The ArchiMate® 3.1 Specification In 3 Minutes

The ArchiMate® 3.1 Specification in 3 minutes


The ArchiMate® 3.1 Specification, a standard of The Open Group, defines an open and independent modeling language for Enterprise Architecture that is supported by different tool vendors and consulting firms. The ArchiMate language enables Enterprise Architects to describe, analyze, and visualize the relationships among business domains in an unambiguous way.


ArchiMate® 3.1 Specification, 6th Edition, 1st impression. The Open group series

The basics

This book is the official specification of the ArchiMate 3.1 modeling language from The Open Group. This edition of the standard includes a number of corrections, clarifications, and improvements to the previous edition, as well as several additions.


The role of the ArchiMate Specification is to provide a graphical language for the representation of Enterprise Architectures over time (i.e., including strategic, transformation, and migration planning), as well as the motivation and rationale for the architecture. The ArchiMate modeling language provides a uniform representation for diagrams that describe Enterprise Architectures, and offers an integrated approach to describe and visualize the different architecture domains together with their underlying relations and dependencies.

The design of the ArchiMate language started from a set of relatively generic concepts (objects and relations), which have been specialized for application at the different architectural layers for an Enterprise Architecture. The most important design restriction on the ArchiMate language is that it has been explicitly designed to be as compact as possible, yet still usable for most Enterprise Architecture modeling tasks. In the interest of simplicity of learning and use, the language has been limited to the concepts that suffice for modeling the proverbial 80% of practical cases.


The main changes between Version 3.0.1 and Version 3.1 of the ArchiMate Specification are as follows: 

  • A new strategy element is introduced: value stream
  • An optional directed notation for the association relationship is added
  • The organization of the metamodel and associated figures is improved
  • The derivation of relationships is further improved and formally described

In addition to these changes, various other minor improvements in definitions and other wording have been made.

The contents of the specification include the following:

·      The introduction, including the objectives, overview, conformance requirements, and terminology

·      Definitions of the general terms used in the specification

·      The structure of the modeling language

·      The generic metamodel of the language

·      The relationships in the language

·      A detailed breakdown of the modeling framework covering the motivation elements, strategy elements, and the three core layers (Business/Application/Technology)

·      Relationships between core layers

·      Implementation and migration elements for expressing the implementation and migration aspects of an architecture

·      The concepts of stakeholders, architecture viewpoints, and views, and also the ArchiMate viewpoint mechanism

·      Mechanisms for customizing the language for specialized or domain-specific purposes

·      Notation overviews and summaries

·      Informative descriptions of the relationship of the ArchiMate language to other standards, specifications, and guidance documents, including the TOGAF framework, Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN), Unified Modeling Language (UML), the BIZBOK® Guide,[1]and Business Motivation Model (BMM)

Target audience

Enterprise architects, business architects, IT architects, application architects, data architects, software architects, systems architects, solutions architects, infrastructure architects, process architects, domain architects, product managers, operational managers, senior managers, project leaders, and anyone committed to work within the reference framework defined by an Enterprise Architecture; those who intend to implement the ArchiMate language in a software tool; the academic community, on which we rely for amending and improving the language, based on state-of-the-art research results in the Enterprise Architecture field