This chapter is a self-contained introduction to enterprise architecture, beginning with the basic question “What is architecture?” Next the chapter introduces the Zachman Framework, the most famous conceptual standard for enterprise architecture. The chapter concludes with a patterns catalog for enterprise architecture problem solving.
For thousands of years, humankind has used architecture to create and reuse buildings. The architecture is the core description of a building. The architecture describes the building's structure and all of the building's systems.
When the architecture reflects optimal and effective design, you can make changes to a building with confidence. By knowing the architecture, you know if you can knock down a wall, drill a hole, or put in a new window without causing some catastrophe, such as collapsing the roof, bursting a water pipe, or severing an electrical wire.
If you don't know the architecture, or it is flawed or ineffective, making changes to a building is difficult. If you make changes by trial and error, you might knock down a wall that is a load-bearing wall, which will collapse part of the building.
One alternative is to reverse engineer the building and re-create the architecture. But, reverse engineering is time consuming and expensive. You are much better off if your original architecture is optimally designed and kept up to date and at the ...