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Zachman Glossary

The following are a glossary of terms from John A. Zachman about The Zachman Framework™ and Enterprise Architecture:


John A. Zachman

Zachman Glossary

John A. Zachman

© 2014 John A. Zachman, Zachman International, Inc.

Alignment:  The Enterprise word for "quality".  The definition of "quality" is "producing products that meet the requirements as defined by the customer."  In Enterprise Terms, "producing Enterprise implementations (Row 6) that meet the requirements (Row 1/2) as defined by Management."

Architecture:  A structured set of descriptive representations relevant for describing an object and being employed such that an instance of the object can be created and such that the descriptive representations serve as the baseline for changing an object instance.

Artifacts:  Descriptive representations, usually used for engineering design and in that case, Primitive Models in the context of the Zachman Framework.  However, they could be descriptive formalisms for any object including buildings, airplanes, computers, etc., Industrial Age Products, which are the origin of the Zachman Framework.

Business Concepts:  The set of Row 2 Models of the Zachman Framework that constitute Management's perceptions of the design and operation of the Enterprise.

Cells:  The Zachman Framework Cell is the intersection between two classifications that have been used by humanity for thousands of years, the six Primitive Interrogatives and the six stages of transformation of Reification.  The Cell is one category, one classification of facts relevant to the existence of the Enterprise.  Each Cell is a single-variable, that is, it contains only one and only one type of Enterprise Component and the relationships with all other Components of the same type in the Enterprise.

Component: In the context of the Zachman Framework, a Component is one member of a set of Components that constitute a Primitive Model, a single cell of the Zachman Framework.

Composite:  A descriptive representation (model) comprised of different types of Components from at least two different Primitive Cells of the Zachman Framework.  Used for manufacturing, implementations.  Any implementation must, by definition, be a Composite, multi-variable model.

Connection:  A route of path over which some Enterprise Inventory is transported from Location to Location.

Distribution Networks:  The Column 3 Models of the Zachman Framework descriptive of the Locations from which and to which the Enterprise acquires, stores and disposes of its various inventories.  At Row 6 the Locations and Connections instances will have latitudes and longitudes.

End:  A goal or objective that is significant for motivating the design or operation of the Enterprise.

Enterprise Architecture:  A structured set of descriptive representations relevant for describing an Enterprise and being employed such that an instance of the Enterprise can be created and such that the descriptive representations serve as a baseline for changing the instantiated Enterprise.

Enterprise Diagnosis:  The Process of analyzing Enterprise problems to determine their "root" causes based on the Enterprise Ontology (the Zachman Framework) in order to prescribe enduring solutions as opposed to putting "band-aids" on symptomatic anomalies by trial and error or "gut feel".

Enterprise Engineering:  The process of creating the single-variable, "Primitive" descriptive representations of an Enterprise such that they can be used (re-used) in producing Enterprise implementation "Composites" such that the Enterprise can be integrated, flexible, interoperable, reusable, aligned, etc. to accommodate extreme complexity and extreme rates of change.

Enterprise Manufacturing:  The process of creating Enterprise implementations, systems, manual or automated, "Composites".  If Components of "Primitive" Models are employed in the process of creating the implementation "Composites", the Enterprise will be "architected."  If components of "Primitive Models” are NOT used in creating the implementation "Composites", the Enterprise will be implemented, but NOT architected.

Entity: In modeling terms, an Entity is a "set," a collection of like objects that have identical characteristics but are unique individuals.  For example, "apples".  Apples have identical characteristics but each member of the set of apples is a unique individual.  There could never be an Entity called "apples" that is made up of apples and oranges because apples have completely different characteristics than do oranges.  

Framework:  A structure, a classification.  The word "Framework" is typically mis-applied as something generic, abstract or of imprecise definition rather than a struture.

Implementations:  Usually a running system, manual or automated, that is, in Zachman Framework terms, a Row 6 instantiation.  However, any Composite whether it is architected within any Row of the Zachman Framework or not architected, that is, as an ad hoc or random Composite that exists.

Input:  The raw material and/or energy that is transformed by some Process into some product or service.

Integration:  The characteristic of any formalism in which there are no anomalies , no dis-continuities, perfectly fit together.

Interval:  A length of time of significance to the Enterprise such that its duration in clock time will be recorded at Row 6 of the Zachman Framework.

Inventory:  "Inventory " is the Enterprise (Business) name for an Entity, a set, things the Enterprise counts.  Inventories typically have a serial numbers on the instances at Row 6.

Inventory Sets:  The Column 1 Models of the Zachman Framework, descriptive of the Inventories that the Enterprise manages.  At Row 6 the Inventory instances likely have serial numbers associated.

Location:  A geographic position of significance to the Enterprise.  At Row 6 of the Zachman Framework a Location would have a latitude and longitude.

Means:  A strategy or tactic that is selected as necessary to change the state of an Enterprise End.

Moment:  A point in time of significance to the Enterprise, sufficiently significant that the clock time at Row 6 of the Zachman Framework is recorded.

Motivation:  The reason or rationale for choices that are made in the design and operation of an Enterprise.

Motivation Intentions:  The Column 6 Models of the Zachman Framework descriptive of the Ends and Means, the Objectives and Strategies of the Enterprise.  At Row 6 the Ends will have measurements associated and the Means will have constraints ("Rules") associated for mitigating risk in the event of conflicting Objectives.

