By Kelly Canon, ArchiMate® Forum Director, The Open Group
The ArchiMate Modeling Language standardizes an organization’s framework to effectively describe, analyze, and visualize their Enterprise Architecture. By using a standardized language such as the ArchiMate language, not only does it allow internal stakeholders to understand and communicate simple to complex architectural concepts and relationships, but it can encourage the sharing of non-proprietary “patterns” with other Enterprise Architects.
What is a Pattern?
A Pattern, in the context of ArchiMate, serves to recognize, understand, and replicate relationships, structures, or behaviors that occur repeatedly in an Enterprise Architecture model. By utilizing an existing pattern that was shared by another experienced architecture into their work, the EA can confidently leverage the design solution for their common challenges and improve overall quality.
Why are Patterns important?
In the simplest form, the practitioner saves time by not having to re-create a model that as already successfully designed and implemented. It can provide a standardized blueprint or framework for specific organization needs for various industries but allow for flexibility to be customized for the practitioners need through the availability of the pattern in the ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format (.xml). Patterns are more prescriptive and provide detailed recommendations by providing a proven solution to a particular problem, where a reference architecture would provide a high-level or abstract implementation guidance or best practices.
What is the ArchiMate Patterns Library?
It is a collection of Patterns found in the ArchiMate Community, hosted by The Open Group (archimate-community.org), contributed by ArchiMate practitioners from various industries. The community space is open to Members and Non-members of The Open Group to participate and contribute to.
Why should you get involved?
Consistency, efficiency, reusability, knowledge transfer, reduction of errors and risks, collaboration, standardization, decision-making, scalability and adoption, continuous improvement, community building, compliance, and onboarding.
Sharing patterns and reference architectures helps other teams and architecture to adhere to established standards and best practices, encapsulate proven solutions and design principals, promote uniformity in design implementation, and can mitigate common architectural pitfalls or risks. Communication and collaboration are a fundamental aspect of architecture however many struggle to do so, especially between teams. Building collaboration through consistency helps stakeholders and decision-makers to understand the rational and potential impacts when determining solutions for their business growth and evolution. Additionally, many industries have strict compliance requirements that patterns can not only ensure adherence to those needs are followed when audited but facilitate onboarding and training of new hires to an organizations architecture.
How to get involved:
Create an account on the ArchiMate Community site and contribute the Patterns you have found useful in your career. (https://archimate-community.org/#!patterns.md)
All patterns are reviewed by volunteers. Should you be interested in reviewing submittals, under the ‘help’ section you can find contact information for those who oversee the Community.
Please help us spread the word about the Community and the Patterns Library by sharing this blog and the attached infographic on your social medias.