Mastering ArchiMate Edition II

NOTE: Mastering ArchiMate Edition II has been replaced by Mastering ArchiMate Edition III. It is not available anymore through the normal channels. In case there is a special reason to use Edition II instead of Edition III (possible if you are stuck on the ArchiMate 2 standard and cannot update to ArchiMate 3 anytime soon), you need to contact me directly.


Mastering ArchiMate – Edition II is a book about the ArchiMate® Enterprise Architecture modelling language (version 2.1). It combines a (well-received) beginner’s introduction to the language with many example patterns from the simple to the very complex. It does not just tell you how you can work with ArchiMate, it shows you: there are 220 pages full colour with 345 diagrams in the book.

Front Cover, Screen Edition (click to enlarge)
Back Cover, Screen Edition (click to enlarge)

The book has been written on the basis of (real world, large scale) ArchiMate experience. This experience includes having overseen the creation of an ArchiMate-based detailed documentation of an enterprise in a set of ArchiMate models that together contain 75,000 objects and relations. These models are maintainable with a single FTE of effort and they can be synced with other administrations in and about the organization, such as process models in BPMN, support models for helpdesk and IT exploitation, etc. Apart from modelling the current state of the enterprise, models are also used to support Project Architectures. The original book, Edition I, was partly written because I was dissatisfied with the level of good explanations that were available. I found that available materials often were more like rehashes of the standard (a standard that was never written for its didactical quality in the Image_319first place) and generally they did not go very deep, nor did they teach you to model well in ArchiMate. Some explanations were never updated to ArchiMate 2 (some not even to ArchiMate 1). Elements essential for understanding the language were often not explained at all. Reading was therefore rather ineffective in getting people up to speed. The training I looked at was not much better. So, to speed up the process of teaching, I ended up writing my own book. The book offers roughly:

  • A clear beginner’s introduction to reading and using the ArchiMate language. Shortly after Edition I was published, The Open Group asked me to turn the first part of it into a separate Open Group White Paper, where part of my introduction was published as “ArchiMate 2.0 – Understanding the Basics”. A bit more can be found in my own free ‘ArchiMate Syntax’ excerpt of the book (see below), like a few pitfalls and some extra explanation.
  • Example patterns for many common situations, such as application deployments,Image_321 infrastructure, business functions and processes, risk & security, ESB, Citrix, Virtualisation, etc., etc.. These patterns and examples range from simple ones to very complex ones, the latter ones often developed step by step;
  • A way to set up large model maintenance;
  • A way to combine architecture models in ArchiMate with process models in BPMN
  • A thorough discussion on ArchiMate’s fuzzy edges and what they teach you about the language and how it can be used.
  • Proposals to improve the language

It is possible (as the patterns come from real world large scale actual use) to just follow the examples in the book. But the book is giving you more than just recipes for common situations: it intends to get you started with real understanding, so you can create your own. It is the difference between reading aloud from that little ‘foreign language phrases book’ and being able to speak the language.

Note: though everything in the book is based on years of real experience, the examples are anonymised and generalised and have been crafted especially for the book. Companies do not like there workings to be out in the open, and neither does the one I’m working for. In short: it is intended to let you master the language, not teach you how the company I work for operates.

Distribution: Print and PDF

I offered Edition I as an unprotected PDF download for both electronic consumption and print, but in the end only an extremely small minority (less than 1%) that used the book either donated or bought a license, even at the very low price I had set. Because of that, I am now offering Edition II in a different way:

