A New Opportunity

After over a decade of development, the Archi open source modeling toolkit for the ArchiMate language has evolved from a basic standalone tool to support modeling automation, data exchange with other enterprise management tools, and collaboration among multiple modelers.  Archi has also kept pace with The Open Group, which manages the ArchiMate standard, has added support for modeling motivation, strategy, transformational initiatives, and physical assets such as supply chains and industrial facilities and processes.   
The maturation of Archi enables Enterprise Architects to introduce systematic and collaborative Enterprise Architecture (EA) to organizations without the means or inclination to invest in commercial EA tools, which can often be quite expensive and complex to implement and require significant organizational change to achieve a positive return on investment.  If an organization desires to transition to or from a commercial tool, modelers can transfer their work using The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format Standard, which Archi supports and The Open Group mandates for all ArchiMate-certified tools. 


A New Training Course

To help experienced Enterprise Architects take advantage of the Archi toolset, EA Principals (EAP) has developed and delivered a one-day training course called Enterprise Modeling and Analysis with the Archi Open Source Toolset.  The goals of the course have been to introduce and demonstrate the value of model-driven Enterprise Architecture, the ArchiMate language for Enterprise Architecture, and Archi and its plugins.   The course has also explored the advantages and disadvantages of Archi as a tool for complex organizations and has helped participants explore the application of Archi to their own initiatives.
The course has included in-depth instruction on the use of Archi and its two most important plugins:   coArchi for collaboration and jArchi for scripting.  It has also covered the Archi Command-Line Interface (ACLI) which enables automated data import, export, modeling, and analysis within automated scripts that can integrate other enterprise tools.   
Like many free and open source toolsets, Archi requires some technical integration to realize its full potential.  CoArchi requires knowledge of git, jArchi requires knowledge JavaScript, and practical use of the ACLI requires knowledge of shell scripting.   While teaching these skills is beyond the scope of any one-day course, Enterprise Modeling and Analysis with the Archi Open Source Toolset has presented examples and conducted simple exercises that have familiarized participants with both the value of Archi’s advanced capabilities, along with the skills and preparation required for their implementation. 
The course has well-received by the participants.  One senior EA consultant said his session’s timing was perfect for him, since he had a need for git repository integration in the next phase of his project, and he also reported learning about many valuable Archi features for the first time.  

Upcoming Course Enhancements

Future sessions of Enterprise Modeling and Analysis with the Archi Open Source Toolset will focus more on advanced applications of the Archi toolset, and provide more finished examples that students can run themselves and easily apply to their environments.   To make more space in the day for this emphasis, subsequent versions of the course will require thorough familiarity with the ArchiMate language and some experience modeling with Archi.    Future sessions will therefore be ideal for experienced Enterprise Architects with a software development background, as well as for intact architecture teams, especially those that include at least one member with shell scripting, JavaScript, and git skills.  
As always, EAP is interested in collaborating with organizations and teams to schedule and customize this and any other course to meet their needs.   Please contact info@eaprincipals.com to begin this process.
Authored by Iver Band, EA Principals Senior Instructor and ArchiMate Expert


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