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Objects and relationships that can be drawn in an ArchiMate® view are based on the concepts available to the open view. Objects and relationships can be added in different ways, by using: 

  • the Create pane
  • the quick-create pop-up window
  • the model browser
  • the quick-create object controls
  • the smart connector
  • the context menu

For detailed information about the possible ways to add objects and relationships, please refer to Creating objects and relations.

On this page:

Concepts for modeling

The concepts for modeling in ArchiMate can be divided into a number of main categories, following the layers and aspects defined in the language.

ArchiMate full framework

  • Composite elements. Composite elements consist of other concepts, possibly from multiple aspects or layers of the language.
  • Motivation elements. These are the elements that drive the design and operation of the enterprise.
  • Strategy elements. These elements are defined as specializations of the generic behavior and structure elements.
  • Business layer. Business layer elements are used to model the business architecture of an enterprise as a description of the structure and interaction between the business strategy, organization, functions, business processes, and information needs. The business layer includes active structure elements, behavior elements, and passive structure elements.
  • Application layer. Application layer elements are used to model the information systems architectures of the enterprise, including the application architecture that describes the structure and interaction of the applications. The application layer includes active structure elements, behavior elements, and passive structure elements.
  • Technology layer. Elements from the technology layer are typically used to model the technology architecture of the enterprise. The technology layer includes active structure elements, behavior elements, and passive structure elements.
  • Physical elements. Physical elements are based on the technology layer and they represent physical aspects.
  • Implementation and migration elements. These elements are used for expressing the implementation and migration aspects of an architecture.
  • Relationships. Relationships connect source and target concepts (elements, or other relations). The relationships are divided into structural, dependency, dynamic, and other relationships.

For an overview of the available concepts, see Concepts for ArchiMate modeling.

In addition to the elements that are specific for the modeling language or method, there are several graphic shapes that can be included in a diagram or view. These graphic shapes are generic and available in each modeling language and method in Enterprise Studio.


Which concepts are available in a view, depends on the type of view you are modeling in.

An ArchiMate model consists of multiple views, each modeling a specific part of the enterprise architecture. Which views you use, depends entirely on what aspects of the enterprise architecture you want to identify.

The available views are categorized into the ArchiMate language layers and aspects of the language, but there are also views specifically aimed at portfolio management, risk and security, time traveling, and strategy and capability.

Available controls

The ArchiMate elements have a number of controls that can be used for modeling, like the navigator, smart connector, properties pane, and quick-create object controls for adding new elements. These controls are generic and available in almost every modeling language and method in Enterprise Studio.

Naming objects and relations

In order to create clear models, it is important that you also have a clear naming of objects and relations used in the model. The Open Group offers some guidelines for defining these objects and relations. For more information, please refer to The Open Group website.

ArchiMate® is a registered trademark of The Open Group.