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Issue No 20:

 Foreword to New Book on "Enterprise Architecture Using the Zachman Framework"

Printable PDF Version


Feature: Two New Enterprise Architecture Books

  1. "The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture: Primer for Enterprise Engineering and Manufacturing" by John Zachman

  2. "Enterprise Architecture using the Zachman Framework" by Carol O'Rourke, Neal Fishman and Warren Selkow


PERTH, AUSTRALIA – October 29, 2002: This month we feature two important books on Enterprise Architecture: the first will be published towards the end of 2002; the second will be published around March 2003. While TEN does not usually include book reviews, because of the interest that TEN readers have shown in Enterprise Architecture I thought it was important to draw these two books to your attention.

The first book was written by John Zachman. This alone is unique. While John has written many articles on Enterprise Architecture, this is the first complete book written by the originator of the Zachman Framework. It will be released in e-Book format and will eagerly be read by Enterprise Architecture practitioners. It is described briefly below, with more detail in a special issue of TEN when the book is formally released later in 2002. 

The second book was written by Carol O'Rourke, Neal Fishman, and Warren Selkow. It teaches Enterprise Architecture as a way of thinking about complex problems. I was invited to write the Foreword to the second book. This book is also outstanding; it is a "must-read", as you will see from my comments below.

Clive Finkelstein
TEN - The Enterprise Newsletter

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1. "The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture: Primer for Enterprise Engineering and Manufacturing" by John A Zachman

This is an e-Book in which John Zachman first outlines in three chapters the underlying Logic Structure and Rules of the Framework. He explores the analysis of the Enterprise and Engineering Design objectives. In subsequent chapters he works through the Enterprise frustrations, and shows the completeness of the classification system used for Enterprise Architecture through a discussion of the Metaframeworks. John finally concludes that the rising evidence is that it is cheaper and faster to architect an Enterprise than to “start writing the code while someone finds out what the users had in mind”. The sixteen chapters of the book are followed by comprehensive appendices of reference material, including a description for each of the thirty cells of the Framework.  

As an e-Book it will initially be released on CD as it also contains around 20 video clips by John Zachman. These clips provide additional video details from John, supporting the text he has written on various considerations of the Framework. It includes many figures that illustrate complex ideas, with a number of directly-clickable web links to additional detail available from the Internet.

When this e-Book is formally released, the Preface and Executive Summary will be published in a special issue of TEN. That issue will also tell you how you can purchase the e-Book.

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2. "Enterprise Architecture using the Zachman Framework" by Carol O'Rourke, Neal Fishman, and Warren Selkow


I first learned of this book in December 2001, at the annual ZIFA Forum (Zachman Institute for Framework Advancement) in Scottsdale, Arizona. ZIFA is an annual conference of practitioners of the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture ( I have spoken at ZIFA over the years about some of the enterprise architecture projects with which I have been involved.

My good friend Warren Selkow, along with Carol O'Rourke and Neal Fishman, drew me aside to tell me they were writing a book to teach the concepts of enterprise architecture using the Zachman Framework.

They told me the book was intended for many audiences. It was to be a university text for undergraduates and graduates, but they also wanted to address the community college level. Furthermore, the text was for business, government, and defense organizations. This was an extremely ambitious undertaking!

As they described the book, I became intrigued. The scale of what they were planning had never been attempted before, yet the text was sorely needed. When they asked me if I would write the Foreword, I immediately accepted, as my curiosity had been whetted. As they sent me each chapter to review, the significance of the book emerged. They were succeeding in their ambitious objective. So now that the book is complete, what is my opinion?

This is a brilliant book! It introduces the concepts of enterprise architecture with humor, using lessons from history. The subject is enormously important, but before this book was written, enterprise architecture was presented in a very abstract way. This made the importance and power of enterprise architecture difficult to communicate.

