Feature Comparison Table for Enterprise Architecture Tool Selection

Guide for Selecting an Enterprise Architecture Platform

Whether you’re working through a tool RFP or RFQ or familiarizing yourself with enterprise architecture tools, the table below is designed to provide a useful overview of some of the key features, capabilities and missions supported by leading enterprise architecture tool, ABACUS.

 

Modeling Configuration Adapters Visualization Collaboration AnalysisEssentials Deployment Support

ABACUS Cloud

Modeling & Roadmapping

 

Modeling current and future state architectures and a range of viewpoints is a core capability for architecture disciplines, including Enterprise Architecture, Solution Architecture and Data Architecture. ABACUS allows practitioners to tailor models and roadmaps appropriate to their industry, methods & stakeholders.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

Frameworks

 

Complete support for TOGAF, ArchiMate, BPMN and BIAN (plus over 100 further frameworks). Architects can configure frameworks in-house without application back-end modifications

 

Check if tools support all frameworks you need now and in the future. Are framework modifications or additions able to be done in-house or will this incur additional costs?

 

Modeling

 

Create current- and future-state architectures (multiple scenario states), with viewpoints across the organization (business, information, technology, solutions). Import Visio diagrams or draw flowcharts & diagrams with a native drag-and-drop UI and one-click source and target linking.

 

Do you require ‘As-Is’ and ‘To-Be” architectures? Can copies of projects be contextually linked to the baseline? What viewpoints are needed and can you customize these? Does your team need an integrated diagramming environment (palette, shapes etc.)?

 

Types

 

Use templates and stencils for business process, infrastructure, capability, customer journey, & business ecosystem modeling plus hundreds of other framework or bespoke ways to model provided as standard

 

Check if modeling is restricted to a framework or vendor style. Are additional modeling types included or at a cost to the customer?

 

Methods

 

Draw/collaborate on diagrams which describe systems, infrastructure etc. Create stakeholder and mission-focused dashboards out of the box.

 

Check if third party tools are required for modelling and diagrams, or for your repository. Check whether existing EA diagrams, solution architectures etc. can be imported easily.

 

Roadmapping

 

Use heatmapping, recommendations, lifecycle properties, ripple-effect, and multiple architecture methods. Build detailed business, technical, strategic and innovation roadmaps

 

Check if roadmapping is limited to framework or vendor-prescribed solutions. What styles are available: eg. color-mapping and timeline-based approaches?

 

Configuration

 

ABACUS gives users the power to define, customize and manage architecture models to fit their business. Avoid being dependent on costly vendor customizations, or rigid frameworks and generic industry and domain artifacts which can’t be adjusted in-house by the architecture team.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

Modify metamodels

 

Guide contributors with templates, customizable data constraints, and predefined list values. Define and modify artifact types, attributes, standards and notations in-house

 

Check if metamodels are framework-restricted and whether costs are involved for each instance of customizations to fit your enterprise

 

Usability

 

Drag and drop functionality to modify existing frameworks or create hybrid frameworks from over 100 different models. No coding or application modifications required

 

Check if vendor outsourcing including database modifications are necessary for framework adaptations to combine approaches and styles to fit your business

 
 
 
 

Adapters & Integrations

 

Enterprise architecture tools need to be extensive, parameter-driven and flexible, allowing organizations to collate information into a single source of truth and share data with management, operations, and technical departments. ABACUS interfaces with other tools and presentation applications via adapters that enable data to be sent and received. A readable and writable RESTful API, allows stakeholders to benefit from EA via their preferred native applications.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

Microsoft

 

Import/export with Word, Excel, and Visio. Store and share data and views via SharePoint, and Teams to collate and share information

 

Check if integrations are restricted or limited. Eg: one-time vendor upload or limitations on file types

 

In-built syncs

 

Roundtrip and sync data right within ABACUS using in-built integrations for Google Sheets, ServiceNow, and Technopedia

 

Some tools require custom scripts developed by vendor per client at cost

 

Integrations

 

Integrate technical, business, and operational data through popular formats and a range of external sources including XML, XPDL, SVG, CMDB, ERP, SQL, DBMS, and others

 

Check for query-based and swivel chair dependency requiring extended workflows

 

API

 

Send live data to and from cross-organizational data sources using ABACUS’ readable and writeable REST API

 

Check whether an API is available to avoid being restricted to limited third party sources and writeable end-points

 

Data Visualization & Reporting

 

Enterprise architecture is more than just creating models and portfolios. Providing insight which is interactive, highlights impacts and support multiple scenarios for both business and IT stakeholders is crucial to delivering value. ABACUS excels in the presentation and delivery of signature-ready proposals, timely information, and providing guidance to key stakeholders.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

Pre-configured dashboards

 

Deliver query-based results directly from the repository in real-time using dashboards based on roles, projects, departments, frameworks and more

 

Do you need dashboards which are configurable for roles, frameworks, stakeholders, etc?

