Combining ArchiMate 3.0 with other standards BPMN

Sep 6, 2016
Written by
Marc Lankhorst
Marc Lankhorst

Combining ArchiMate 3.0 with other standards BPMN

As we explained in the first blog of this series , the ArchiMate language is not intended to replace other standards and modeling approaches. For many domains, there are languages and techniques available that provide more detailed descriptions.

The uniqueness of ArchiMate does not lie in the individual concepts, rather the opposite: many concepts in the language are designed to have a direct correspondence with similar concepts in other techniques, so that you can easily use it in combination and zoom in on details of parts of the enterprise in these other techniques.

In the previous blog we showed the relation between ArchiMate 3.0 and Business Motivation Model, Balanced Scorecard and Business Model Canvas.

In this blog we focus on ArchiMate 3.0 and BPMN. The following table provides an approximate mapping between ArchiMate concepts and BPMN. In these tables, the more abstract, high-level concepts are presented on the left and the more concrete, detailed concepts are in the right-hand column. We finish this blog by demonstrating how Enterprise Studio supports this.


The main standard for modelling business processes is the Business Process Model and Notation (BPMN). ArchiMate is typically used for high-level processes and their relations to the enterprise context, but it is not intended for detailed workflow modeling. BPMN supports detailed sub-process and task modelling down to the level of executable specifications, but lacks the broader enterprise context, for example, to model the application services that support a process or the goals and requirements it has to fulfil. To this end, BPMN has a more fine-grained set of elements, with various types of events, tasks, and gateways. Both languages can quite easily be used in combination.

Business Actor, Role, Application Component Participant/Pool, Lane
Business/Application Collaboration Collaboration
Business/Application Process Process
Triggering Sequence flow
Access Data association
Junction Inclusive and parallel gateways
Or-junction Exclusive and event-based gateways


Relating BPMN models in Enterprise Studio

There are different ways to relate BPMN models with your ArchiMate 3.0 models in Enterprise Studio. Of course you could use ArchiMate 3.0 to make a high-level process view and a corresponding, more detailed BPMN model based on the mapping in the table above (see Figure 1 and Figure 2). To create the relevant links to relate ArchiMate 3 objects to your BPMN model, you can use cross-model relations (Figure 3) in Enterprise Studio.

Figure 1. ArchiMate model of pizza ordering process.

Figure 2. BPMN model of pizza ordering process.

Figure 3 Mapping of ArchiMate objects to BPMN objects (objects are equal in this example)

Other integrations between BPMN and ArchiMate models are also possible. You could choose to model your application landscape in ArchiMate and then relate this to the BPMN process model, as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 ArchiMate application landscape used in a BPMN process model

Enterprise Studio offers many ways to combine different languages. This helps users to answer specific business questions and deliver business value for different stakeholders.

In the next and final blog in this series we will discuss how you can combine ArchiMate 3.0 with UML, SysML and ERD.