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ArchiMate®: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

ArchiMate®: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

ArchiMate®: What Is It, and Why Should You Care?

Are you in the enterprise-architecture field? Then you've heard of ArchiMate. Click here to see why you should get certified as a practitioner.

Keyword(s): archimate

The ArchiMate® has gained popularity as the standard instrument in enterprise architecture. It has strongly come out as the first reference point for modeling in architecture. Its sharp level of focus is what sets it apart from other tools.

Enterprise architecture is the analysis, planning, design, and implementation of business IT. The aim is to enhance profit generation. The purpose is to create a reference map for IT assets to drive the business strategy.

What is the anatomy of the ArchiMate®? What is it that makes it ideal for IT-architecture in enterprise architecture? There is something more than the connections between the "boxes" of architecture.

Here is a detailed description and analysis of the ArchiMate®. Once you are through reading, you will understand why you should care about it.

Understanding ArchiMate®

The ArchiMate® enables the user to make use of visual language to capture and model the architectural design. Through the tool, you can visualize relationships within the domains of enterprise architecture. The fields include processes, data applications, organization, and technical infrastructure.

The tool is also an open and independent language for modeling in the Enterprise Architecture department. Different consulting firms and tool vendors are in support of the instrument. It provides platforms that make designing easier.

It removes the ambiguity in describing and analyzing the relationship in the domains of the process.

ArchiMate® uses a common language to describe the operation of architectural structures. It also defines IT systems, information flows, and technical infrastructure. Stakeholders can design, communicate, and assess the consequences of their decisions.

Model Elements of ArchiMate®

ArchiMate® makes it possible for users to look at service-oriented models through its three layers. Application, Business, and Technology are the three levels of the ArchiMate®. Further analysis of the elements makes implementation or realization of the tool easier.

The business element is the topmost, and it highlights services that the customers can get. At the middle level are the applications that make it possible to provide the services. At the lowest level is the technology.

It represents the technical infrastructure of the applications that enable service delivery.

How Stakeholders Relate with ArchiMate®

It is a complex task to establish and maintain a unified enterprise architecture. The complexity comes from the fact that the people involved are from diverse backgrounds. They all have varying notions about what is best for the processes.

The ArchiMate® modeling language creates an environment for flexibility in the approach.

Stakeholders can use their views in the enterprise architecture. This works by giving them specific viewpoints. The viewpoints help them remain within the scope of the project. The viewpoints define the abstractions on the models that represent the enterprise architecture.

Each of the viewpoints is directed at a particular class of stakeholders. It also addresses specific concerns. Viewpoints make it easier to relate two or more aspects.

They make the stakeholders view different aspects in isolation then merge them.

The ArchiMate® language guides the architect in the classification and definition of viewpoints. The architect designs and constructs views for communication between the stakeholders.

Views and Viewpoints

Views are the ideal mechanisms through which information about architecture areas is conveyed. A view is an integral part of the architecture description. It addresses specific concerns. A view is made more explicit by using a viewpoint.

A viewpoint gives a prescription for the models and concepts provided by the view. It also prescribes the visualizations and analysis techniques of the view. In other words, a view is a mental picture, but a viewpoint is where you are when you are looking at it.

The ArchiMate® gives room for more than one architectural view.

An architecture view is an expression of the system of interest according to the architecture viewpoint. Two aspects of a viewpoint are the concerns it frames, and the conventions it establishes. A viewpoint frames one or more concerns, and more than one viewpoint can conceive a concern.

Viewpoints serve to communicate certain aspects of architecture. The communication can be informative, but it should be bi-directional. Through viewpoints, an architect can inform stakeholders about the process, and they can respond.

The scope of the view depends on the viewpoint and its relevance to the stakeholders.

Types of Viewpoints in the ArchiMate®

ArchiMate® language assists the architect to select content and purpose for the project. These two must be relevant to the concerns of the stakeholders. The tool has classified viewpoints into the following categories:

  • The Enterprise Viewpoint: It examines the system in the context of its environment and business requirements. It entails the scope, organizational structure, policies, and purpose of the enterprise.
  • The Information Viewpoint: it is all about the information availed in the system. It is concerned with how the data flows and changes. It also encompasses the logical divisions between the various functions of the system.
  • Computational Viewpoint: It deals with the functional decomposition of the architecture system. It looks at how the elements interact at different interfaces.
  • Engineering viewpoint: It focuses on the support system of the interaction of the distribution network.
  • Technology viewpoint: It gives attention to the software and hardware components of the system.

The purpose of the viewpoints in their different categories is to help in designing, deciding, and informing. Once the stakeholders know what is happening, they can make the right decisions.

ArchiMate® - Take Away

ArchiMate® tool has a lot of contributions to make in the enterprise architecture industry. If it is appropriately applied, it curbs mishaps that occur due to information overload. The viewpoints are streamlined and adequately categorized to help in the development of views within a given scope.

The ArchiMate® can help firms in the enterprise architecture industry to manage their IT costs. It helps them decide when to retain, retire, or rebuild some applications. It, however, does not work in isolation.

Apply the ArchiMate® model in your enterprise architectural processes to enhance efficiency. You will eliminate random views that can complicate the process. This way, you can follow through those created through the ArchiMate® standard.

If you want ArchiMate® training, check our courses to get started.

Architecture Center

Architecture Center Ltd provides consultancy and training services in the following areas: enterprise architecture, business processes management and IT systems integration.