- Update 03/02/2017: a complete and more simple solution with EA Project Template Package option has been added to this article.
- Update 06/02/2017: an article on Archimate 3 is available here.
ArchiMate 2 is a standard enterprise architecture modeling language from the Open Group.
Available in Sparx Enterprise Architect modelling tool, it is aimed at modelling the enterprise architecture into a business, application and technology layers. According to the Open Group specifications, a colour scheme is applied to improve diagrams visibility: business elements are rendered in yellow, application elements in blue, and infrastructure/technical ones in green.
The following diagram illustrates ArchiMate 2 colour scheme implementation in Enterprise Architect:
For those who read Gerben Wierda's “Mastering Archimate Edition 2” book, he applies an alternative colour scheme based on the following rules: (see further explanations here)
- Blue is used for active elements/objects (e.g. an interface or a component)
- Yellow is used for behavioural elements (e.g. a function or service)
- Green is used for passive elements (artifact, data object, business object...)
- Colours are strengthened in the technical/infrastructure layer, and softened in the business layer
In order to use these colours in Sparx Enterprise Architect, I started creating the Mastering Archimate 2 MDG:
- Stereotypes for each Archimate 2 element have been created with the appropriate colour. They extend Archimate 2 built-in stereotypes.
- Associated toolboxes with all stereotyped elements have been added.
- Diagram types with associated toolbox completed the MDG.
Below is an example of an Archimate 2 diagram created with the Mastering Archimate 2 MDG:
Extended tests led to the identification of a number of glitches and issues:
- EA Quicklinker function does not work properly as standard Archimate 2 elements are created, instead of stereotyped Mastering Archimate 2.
- Any future models migration could be more difficult to achieve.
- EA is provided with built-in migration scripts (Archimate 1 to Archimate 2, Archimate 2 to Archimate 3).
- Stereotyped Archimate elements will have to be reverted to the standard Archimate 2 elements so the Archimate 3 migration works fine.
Alternative solution with the Project Template Package (03/02/2017 update)
Following the initial version of this article pointing out the above issues, Sparx Systems suggested the use of a much simple solution with an element template that redefines the default elements colours.
This option involves creating a dedicated template package including each diagram type and redefined elements:
- Archimate 2 diagrams are created in this package: Business Layer Diagram, Application Layer Diagram, and Technology Layer Diagram (Motivation and Implementation diagrams remain the same).
- In each diagram, all the elements from the associated toolbox are added.
- Colours are modified with the expected colours. Below is an example with Archimate 2 Technology diagram.
- The package must be identified as a template for the current EA project:
- Open menu Project | Settings | Project Template Package, and select this package as the template
- Result: any new Archimate 2 element created from one of the toolboxes has the expected new default colours.
- The Quicklinker works fine with this solution.
- It is compatible with Sparx Archimate migration scripts.
- A custom script is required to change the colour of existing Archimate 2 elements with the new colours.