The table below shows the elements that can be used for modeling connections for data exchange with Excel®, ServiceNow®, SQL, and OpenSearch™ Dashboards. 

Each element is visualized in an example, using the default color of the object. Other elements and relations in the example are faded in order to place them in the background.



Name + description


Connection for specifying the mapping between model elements in Enterprise Studio and model elements in an Excel worksheet, ServiceNow tables, SQL database tables, or OpenSearch index.


Table (ServiceNow and SQL connection only)

Table can be used to add additional tables to a mapping of a ServiceNow or SQL connection. A mapping can contain multiple tables.

Document definition (Dashboard connection only)

Document definition can be used to add additional document definitions to the mapping of a Dashboard connection. A Dashboard mapping can contain multiple document definitions.


A metaobject is used to model object types. It represents a type of model object, such as ArchiMate® application component or an ERD entity (Excel connection only).


A metarelation is used to model relation types. It represents a type of model relation, such as an ArchiMate assignment relation or an ERD association relation (Excel connection only).



Name + description

Relation (Excel and Dashboard connection only)

The (collapsing) relation is used to model a relation between two metaobjects in a mapping. It can be used instead of a metarelation with link relations to connect metaobjects. It can save space in a diagram.

A collapsed relation can be expanded at any time.

Composition (Excel and Dashboard connection only)

A composition relation is used to model a parent-child relation between object types in an Excel connection. If used, not only the child element is exported, but also the parent element belonging to the child element. On import of the child element, the parent element is used to find and match the child element.


A link relation is used to connect a start point or endpoint of a metarelation with a metaobject in a mapping.


A reference relation is used to model object references. It is used if an attribute contains object references or a collection of object references. The type of object that is referred to must be modeled as well and linked to the attribute with a reference.


A mapping relation is used to define the mapping between an Enterprise Studio model element and the related element in the external application, represented in the mapping table or document definition.

Join (Dashboard  connection only)

A join can be used to connect fields from different document definitions with a mapping. Fields cannot directly be mapped, they need to be connected using a join.

ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

Excel is a registered trademark of the Microsoft group of companies.

OpenSearch is a trademark of, Inc. or its affiliates in the United States and/or other countries.

ServiceNow is a registered trademark of ServiceNow, Inc.