Friday 11 July 2008
Archimate is a modeling language for IT architectures.
It was developed by Telin - The Telematics Institute in The Netherlands together with large companies and institutions like Capgemini, The Dutch Tax department, Getronics, Ordina, and several universities.
The Archimate language is mostly based on UML technologies. It is used to model architectures that span multiple domains. By using Archimate one can get a layered model of the business, with business- application and technology architectures in one picture. The main idea behind Archimate is that the impact of a disruption or a change in one architectural component will be reflected in other components, possibly on other layers. As an example, one can create what-if scenarios: What if we would phase out the mainframe? What components of our architecture would be affected?
The Archimate language relies heavily on a concept called Services. These services are not to be confused with the SOA services. Services in Archimate are mainly drawing techniques. The services are not necessarily implemented in software.
Several tools are available for modeling architectures using Archimate. The best known tools are BiZZdesign Architect , ARIS ArchiMate Modeler and Casewise Corporate Modeler. There are also (free) Visio templates available if you want to gain some experience in using the Archimate symbols. Here is a quick reference of the symbols used.
Archimate's value is to create a high-level model of an enterprise architecture.
When architectures are modeled with Archimate, The next step would be to model in more detail. This should be done using techniques most suitable for the specific domain. For instance, on the application domain architectures are best modeled in more detail using UML. Technical (infrastructure) models are usually drawn using Visio.
The board of the ArchiMate Foundation and the board of The Open Group have expressed their intentions to adopt ArchiMate as an independent standard for enterprise architecture modelling and analysis under the aegis of The Open Group. This will probably make Archimate a more international standard.