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TOGAF Vs Zachman

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Enterprise Architecture, also known as AE, is a practice to design, analyze, implement, and plant enterprise analysis. The practice ensures the successful execution of business strategies on different verticals. AE aids other business structures, policies, and IT projects to achieve their desired business results.

Enterprise Architecture allows industries to reach the top-most position in terms of disruptions and industry trends. EA uses a process called enterprise architectural planning practices and principles to help initiatives achieve top-notch results.

During the 1960s, Prof. Dewey Walker came up with EA by studying different manuscripts based on Business Systems Planning or BSP. John Zachmann, who was also a student of Walker's, did aid in formulating the documents to provide a systematic EA format. Both mentor and the students did work with IBM during the same era. It was entirely Zachman's idea to publish the framework comprehensively in the 1987 IBM Systems Journal.

To address the increasing demand for technology's integration into businesses, the EA framework came into being. Computer systems in the 80s were the to-go innovation to seize great opportunities in any workplace. Companies soon realized the need for a long-term plan and strategy for supporting the rapid growth of technology which is even true today.

Over the years, strategies significantly evolved to integrate cutting-edge technologies in companies, but the philosophy of EA is still intact. EA is about IT; instead, it ensures businesses rely more on digital strategies, transformation, and growth. Large enterprises find EA very useful as it brings digital transformation and provides legacy applications and processes that work seamlessly.

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Let's explore the difference between TOGAF vs. Zachman and what they bring to aid Enterprise Architecture Framework to real-life implementation.

TOGAF Vs Zachman - Enterprise Architecture Framework Comparison

TOGAF and Zachman are the most essential and go-to enterprise architecture frameworks. Both EA frameworks foster innovation in organizations that require an entirely perfect compartmentalized structure alongside a skilled approach. Integrating any of the two EA frameworks allows both technologies and businesses to reach a roadmap milestone. In the era where competition is stiff, IT projects often fail while delivering the most sought-after value.

Companies often need a modernizing approach to bring transformation change with the help of either TOGAF or Zachman. Both technologies offer a wide array of skills by ensuring the most common language, which is also understandable for IT experts and stakeholders.

A brief comparison between TOGAF vs Zachman

What is TOGAF?

TOGAF is regarded as the leading development tool for businesses and enterprises of any size. It offers a systematic, step-by-step architecture implementation for modernizing companies and companies across the world. The framework aids businesses and companies in creating a roadmap or outline for iterative and rapid architecture development. The right moment to implement TOGAF is to initiate governance and architecture implementation.

Related Article: What is TOGAF

What is Zachman?

Zachman comprises a set of management rules which are further presented to the companies and businesses in a 36-cell table format. The frameworks define the innate relationships between distinctive perspectives as well as rules.

Zachman offers the most holistic approach to implement the EA framework into business models. Zachman meticulously describes the independent elements without having to lose the comprehensive view of any system. It's time to dive deeper and study the opportunities and functionalities of TOGAF and Zachman.

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What is TOGAF Framework? Explain its Architecture & Unique Features?

  • The Open Group is credited to have introduced TOGAF. TOGAF'S framework & methodology aids the leading organizations globally to enhance their efficiency. The framework is the fundamental standard framework that ensures firm methods, standards, and communication rights among enterprises' architecture professionals. TOGAF represents the overall structure of organizations and the relationships of stakeholders and their functions.
  • TOGAF also offers a great perspective that can help while implementing large-scale changes. Additionally, it also optimizes the initiatives generally.
  • With TOGAF, The Open Group came up with a concise framework that also requires awareness concerning connections and relevant elements.
  • TOGAF empowers enterprise architecture to work better, like:
  • The iterative process representation that ensures best practices
  • A completely re-usable set of already existing assets in architecture
  • Tools and different methodologies to properly plan, implement, develop, and maintain enterprise architecture

Development Overview of TOGAF

The introduction to TOGAF was first published back in 1995. The framework by The Open Group was based on the working principle and methodologies of TAFIM. NETAFIM, aka Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management, was the reference model to bring enterprise architecture to the US Department of Defense. TOGAF, from the same level as its foundation, did manage to curate new TOGAF versions promptly.

The framework's methodologies layout several processes to plan, design, govern and implement the enterprise architectures. TOGAF is adaptable, open, and it aids businesses to stay steer of being completely engrossed with EA vendors or consultants. Further, it aids in creating artifacts that could help to adapt, scale and remove the worrying elements over time. TOGAF takes care of mounting costs, technical integration, securities, among others.

TOGAF became a significant success among enterprises due to its Architectural Development Method. The ADM is an unbinding guide to the development of Enterprise Architecture. The best thing about ADM and what sets it apart is that it can adapt and record according to users' requirements. ADM in TOGAF also works like an integral part of an ongoing and interactive cycle that further integrates organic elements.

ADM in TOGAF comprises ten distinctive phases, which are further arranged in the form of a cycle. Requirements Management is at the center of the process alongside other elements.

Check-out TOGAF Interview Questions

What are the different elements in the Architecture Development Method?

  1. Preliminary Stage: It defines the concerns, requirements, and principles for any future architecture.
  2. Architecture Vision: The element aids in choosing the architecture scope and methodologies for aligning the stakeholders.
  3. Business Architecture: With Business Architecture, the framework uses methods to describe an ideal architecture vision.
  4. Information Systems Architecture: It aids in modeling the whole of application and data architecture.
  5. Technology Architecture: This element transforms the entire description of the system into architecture implementation.
  6. Opportunities and Solutions: Defines the essential steps for changing the present-day architecture for targeting the implementation plan.
  7. Migration Planning: It describes the estimated timeline, costs, and roadmap implementation.
  8. Implementation Governance: It assigns governance functionalities during distinctive stages during architecture deployment.
  9. Architecture Change Management: It provides intense monitoring for business and technology changes.