Enterprise architecture is a rigorous way of thinking about any problem or problem domain. The Framework concepts are simple, but its application is powerful. The Framework shows how complex problems using enterprise architecture can be resolved by considering all the perspectives and aspects that must be addressed to understand each specific problem or domain:

  • Perspectives enable a problem domain to be viewed through the eyes of all of the people who need to be involved: the planner, owner, designer, builder, subcontractor, and functioning enterprise. These people and their different interests must all be understood if the result that is produced is to address their various needs.
  • Aspects are the questions that must be asked to understand each problem domain. These questions are: what, how, where, who, when, and why. They need to be asked from each person's perspective.

Since the dawn of computers, many application systems have been developed at a great financial cost, yet the majority of applications do not successfully address the needs of the business. This is due to the complexity of most enterprises and to the complexity of systems development. The problems are endemic. Above all, the problem is due to the inability of business people and IT people to communicate effectively. The Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture brings clarity and understanding to all.

The Framework enables business people to ensure their requirements are met from a business perspective without requiring them to become technology experts. The Framework enables IT people to understand the business needs from an IT perspective and does not require them to become business experts. The Framework helps business and IT people communicate effectively by considering complex problems from each person's perspective in terms of the six aspects: what, how, where, who, when, and why.

The Zachman Framework of Enterprise Architecture enables senior business managers to be sure that all requisite business controls needed for corporate governance and accountability can be implemented. The Framework helps ensure the systems, when built by IT, address the needs and responsibilities of each person who should be supported. The Framework provides a clear way to ensure all requirements are addressed, providing a roadmap for business survivability and success.

This is not a dry technical text. In these pages Carol O'Rourke, Neal Fishman, and Warren Selkow have written a book that not only informs and instructs, but also entertains! This is why I love it. Not just for the book's importance, but because it is fun to read.


The book is an invaluable aid for teaching, but has also been written for self-study. It does not require prior knowledge of computers or of information technology. The text is intended to be used in many disciplines including:

  • Business Administration
  • Business Management
  • Computer Science
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology

For these reasons, it is an excellent book for all who need to understand and manage the planning, design, and construction of any complex endeavor. It teaches its readers how to think and how to solve complex problems.

In business, government, and defense organizations, this book leads business managers and their business experts-at all management levels-through the use of enterprise architecture using the Framework. It teaches them to think about the planning, design, and establishment or restructuring of any complex enterprise. The book teaches experienced IT staff how to think about the planning, design, and construction of systems (manual or automated) that are needed to support the enterprise. Such IT staff includes CIOs, CTOs, IT managers, information engineers, enterprise engineers, business process reengineers, systems analysts, business analysts, data analysts, process analysts, data administrators, project managers, and many others.

The authors have done their work well. This book will be widely read and used by all of their projected audiences.


Each chapter is structured in several teaching modules. Each module is introduced first with Learning Objectives that indicate the concepts being presented. After covering each module, Review Questions are presented to test understanding of the subject matter. In a formal education environment, these can be assigned to students as exercises for completion.

Chapter 1 introduces John Zachman, the originator of the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture. The chapter provides a short overview of enterprise architecture to establish context.

It is in Chapter 2 that the book draws you in and its beauty starts to emerge. This chapter provides a glimpse of the gems of knowledge that lie ahead in later chapters. The authors have turned to history to introduce their message. Every problem must be examined in terms of the six aspects: what, how, where, who, when, and why.

They start with the pyramids of Egypt. These structures are wonders of engineering. Together, Carol O'Rourke, Neal Fishman, and Warren Selkow take us into the mind of Imhotep, the architect of the Great Pyramid. In their hands, the enormity of the task that Imhotep faced comes to life.

We join him as he grapples with problems of planning, designing, and construction using the available technologies of his time. We soon realize he also must develop systems for project management, resource management, and accounting-so that he can administer all aspects of this massive project.

My reaction on reading this was WOW! What a great way to introduce the thinking encouraged by enterprise architecture. As Chapter 2 unfolds further, the power of their approach becomes evident. For they then continue our journey through history.

