Archive for March, 2015

Mastering ArchiMate


This is not your usual architecture book as its title suggests it is about modelling using the ArchiMate notation. The author doesn’t promote any particular tool and concentrates on the notation, which recently underwent a major revision.

Whether you are new to ArchiMate or have been using it for some time I think you’ll find this book useful. It starts with the foundational ideas of ArchiMate explaining the basic Elements and Relations: 3 x 3 x 3 rule. That’s the three rows of the meta-model, the Business and Information layer, the Application and Data and the Technology layers. These are subdivided into the Active Structure, the Behaviour and the Passive Structure. The trinity is completed by three types of relations Structural, Dynamic and “Other”. The discussion is accompanied by a multitude of concise examples and you could do a lot worse than drawing these examples up as you go along.

With the basics out of the way the text moves on to the more arcane elements like Interactions and Collaborations again providing lots of examples. With the core elements taken care of chapter three looks at Derived Relations and some pit falls for new players (Chapter 4).

Chapter six is all about style and patterns, the things that make the views easier to read. If you are new to modelling this is useful stuff, it’s the kinds of things that you’d rather not have to learn through your own mistakes. I’d suggest that you might even consider including some of the Anti-Patterns in your modelling standards.

The Advanced Subjects section is particularly interesting. Arguably, there is no right or wrong way of doing things, ArchiMate is a notation like English and there’s always someone who can write better than you. So, I’m interested in the ways that people choose to model particular scenarios and Wierda provides a couple of examples that I’ve never had to consider, data entry for example. But I must confess feeling a little let down by the section on ESBs. Given the prevalence of buses these days I think that his examples are frankly a bit laboured and perhaps a bit self indulgent. After all the purpose of modelling is to drive out ambiguity not obscure the issue in notation. I think this section is definitely a C –. I simply can’t believe that he couldn’t do better!

However, over all you have to give this work two thumbs up. If you’re modelling with ArchiMate get a copy. If you are not, get with the programme, buy a copy and start modelling.

Wierda, Gerben 2014, Mastering ArchiMate Edition II, P & A, The Netherlands
ISBN: 978-90-819840-4-1