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 Integrations Visualization Collaboration AnalysisEssentials Deployment Support

Analytics and Modeling with ABACUS

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 build models and roadmaps appropriate to their industry, methods & stakeholders.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 
Frameworks
 

Complete support for TOGAF, ArchiMate and BPMN (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
 

Document systems, processes and dataflows. Create business, information, technology & solutions viewpoints. Import and integrate Visio, UML or BPMN diagrams. Draw with a native drag-and-drop canvas and stencil. Lightweight web-based diagramming for easy enterprise-wide use. Model current- and future-state architectures (multiple scenario states)

 

Do you need a diagramming environment which is properly integrated with your data? (Third party tools and manual diagram updates are time-consuming)

What viewpoints do you need and can you customize these? Do you require ‘As-Is’ and ‘To-Be” architectures? Can copies of projects be contextually linked to the baseline?

 
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 current iconography & shape libraries available eg AWS, Azure?  Are additional modeling types included or at a cost to the customer?

 
Integrated diagrams
 

Draw and collaborate on diagrams and flowcharts which describe business processes, dataflows, systems, infrastructure, etc. Diagrams in ABACUS update automatically as the data in your repository is edited. Updates flow through to dashboards.

 

Check if third party tools are required for modeling/diagrams, or for your repository. Are diagrams embedded (manual redraw required when data changes) or integrated? Can existing EA diagrams, solution architectures etc. be imported easily?

 
Roadmapping
 

Use heatmapping, recommendations, lifecycle properties, and interactive Gantt Charts to visualize roadmaps. Build detailed business, technical, strategic and innovation roadmaps

 

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

 

Configuration

Architects need to be able to define, customize and manage architectures and metamodels to fit their business.  The repository and connected artifacts need to be modified as the business moves forwards. Avoid being dependent on costly customizations, rigid frameworks or 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. Can the tool adapt to fit the data, approaches and style of your business?

 
 
 
 

Adapters & Integrations

Enterprise architecture tools need to allow organizations to collate information into a single source of truth and share data with management, operations, and technical departments. ABACUS integrates 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 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 produces signature-ready proposals and self-service details and metrics for stakeholders.

 
ABACUS
 
Your Tool Requirements
 
Pre-configured dashboards
 

Deliver your chosen KPIs directly from the repository in real-time using dashboards showing calculations, query-results and interactive charts and diagrams. Tailor dashboards for roles, projects, departments etc.

 

Do you need dashboards which are configurable for roles, frameworks, stakeholders, etc? Do metrics need to be specific to departments or projects?

 
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, 5×5 Risk Matrix and Graph View visualizations.

 

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
 
Single Repository with Easy Data Updates
 

Data owners and contributors can update and edit catalogs/lists in-browser via secure browser-editable digital portfolios. Any data and diagram changes update the central repository in real-time.

 

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, intranets 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 connections visualized in matrices, diagrams, catalogs, charts and Graph View.

 

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. Fill in missing or incomplete data using Machine Learning.

 

Understand how data storage and improvement can impact time-to-value and ease of use and modification of data

 
Remote Working
 

Cloud-based management of portfolios: application lists, asset registers, processes etc. Interactive dashboards for self-service access to reports. ABACUS supports remote work and real-time collaboration

 

Consider whether your team can move easily to work from home or when travelling, and whether you may need to scale up quickly as demand and buy-in increases.

 
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

 
Secure Access
 

ABACUS supports seamless access with Single Sign-on (SSO) and AD integration. ABACUS Cloud users can also enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA).

 

Consider the sensitivity of enterprise architecture data, and the importance of maintaining strong security for your team.

 

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. Check if support is available locally for your time zone.

 
Knowledge Base and Self-Service Learning
 

Online Knowledge Base 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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