  • There is a hardcover print version that you can order from any book store that can get books directly from Ingram. Book stores can also order directly from me (see below). The ISBN number for this book is 978-90-819840-4-1. It is produced in high quality (premium colour) POD. At 220 large full colour pages, it is costly to produce, but it is a jewel for every book case, I think 🙂
  • There is a paid full electronic version (PDF). It is a PDF that cannot be printed or Image_320changed in any way, but can be read without trouble on a computer or tablet with a PDF reader (tested with Apple Mac, Microsoft Windows and Apple iOS devices such as iPad and iPhone). The ISBN number for this book is 978-90-819840-3-4. When you buy it, the PDF is stamped with the name you provide and the email address you use for downloading it. It is not burdened with real DRM restrictions, the stamping is only there to discourage copying without buying (sorry about that, but you can’t say I didn’t try without that in the first place). Each ‘copy’ you buy gives you the right to let one person access the PDF. You can buy multiple ‘copies’ (just one file, of course) if you want to let more people access it. Volume discounts are available.
  • There is a paid excerpt (140 of 220 pages) of the electronic version (PDF) that covers roughly the same ground as Edition I: basic explanation, quite a few patterns, and more. It is sold at a low price, so it is ideal as beginner course material. The same printing restriction, licensing and stamping as the full electronic book applies and is roughly 50% of the full book in size. There is a volume license (useful for teaching classes) available. For details, see below.
  • There is a free excerpt (40 of 220 pages) of the electronic version (PDF) that only contains the Basic Explanation of the language, but more than has been excerpted in The Open Group White Paper mentioned above. It is not stamped and it can be printed (note: the format of the book is US Letter, as this is the largest commercially available print size).
  • There is no EPUB/MOBI/iBook version for systems like Kindle or Apple iBooks. For details, see below.
  • The book itself mentions a possible softcover edition. It is uncertain that this will really see the light of day as the quality of the proof cover was problematic (it curled up) and the cost difference with hardcover was relatively small, because of the cost of the interior.


Before I tell you how to purchase Mastering ArchiMate, I’d like to use this opportunity to point you at my other EA book: Chess and the Art of Enterprise Architecture, which is a book that is also based on my actual experience, but now about the more general subject of Enterprise Architecture (of which modelling is an essential part). It is an argumentative book that explains why many existing EA `best practices’ are unlikely to work and what does (in my experience). Meant for enterprise architects and the management of organisations. There is a special bundle of Mastering ArchiMate Edition II and Chess and the Art of Enterprise Architecture available at a discount of €5.

About buying Mastering ArchiMate:




  • Full PDF (changing the document and printing are turned off in the document, highlighting and adding notes is possible.
    Please read the note below): €26.99 for a single reader.
    Click button on the left to buy. Note: EU customers get sales tax added depending on their country’s tax rules. See this explanation.
  • Syntax Only PDF (printing allowed): Click here to get it for free. The Syntax Excerpt only contains the explanation of the syntax, with a few pitfalls and a bit of context
  • For additional high volume discounts, book  stores that cannot buy from Ingram directly, educational discounts, resale (e.g. for commercial training purposes), or any other special deal you would like on either PDF and/or hardcover, please contact me.

If you have added some of the above to your cart: View Cart. Selling of the PDF is done via the excellent services of DPD. Note: to get anything via DPD (even free stuff) you need to enter a valid e-mail address. A download link is then sent to that email address. Entering a bogus email address to protect your privacy will not work as you will then never receive the download link. Please read the end of the message in the red circle above.

Can you explain your prices? E.g.why are the prices at Amazon and other different from your list prices? Why is the book so expensive?

I agree, the Mastering ArchiMate hardcover book is expensive. The main reason is that it is very costly to produce at 220 US Letter sized pages in premium quality ink and paper. I experimented with a lower quality ink and paper, but it turned out the diagrams were sometimes difficult to read. I tried softcover, but these covers curled up (very ugly) and the price difference with hardcover is not that much for this book.

The book is mainly produced in the US and UK (it can be produced in Australia as well if need be and some other locations I can’t track). Ingram charges a price for delivery of each book. For booksellers like Amazon that buy directly from Ingram, they pay list price minus bookseller discount. Then Ingram charges me cost for production and delivery. The rest goes to me (and my costs and the tax man…). Only counting production cost and not counting my other costs, I end up with roughly 11% of the sales price.

