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


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.

Your Tool Requirements



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?




Document systems, processes and dataflows. Create current- and future-state architectures (multiple scenario states), with viewpoints business, information, technology & solutions viewpoints. Import and integrate Visio, UML or BPMN diagrams or draw diagrams with a native drag-and-drop canvas and stencil.


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 a diagramming environment which is properly integrated with your data?




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?


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?




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-prescribed solutions. What styles are available: eg. color-mapping and timeline-based approaches?




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.

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




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.

Your Tool Requirements



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




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




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.

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




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




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.

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?




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?




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




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.

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




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.

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




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


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




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.

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.

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