ArchiMate Made Practical

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Figure 2 02 Most Important relationships between concepts.png ArchiMate Made Practical

Zie ook: ArchiMate in de praktijk


How do I model an application landscape? How do I relate logical (implementation independent) and physical (implementation dependent) business processes? How do I match the application portfolio with the technical infrastructure? How do I visualize what data are required when delivering which products and services to customers? How do I model a service broker?

These are all examples of modeling questions that an enterprise architect will be confronted with. There are many variants of modeling solutions that are being practiced in order to answer these questions. These variants lead to inconsistencies and can limit good communication. Behind every model there is an original story, but a model can often evolve into its own new “truth” where the original story will get lost over time, especially if the originator of the model is no longer involved in the maintenance of that model.

Companies that practice ‘working under architecture’ are using ArchiMate more and more as a descriptive language for capturing enterprise architectures consisting of domains such as: products/services, processes, organization, data, applications and technical infrastructure. Using this language it is possible to model the structure and behaviour? within a domain as well as the relationships between domains. Another important aspect of ArchiMate is the possibility of visualizing models using multiple viewpoints, specific to different stakeholders. Besides this, the language provides a formal foundation to enable analysis of models (for example on an aspect such as performance). ArchiMate is deliberately not intended to replace existing languages like BPMN, UML etc.; it is positioned to deliver value in addition to these existing languages. The intention is to tie in as much as possible with existing standards and practices.

The ArchiMate language is currently undergoing widespread adoption by an increasing number of Enterprise Architects both in the Netherlands and Internationally. Whilst this has been beneficial in providing a level of standardisation to the models created by architects, what we can observe is that the same architecture problem can be modelled in multiple different ways, and some ways modeling practices, techniques and conventions are more effective than others. Thus those architects who are skilled and experienced in the use of the language are able to produce models with greater accuracy, consistency, clarity and communicative value than the majority of newcomers. This guide aims to capture a number of effective practices, distilled from experience, in modelling common architecture problems using ArchiMate.

Goal and Intended Public

The ArchiMate workgroup has received a considerable number of questions about how ArchiMate concepts should be applied to perform real and practical work.

The aim of this document is to start answering these questions by describing proven solutions, documented as good practices. This will lower the threshold for applying ArchiMate in practice and will increase the effective value of the developed models, and consistency in approaching common modeling situations

This document is written for enterprise architects who want to apply ArchiMate in practice as a language for capturing models of organizations, the ICT-support and the relationships between them.

This document should be treated in addition to existing ArchiMate documentation (see the appendix for references):

  • Enterprise Architecture At Work.
  • Archimate 2.1 An Introduction
  • Archimate 2.1 Reference Cards.
  • Viewpoints Functionality and Examples.
  • ArchiMate 2.1 Specification

Reading Guide

The following chapters contain a collection of good practices. For each documented good practice, the following structure is used:

  • Name in the paragraph title: a recognizable name that summarizes the contents of the good practice
  • Question: a description of the question that is leading to the development of the good practice
  • Solution: a description and visualization of the preferred solution that gives an answer to the question
  • Consequences: a description of the consequences of the solution, for example in relation to communication with stakeholders, consequences for implementation, etc.
  • Alternatives: a description of alternative solutions with the justification for each alternative
  • Relationships with other good practices: a description of the relationships that exist with other good practices

In this document, two types of good practices have been collected:

  • Good practices that give an answer to conceptual ArchiMate questions (how does one use a certain concept in practice?).
  • Good practices that give an answer to modeling questions.

The good practices are organized as follows:

Changes since last version

This document is a renewed version of the booklet ‘ArchiMate in de praktijk’ version 4.0 published in 2012 by the working group ArchiMate Usage/Tools. In this version 4.0 new best practices have been added. In addition text has been modified for readability and the style of figures are made more consistent.

The new good practices are:

  • Information domain
  • Nesting and implicit relations
  • File transfer


More information about the ArchiMate Forum, the activities of the working group ArchiMate Usage/Tools and the collected good practices can be found on the websites:

On the last site, new good practices will be published before these will be integrated in a next version of this booklet.

Call for new good practices

The content of this document is by no means complete and leaves questions unanswered. This document is therefore designed to be a living document. It contains a collection of good practices harvested from day-to-day usage.

Our intent is to get the reader started with these good practices, and that, based on this usage, new insights will emerge which will be subsequently integrated into this document.

Do you have any modeling questions that you would like answered? Do you have good practices that you want to share with your peers? Or do you want to participate in the working group ArchiMate Usage/Tools, where we collect and discuss good practices and integrate them into this document? You can contact the chairs of the working group via the email address: en Or by telephone, contact Harmen van den Berg (+31 6 5119 8282) or Egon Willemsz (+31 6 5235 3089).


  • M. Lankhorst, Enterprise Architecture At Work – Modelling, Communication, and Analysis, Telematica Instituut/Springer, 2005, ISBN 3-540-24371-2.
  • The Open Group, ArchiMate 2.0 An Introduction, The Open Group, 2012 [1].
  • The Open Group, ArchiMate 2.1 Specification – Technical Standard, The Open Group, 2013 [2].
  • The Open Group, ArchiMate 2.1 Summary Reference Card, The Open Group, 2013 [3].
  • The Open Group, ArchiMate 2.1 Reference Card, The Open Group, 2013 [4].
  • The Open Group, ArchiMate 2.1 Metamodels Reference Card, The Open Group, 2013 [5].
  • The Open Group, ArchiMate 2.1 Viewpoints Reference Card, The Open Group, 2013 [6].
  • M.M. Lankhorst, A.J. Klievink, P.H.W.M. Oude Luttighuis, E. Fielt, L. Heerink, D. van Leeuwen, Kanaalpatronen – Kanalen in Balans, Novay / TU Delft, 2009 [7].
  • Bas van Gils en Sven van Dijk, ArchiMate - From Theory to Practice, 2015 [8].
  • Gerben Wierda, Mastering ArchiMate II, 2015 [9].