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Learning ArchiMate Part 3 – Core Concepts & Elements

Published: July 18, 2013
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Core Concepts

In the last article, we introduced relationships in ArchiMate. Relationships define how individual components of a system work, how they flow, how they influence each other, and define where they lay in the architecture model.

In this article, we will begin the discussion of exactly what those components are, how they are represented, and establish how the relationships draw them together in viewpoints.


ArchiMate is defined with three basic core elements: Passive, Behavioral, and Active.

Passive elements are accessed or acted upon by Active elements using some type of Behavior. Passive elements can be databases, files, or some other repository. A passive element does nothing other than provide static elements.

Behavior elements describe actions that are taken to accomplish some task. This includes processes, functions, events, and others.


Active elements are what perform the behavior such as an Actor, Role, or Collaboration.

Two other concepts further instruct the functional aspects of a system: Service and Interface. A service provides something useful from a system to an entity outside that system. An interface is the structural element used to make the service available.

At a slightly lower level, a service may be provided by an interaction of behaviors of two collaborating structural elements.


This ArchiMate graphic illustrates the elements described above in terms of their relationships.

Archimate-Core-ConceptsNext time…

In our next article, we will delve deeper into a discussion of the layers and framework of ArchiMate.

This blog includes extracts of the ArchiMate 2.0 Specification, Copyright © 2009-2012 The Open Group. ArchiMate® is a registered trademark of The Open Group. For the original material please refer to this page.

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