The authors move us forward thousands of years, to the Cathedral of Chartres, built in the 12th Century. This cathedral was the first of the great Gothic Cathedrals. They take us to the Manhattan Project, where we consider the problems associated with the design and construction of the atomic bomb. This brought World War II to an end, but also ushered in the Nuclear Age. From there we move to Levittown and the construction of housing for the U.S. veterans returning from World War II. Each of these was a complex project, involving new problems that had to be resolved. Each project is introduced using the six aspects of the Framework.

We move forward to the Apollo mission: to land a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s. Chapter 2 finally closes with the design and construction of the first all digitally designed plane: the Boeing 777.

Whereas Chapter 2 took us through the perspective of the planner, Chapter 3 moves us through the perspective of the owner. Each succeeding chapter takes us through the remaining perspectives: designer (Chapter 4), builder (Chapter 5), subcontractor (Chapter 6), and the functioning enterprise (Chapter 7).

In Chapter 3, we learn about different types of organizations from the perspective of the owner. We consider the 1999 Ford Mustang Cobra automobile. We discuss the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange), the dot-com enterprises and their demise in the stock market downturn of 2000. We look at public education, Coca Cola, Walt Disney, Movie Outpost, Keane, Cascade Engineering, and Equifax. These case studies help us to understand issues with which the owner must be aware. Each is considered in terms of what, how, where, who, when, and why.

Chapter 4 takes us into the mind of the designer. We learn about the role of the designer at Lockheed, in designing an aircraft capable of flying at a sustained speed of Mach 3. We discuss the role of people in meetings, as a way of understanding the different types of personalities and people that a designer must consider in his design solution. We see how Covey's Seven Habits can help the designer. We discuss the impact of office politics and the importance of metrics and life cycles in design.

Chapter 5 uses Napoleon's disastrous march on Russia in the winter of 1812 to introduce the importance of environment and topography to the builder. The builder must ensure that design criteria are satisfied under all circumstances. The impact that the design of the Roman chariot had on NASA, centuries later, when building the space shuttle, demonstrates the longevity of design decisions that can affect the builder. A project at Abbott Laboratories also illustrates the need to meet all design criteria. Rules, standards, units of measure, metrics, statistics, and tradeoffs are also considered from the perspective of the builder. Examples are drawn from Oracle and from the .NET initiative of Microsoft. The danger of the builder changing the design-without first having that change reviewed by the designer-is discussed by considering the collapse of floating walkways in the atrium of the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City, with its consequent terrible loss of life.

Chapter 6 addresses the technical issues of systems development that are important to the subcontractor. Parallels are drawn to the artistic nature of the subcontractor's task within the enterprise and shows how current object oriented approaches, patterns, and extreme programming practices, and long-term thinking can be naturally applied to the Framework. This chapter illustrates that art is an important part of computer science.

With Chapter 7, the authors present the functioning enterprise perspective and the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture in its entirety. At this point, you will already understand the clarity of thought behind the Framework. By using the Framework, you will appreciate its effectiveness in resolving both complex and simple problems.

The book concludes by discussing the authors' extension to implementing the Framework in Chapter 8.

I wholeheartedly commend this book to you. It is an outstanding introduction to the concepts and the benefits of the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture. When you have completed the book, you will be well prepared to apply these principles to understand and resolve any complex problem that you may encounter in the future.

Clive Finkelstein,
Perth, Western Australia


"Enterprise Architecture Using the Zachman Framework", Carol O'Rourke, Neal Fishman, and Warren Selkow, published by Course Technology, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Boston, MA (2003). ISBN: 0-619-06446-3. Anticipated Publication Date: March 2003

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Clive Finkelstein is the "Father" of Information Engineering (IE), developed by him from 1976. He is an International Consultant and Instructor, and was the Managing Director of Information Engineering Services Pty Ltd (IES) in Australia. 

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