CORA and Archimate

CORA and Archimate
The CORA model describes elements  in a layered model to design and assess IT landscapes from an application perspective. With the emergence of ArchiMate® it is possible to use an open and independent modeling language to support CORA related designs. In this blog I decribe the relationship between CORA and Archimate®, present the CORA model as it has been modeled in Archimate® and summarize the added value of adding CORA into Archimate®. 

ArchiMate® is The Open Group’s open and independent modelling language for enterprise architecture. The ArchiMate® Core offers a common language for describing the construction and operation of business processes, organizational structures, information flows, IT systems, and technical infrastructure. With Archimate® 2.0 two extensions (Motivation, Implementation & Migration) are added to the core to have a better fit with the TOGAF ADM (see figure).


The ArchiMate® goal is to help stakeholders to design, assess, and communicate the consequences of decisions and changes within and between business domains.

The metamodel with regards to the ArchiMate® Core describes the clustering of objects in three different layers (Business, Application, Technology) which is in line with TOGAF step B, C and D.


Modeling CORA using Archimate®
Because CORA describes possible elements within an IT landscape from an application perspective, the mapping to Archimate can be made easily: CORA is a logical (or vendor agnostic) repository of possible application functions by which data can be accessed (see figure, click to enlarge).

CORA model

The application component is the physical (vendor-specific) implementation of this function. During solution crafting the vendor specific application components can be mapped onto the relevant application functions and assessed. An example of such a mapping and assessment results are shown below (click to enlarge).

The green components already exist in the IT landscape while the brown one is a new component which is part of the new solution. The risk is represented as a red dot. In this example the risk is the fact that the vendor delivers RIA-functionality with Adobe Flex, while the organisations’ corporate IT strategy for application function is Microsoft Silverlight.

Added value
Describing CORA as a model in Archimate adds value in three different ways:

  • It automatically becomes a repository of possible application functions which can be re-used every time a new solution has to be designed and/or assessed.
  • It can be used to check if all relevant application functions are investigated
  • It can be used to check if all relevant application components are mapped correctly
  • It can be easily connected to other object and layers as described in the Archimate® library.