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Monday, 06 February 2017 16:32

Mastering ArchiMate alternate colour scheme with Archimate 3

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sparxsystems enterprise architect Archimate 3 support

This article is the next part of customising Sparx Enterprise Architect to use Mastering Archimate book alternate colour scheme (see initial article with Archimate 2 here), suggested by its author Gerben Wierda: it covers the new Archimate 3 standard, introduced in Enterprise Architect 13.

In the previous article, I looked at two ways to customize Enterprise Architect; via an MDG Technology with custom stereotypes, and via a Project Element Template where colours can be redefined for the existing Archimate elements. The latter option being more complete and simple to use, I extended its definition to Archimate 3.

ArchiMate 3 is the latest version of the standard enterprise architecture modeling language from the Open Group.

Available in Sparx Enterprise Architect modelling tool, a colour scheme according to its specifications 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 3 colour scheme implementation in Enterprise Architect:

sparx enterprise architect archimate 3 default colourscheme

The same colour scheme as in the current edition 2 of Gerben Wierda's “Mastering Archimate” book can be applied to Archimate 3, based on the following definitions:

  • 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

mastering archimate edition 2 book


I created the Archimate 3 Colours template in a dedicated package including each diagram type and redefined elements:

  • Archimate 3 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 3 Technology diagram.

business layer archimate 3 template mastering archimate colour scheme

  • 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 (EA12)
      • EA 13: select the CONFIGURE ribbon, Reference Data, Settings, Project Template Package
  • Result: any new Archimate 3 element created from one of the toolboxes is rendered with the expected default colours as illustrated below.  

sparx enterprise architect archimate3 mastering archimate colour scheme


  • 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 elements with the new colours.

The Mastering Archimate Project Element Template discussed in this article are available on request (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).