Mastering ArchiMate – Edition 3.1

If you came here without knowing what to expect: this page is about a book on the ArchiMate® IT/Enterprise Modelling Language, which is owned by The Open Group. People tend to like this book a lot: check out the review scores on e.g. Amazon. Below, you will also find a link to a free download of the first part of the book which contains a complete introduction to the entire grammar/language. That chapter is enough to learn the basics and start using ArchiMate. I.e. It contains a step-by-step introduction to the entire language. The free excerpt is also a taste for the rest of the book which is about using ArchiMate well (patterns from basic to advanced, solutions for common problems, etc. etc.) and improving the depth of your understanding.

All customers who bought the previous edition on or after 5 Nov 2019 (the date version 3.1 of the ArchiMate® Standard was published) have received a free purchase of Edition 3.1. It should be in their inboxes by March 3 2021. If not, contact me.

All customers who bought the previous edition PDF before Nov 5 2019, have received a personal coupon code that gives a €18 (67%) discount on Mastering ArchiMate 3.1 (for personal use only of course). This brings the standard PDF price of €26.99 down to €8.99. The discount works for the bundle as well, so if you did not originally purchase the bundle, upgrading to it using the discount works as well.

[NOTE: ArchiMate 3.2 update by TOG on 20 October 2022] A comparable upgrade policy as before will be executed if (and only if) a new version of the book will be released as a result of the ArchiMate 3.1 to 3.2 update by TOG on 20 October 2022. Free upgrade for all PDF sales on or after 20 October 2022, discounted upgrade for PDF sales of version 3.1 before that date. Note: a decision of an actual upgrade has not been made yet and it will definitely takes some time to get around to an finish the work (which is generally more than people imagine and for which I have relatively little time given that I have an actual job).


From the back cover: Mastering ArchiMate Edition 3.1 is the fourth edition of a much praised book by Gerben Wierda about the ArchiMate® Enterprise Architecture Modeling Language, which is a standard and a Registered Trade Mark of The Open Group. The book gives an introduction to the language, then goes on to show you key aspects of successful modeling, and many different patterns for its use. From Business to Infrastructure, from Risk & Security to Application Exploitation and Maintenance. While the aim of the book is to teach the language, it often also offers necessary background, so that the patterns can make sense to the reader not familiar with a subject. Thus, it also contains introductions to subjects such as virtualization, bitcoin/blockchain, infrastructure as code, processes versus functions, SOA/API, ESB, Terminal Services, etc. It also contains a short introduction to BPMN in order to describe a linking of both major languages.
Forewords by Marc Lankhorst , the ‘father of ArchiMate’, and Jean-Baptiste Sarrodie, the Vice-chair of the ArchiMate Forum.

Praise for Mastering ArchiMate (all editions)

Some comments from public reviews (mainly Amazon) of previous editions:

  • “I was able to grasp concepts faster when compared to [the] ArchiMate Spec doc”
  • “a bargain at twice the price”
  • “If you want to apply ArchiMate in practice, I know of no better resource”
  • “should be required reading”
  • “boosted my productivity”
  • “a masterpiece”
  • “Can I give this book a six?” (Amazon rates 1-5 stars)

Read the Amazon reviews (on previous editions) for more details and the occasional critical remark.


240 US Letter sized (which is approximately the same surface as A4) pages (including cover), 380 diagrams, approximately 120,000 words. The hardcover weighs slightly over 1kg.


There are three versions:

GET IT NOWFull book. €26.99 (VAT added in the EU, see below) Full PDF. This book contains the step-by-step introduction to the language which is also available as a free excerpt (see below). The book just adds a lot of patterns and discussion on how to create patterns. If the excerpt teaches you how to use ArchiMate, the rest of the book is intended to teach how to use ArchiMate well.

This PDF can be read with many PDF readers, such as Acrobat, Goodreader, Apple Preview, iBooks, etc.. This PDF has protection turned on against printing and against changing the content (see below), while allowing bookmarks, annotations, and so forth  (though Apple Preview is currently lacking in support for this, so you cannot annotate with it). Not all PDF readers are perfect or even good.

