The Open Group Updates Enterprise Architecture Modeling Language

The Open Group this week released the latest version of its modeling language for enterprise architecture, ArchiMate 2.0.

The new version is aligned with The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF), which is both a framework and method for enterprise architecture. The purpose of this alignment, the company says, is to enable enterprise architects using the language to improve the way business and IT stakeholders "collaborate and adapt to change."

The Open Group says the aim of ArchiMate is to provide a common language for that transcends several business domains. Architects use it to describe the construction and operation of business processes, organizational structures, information flows, IT systems and technical infrastructure. As the company explains it on its Web site, "This insight helps stakeholders to design, assess, and communicate the consequences of decisions and changes within and between these business domains."

The key upgrade in this release is the TOGAF alignment, which makes it possible for the language to support modeling throughout the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM). The ADM uses elements of the TOGAF to describe a method for developing an enterprise architecture -- sort of a framework within a framework.

This release also improves on ArchiMate's ability to support "the preparation and management of business change, application rationalization, program and portfolio management and outsourcing scenarios," as well as adding a number of new features, including cost-analysis calculation tools, additional extension support for gab analysis and migration planning, and a "Motivation" extension for modeling factors going into a project, like business goals and stakeholders.

ArchiMate 2.0 is designed to be an upwards-compatible evolution from version 1.0 of the open and independent language.

The Open Group describes itself as a "vendor- and technology-neutral consortium focused on open standards and global interoperability within and between enterprises." The organization was formed from the merger of the Open Systems Foundation and XOpen in the mid-1990s. The group's initial focus was the development of Unix standards and certification of Unix implementations. Over time, as the members' concerns moved away from Unix as a strategy for multiplatform integration and into the realm of enterprise architecture, the group's activities and focus also shifted.

The first version of the TOGAF was released in 1995.

"One of the things that distinguishes the TOGAF as an enterprise architecture framework is that it includes a fairly comprehensive set of methodologies," Leonard Fehskens, The Open Group's vice president of skills and capabilities, told ADTmag in an earlier interview. "It's not just a set of forms or templates. It provides real guidance to help you go from a vision of what you want your business to do to creating the necessary IT infrastructure and support to execute that vision."

The TOGAF was developed by an unusually diverse group of member companies, ranging from PG&E to Oracle, Rolls Royce to Microsoft. Fehskens called it "a synthesis of stuff that has worked for a lot of people in a lot of different contexts."

The Open Group also announced that new certification programs for ArchiMate 2.0 will be available in the future. More information on this release is available on The Open Group's ArchiMate Forum.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].