Especially in the EU, the situation is complex. Amazon buys wholesale from Ingram in the UK using their UK subsidiary but use these for delivery in the entire EU, so the EU prices are British Pound prices converted to Euro. Ingram charges wildly different production (not transport) costs for delivery to the UK versus delivery paid in Euro by European purchasers. On Feb 8 2016, Ingram raised these Euro prices by 40(!)%. Hence, I had to increase the list price for the EU, but the Amazon EU prices will be somewhat less affected (the UK prices increased by 23%). What is most affected is if I get orders from European book sellers, which I have to pay at the EUR price which is much higher than the GBP price. All in all, it is an expensive book, but also very beautiful, if I say so myself.

Why is there no mobile (Kindle/iBooks/EPUB/MOBI) version?

I get this question a lot, so I am answering it here. I originally started Edition I as an Apple iBooks project, being blown away by the original iBooks presentation. I worked on this from March 2012 until August 2012 and then had to give it up:

  • Apple iBooks did (and does) not support vector images. Even if iBooks Author accepted vector images (PDF or SVG, I don’t remember), on iBook production these images were translated to pixel images. For very large diagrams and Apple’s chosen maximum pixel size, the contents became unreadable.
  • Even if I would have accepted too-low resolution/too small images, navigating them in iBooks is a pain. iBooks uses the pinch movements for getting in/out of the image, instead of zooming the image. So, setting up zooming for large diagrams was in the end effectively not doable. The workarounds I tried never worked properly. I even investigated dynamic HTML5 builders like Hype, but in the end decided that this was undoable with respect to the amount of work required (and me doing this in my own free time).

So I had to move to paper, but I wanted to keep some sort of electronic option open. Given I want to support electronic and paper with a single work flow (not laying out two separate books, thank you), I had to go for paper and some sort of electronic export. I first tried Apple Pages (for paper & EPUB) and but this was in many other ways so limited (e.g. no automatically maintained references to other parts of the book for instance, so “see diagram 312 on page 200” would become a nightmare of manual maintenance) that I had to give it up. I looked at creating a real app, but that would exclude paper. In the end, I used Adobe InDesign CS6 for Edition I and decided that it would be paper and PDF for electronic.

When Edition II was nearing completion, and I wanted a different distribution of the PDF (as there were many downloads, but not so many purchases, not even at the ridiculous low price I had set) I looked at Kindle again as they promised they could handle PDF. It turned out that their idea of handling PDF is to take the PDF document, OCR it and turn it into EPUB. The effect was very funny: no single image was retained. I looked at several other setups that proposed to turn my PDF into an eBook (stuff used for magazines on iPad etc.), these required all kind of troublesome work flows and often were priced for Rupert Murdoch, not for me. So, there you have it: will there be a Kindle or iBook version? I’d love to have one, but I researched every opportunity and in the end had to give it up. This is what it is and there will be no Kindle version.

Example display of PDF in Goodreader on iPad with highlights
Example display of PDF in Goodreader on iPad with highlights

There are very good PDF readers for iPads and such (e.g. Goodreader for iPad), so PDF is certainly ‘good enough’. Even if it was technically feasible, it would mean a lot of work, an independent second book and hardly any revenue: selling a book for Kindle means that you have to go for very low prices and large volume.  Amazon asks a ‘delivery fee’ based on file size (very nice when all your 350 diagrams become pixel instead of small (and perfect) vector) and 3o% of the selling price for books between US$2.99 and US$9.99. But that is not all. The 30% is only for a limited number of countries. Ask a price over $10 (or do not allow text-to-speech, very funny for books with many diagrams like mine) and Amazon takes 65% of the selling price everywhere (and of course the delivery fee). Remember, we’re talking delivering a file, not producing and distributing a physical book. Distributing as PDF via independent ‘digital goods delivery’ services (I use the excellent services of DPD) is currently the only electronic option for a large, very graphical, low volume book like mine.

The PDF’s content is protected. Your PDF reader won’t let you print the document (if you need a paper version, it is available separately). Your PDF reader will also not let you change the content. But what you are allowed to do is add annotations to the file, such as highlighting and comment balloons. The settings of the file allow this, but not every reader implements this correctly. Here is a list of environments and what I know about this feature.

