Authors: W. H. Inmon, John A. Zachman, Jonathan G. Geiger
Publisher: Computing McGraw-Hill (ISBN 0-07-031429-2)
The recently published book, Data Stores, Data Warehousing and the Zachman Framework (McGraw-Hill, 1997) is a valuable resource for anyone who is involved in the complex and essential work of
turning data into information and knowledge. All organizations collect data. Many companies do not know that, by following the architecture principles listed and described in this book, they can
have accessible information which can form the knowledge base to provide competitive advantage.
The book begins with the overview of the history of computing and data organization which led to the discovery of a need for an architecture and the guiding principles an architecture provides. The
authors describe the route taken by John A. Zachman in his development of the Information Systems Architecture, commonly called “The Zachman Framework”. This description serves as a foundation
for the detailed discussions of the composition of the Zachman Framework, its six views (Planner, Owner, Designer, Builder, Subcontractor) and the activities that apply to each view. These
descriptions are valuable to anyone who has seen the Framework chart and attempted to relate the intersection of the views with their uses in a systems development environment. As I read the book,
I frequently glanced at the copy of the Framework chart hanging on the wall of my office.
The chapters in Part Two provided this reviewer with clear, concise and informative explanations and examples of the purposes and uses of the Framework’s components. As noted in the text, “the
Zachman Framework support, and does not conflict with, commonly adopted techniques used throughout the information management industry.” These techniques are integrated into the descriptions of
the components of the Zachman Framework, and are placed in context, providing a complete picture of the information management enterprise.
Data Warehousing is one of the most popular topics in the information systems arena. As defined by one of the authors, W. H. Inmon, commonly called “The Father of Data Warehousing” a data
warehouse is a subject-oriented, read-only, historical database to be used for decision support and analytical purposes. This definition and its applicability to the discovery of knowledge is
underscored in the authors’ treatment of this technology. Data Warehousing is presented in the context of the Zachman Framework, and the book explains how the data warehousing methodology fits
into the Zachman Framework mapping. The book provides detailed descriptions of the steps inherent in building the first, and then subsequent data warehouses, and shows how the Framework can assist
in the successful development and maintenance of these historical data stores.
For anyone interested in the uses of methodology to achieve the goal of turning data into information into knowledge, reading the book, Data Stores, Data Warehousing and the Zachman Framework, is