 

Live Data

 

Assemble dashboards for monitoring digital operations. Visualizations change automatically as data is updated via ABACUS, through syncs, API integrations, or browser contributors

 

Check if dashboards refresh with data updates so all users are in sync

 

Dynamic visualizations

 

Analyze data using responsive and easy to configure Pie, Bar, Bubble, Sankey, Gantt, Treemap, Hierarchical Bar, Sunburst, Partition, Chord, 5×5 Risk Matrix visualizations and more

 

Consider what visualizations your team needs to communicate effectively with stakeholders

 

Stakeholder dashboards and reports

 

Fully customizable with roadmaps, KPI indicators, scorecards and timelines with other dynamic visualizations and filters

 

Check if stakeholder dashboards are restricted or template-only with static visualizations

 

EA & Business Views

 

Visualizations for self-serve queries of business analysis, change impacts, and scenario planning directly from the central repository, via your browser

 

Consider whether you may need to respond to queries with data in meetings, or whether a delayed response is sufficient

 

Export

 

Create signature-ready reports with ABACUS and directly export to Word, PDF, Excel

 

Check whether reporting systems rely on WYSIWYG editors or third party ETL systems

 

Comparisons

 

Design reports comparing projects and future-state architecture options including costs, benefits, risks and more. Automate publication and distribution as needed

 

Check if comparison reports are comprehensive

 

Digital Business Collaboration

 

Enterprise architects shouldn’t need to act as data stewards, but they do need to make sure data is maintained. Set up data owners across the business to collaborate on and co-author data via secure browser-editable lists and catalogs. Use permissions and notifications to control data quality.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

Distributed Data Updates

 

Data owners and contributors can update and edit catalogs/lists in-browser via secure browser-editable digital portfolios

 

Check if the EA team needs to handle updates. Are data entry options limited to specific field inputs or feedback loops? How is data entry managed and administered?

 

Co-authoring

 

Multiple users can co-author catalogs via ABACUS or in-browser with changes visible in real-time

 

Check how data is updated and how clean data entry is achieved. Does the EA team need to process data updates themselves from review notes?

 

Socialization

 

Embed digital portfolios in Microsoft Teams, Confluence, Slack etc. for easy access across the business to dashboards and digital portfolios

 

Check if collaboration is limited to email or comments via vendor systems

 

Tailored Access

 

Browsing of the repository in-app and via secure websites with role-based permissions screening eliminating need for obfuscation via duplicated views.

 

Check what is required for setting up and varying access and permissions

 

Permissions & Data Governance

 

Validate/ensure data quality with fine-grained CRUD permissions, including role definition, authorization and user provisioning

 

Check whether role-based access for different user groups is available for data quality governance

 

Authentication

 

Streamlined access with Single Sign-On and Open ID for digital portfolio users and AD integration for desktop users

 

Authentication for some tools can be complex and limit adoption

 

Multi-user Scalability

 

Securely scale so users can collaborate on one or multiple architectures from different locations & time-zones

 

Do you have one, a few, or multiple EAs who need to collaborate with stakeholders in various departments and global regions?

 

Audit trail

 

Full log of all repository changes with roll-back, diff and sync to ensure data consistency

 

Understand whether audit trails are available and what is required for configuration and maintenance

 

Business Analysis & Design, Scenario Analysis, Gap Analysis, Algorithms

 

Understanding current business landscapes using data and metrics, and generating reliable future state scenarios is core to business success. ABACUS supports this with powerful analytics and scenario analysis features. Architects and strategy managers can undertake gap analysis, trace impacts and relationships, test future state architecture designs, and guide businesses forward.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

What-if analysis

 

Predict the impact of change incl. technical, financial, business, operational, regulatory and compliance, based on integrated enterprise data

 

Check if what-if analysis is available, and whether it is limited to specific datasets

 

Gap analysis

 

Identify the steps needed to move between the current state and future-state architecture options with diagram, table-based, visualization and architecture comparisons

 

Check if the differences between baseline and target architectures are easy to identify and compare

 

Scenario Analysis

 

Model current, target, and, future states and compare values attached to different architectures with visual recommendations to guide your business

 

Consider if you require only ‘As-Is’ modeling, or if you need to map out scenarios and alternative future states options

 

Traceability

 

Discover detailed relationships between customer interactions and operations, applications, data and resources using element connections visualized in matrices, diagrams, catalogs, charts and more

 

Understand how a tool defines relationships and if it allows traceability enabling impact, dependency, and what-if analysis

 

Predictive analytics

 

Use algorithms to predict the outcomes of scenarios, strategies and future state architectures

 

Do you require whole-of-architecture analytics, in-depth modeling, and scenario analysis?

