“An organization (or Enterprise) is the most complex structure man ever conceived” - a comment made by John Zachman, the father of the Enterprise Architecture discipline, on more than one occasion when addressing executive management teams of large organizations.

It feels overwhelming to hear a statement like that when you are a mere mortal working towards creating a coherent architecture for your organization. You have to find a way of receiving context and intent and communicating architecture decisions with a wide range of stakeholders within and outside of the organization, whilst at the same time you must leverage architecture and solutions assets from within the organization and the industry at large.

It is in this context where silver bullets fired from consultants and colleagues alike (and from several different disciplines) provide more chaos than simple straight forward answers to the architectural problems in the organization.

In this white paper I want to position the Configuration Management Database, or CMDB, within the organization versus the Architecture Repository. In recent blog posts, vendor tool demonstrations and other web discussions I’m noticing a trend where organizations are trying to position the Enterprise Architecture Repository as a single version of the truth in the organization and by doing so, importing or merging data from several environments into one.

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