Volume licenses (e.g. for educational purposes) are available. Contact me. Note, while it is technically possible to read the PDF on a small screen, I do not think it is really feasible. See Is it possible to read the book on a smart phone or small tablet/reader? from the FAQ. I advise you to download the free syntax excerpt first and try it out before buying.
GET IT NOWFree Syntax Excerpt PDF. This contains the Forewords, Table of Contents, and first chapter of the book, “ArchiMate Basics”, which explains the entire ArchiMate syntax. This Free Syntax Excerpt is the improved and adapted-to-ArchiMate-3.1 version of my step-by-step introduction. It is not a small introduction, measuring 56 pages (including cover — approximately 20% of the book, and it is enough to get you started in ArchiMate.

Version 2.0 of this explanation was reused with permission by The Open Group and published as a white paper (“ArchiMate 2.0 — Understanding the basics“) as the standard is a reference and has not been written primarily with a didactic purpose, so it lacks an ‘educational edge’. By the way, while The Open Group has published “Understanding the Basics — An Introduction to the ArchiMate® Modeling Language, Version 3.0“, that introduction has little in common with my 2.0 version apart from the title.
 Hardcover. It is sold through normal bookseller channels, such as Amazon, Book Depository, etc.. It is printed by Ingram in a premium quality on premium paper, above all to make the diagrams maximally readable. It’s really good looking :-). See below for links to online resellers which I update as they become available or I am notified. Prices will vary (I do not control these), but the official list prices are US$ 63.99 (also leading for the rest of the world), AU$ 89.99, CA$ 86.99, UK£ 49.99 (most EU prices will in practice be converted from the UK price as Ingram’s production takes place in the UK), and €61.99 (all prices ex transport and — potentially — VAT/Sales Tax). These are hefty prices for a book, I know, but that comes mostly from the high production cost of a large ‘premium full colour’ book. Volume discounts are available, see below.

The Full PDF is also available as part of a bundle together with the Full PDF of Chess and the Art of Enterprise Architecture Buying the Full PDF will give you the option to buy the bundle instead.

When you buy from an EU country, EU VAT is added. Starting on 1 Jan 2019, the VAT rate for all sales in the EU is 9% (the Dutch rate for e-Books as of 1 Jan 2020) as a result of EU VAT rules (when you sell less that k€10 per year to other EU countries, you need to charge local VAT and pay that to the local tax authorities). If you need to buy as a business with Reverse VAT based on your EU VAT ID, I need to create a special invoice, arrange payment, send you a 100% discount coupon code and do a lot of (tax) administration (each transaction takes a lot of work). For this, I charge an administration fee of €7.

Anti-piracy measures on the PDF, personal data

There is no technical DRM (digital rights management) on the PDF of the book. However, there are measures to discourage piracy:


When you buy the full PDF, you have to enter your name and email address. This email address is used to send you a download link for your personalised copy. Note: this link is valid for a week (to prevent such links accidentally leaking into the world at large and then creating havoc). In cases this goes wrong (e.g. you missed it), a new link can of course be provided. Your name, the email address and transaction info are ‘stamped’ in the PDF at the bottom of the page to make the copy personalised. This looks like this: Screen Shot 2017-08-24 at 24 August 11.23.31.png (click to enlarge). This is the (social) protection of the PDF version against piracy. Experience with Edition I has shown that if a copy is freely floating around, less than one in hundred readers actually pay, even if they are civilised people form civilised organisations in civilised countries. Psychologically: people just do not pay if they are free to do this after downloading. Hence, I have to trust you not to spread your copy around, nor to remove the stamp or protection. It is possible to annotate the PDF, but not all PDF readers implement this properly. See Can I annotate the PDF?

Your data is stored at Paypal (e.g. credit card details), my transaction provider (DPD, which is very good) and on my systems (no credit card details). As buyers of Edition II and III.TC1 have already experienced, I really do not use those addresses for marketing/advertising. There have been 3 messages to announce improvements to the document on the second edition (two in 2014, shortly after release, and one in 2015) and one to announce the free/discounted access to Edition III (2017). The same is true for the 2017 Edition. I’ve been good 🙂

Use one of the links below to either buy the Full PDF or get the free syntax excerpt.

Buy Mastering ArchiMate Edition 3.1 PDF (later)Get Mastering ArchiMate Edition 3.1 Syntax Excerpt PDF for free
Buy the Bundle of Mastering ArchiMate Edition 3.1 PDF and Chess and the Art of Enterprise Architecture PDF (later)

Hardcover sellers

Hardcover volume discounts are available directly: Contact me. List of known booksellers (if you know of a good one not listed here, please contact me).

