Layers-and-Frameworks

Layers and Framework

The ArchiMate language defines three main layers based on specializations of the core concepts presented in the previous article.

  1. The Business Layer offers products and services to external customers, which are realized in the organization by business processes performed by business actors.
  2. The Application Layer supports the business layer with application services, which are realized by (software) applications.
  3. The Technology Layer offers infrastructure services (e.g., processing, storage, and communication services) needed to run applications, realized by computer and communication hardware and system software.

The general structure of models within the different layers is similar. The same types of concepts and relationships are used, although their exact nature and granularity differ.

The key relationship between layers is formed by “used by” relationships: Higher layers use services that are provided in lower layers.

Another key relationship is the realization relationship: elements in lower layers may realize comparable elements in higher layers:

  • A “data object” (Application layer) may realize a “business object” (Business layer)
  • An “artifact” (Technology layer) may realize either a “data object” or an “application component” (Application layer).

The aspects and layers identified in the previous sections can be organized as a framework of nine cells:

ArchiMate Architectural FrameworkIt is important to realize that the classification of concepts based on aspects and layers is only a global one. It is impossible to define a strict boundary between the aspects and layers, because concepts that link the different aspects and layers play a central role in a coherent architectural description.

ArchiMate Architectural FrameworkFor example, running somewhat ahead of the later conceptual discussions, (business) functions and (business) roles serve as intermediary concepts between “purely behavioral” concepts and “purely structural” concepts.

Next time…

In the next article, we will look at the relationship between the ArchiMate toolset and TOGAF, and explain the concept shown in the figure below.

This blog includes extracts of the ArchiMate 2.0 Specification, Copyright © 2009-2012 The Open Group. ArchiMate® is a registered trademark of The Open Group. For the original material please refer to this page.

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Steve is a leading practitioner lecturer, educator, and trainer in Enterprise Architecture (EA), with a number of roles in the global strategic transformation community. The Founder and CEO of EA Principals. Steve is one of the leading 10 TOGAF trainers in the world, having trained about 1750 people himself. He is author of the book, “Organization Theory and Transformation of Large, Complex Organizations." Steve designed ArchiMate 2.0 Certification and TOGAF Certification e-learning in conjunction with Good e-Learning and trains groups around the world.