Reader Device Operating System Annotations Reported on Mac OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) NO Mar 14, 2015
Acrobat Reader PC Windows 7 YES Mar 14, 2015
Acrobat Reader iPhone, iPad iOS 8 NO Mar 14, 2015
Goodreader iPhone, iPad iOS 8 YES Mar 14, 2015
PDF-Xchange Viewer PC Windows 7 YES Mar 14, 2015
Evince PC Linux/Fedora 21 YES Mar 14, 2015
PDFAnnotator Thinkpad Tablet Windows 8.1 YES Mar 14, 2015
Native PDF viewer PC Windows 8 YES Mar 14, 2015

As you can see, most platforms do have a reader that allows annotations. Those that don’t ( on Mac OS X or Acrobat Reader on iOS) actually have a bug.

Tool Support

There is a free download zip that contains:

  • A colour profile for Archi with Mastering ArchiMate colours
  • Stencils for OmniGraffle with Mastering ArchiMate colours
  • A manual (which contains a full description)
  • Experimental code and data to calculate the full ArchiMate 3 relationship table from the core set of relations and a python script.
  • A readme file.
  • NOTE: there is no warranty on any of this. See the (no) warranty statements in the distribution. Use at your own risk.

What used to be in the tool distribution but has been removed per 21 March 2017 at the request of BiZZdesign is:

  • Configurations for BiZZdesign Architect and BiZZdesign Enterprise Studio. This configuration is a separate full BiZZdesign Architect configuration with changes to the standard BiZZdesign Architect configuration:
    • Mastering ArchiMate colours and standard labels
    • Several extra menu items
    • Linking between BPMN and ArchiMate

You can download the tool support via this link. Note: I’ll ask for your email address. This is necessary to be able to provide you with a mail message when the configuration is updated (e.g. bug fixes, additional functionality).

If you are a tool vendor and you want information on your tool support for the Mastering ArchiMate approach, contact me.


  • The Stakeholder element uses the wrong icon on page 97. It should be like a Business Role, but it looks like a Business Actor.
  • View 14 and 17 contain derived relations before derivation is explained
  • There are various small errors (linguistically and also in arguments) in Section 28.
  • On page 42, there is a reference to view 51, but the view referenced is not 51, it is in fact missing from the book, it is a non-overlapping version of View 52. Ugh. Correcting that is going to take a lot of layout work. See:Style - Non overlapping Lines view
  • Page 120, View 186: [CS] Workflow X (Application Component) should be assigned to Create a Report (Business Process) instead of to [CS] Performing Workflow X (Application Service)
  • View 121 and 122 have an error.  The process in the function should read, “Business Process B of Function X” instead of “Business Process B of Function Y”
  • The metamodel views (page 28, 219) do not show the direct Used-By relations from services in one layer to active elements in the layer above (e.g. from Application Service to Business Role). These were not necessary in ArchiMate 1.0, but were added explicitly in ArchiMate 2 because Assignment went from bidirectional to unidirectional and that change made it impossible to derive them.
  • The same views have an error in the sticky note for Application Collaboration where it says it can only be Assigned to Business Interaction, which of course should read Application Interaction. A copy-paste error.
  • Page 144 in the lower left: there is a reference to View 174 on page 114. That must be View 89 on page 63. It is correctly referenced in the caption of View 240.
  • Page 146 lower right item 1: The Used-By is not red but violet in View 245 on page 147.
  • And my ultimate moment of shame: the metamodel overview on pages 28 and 219 have an Assignment relation from Business Collaboration to Business Role. This should be an Aggregation. The relation is legal but it is not part of the metamodel. See this post for the whole story.

