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The Open Group ArchiMate® Model Exchange File Format Standard
The Open Group has published the ArchiMate Model Exchange File format - a standard file format for the exchange of ArchiMate models between different tools.
The Standard for exchange of ArchiMate 2.1 models can be obtained from The Open Group publications catalog at https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/catalog/C154
(You will be required to register for an free web ID if you do not already have one).
A Snapshot draft of the exchange format for ArchiMate 3.0 models is now available from The Open Group publications catalog at https://www2.opengroup.org/ogsys/catalog/S161
A dedicated information site with resources including examples is available at http://www.opengroup.org/xsd/archimate/
See below for the FAQ.
version 1.05 20 December 2016
Q. What is The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format?
A. It is a specification for a standard file format for the exchange of ArchiMate models between different tools. It is anticipated that multiple tools vendors will support the exchange file format. Its anticipated that the exchange format will become mandatory for certified tools at some point in the future.
Q. What is addressed in The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File format?
A. The exchange file format for ArchiMate 2.1 includes a core exchange format and in addition the visual layout. The snapshot format for ArchiMate 3.0 has divided the format into three, with model exchange, view exchange and diagram exchange.
Q. Is the format intended as a persistent file format for an ArchiMate model?
A. The exchange file format is not intended as a persistent file format for the model itself, it is a mechanism to convey instance data from one tool to another (a simple analogy would be the csv file format for exchange of spreadsheet information). The data contained in the exchange file format is meant to be processed by an “ArchiMate aware” tool, thus ruling out standalone semantic inference. Once the instance data has been imported into an ArchiMate tool, that tool will probably save it in its own proprietary file format.
Q. Where can I obtain the a copy?
A. The Standard format for ArchiMate 2.1 models can be obtained from The Open Group publications catalog.
The format for ArchiMate 3.0 model exchange is a work in progress. A snapshot of the format is available at
You will be required to register for an free web ID if you do not already have one.
Q. Is there a version aligned to the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification?
A. Yes, a new version of the format aligned to the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification is currently under development. A snapshot release (of the work in progress) was made available in December 2016 (see the previous answer)
Q.What is provided with the specification?
A. The deliverables included with the specification are as follows:
Q. Are all the elements defined in The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format mandatory?
A. There are only two mandatory elements:
Everything else is optional. Of course, a minimal file containing only these two things would probably be unlikely, but it could be the case that there are no relationships in the model.
The following items are optional:
They are provided because they may be of use to the sender/receiver, but they don't have to be there. For example, with the Organization element, this may be useful if the tool sending or receiving would like to know how the elements/relations are organised in folders for example, but not every tool might support that and could happily ignore it.
Similarly, not every tool supports multi-language so there is need to use the xml:lang="xx" attribute. The example XML files provided with the Standard are more of a showcase of all the elements.
Q. What example models are provided with the Standard?
A. The ArchiSurance case study is provided and a Reference Model that can be used for interoperability testing. Additional examples are available at the resources site: http://www.opengroup.org/xsd/archimate
Note that the snapshot release supporting the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification is a work in progress and more examples will be provided in due course.
Q. I am a tool provider, how can I get involved?
A. You can get involved by joining The Open Group ArchiMate forum , email archimate-forum-AT-opengroup.org or simply visiting the resources site at http://www.opengroup.org/xsd/archimate
Q. Are there interoperability tests with other tools suppliers?
A. Yes, these are ongoing within the project within The Open Group ArchiMate Forum.
Q. I have suggestions for improvement to the exchange file format, where do I send them?
A. Please send comments by email to ogspecs-AT-opengroup.org.
Q. Is there a source code implementation available?
A. A plugin has been developed for the Archi tool. See http://www.archimatetool.com/plugins. Source code is available in the Github repository at https://github.com/archimatetool/OpenGroupXMLExchange .
Q. Are there plans to extend the standard?
A.Yes the forum is starting to look at extensions to the standard in the next phase.