60% of total Fortune 500 businesses have adopted TOGAF because of its extensiveness. The framework is extensively adaptable, and at the same time, it fosters collaboration and agility. TOGAF has both good and bad sides as the widely recognized methodology due to its approach ultimately turns into a practice.

What is Zachman Enterprise Architecture? Explain its Architecture and Unique Features(elements also)?

  • Zachman Framework is not a conventional methodology; instead, it is a template that describes how different ideas are seen from equally distinctive perspectives.
  • Zachman Framework is a two-dimensional matrix comprising six columns and rows. Here, rows signify perspective, and columns represent fundamental questions. The matrix intersects cells that further describe representations of enterprise in a very structured and detailed manner. The framework, when normalized, the rows and columns of the matrix don't get removed. Further, making the matrix quite comprehensive.
  • Irrespective of what happens, Zachman is quite flexible to work on projects concerning any scope. It is essential to focus on every single element as well as its entire purpose. Zachman prided itself on building relationships between different cells. The scheme isn't about architecture only. Instead, it helps organize and manage one like any tool.

What elements make up for Zachman Framework?

In the row, the players are represented in the following way:

  1. Executive Perspective: It is the planner that seeks the information regarding the size and costs in the system.
  2. Business Management Perspective: As the name suggests, Business Management Perspective allows owners who wish to know everything about their business processes. Moreover, owners also get to know how they interact.
  3. Architect Perspective: It is entirely on the architect to determine how software functions and then represent the entire business model.
  4. Engineer Perspective: This element oversees that a contractor applies certain technologies for solving overall issues that persist in businesses.
  5. Technician Perspective: This takes place when a programmer is provided with instructions.
  6. Enterprise Perspective: The element represents a complete operational system.

What are the columns in Zachman Framework?

  • What? - It represents the whole enterprise data that each row would deal with.

How It represents both the processes and functions of organizations?

  • Where? - Is all about logistics, geographical locations, and interconnections.
  • When? - Events and business cycles that trigger business activities.
  • Who? - Represents the interaction and organizational units between both technology and people.
  • Why? - This translates the overall strategies, business goals into specific means.

TOGAF vs. Zachman - Key Differences Comparison


  • It is flexible and highly adaptable
  • It addresses the issues by making stakeholders communicate in unison
  • Ponders on meeting up with the company's objectives and governance
  • Aids in implementing software of company in the most organized and structured manner
  • It offers a much helpful and practical approach than Zachman
  • Architecture Development Method is as strong as the Earth's core
  • Has significant credibility in the market even today
  • At times it might seem a little slow, so users have to adapt the framework bureaucratically
  • Free-to-read framework origination from a massive community


  • It improves communications on a personal level which takes place right inside of an information system
  • The framework places a broad spectrum of tools that are related to each other
  • It develops the approaches which improve drastically for producing a separate architectural representation
  • Zachman also aids an organization to understand all the reasons regarding risks to not create an architectural representation
  • Sometimes, Zachman can give rise to a documentation-heavy approach
  • There are specific segments of developers who do not accept the expert practice that Zachman provides
  • Users won't always have to follow the top-down approach. Instead, they can choose to start from any cell, further iterate from that point
  • Zachman still follows the conventional techniques, which revolves around data

Choosing the Best Enterprise Framework - TOGAF Vs. Zachman

  • Whatever enterprise architecture businesses and organizations choose entirely depends on the approach.
  • TOGAF is a framework that does provide quite a systematic approach to define the entire process to improve and create the Enterprise Architecture. ADM empowers the framework by offering procedures to implement any decision-making process choices to produce the desired business model.
  • Zachman Framework, on the other hand, is all about ontology. The framework is an utterly structured expression' set that describes how artifacts would get into categorization. Further, it creates, changes, and operates most efficiently. The fundamental difference between Zachman and TOGAF is that the former uses different perspectives. It provides an unprecedented scope that defines, plans extra details concerning the subsets regarding the enterprise system.
  • Organizations have all the right to choose one. However, there are chances that organizations can choose both. If organizations want to get the best of both, you would be glad to know that frameworks could complement each other. For instance, TOGAF describes a comprehensive process to create Enterprise Architecture; at the same time, Zachman could categorize artifacts. 


When it comes to choosing between Zachman and TOGAF, organizations or businesses have to decide whether they intend to categorize the architectures' enterprise or create them. Despite significant differences, the distinctive methodologies of these frameworks don't conflict or negate one another. As they are exponentially complementary, they can assist departments, teams to implement both frameworks and get the most out of the collaboration.

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About Author

As a content writer and storyteller, Raunaak Mitra regards himself to be a prodigy in writing. He firmly believes that language is borderless, and anyone can write as long as they have a strong narrative capability and the ability to emote feelings into words. Authors like F. Scott Fitzgerald and R. K. Narayan have influenced him to keep the writing as simple as possible for anyone to understand. Other than being well-versed about technological trends like AI, Machine Learning, AR, VR, Gaming, Microprocessors, Cloud Computing, Industry 4.0, literally any technological advancement (old or new), he also shares a knack to curate fiction on sci-fi, satire, and thriller genres.

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