This chapter is informative. It should be used as a guide to current thinking; there is not necessarily a commitment to implement all of these future directions in their entirety.
The first version of the ArchiMate language as specified in Issue 1.0 of this Technical Standard has a strong focus on describing the operational aspects of an enterprise. In addition to this, the current version includes two extensions: the Motivation extension and the Implementation and Migration extension.
Although the aim is to keep the core of the language relatively small, a number of other directions for extending the language, as well as more advanced tool support for inherent features of ArchiMate models, can be envisaged. In this chapter, we identify some likely extensions for future versions of the language and associated tool support.
In the practical use of ArchiMate, a number of areas have been identified in which a future extension of the language may be considered:
• Business policies and rules
• The design process
• Architecture-level predictions
Furthermore, there are a number of individual concepts that may be considered for future versions of the language; e.g.:
• Capability, defined as a collection of business and IT resources that together provide the ability to execute one or more business processes
• Milestone (as part of the Implementation & Migration extension)
Business policies are sets of general rules followed by a business that define business processes and practices. Business rules make these policies actionable for specific situations. Business rules separate business knowledge, based on, for example, legislation and regulations, business strategy, and business policies, from the business processes and systems that use this knowledge.
At the enterprise architecture level, sets of policies or rules may be modeled and linked to other elements of the architecture, such as business processes, application components, or services.
Second, the language could provide additional support for the early stages of the architecture development process. In these early stages, architects often use informal, sketchy, and incomplete models that later evolve into formally correct ArchiMate models. Hence, a relaxation of formal correctness criteria in the early design stages might be in order. Support for this design evolution is closely related to the concepts from the Motivation extension, since design decisions are guided by goals, principles, and requirements, and the design process is instrumental to the evolution of the architecture.
Next to the extensions in the areas mentioned above, some definitions of language concepts might also be improved and clarified. For example, the grouping concept could be given more explicit semantics. In practical use, some concepts have been used to good effect for other purposes than strictly intended; their future definitions may be updated to account for such usage.
A more formal specification of the metamodel of the language, expressed in a standard such as OMG’s MOF or Encore (part of the Eclipse Modeling Framework), would facilitate the implementation of the language in software tools.
Downloads of the ArchiMate documentation, are available under license from the ArchiMate information web site. The license is free to any organization wishing to use ArchiMate entirely for internal purposes (for example, to develop an information system architecture for use within that organization). A book is also available (in hardcopy and pdf) from The Open Group Bookstore as document C13L.