"Easiest" way to learn all possible relationships between all elements?

Started by shadysand, June 15, 2016, 14:01:42 PM

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I'm preparing to my ArchiMate 2.1 Certified exam and I'm struggling with understanding/learning all the possible relationships between all the elements in Business, Application and Technology layers. My concern is that it might be exactly what I will be asked at the exam.

So far, I've learnt by heart (and from some practice):

  • all the notations for elements (concepts), their belongings to the Passive, Behavior and Active categories and their allocation in Business, Application and Technology layers
  • all the relationships (structural, dynamic, other) and their strengths (from association, the weakest to composition, the strongest)
  • derivation rule: to pick the strongest relationship that is possible between any two given elements (concepts)

What I am struggling with: understanding the "right" relationship between any 2 given elements in principle. For example, what would be a proper relationship between Network (Technology) and Location (Business)? Or between Representation (Business) and Actor (Business)?

I have to admit that it's nearly impossible for me to understand it from the spec, so I googled and here I am attaching the best illustration that I've managed to find so far, but it lacks few elements, namely:

(Passive, Business) lacks Representation, Meaning, Value
(Behavior, Business) lacks Business Interaction, Business Event
(Active, Business) lacks Location, Business Collaboration

(Behavior, Application) lacks Application Interaction
(Active, Application) lacks Application Collaboration

(Active, Technology) lacks Network, Communication Path

Looking for any advice on how either to find out these missing parts or if there's any better approach to learn it in general. Would really appreciate the help as the examen is getting closer :/

Jean-Baptiste Sarrodie


There are several answers to your question. If your first goal is to pass the certification you have to know that:

  • Level one (foundation) is a muti choice questionary with only one good answer in which deep knowledge of "best relationship" is not needed. The goal of this questionary is only to make sure you know the concepts, relationship and related layers informations. Some knowledge of viewpoints is also required. For this, you don't have to know the exact list of concepts allowed by viewpoints, but only the goal of viewpoints (informing, deciding, designing), level of detail, and have an idea of the content (e.g. application collaboration is mainly about application and should not contain business or technology concepts). That's all.
  • Level two (certified) is also a multi choice questionary (based on diagrams) but with multiple good answers, goal being to find the best one. In this context you'll first have to exclude diagrams with impossible relationship and then select the one with the relationships that are the more "precise" ones. But don't worry, you'll not have to evaluate big chains of derived relationships.

That being said, there is no "right" relationship except the direct/core ones. As soon as a relationship is derived it is a matter of what element you (as an architect) decide to hide (not model), so only you can define the best one.

If you don't have read it, I would highly recommend to read the Mastering ArchiMate book or at least the free Syntax Only PDF that you can download. It is by far the best way to learn ArchiMate if you don't have the chance to live in France and been trained by me in person :-) :-)


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Hi JB, merci beaucoup for the answer! :) My exam will be the combined one on levels 1 and 2.. I will have a look at the resource that you suggested.

Désolé, I'm a bit more to the north from France, otherwise I'd definitely consider that!  ;)


Dirk Roos

A complete overview with all possible relation can be found in Archi via menu: Help / Archimate Relationships.