What is ArchiMate?

ArchiMate is a modelling technique ("language") for describing enterprise architectures. It presents a clear set of concepts within and relationships between architecture domains, and offers a simple and uniform structure for describing the contents of these domains.


Services play a central role in the relationship between domains. Service orientation supports developments such as the service-based network economy and ICT integration with Web services.
These examples already show that services of a very different nature and granularity can be distinguished: they can be provided by organizations to their customers, by applications to business processes, or by technological facilities (e.g., communication networks) to applications.


A layered view provides a natural way to look at service-oriented models. The higher layers use services that are provided by the lower layers. ArchiMate distinguishes three main layers:

  1. The Business layer offers products and services to external customers, which are realized in the organization by business processes performed by business actors and roles.
  2. The Application layer supports the business layer with application services which are realized by (software) application components.
  3. The Technology layer offers infrastructural services (e.g., processing, storage and communication services) needed to run applications, realized by computer and communication hardware and system software.

The most important concepts of ArchiMate are shown below. You can clearly see the uniform approach across layers.