Learning Unit (LU) 7 provides an overview of available frameworks, models, and tools. Best practices are described,
as well as the benefits (and limits) of existing frameworks, models, and tools. Personally I found this LU by far the most boring. It explains how to properly use concepts in ArchiMate and that you need more than one modeling language to properly document your EA. Not that the subject is boring but I found these papers rather repetitive. The first paper however is one that I did find really interesting and that is about mapping ArchiMate concepts to the business model canvas (BMC). I’ve known about the BMC for some time and seeing how ArchiMate maps to it was informative.


Mapping the Business Model Canvas to ArchiMate

So, I’ve known about the BMC from a business club I sometimes attend. A consultant in there always talks about how awesome it is and thus it was interesting to me to see how it maps to ArchiMate concepts.

The main contribution of this paper is: “to define a mapping between Osterwalder’s Business Model Ontology and The Open Group’s enterprise architecture modeling standard, ArchiMate.”. The authors specifically chose this combination since both are de-facto standard in their respective industries.

But what is the “Osterwalder’s business model ontology you might wonder? Well the definition from the man himself is in the paper: “A business model is a conceptual tool that contains a set of elements and their relationships and allows expressing a company’s logic of earning money. It is a description of the value a company offers to one or several segments of customers and the architecture of the firm and its network of partners for creating, marketing and delivering this value and relationship capital, in order to generate profitable and sustainable revenue streams.

On the other hand, ArchiMate is a language to capture alignment between EA and business models.

The authors present some very nice visuals to show what elements in the BMC map to which concepts of the ArchiMate language.

The study found that all concepts in the BMC can be mapped to ArchiMate, so in terms of completeness of mapping it is all doable. They made some choices here and there like for example: Customers in the BMC can be mapped to “Role” or “Actor” in ArchiMate. It even has some excess concepts since the ArchiMate language is richer than the BMC. So in some cases the same BMC concept can map to multiple ArchiMate concepts. This concludes that you can model the BMC to ArchiMate very well. You may have to provide some rationale to explain the use of other concepts over others. Like why you chose Role instead of Actor.


Concepts for Modeling Enterprise Architecture

This paper describes that, to date (2004), there is no single language that completely covers everything going on in an organization. The authors of this paper propose a language that will cover all the bases when it comes to enterprise modeling, from business, application and technology levels to architectural domains with UML. This paper was written by four authors from The Netherlands, so thumbs up here :p This paper addresses the following questions:

  1. “At which level of specificity should concepts be described, and more generally, what is the relation between the integrated language and existing detailed languages?”
  2. “Which domains should be in the language?”
  3. “For each domain, which concepts should be included in the language?”
  4. “How to describe relations between domains?”

A major challenge the authors must overcome is to strike the correct balance between specificity of language for every individual domain and a general set of architectural concepts. They look at many different languages like ebXML, BPML, IDEF, ARIS, Tastbed and UML. Next they try to comprise concepts from these languages into a single language to form a general meta-model.

Then they describe the ArchiMate layers which were described in the previous article as well, but apparently I did not document them so here you go:

  • The product domain: with the concept “product” that describes the (information) products or services that an organization offers to its customers.
  • The organization domain: describing the business actors (employees, organizational units) and the roles they may fulfill
  • The process domain: describing business processes or business functions consisting of business activities.
  • The information domain: representing the knowledge in an organization and the way it is structured.
  • The data domain: in which information is represented in such a way that it is suitable for automated processing.
  • The application domain: describing software applications that support the business through application services.
  • The technical infrastructure domain: comprising concepts for e.g. hardware platforms and communication infrastructure, needed to support applications.

Then the authors map these domains across different layers: the business, application or technology layer separated by different aspects, the information, behaviour or structure aspect. They do mention that it is very important to realize that the classification of concepts based on conceptual domains, or based on aspects and layers is only a global one!

The next part of the paper describes all these layers in detail and this is where they explain about their language. There is too much information for me to properly abstract in this short blog post so i encourage you to read this paper if you are interested.

They conclude this paper with saying that they outlined a language for describing integrated enterprise architectures. They do NOT recommend to develop an entirely new language! They advocate to use existing languages since they already have adoption and thus are easily used. UML seemed to be the most used, validated and improved modeling language in many practical examples, studies and real-life situations.

Then to get back to the research questions: The concepts in the language for enterprise description hold the middle between detailed concepts that are used for modeling individual domains, e.g. the UML for modeling software, and very general architecture concepts that view systems merely as entities and their inter-relations. This new language forms the bridge between other existing languages. Second; Concepts in the language cover the business, application and technology domain and layers of the enterprise. Third: For each layer, concepts and relations for modeling the information, behaviour and structure aspects are defined. Fourth: Usage of services offered by one layer to another plays an important role in relating the behaviour aspects of the layers.


Agile enterprise architecture modelling: Evaluating the applicability and integration of six modelling standards

So, I’m going to be totally honest with you; I did not finish reading this article because it was the most boring article of the course. This article described multiple modelling standard, most of which were known to me already, and while being 5 pages into this article I just could not keep my attention.

I think that’s sad because the title intrigued me because I exclusively work in agile teams and documentation is sometimes hard to keep recent. So checking multiple standard to see which is best seems like a nice research. But… I don’t know, the paper was just terribly boring and I just could not finish is after reading about the basic concepts of ArchiMate again.

The conclusion of this research was that: Based on the six modelling standards: 1) ArchiMate, 2) BPMN, 3) UML, 4) FAML, 5) SoaML, 6) BMM a hybrid enterprise modelling approach is proposed. The conclusion is that ArchiMate does NOT replace existing low-level modelling standards, rather it can be used in conjunction with low-level modelling standards.

So, basically, a similar conclusion as the previous article. I think when I read this part in the abstract of the paper, I lost my attention haha. But I guess that’s exactly what the abstract is for, it surely saved me some time not to read it.



Ok, so this LU was the most boring by far! So much repetitive information. We also needed to study the ArchiMate 3.1 specification. Which I did first because I thought it would help me better understand the papers we needed to read. And, although I was right (I think :P) it made the papers feel so repetitive and boring since the information about ArchiMate was already known to me.

However, as I said before, the paper about the Business Model Canvas and ArchiMate was interesting to me. Luckily, it was the first paper we needed to read this LU. Plus, we needed to make an individual assignment this LU where we needed to map a BMC to archimate for a fictional low-budget airline. This was pretty fun but vague and a bit abstract.


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Article 1: https://ris.utwente.nl/ws/portalfiles/portal/5363569/Meertens12mapping.pdf

Article 2: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/220095198_Concepts_For_Modeling_Enterprise_Architectures

Article 3: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0950584915001251

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