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 3.x models can be obtained from The Open Group Library at www.opengroup.org/library/c19c. This applies to both the ArchiMate 3.1 and 3.2 versions of the Specification.
(You will be required to register for a free web ID if you do not already have one.)
A dedicated information site with resources including examples is available at http://www.opengroup.org/xsd/archimate/.
See below for the FAQ.
Frequently Asked Questions
Version 1.10 October 2022
Q. What is The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format?
A. It is a standard file format for the exchange of ArchiMate models between different tools. The exchange format has been mandatory for certified tools since June 1 2018.
Q. What is addressed in The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format?
A. The exchange file format for ArchiMate 3.x is divided into three schemas, with model exchange, view exchange, and diagram exchange. This allows for the exchange of simple model information with no diagram or view information, as well as more complex information such as custom viewpoints and extensions to diagrams.
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 intended to be processed by an “ArchiMate aware” tool, thus ruling out stand-alone semantic inference. Once the data contained in the exchange file has been imported into an ArchiMate tool, that tool will typically then go on to save it in its own proprietary file format.
Q. Where can I obtain a copy of the standard?
A. The document can be obtained from The Open Group Library at www.opengroup.org/library/c19c. You will be required to register for a free web ID if you do not already have one.
Supporting files (the XSD schema and examples) are available from http://www.opengroup.org/xsd/archimate/.
Q. What is provided with the standard?
A. The deliverables included with the standard are as follows:
- The Open Group Standard: ArchiMate® Model Exchange File Format
- XML Schema Documentation
- A ZIP file containing: the XSD Schema files, and example models in the exchange file format
Q. Are all the elements defined in The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format mandatory?
A. There are only two mandatory elements required by the format, with the addition of the “elements” tag and its contents present in order to convey useful information about the model:
- The main "model" tag itself with associated namespace declarations
- A name for the model
- Elements in the "elements" tag (with type, ID, and name)
All additional information is optional. Of course, a file containing only these minimal requirements would probably be untypical, but it could be the case that there are no relationships in the model.
The following elements are optional:
- The xml:lang="xx” attribute
These elements are provided because they may be of use to the sender/receiver, but they are not mandatory or necessary. For example, the “organizations” element may be useful to convey information about how the ArchiMate elements and relationships are organized in folders or a tree structure. However, it is not guaranteed that a tool will support this and so may ignore this information.
Similarly, not every tool supports multi-language text so there is no requirement to use the xml:lang="xx" attribute.
Q. What example models are provided with the standard?
A. The ArchiSurance and ArchiMetal case studies are provided and a set of model (snippets) that can be used for interoperability testing. Additional examples are available at the resources site at http://www.opengroup.org/xsd/archimate/.
Note: Some of the example XML files provided with the standard are intended to showcase the use of the elements rather than serve as realistic models.
Q. I am a tool provider, how can I get involved?
A. Get involved by joining The Open Group ArchiMate Forum (email archimate-forum-AT-opengroup.org) or simply by 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 source code implementation is available as part of the Archi tool and is distributed with the binary release. Source code for the exchange file format module is available in the GitHub repository at https://github.com/archimatetool/archi/tree/master/org.opengroup.archimate.xmlexchange.
Q. Are there plans to extend the standard?
A. Yes, the Forum is starting to look at extensions to the exchange file format standard in the next phase.