ArchiMate Patterns – Business Layer

This series of posts attempts to describe my usage of the ArchiMate 3.0.1 standard to enable others to understand my approach.

Each part will focus on an architectural layer.  First to introduce the basic pattern, and then to cover some examples exploring the pattern.


Business Pattern - pattern

Business Actor

A business actor is a business entity that is capable of performing behavior.

ArchiMate 3

A named individual or third party, e.g. Steven Mileham or University of Sussex

Business Role

A business role is the responsibility for performing specific behavior, to which an actor can be assigned, or the part an actor plays in a particular action or event.

ArchiMate 3

The role that the individual fulfils, may map to “job description”. One individual may have many roles.

Business Function

A business function is a collection of business behavior based on a chosen set of criteria (typically required business resources and/or competencies), closely aligned to an organization, but not necessarily explicitly governed by the organization.

ArchiMate 3

This has been used to model at multiple “levels” within the Business Layer, for example, it could represent a stage of a Business Process, or it could represent the overall Function that part of the business performs, e.g. Human Resources could be a function of the business.

  • One business process could have many functions (eg. steps in the process)
  • One business function could have many processes (e.g. HR)

Business Process

A business process represents a sequence of business behaviors that achieves a specific outcome such as a defined set of products or business services.

ArchiMate 3

The business process should cover the “What” but not the “How”, for example, the business produce a timetable, but they could do that on paper or using an application, at this level it is more the thing they are doing, than how they do it. E.g. Schedule Time table, Teach Lecture, etc.

Business Object

A business object represents a concept used within a particular business domain.

ArchiMate 3

The “Logical” data being manipulated or used by the business, e.g. timetable, contract, recorded lecture.


I must confess that Business Architecture is not my forte, so I shall fall back on TOGAF (all rights for TOGAF and ArchiMate go to the Open Group) to highlight some (very) basic examples of the Business layer.

Business Process

Business Pattern - Example 1

In this example, “Steven Mileham” is the individual, who fulfills the role “Solution Architect”, this role performs the “Enterprise Architecture” function.  The “Enterprise Architecture” is (in part) made up of the “Architecture Development Method” process (which itself is made up of a number of sub-processes), also this process is performed by the “Solution Architect” role.

Business Process, Business Data and Business Function

Architecture Vision.png

This example breaks down the “A) Architecture Vision” business process to reveal the steps within.  I have modelled each of these steps as a function, and these functions are then responsible for maintaining the Business Objects, which are the deliverables for each stage.

Next time, we’ll take a look at the Application Layer.

These patterns and examples have been modelled using the Archi tool, and have been made available via GitHub here ArchiMate Metamodel and Patterns.


  1. Question, how do I import this model? I am very interested in seeing how you’ve modelled this, but I cannot import the xml components


  2. Would you mind telling me how to import the Github model into Archi? I am very interested to see how TOGAF and Prince2 can be modelled.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.