Note: it pays to look around for the hardcover. Amazon prices are a crazy casino for my book. One month it will be €58 for — say — Amazon Spain, the next it will be €85. Book Depository UK has been reliably low priced so far.


Any errata that have not been fixed in a new print will be mentioned here:

  • The ‘composite or aggregate’ relations should have grey diamonds (as mentioned in the text) in View 68 on page 45, but they are white. Thanks to Marco Piletta.
  • View 52 shows Location Assigned-To Business Actors, whereas the text talks about the basic relation from Location, which is Aggregation. These should have been Aggregations. Thanks to <name withheld until I have permission>. Assignment is, by the way, not grammatically wrong, but it is a derivation that goes via the technology layer. E.g. Location Aggregates Facility Assigned-To Business Actor. The Assignment relation in such cases means ‘resides at’. This is mentioned for Artifact residing on a Node on page 23. But using it here is wrong, if only because derivations haven’t been explained yet. I might have been good to add a small overview section on the various meanings/uses of Assignment.
  • On page 25 (of the free excerpt no less) in section 7.8 there is a real error in the text. It says that you may use Nesting for the structural relations (Composition, Aggregation, Assignment, and Realisation). But in ArchiMate 3, Nesting may also be used for nesting passive elements in the behaviour that Accesses them, and Specialisation may also be nested. Thanks to Gerben Wierda for spotting this.
  • On page 74 in View 112, the Device sunsrv1 has been modelled as a Node. It is not technically wrong, but it is the wrong pattern. Thanks to Barrie Treloar, who also spotted quite a few smaller errors and typos and other improvements. One should be mentioned here, the use of “Performed-By Relation” (capitalisation and all) suggests that such a relation exists in ArchiMate, but this is not the case. ‘Performing behaviour’ is one of the roles the Assignment relation plays, but the way it is written suggests more. Also: the views 143 and 144 have server names with ‘win’ in them but they should not.
  • On page 82, Section 14.22 Multiple Realisers has multiple errors all stemming from the difference between ArchiMate 3.0.1 and 3.1. In ArchiMate 3.0.1 it was “the usual interpretation [of multiple realisers] is that both independently can realise the result” but in ArchiMate 3.1 it is “the interpretation is that both independently can realise the result”. While most people still interpret multiple realisers as ‘both contribute to” ArchiMate 3.1 has become more strict. Spotted by Gerben Wierda.

PDFs of ArchiMate’s MetaModel

Can be found here: Free ArchiMate Overview PDF (English and Russian. Contact me if you want to provide a translation, I’ll produce the PDFs.)


  1. I bought a hard copy and of mastering ArchiMate edition lll in 2020 and it’s 3.0.1 what should I do to get version 3.1.
    I purchased copy through Amazon


    1. A new paper version is coming and will be available (e.g. from Amazon) but I don’t think Amazon will give discounts on upgrades, and I can’t do it either (as I am not the seller). So that will be expensive.

      Less expensive is buying Edition 3.1 as a PDF.

      But you don’t have to buy anything. Edition III is largely still valid. So you can download the free excerpt of Mastering ArchiMate Edition 3.1 and it contains the entire syntax. Mostly what has changed there is the addition of a single element (Value Stream) and a rework of derived relations. So there are places in the book that have changed, e.g. where it said something was not allowed where now it is and thus some patterns that were in fact workarounds for older limitations in ArchiMate are no longer there. It means you have to study the syntax really well (from the free excerpt), well enough to enable you to spot what is no longer correct when you read stuff in Edition III. Pay particular attention when ‘allowed/not allowed’ is in the text as well as the word ‘derived’ or ‘derivation’. When that is in the text, you should check using the free introduction of 3.1 if that is still true.


  2. Hi, thanks for the free excerpt: very useful!
    I found a little glitch in View 68 (Page 45): the diamonds of composition/aggregation relations should be gray, as told in text, but they’re white


  3. I oredered a copy 29 Jan 2019, but have not received the discount code. Can you advise how I get one.


    1. Discount codes were sent out on March 3, even to you. So, something has gone amiss. But if I am contacted (preferably at I can remedy anything that went wrong. No need to c contact me, I’ll investigate yours immediately.


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