To promote a better understanding of two leading approaches to enterprise architecture, this case study provides an analysis and comparison of the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) and the Zachman Enterprise Architecture Framework (ZEAF). The case study includes a history of the DoDAF and ZEAF, a summary of both approaches, and the results of a survey of IT professionals in the Department of Defense regarding the strengths, weaknesses, and usefulness of each approach. The survey found that a majority of the respondents believes the strengths of the DoDAF are that it distills information into manageable pieces, it provides a logical approach, and it is comprehensive. Some reported strengths of the ZEAF are it is an intuitive approach, easily adaptable, and well known. Some of the observed drawbacks of the DoDAF are it is cumbersome, inflexible, and unchangeable. Additionally, while the DoDAF has a schema to support the documentation of operational requirements and design decisions can be traced using the DoDAF architecture, it does not provide modeling capability for software configuration. The survey also found some drawbacks of the ZEAF are it is overly simplistic and lacks cognitive/business direction. For example, the ZEAF does not prescribe design tradeoffs, design rationale, or documentation of architecture decisions. None-the-less, both the DoDAF and ZEAF were found to be excellent tools that can be used to provide structure to the development of a holistic view of an enterprise.
Journal of Enterprise Architecture