Network:  An interconnected set of Locations from and to which various Inventories are transported for storage or disposition.

Process:  A Process is a "transformation".  You take something in, do something to it (Process) and send something different out.  Input - Process - Output.

Operations Instances:  The Zachman Framework, Row 6 Enterprise implementations.  The "As Built" instantiations of the Enterprise.  This is the actual Enterprise, not architectural abstractions.

Organization:  A grouping of various Roles to which responsibilities are allocated for management purposes.

Output:  The product or service that is the result of some transformation.

Process Flows:  The Column 2 Models of the Zachman Framework descriptive of the Process transformations the Enterprise performs.  At Row 6 the instances will be actual transformations performed by a person or a machine.

Methodology:  A series of steps that if correctly employed result in a definable result, a Process that is typically associated with producing a system or an implementation.  A "cook book."  The inputs and outputs of a methodology for producing systems or implementations are "Composites."

Meta:  Something of a higher or second order form.  In a modeling context, a model of something.  A model of a model would be a metamodel.  A Concept Model that constitutes the basis for the database design of a Repository product, a database for storing models, would be a "metamodel".

Meta Framework:  In the context of Enterprise Architecture, a Framework is a classification of the descriptive representations relevant to the existence of an Enterprise.  The Row 2 Models of one Framework can be "meta" relative to another Framework, that is, they are of a higher or second order in that they operate relative to all the Models of the fundamental Framework.  For example, there is a set of models that are "meta" relative to the Enterprise Framework (Enterprise Architecture) which would constitute the Row 2 Models of another complete Framework of Models.  This Meta Framework of Models is descriptive of the community of people who are designing and building the Enterprise Framework Models (Enterprise Architecture).  Note - by the same token, the Row 2 Models of the Enterprise Framework are "meta" relative to the Product Framework and therefore the Enterprise Framework is a meta Framework relative to the Product Framework.

Ontology:  A theory of the existence of a structured set of essential components of an object for which explicit expression is necessary (is mandatory?) for designing, operating and changing the object, the object being an Enterprise, a department, a value chain, a solution, a project, an airplane, a building, a bathtub or whatever or whatever.

Primitive: A descriptive representation (Model) depicting "normalized" instances and their inter-relationships of a single type of Component of an Enterprise, an ontologically-defined set of Components.  Used for engineering.  The contents of single Cell of the Zachman Framework.

Product Framework:  The Product Framework is the classification of all the descriptive representations that are relevant to the existence of the Product, that is, any Product, typically thought of as any Industrial Age product.

Relationship:  In a modeling context, a relationship is the logical connector between two Entities.  In the Zachman Framework, the relationship between the two meta Entities in each of the Cells of Rows 2 - 6 is not simply a logical connector but it is Entity in its own right as it has contents.  That is, there are two meta Entities that describe each Cell, an Entity and a Relationship Entity.

Responsibility Assignments:  The Column 4 Models of the Zachman Framework descriptive of the Roles and Responsibilities of the Enterprise's people for managing performance.  At Row 6 the individual instances will likely have Standard Industrial Classification codes and the Work Products assigned have physical manifestations.

Role:  An innate educational or genetic ability possessed by someone to which responsibility for an Enterprise Work Product is assigned.  Typically possessing a Standard Industrial Classification code (SIC Code) designation.

Scope Context:  The set of Row 1 Lists of the Zachman Framework that constitute the boundary or limit of the Enterprise relative to the columnar abstractions.

Single-Variable:  Components of a single type, normalized, "Primitive."  Antonym: Multi-variable, "apples and oranges," "Composite." 

System:  The dictionary definition of "System" is "a set of things working together as parts of a mechanism."  In the context of the Zachman Framework, the Row 3 Models are a set of things working together that formalize a mechanism to realize the Row 2 Enterprise Concepts as one stage of reification, transforming the ideas of the Enterprise, Management’s perceptions, into an operational realities. 

System Logic:  The set of Row 3 Models of the Zachman Framework that constitute the Designer's ("Architect's") systematic, technology-independent formalism (mechanism) for realizing Management's Business Concepts.  The "As Designed" descriptions of the Enterprise.

Technology Physics:  The set of Row 4 Models of the Zachman Framework that constitute the Builder's ("Engineer’s") technology-constrained specifications required for transforming the System Logic into implementations.  The "As Planned" descriptions of the Enterprise.

Timing:  Points in time and lengths of time typically associated with cyclical occurrences within an Enterprise. From a modeling perspective, descriptive of the dynamics associated with the Enterprise.

Timing Cycles:  The Column 5 Models of the Zachman Framework descriptive of the Moments and Intervals, the dynamics of the Enterprise.  At Row 6 the instances will have clock times associated.

Tool Components:  The set of Row 5 Models of the Zachman Framework that constitute the implementers ("Technicians") vendor-specific tooling configurations required to transform the As Planned Enterprise descriptions into operational reality.  

Work Product:  Any responsibility assigned to some Role within the Enterprise including production of a physical part, a decision, an analytical report, a telephone call, a completed screen format, etc., etc.

Zachman Framework:  A "normalized" two-dimensional classification of the total set of descriptive representations relevant for describing an Enterprise.  The juxtaposition of two classifications used by humanity for thousands of years, the six primitive interrogatives and the six stages of reification.  Enterprise Architecture.  The Enterprise ontology.


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