Reviews and feedback

Apart from the reviews on Amazon and the one in the comments below, I know of these others:

  • Blog on the Orbus web site (About Edition I). Quote: “What Bruce Silver has done for BPMN, Mr Wierda has largely done for ArchiMate.”
  • Review on (German). Quote: “Das einführende Kapitel bieten einen gut verständlichen Einstieg in die Gundlagen von ArchiMate. Ein Großteil des Buchs ist aber keine leichte Kost und eher für ArchiMate-Experten zu empfehlen.”
  • Mastering ArchiMate on Quote: “Whether you are new to ArchiMate or have been using it for some time I think you’ll find this book useful.”
  • The Road to ArchiMate on Quote: “quite the worst modeling book I’ve ever come across”.


    1. Hi jlg,

      I’m sorry, no. The models are part of the source of the book which I do not share. But even if I wanted to share these, it would be unwise as they are (necessarily) often messy. E.g. the models contain not only the resulting views you see in the book, but often also the intermediate views, the steps I use to get there. E.g. in the book I often show some alternatives or build up a result step-by-step and these are all part of the same single model, even the alternatives I might consider unwise. The models used for the book were purely constructed to create certain views, they are not ‘clean’ or usable models in any sense.

      Besides, the models are not really helpful in learning the language. For that, the best thing is to create your own.

      I know a few views have been recreated by some Archi users and are available for download (I think) but I don’t know where.


  1. Would this book answer the following question?
    considering the large interest in Customer Journey Maps and Service Blueprinting (more of Shostack variety than SoA/ERP products variety) – “How to use CJM and SBP to derive (methodically) Business Arch/Solution Arch as would be useful for IT development/deployment”.
    If not this book, can you please share from your experience any resources that can point some directions.


    1. No. This book is about how to use the ArchiMate modelling language and not much else (well here and there there are some remarks on EA in general and things like model maintenance and such, but not much). SBP could be supported with ArchiMate models. I don’t think ArchiMate would be vey useful for CJM.


  2. Hi Gerben,
    Is the profile used in Sparx Enterprise Architect to define your diagrams available? I’m interested in using your colour scheme as an alternative to the default one, available in Sparx EA.


    1. I’d be happy to create that and add it to my tool support, but in that case someone (Sparx?) should provide me with Sparx EA (as I don’t have that currently).


      1. There is a misunderstanding. I did not use Sparx to create the pictures in the book (these were made with BiZZdesign Architect). I don’t have Sparx EA. I have BiZZdesign Architect, Archi and the graphical tools Visio and OmniGraffle. If Sparx would provide me with a Sparx license, I could look at providing the colour scheme for Sparx.


      2. I defined an MDG (UML profile+toolbox+diagram type) which I plan to publish and share once completed. There’s just one specific item I need Sparx to look at. It will produce exactly what you achieved in your book for Sparx EA users.


  3. Unfortunate that nobody paid for the original… But that is indeed how it goes with unforced payments. An alternative mechanism might have been to put the content online in HTML – many different pages instead of a single file. Then add ads to the pages -> by the time somebody’s read through the content, they’ve paid for the book through ads.
    Plus people can then easily reference a certain pattern to other people with a link.


    1. Advertising payments is even worse a revenue stream than the few licenses and donations for Ed I, in that it only works for stuff that has very high volumes. This book is a niche product: it has (in book terms) a low volume. Paying by ads (which are only making money when clicked on, btw) is out of the question.

      And besides, this is way beyond my means of managing and producing. HTML would have excluded a proper paper book (because there is no proper way to produce both form the same source in a graphic-heavy case like this, that only works for mainly text-oriented books). I investigated this (including ePUB, which is in fact a packaged web site) and I even started out with an Apple iBook in 2012 which I had to give up because it was not doable.


    2. I’m not sure what that means. I own a copy that I purchased (the onscreen PDF version which cannot be printed). I think some aggressive marketing might help.


  4. Hi, I have bought the book (Edition 2) from Amazon. Would it possible to download a PDF/epub version of the book, as it is too unwieldy to carry and I would love to have a PDF version which I could read while in transit?


