zachman framework in employing the ISO15704:2000/GERAM set of requirements, in order to check how the Zachman framework meets (or can be used tomeet) the needs of an enterprise architecture project or program. The user may then use mappings of other architecture frameworks onto GERAM (such as described in Noran, 2003) to complete this framework if needed. 1.1. A short introduction and history of GERAM The main aim of the Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture and Methodology (Bernus, 2001; ISO/TC184/ SC5/WG1, 2000a) is togeneralise the contributions of various existing and emerging Enterprise Architecture Frameworks and Enterprise Reference Architectures. Note that the term ‘reference architecture’ will be used within this paper interchangeably with ‘modelling framework’ for simplicity; reference architectures (such as GERA) in ISO/TC184/SC5/WG1 (2000a) may include other concepts, such as ‘life history’. Historically, theabbreviation GERAM means a reference architecture and methodology. However,

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as it becomes evident in the use of GERAM, only one component of the framework, namely, GERA is the life-cycle architecture; another one is the Methodology, and there are other important components as well (as shown inFig. 1). The aim of GERAM is to define a complete collection of tools, methods and models that can be employed by an enterprise engineering and integration effort. GERAM assists in choosing tools and methodologies by providing criteria that need to be satisfied, rather than trying to enforce particular options. Used as a generalisation of frameworks, GERAM may also assist in establishing thecompleteness and suitability of frameworks proposed to form the basis to a particular change process (since management may chose to combine the elements of more than one framework and use these in combination). There have been several notable attempts to map the existing life cycle architectures and their associated artefacts against each another (e.g. Williams, Zoetekouw, Shewchuck, Chen, & Li, 1996),which have highlighted some of the difficulties encountered in the mapping process (note that the terms ‘life cycle architecture’ and ‘architecture framework’ will be used interchangeably in this paper, and with the meaning of the complete set of artefacts provided by an architecture framework, as shown in Fig. 1). The result of the mappings of existing architectures against a fixed reference was amatrix-like structure of requirements (Bernus, Nemes, & Williams, 1996b)—a two-dimensional form of the GERA modelling framework.

1367-5788/$ – see front matter © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.arcontrol.2003.09.002


O. Noran / Annual Reviews in Control 27 (2003) 163–183

Generalised Enterprise Reference Architecture
Identifies concepts of Enterprise...
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