Mastering ArchiMate – Edition III

NOTE AND WARNING: THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE IS FOR AN OUTDATED AND NO LONGER SHIPPING EDITION. Please go to Mastering ArchiMate – Edition 3.1 It has been released in March (PDF) – April (hardcover) 2021. If you buy the Edition III PDF, you will get a free upgrade if and when the next edition full PDF is published.

If you came here without knowing what to expect: this page is about a book on the ArchiMate IT/Enterprise Modelling Language. People tend to like the book a lot: it has a 5 out of 5 review score on Amazon. Below, you will also find a link to a free download of the first chapter 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. It is also a taste for the rest of the book which is about using it well (patterns from basic to advanced, solutions for common problems, etc. etc.).

Second Note: ArchiMate 3.1 has been released in Nov 2019. ArchiMate 3.1 is a minor upgrade to ArchiMate 3.0.1 (which is the standard where the current Mastering ArchiMate Edition III.TC1 is based on). See ArchiMate 3.1 released, Mastering ArchiMate upgrade policy for my policy on (free) PDF upgrades if you buy the current PDF, basically, if I update the book, everyone buying the PDF after Nov 5 2019 will get a free upgrade. The change between 3.0.1 and 3.1 is the addition of the Value Stream element and a different definition of ‘derived relations’. The first is missing in my Edition III.TC1 and the second is outdated (and wrong) in my Edition III.TC1 edition.


MasteringArchiMateEdition3-frontFrom the back cover: Mastering ArchiMate Edition III is the third 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):

  • “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 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:

No longer available €26.99 (VAT added in the EU, see below) Full PDF. 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.
No longer available Free Syntax Excerpt PDF. This contains the Forewords, Table of Contents, and first chapter of the book, “ArchiMate Basics”, which explains the entire ArchiMate syntax. 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 has a definition and not a didactic purpose, so it lacks an ‘educational edge’. While The Open Group has published “Understanding the Basics — An Introduction to the ArchiMate® Modeling Language, Version 3.0“, it has little in common with the 2.0 version apart from the title. This Free Syntax Excerpt is the improved and adapted-to-ArchiMate-3.0.1 version of the ArchiMate 2.0 basic explanation. It is not a small introduction, measuring 56 pages (including cover — 20% of the book, and it is enough to get you started in ArchiMate).
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 this price), 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 DRM (digital rights management) on the PDF of the book. However, there are measures to discourage piracy:

Image_290When 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 have already experienced, I really do not use those addresses for marketing/advertising. There have been 3 messages to announce improvements to the document (two in 2014, shortly after release, and one in 2015) and one to announce the free/discounted access to Edition III (2017). 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 III PDF Get Mastering ArchiMate Edition III Syntax Excerpt PDF for free
Buy the Bundle of Mastering ArchiMate Edition III PDF and Chess and the Art of Enterprise Architecture PDF

Note Aug 24, 2017: Everyone who has paid for the Edition II PDF after June 14, 2016, has received an email with a download link for Mastering ArchiMate Edition III for free.

Note Sep 03, 2017: All others who have paid for Edition II PDF have been sent a coupon for a 50% discount on Aug 29, 2017. 

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. 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 (November 2018).


  • On page 36, view 48 shows that Cash is a Specialisation of Liquid Investment, but the text below says Cash is a kind of Security. The diagram is correct, the text is not. Credits for notitying me about the disconnect between image and text: Piotr Janusz Markiewicz.
  • On page 47, both view 69 and view 71 still use the previous notation for Assignment. Credits: Piotr Janusz Markiewicz.
  • On page 45, the description of view 66 contains a leftover piece of text from Edition II (page 98, view 150): “The ‘High Available IT Infrastructure’ Requirement positively influences the ‘24/7 Operations’ Goal” (but this is not shown in the Edition III version of the diagram). The text should probably say something like: The ‘High Available IT Infrastructure’ Requirement Realizes the ‘24/7 Operations’ Outcome, which Realizes the 24/7 Operation Goal. These could have been Influences as well. The Realization could be interpreted as a different, more ‘definitive’ form of a ‘positive influence’. There definitely is overlap in meaning here in ArchiMate (see text on page 46: “The divide between a requirement and a principle is not very clear either”).  Credits for notifying the disconnect between image and text: Piotr Janusz Markiewicz.
  • On page 132 in Views 233 and 234 the Serving relation between function and service in the Process API Grouping should be a Realisation. Credits: Piotr Janusz Markiewicz.
  • The relations between Business Roles and other elements in the Model Use & Maintenance chapter (page 189-194) are often not Association relations (what they should be) but (sometimes even illegal) Serving relations. This was not the case in earlier editions and it should not have been in this edition as well. They are probably overlooked faulty results of the computer-assisted migration from ArchiMate 2.1 to ArchiMate 3. They are correct on page 109.


  1. Fucking PAYPAL. I want to buy PDF and have to wait 30 days for checking my documents. Please add normal credit card checkout option


    1. I am very sorry.This seldom happens and Paypal is the only option I have (though I think I investigated another option a while back) that accepts Credit Card. So even if you want to pay with credit card, it will be Paypal for now.


      1. For me this is a no-go.
        Sad, because apparently your book is the current ” must-read” when understanding and using ArchiMate.
        Please reconsider.


      2. I am sorry, Manon. I cannot add an entire new payment option for a single purchase. For one, it would mean weeks and weeks of work because it has to be integrated into my administration.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Gerben,
    Thanks for the this book. It’s a great resource.
    I have a modeling question (a pattern couldn’t found in the book); how do we model a web server that accepts web connections and pass them on to an application server? On the web server there aren’t any other activities.
    Such a web server will be part of a system that is implemented in a 4-tier architecture (web browser, web server, application server, database server).


    1. This question is a perfect example of the choices you have to make. For instance, do you see the web server as support to pass the application service from application server to user? Do you consider both web service and application services as composites/aggregates? The latter is only possible if both are modelled in the same layer (assuming you do not use a Grouping as intermediate). There is never a single way to model it (in that sense it is like the accounting discipline: it looks simple only because people forget about the choices you have to make on how to represent certain things and what the mean to you — I learned that during my MBA 17 years ago).

      My first intuition would be to see the web browser (at the user side) and the web server (at the service producer side) as ‘dumb’ infrastructure. That would mean that the user’s behaviour (process/function) is Served-By the Application Service directly. And both web browser and web server are Serving the application (Application Service) in some way. As in Section 15.13 (discussion on modelling SaaS): the web browser is in fact infrastructure that Serves the application server to enable it to ‘push’ the ‘presentation layer’ application to the user. The browser is just a (CSS/HTML5/Canvas/Javascript) platform. The usefulness of the ‘platform’ concept is discussed and used elsewhere in the book several times.


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