A service is defined as an externally visible unit of functionality, provided by one or more active structure elements, exposed through well-defined interfaces, and meaningful to the environment.

A service exposes the functionality of an active structure element to its environment. This functionality is accessed through one or more interfaces.

A service may include messaging, storage, naming, and directory services.

It may access passive structure elements; e.g., a file containing a message. A service may be used by active structure elements (others than the one providing it, including those from other layers.

A service is realized by an active structure element.

A service is exposed by an active structure element by assigning it to its interfaces. A service may consist of sub-services.

The name of an service should preferably be a verb ending with "-ing"; e.g., "messaging".

Category: Layer and Behaviour aspect

Examples: Messaging Service, Customer File Service, and Claim Files Service. See also the specializations per layer; and Services (Actant Dictionary).

Typical Relationships:

  • Used by - active structure element
  • Assignment - interface
  • Access - passive structure element
  • Realisation - active structure element

Source: Generalization of Business Service, Application Service and Technology Service as defined in the ArchiMate Framework.