    1. Hi Deepak. The two forms of the books are separate products (just as Amazon sells physical and ePub of a book separately). I’d like to offer a bundle, but I’m unable to do so as there is nog good way to add the PDF to e.g. Amazon (which doesn’t have the ‘stamping’ nor a reasonable pricing structure for electronic books, see explanation earlier on this page on “Why is there no ePUB”), nor is there a reasonable way I could do add the physical book to my PDF offering as it would mean I would have to do complex distribution work (and different prices for each location because of different transport cost).


  5. I think paying twice for a book is ridiculous. How many people buy a physical copy of a book? In addition, the hard cover and the size makes it unwieldy. Most books that I purchase have a link to download the PDF. You are not helping yourself by offering me a discounted price to buy the same book twice!


    1. I’m sorry but I think that’s your reaction that is ridiculous. Go into any book shop and you’ll not find more than 1% of books that are offered with an electronic version for the same price. In addition, the size of the book is clearly shown on amazon product page, so this should not be a surprise.


    1. I understand. There are a few reasons it’s not there yet.

      It is a lot of work. Small things have changed in the core of the standard, but they are all over the text and the patterns. A larger reshuffling is also in order, which is a lot of tedious work.
      I have to do this in my (very limited, even more than it used to be) spare time
      I generally write based on experience. Edition II was published in 2014. ArchiMate 2.1 was released in 2013 and ArchiMate 2.0 was released in 2012 (that year, Edition I was published). I need some experience with ArchiMate 3 before I can write.
      When ArchiMate 3.0 was released, it was suggested that there would be a fast light-weight update to ArchiMate 3.1 in the fall of 2016. I wanted to wait on ArchiMate 3.1 before finalising Edition III. But now it seems the most we can expect is ArchiMate 3.0.1, which should fix a lot of errors in the 3.0 version (e.g. the completely broken relationship table in appendix B).

      I’ve been working on it on/off and I expect it to be finished before the summer.


  6. Probably a stupid question, but I can’t recreate View 69 (Excel and the plugin as an Application Collaboration) in Archi. Inspecting the relationship table for Archimate 2.1 it states only flow, association and triggering are allowed between Application Function and Application Interaction.

    Am I missing something obvious?


    1. No, you are not missing something. You are very sharp. Part of the story is on page 33 of the book. But technically Archi is right. The relation is missing in the full table of the standard, so it is illegal and I should have made it clear. ArchiMate 2 did not have a proper meta-metamodel (ArchiMate 3 does) and the tooling I was using was still based on a (hidden) meta-metamodel with pre-ArchiMate 1 roots (see Fig 60 in the 2.1 spec where you see some of it added as an optional extra generalisation). At that time I discussed this with the tool makers and they agreed with me that this relation should be possible (though it was not explicitly allowed in ArchiMate 2). Later they added it to their configuration and I used it.

      In ArchiMate 3, the whole vagueness has been fixed (but not completely) and the full table shows that this is allowed. Again, the description is not unambiguous (as it is unclear what ‘ever element may compose/aggregate itself’ means when looking at figure 67 in the ArchiMate 3.0 standard and reading the text below it), but the table in 3.0 shows those relations as if the ‘element’ meant is the generic/abstract ‘internal behaviour’ element in figure 67.

      Note that the table in the ArchiMate 3 standard is full of errors. E.g. it doesn’t allow Technology Function to Access an Artifact (which is a relation from the core set even). I expect an update to ArchiMate 3 soon.


  7. Just FYI for your ordering links for physical copies. Bookdepository (based in the UK) is owned by Amazon (has been since 2011) but, yes, does run it’s own supply chain and prices differently to Amazon UK.

    For the UK, Wordery (retail website of Berttrams wholesale) is good for avoiding Amazon for online.

    And for book price comparisons for less common books across the world I find, and useful.


  8. Hi,

    I have your blog in RSS so waiting patiently when the 3rd edition is out.

    I will surely purchase the hardcover version, because a) I am an old-school guy b) I purchased the Chess… book in hardcover and I am very happy with it.

    Thanks for the good work BTW.



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