ArchiMate Glossary

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About the ArchiMate Glossary

For the purposes of this standard, the following terms and definitions apply. The TOGAF framework should be referenced for Enterprise Architecture-related terms not defined in this section. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th Edition) should be referenced for all other terms not defined in this section.

Any conflict between definitions described here and the TOGAF framework is unintentional. If the definition of a term is specific to the ArchiMate modeling language, and a general definition is defined by the TOGAF framework, then this is noted in the definition.

ArchiMate Core Framework

A reference structure is used to classify elements of the ArchiMate core language. It consists of three layers and three aspects.

ArchiMate Core Language

The central part of the ArchiMate language defines the concepts and relationships to model Enterprise Architectures. It includes three layers: Business, Application, and Technology.


Classification of elements based on layer-independent characteristics related to the concerns of different stakeholders. Used for positioning elements in the ArchiMate metamodel.


A property associated with an ArchiMate language element or relationship.


Either an element or a relationship.


Fulfillment of specified requirements.

Conforming Implementation

An implementation that satisfies the conformance requirements defined by the conformance clause of this standard. See Section 1.3.

Core Element

A structure or behavior element in one of the core layers of the ArchiMate language.

Composite Element

An element consisting of other elements from multiple aspects or layers of the language.


Basic unit in the ArchiMate metamodel. Used to define and describe the constituent parts of Enterprise Architectures and their unique set of characteristics.


An abstraction of the ArchiMate framework at which an enterprise can be modeled.


A collection of concepts in the context of the ArchiMate language structure.


A connection between a source and target concept. Classified as structural, dependency, dynamic, or other.

Business Actor

A business actor is a business entity that is capable of performing the behavior.

Business Role

A business role is the responsibility for performing specific behavior, to which an actor can be assigned, or the part an actor plays in a particular action or event.

Business Collaboration

A business collaboration is an aggregate of two or more business internal active structure elements that work together to perform collective behavior.

Business Interface

A business interface is a point of access where a business service is made available to the environment.

Business Process

A business process represents a sequence of business behaviors that achieves a specific outcome such as a defined set of products or business services.

Business Function

A business function is a collection of business behavior based on a chosen set of criteria (typically required business resources and/or competencies), closely aligned to an organization, but not necessarily explicitly governed by the organization.

Business Interaction

A business interaction is a unit of collective business behavior performed by (a collaboration of) two or more business roles.

Business Event

A business event is a business behavior element that denotes an organizational state change. It may originate from and be resolved inside or outside the organization.

Business Service

A business service represents an explicitly defined exposed business behavior.

Business Object

A business object represents a concept used within a particular business domain.


A contract represents a formal or informal specification of an agreement between a provider and a consumer that specifies the rights and obligations associated with a product and establishes functional and non-functional parameters for interaction.


A representation represents a perceptible form of the information carried by a business object.


A product represents a coherent collection of services and/or passive structure elements, accompanied by a contract/set of agreements, which is offered as a whole to (internal or external) customers.

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