ArchiMate + PlantUML = Sequence Diagram Joy

I’ve always had a love of sequence diagrams, for those that don’t know what a sequence diagram is, this may not be the blog for you!  Sequence diagrams have always struck me as one of the more useful, and practical design documents to use to describe how a system works.

ArchiMate, of course, works on a slightly larger level, but I think great things can happen when you combine the two, and have used many diagrams to help describe some of the more intricate detail within an architecture.

There are many tools which can be used to create sequence diagrams, but, as I am a nerd, and enjoy over-complicating things, PlantUML floats my boat in many ways, mainly because it still feels like a fun techie tool (and works well with Markdown too!).

PlantUML is a tool which allows you to quickly create UML diagrams based on a (fairly) simple text syntax.  It supports many types of diagram, including Sequence Diagrams and basic ArchiMate.  As PlantUML supports both of these diagrams, I have written a support library which can be included in any PlantUML diagram to define each of the ArchiMate concepts and include them within a sequence diagram.

Example Diagram Source

@startuml Archi Usage
!include archiseq.puml
title Archi Print Usage
' Define Elements
$equipment("Printer", "printer")
' Define Sequence
architect->archi ++
archi->update ++ : Make changes
$document("Not exactly correct!\nBut you get the idea.","right","update")
return Updated Model
archi ->print ++ : Click print
print -\windowsPrint ++
print –> archi : Sent to printer
windowsPrint -> printer ++
return Complete
archi –> architect

Support Library

@startuml Common
' PlantUML ArchiMate Sequence Diagram template v5
' Changelog:
' v3 Updated for new PreProcessor
' v4 Function to Procedure
' v5 Added Motivation, migrated to Styles, added Structure type
' Author: Steven Mileham (
skinparam dpi 150
skinparam useBetaStyle true
sequenceDiagram {
LineColor black
shadowing 0
FontName "Roboto"
Box {
LineColor Gray
BackgroundColor #f2f2f2
Padding 10
Lifeline {
LineColor DimGray
BackgroundColor LightGray
.Business {
LineColor #GoldenRod
BackgroundColor #Business
.Application {
LineColor #LightSteelBlue
BackgroundColor #Application
.Technology {
LineColor #LimeGreen
BackgroundColor #Technology
.Physical {
LineColor #LimeGreen
BackgroundColor #Technology
.Motivation {
LineColor #Purple
BackgroundColor #Motivation
.active {
.behavior {
RoundCorner 10
.passive {}
.motive {
DiagonalCorner 10
' Archimate Components
' Generic
!procedure $element($layer,$type,$structure,$label,$name="")
!if ($name=="")
participant "<$archimate/$type>\r $label" as $label << $layer >> << $structure >>
participant "<$archimate/$type>\r $label" as $name << $layer >> << $structure >>
' Motivation
!procedure $driver($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "driver","motive", $label, $name)
!procedure $assessment($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "assessment","motive", $label, $name)
!procedure $goal($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "goal","motive", $label, $name)
!procedure $outcome($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "motivation-outcome","motive", $label, $name)
!procedure $principle($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "principle","motive", $label, $name)
!procedure $requirement($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "requirement","motive", $label, $name)
!procedure $constraint($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "constraint","motive", $label, $name)
!procedure $value($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "value","passive", $label, $name)
!procedure $meaning($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "meaning","passive", $label, $name)
!procedure $stakeholder($label,$name="")
$element("Motivation", "role","motive", $label, $name)
' Business
!procedure $businessActor($label,$name="")
$element("Business", "actor","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessCollaboration($label,$name="")
$element("Business", "collaboration","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessEvent($label,$name="")
$element("Business", "event","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessInteraction($label,$name="")
$element("Business","interaction","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessInterface($label,$name="")
$element("Business","interface","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessObject($label,$name="")
$element("Business","object","passive", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessProcess($label,$name="")
$element("Business","process","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessRole($label,$name="")
$element("Business","role","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $businessService($label,$name="")
$element("Business","service","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $contract($label,$name="")
$element("Business","contract","passive", $label, $name)
!procedure $product($label,$name="")
$element("Business","product","passive", $label, $name)
!procedure $representation($label,$name="")
$element("Business","representation","passive", $label, $name)
' Application
!procedure $applicationCollaboration($label,$name="")
$element("Application","collaboration","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $applicationComponent($label,$name="")
$element("Application","component","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $applicationEvent($label,$name="")
$element("Application","event","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $applicationFunction($label,$name="")
$element("Application","function","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $applicationInteraction($label,$name="")
$element("Application","interaction","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $applicationInterface($label,$name="")
$element("Application","interface","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $applicationProcess($label,$name="")
$element("Application","process","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $applicationService($label,$name="")
$element("Application","service","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $dataObject($label,$name="")
$element("Application","object","passive", $label, $name)
' Technology
!procedure $artifact($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","technology-artifact","passive", $label, $name)
!procedure $communicationNetwork($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","network","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $device($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","device","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $node($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","node","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $path($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","technology-communication-path","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $systemSoftware($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","system-software","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $technologyCollaboration($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","collaboration","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $technologyEvent($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","event","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $technologyFunction($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","function","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $technologyInteraction($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","interaction","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $technologyInterface($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","interface","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $technologyProcess($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","process","behavior", $label, $name)
!procedure $technologyService($label,$name="")
$element("Technology","service","behavior", $label, $name)
' Physical
!procedure $distributionNetwork($label,$name="")
$element("Physical","physical-distribution-network","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $equipment($label,$name="")
$element("Physical","physical-equipment","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $facility($label,$name="")
$element("Physical","physical-facility","active", $label, $name)
!procedure $material($label,$name="")
$element("Physical","physical-material","passive", $label, $name)
' Notes
!procedure $assume($text, $placement = "left", $component = "")
hnote $placement $component #FFAAAA: <&warning> $text
!procedure $document($text, $placement = "left", $component = "")
note $placement $component #FFFFA5: <&document> $text
!procedure $question($text, $placement = "left", $component = "")
rnote $placement $component #FFBF00: <&questionmark> $text
!procedure $schedule($text, $placement = "left", $component = "")
rnote $placement $component #98FB98: <&timer> $text
!procedure $change($text, $placement = "left", $component = "")
rnote $placement $component #FFBF00: <&circlecheck> $text
!procedure $reuse($text, $placement = "left", $component = "")
rnote $placement $component #98FB98: <&circlecheck> $text
!procedure $error($text, $placement = "left", $component = "")
rnote $placement $component #FFCCCB: <&bug> $text
hide stereotype
footer Generated on %date()
view raw archi-seq.puml hosted with ❤ by GitHub

Next steps… figure out how I can write a jArchi script to write my PlantUML for me!


  1. Hi,

    I also often use PlantUML and find it useful to work directly from Archi and don’t rely on a browser. For this purpose, I have a really small script containing only:“”, “PlantUML”)

    This opens a new tab in Archi with PlantText. Once you’ve created your sequence diagram, you can simply drag’n drop it to another tab containing a canvas and the image will be created in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear JB, i am using Archi 4.8 nevertheless drag’n dropping a PlantUML sequence diagram into a neighboring Archi Canvas Tab does not work i.e. nothing gets created within the Canvas View. Is there any setting that needs to be enabled to allow drag/drop between Archi tabs?
      Thank you very much,


  2. Hi! This looks really amazing and I want to use it!
    Two questions:
    1) How are the archimate symbols rendered? From an image file or from code?
    2) Does this require me to download PlantUML and run it locally? I am currently writing PlantUML straight into a macro in Confluence on web. Is it possible to include the support library in the same “file” as where the actual diagram is defined?


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