Getting Started

Getting Started with ArchiMate and Modelling


The basic material to learn about and start modelling your Enterprise Architecture with ArchiMate can be found on the website of the ArchiMate Forum. This material includes the ArchiMate specification, reference cards, white papers, presentations and more. This constitutes the core ArchiMate reference material but can make for somewhat abstract reading. To put ArchiMate and EA into context, we recommend the following books:


Enterprise Architecture at Work: Modelling, Communication and Analysis, by Marc Lankhorst et al.

This book offers a great introduction to the ArchiMate language and EA modelling principles. It begins with a general introduction to Enterprise Architecture, methods and techniques, surveys the existing frameworks and then explores ArchiMate and its application in greater detail.


Mastering ArchiMate, by Gerben Wierda

Mastering ArchiMate provides an approachable introduction to the ArchiMate language, with practical examples of modelling scenarios. It also provides real case examples of how and when to use the various ArchiMate elements and relations. The author has extensive ArchiMate experience in industry and shares his wealth of experience with the reader. The second edition of the book is now available in hard cover and PDF format.


Beyond these reading materials you will need an ArchiMate modelling tool. You could use a drawing package such as Visio or Omnigraffle, and ArchiMate stencils and templates are available for both. If you do use either of these tools, you will produce some nice diagrams. However, you will not be able to work with the actual ArchiMate model at the semantic level. What you need is a tool that lets you draw the ArchiMate elements and relations in diagrammatic views and also creates model elements that describe their nature and relationships. Most tools implement a repository of model elements (usually viewed as a tree) and a means to re-use and reference those elements in diagrams.


Archi provides such a model repository in its "Model Tree" and also allows you to create any number of ArchiMate diagrams, or "Views", that reference the elements and relations in that model repository. For example, you can create a Business Actor type element in the Model Tree and give it a name of "Customer", some textual documentation and some properties. You can then re-use that Customer element any number of times in more than one View with a different visual appearance for each instance.

Once you've familiarised yourself with the basics of ArchiMate and downloaded Archi, it's time to start modelling...