 

No-code algorithms

 

Create tailored analysis formulas to calculate metrics specific to your business, technology structures and industry without writing a single line of code

 

Consider whether you require strong analytics functionality: both operational and strategic

 

Pre-built algorithms

 

Calculate Costs, TCO, ROI, NPV, Risk, Security, Complexity, Reliability, Cloud Readiness, Resource Utilization, Response Times, Performance, Maturity, Availability etc. with algorithms out-of-the-box

 

Are analytics integrated or is a tool reliant on third party tools or manual calculations

 

Essential to Enterprise Architecture

 

Tools for enterprise architecture come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging in functionality and maturity. ABACUS includes key features which are essential for successful enterprise architecture. These include user and view configuration, powerful repository search, and guidance for contributors, collaborators, and consumers of business insights.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

User Interface

 

Intuitive UI with online tutorials and guides or in-person training available

 

Assess user-interface and on-boarding processes for both experts and stakeholders

 

Configurable

 

Easily adjust object properties and catalog, matrix, dashboard, and chart settings and manage permissions within ABACUS

 

Check whether data entry permissions setup is tied to separate or third party processes

 

Tailor Views

 

Develop insights for maximum business impact using executive-friendly icons

 

Understand what stakeholder views are available and whether they can be tailored in-house

 

Data Management

 

Set up hierarchies benefiting from a graph database back-end rather than storing data in “flat” lists; classify and organize architectures

 

Understand how data is stored in tools under consideration; this impacts ease of modifications, and how much vendor assistance is necessary

 

Federated Assembly

 

Changes to artifacts on any view update the repository and the relationships and information in any other views kept in sync. View all object information via properties and summary windows

 

Consider whether you are managing multiple models, and need to minimize manual changes

 

Flexible Categorization

 

Drag and drop ordering of hierarchical structures to allow intuitive as opposed to alphabetical or numerical ordering

 

Is the ability to re-order categories easily required for your team

 

Guided Roadmapping

 

Synchronize or merge architectures using architecture “Diff” comparison tool, plus guidance on whether to sync / merge according to the specific differences

 

Comparing architectures manually is standard for many tools, but can be time-consuming for large enterprises

 

Democratized Details

 

Supports detailed descriptions of business processes via standardized notations and the relationships of any connected data and application objects

 

Support for framework defined business notation and directly associated objects so users see the appropriate details of objects in the model

 

Familiar Diagramming

 

Provides modeling options for BPMN and UML libraries incl. UML Sequence Diagrams and elements such as swimlanes, interactions, events, and gates.

 

Consider if you require “with purchase” support for key frameworks including BPMN and UML

 

Search & Filtering

 

Full-Text search, filter functionalities on all elements, views and dashboards

 

In some tools search can be limited to filtering on catalogs and portfolios

 

Uninterrupted Workflows

 

Work online or offline while avoiding ‘lock-and-block’ and ‘live connect’ issues

 

Consider the size of your team and whether staff need to work on the same model and work offline

 

Deployment

 

Every organization is different and every user has different access requirements. ABACUS can be deployed on-premise, via secure hosted cloud or both, giving users access from their preferred OS and browser anywhere in the world.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

Less Maintenance

 

Full cloud deployment available with zero client install and configuration

 

Cloud deployment available from some tool vendors or third party providers

 

Flexible Setup

 

On-premise, cloud and hybrid deployment options available

 

Does your team require on-premise or cloud deployments or options for hybrid solutions

 

Secure and Economical

 

Dedicated or Multi-tenant deployment for cloud and hybrid setups

 

Single-tenant or instance deployments can be limiting for large enterprises

 

Customer Success & Support

 

ABACUS is a fully supported platform built to deliver value for enterprise architects and organizations. With programs designed to get teams up to speed quickly using their own business data, extensive training options for various users, and resources covering technical and scenario-driven aspects, teams can achieve quick time-to-value.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 

Readily Available

 

24/7 email support; weekday phone support and online or in-person training

 

Support and training equip teams with the skills to deliver value across the enterprise

 

Knowledge Base and Self-Service Learning

 

Community online portal with searchable introductory tutorials, expert guides and peer-to-peer forums

 

Peer-to-peer and community user groups can provide valuable guidance and ideas

 

Expert Assistance

 

Dedicated Customer Success and Rapid Start Programs tailored to business outcomes

 

Tailored training using company data can accelerate enterprise architecture programs

 

Extendable Services

 

As-needed technical and discipline specialist advice and masterclasses

 

Understand the level of expertise and and support expecatation required for your team

 

Learn more about how ABACUS can support your team

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