I am interested to know if anyone worked on transferring ERWIN data model information into ARIS.

I am on the process of transferring Reference Data model from ERWIN to ARIS and would love to hear the complexity and issues anyone is facing.


Abhijit Das

by Sakari Lehtonen
Posted on Thu, 11/24/2011 - 13:32


Abjihit, sharing my experiences in a couple of cases, yes, the transfer is very straightforward!

The idea in this transfer is to utilize, the existing standard ERwin xml Export, and the standard ARIS xml Import. So, the Transformation, the interface tool in the middle, has all the logic, to handle input of ERwin xml, and output to ARIS xml, and of course to take care of all the needed mappings between the two models.

This interface is a 3rd party tool, TOOLBUS by Reischmann, being spezialised in interfaces. TOOLBUS technology internally uses canonical data model principles, making the interface very efficient. You can easily have more information by email,

All the typical ER data model constructs can be transferred, subject area, entity type, subtype, relationship type, attribute, data type, enumeration. The ARIS model type can be IE data model, eERM, or UML Class diagram. Also one can select, whether foreign key attributes are included, or not. In many cases, especially in reference models, foreign keys are not included in models, because the relationships are sufficient, to provide this information.

After the .xml import (ARIS .aml), you have ready in ARIS, E.g the IE data model, where each entity type has an eERM attribute allocation model assigned, with all the attributes there. In data models, the drawing landscape is preserved, entities keep the x-y coordinates they had in ERwin.

Best regards, Sakari Lehtonen

by Abhijit Das Author
Posted on Tue, 12/06/2011 - 06:15

Thank you all for the info. It is good to know people have tried with toolbus . Although I downloaded it long ago but have not tried it. Our requirement is mainly one-directional from Erwin to ARIS updated generally every quarter. (And I wanted to create my own solution :))
What I did first is analysed the data to understand the extent of duplicate values. Fortunately there was no issue of duplicate value. As I have said it is only RDM so it was kind of straightforward. We have Concept, Subject Area, Entity and then Attributes. I created an excel template which is populated by the Erwin team. It basically gives me the list of Objects needs to be created in individual tab/worksheet. In the template there is tab/worksheet for the association of Concept-Subject Area, Subject Area-Entities, Entity-Attributes. Obviously everything is loaded by an around 500 lines script which reads the information from the excel file and creates the models and objects. I used IE Data Model (crowfeet) for models, Cluster/Data for objects. It runs for around one hour to finish (it may take more or less time depending on the records and server processing power, network etc. ).

Hardest part is creating the layout engine for different models as methodology and layout were defined differently for different models. And I wanted to get the exact look and feel. Ofcourse if you are happy with default layout engine of ARIS than it could be much easier.
So far so good. The models are objects are succuessfully created by the scripts and the look and feel is exactly what has been defined before the start of work.

by Deepti Mittal
Posted on Tue, 01/17/2012 - 09:58

Hi Abhijit,

Thanks for all the info. I was actually browsing through the website for a similar problem. We are also planning to import the data models created in Power Designer into ARIS and it works perfectly well for us as well. However, the problem lies in the maintenance of such models.

As you have written, you plan to import them every quarter... What i m interested in understanding is how you plan to handle the models already imported in the database...there is bound to be redundant copies of the models that would be created. Also, another problem I forsee is that we will be using some of the elements of these data models in the other models lets say EPC, Access Diagram etc... How you are planning to ensure that the content gets updated everywhere else as well....

This is one of my biggest concerns right now...even though we have interface bus which allows us to import the content...but how do i ensure the governance...

Suggestions welcome.






by Sakari Lehtonen
Posted on Tue, 01/17/2012 - 11:35

Hi Deepti,

You raise up a very important question, the governance! We must keep governance always in mind, it is behind there, everywhere!

ARIS is especially for governance, to govern the single-source-of-thruth in enterprise architecture! ARIS is the master copy for EA descriptions!

To take the present data models first time into ARIS for future solid governance, the TOOLBUS technology enables for example that handy ERwin interface, as discussed earlier. It is an easy one-time job to import ERwin data models into ARIS. It works.

Immediately after that one-time import, ARIS is the master copy, the master is not in ERwin any more. Gradually you develop your data models further in ARIS, then you can vice-versa now export data models into ERwin for physical implementation, again using that TOOLBUS interface. Note, the master copy remains in ARIS, further development happens there.

To keep data model masters distributed, in several different places and tools, has challenges for solid governance. Absolutely you need consistent ID fields and working incremental round-trip procedures. That ERwin-to-ARIS does not enable this, it is one-time import job. By the way, the other direction TOOLBUS ARIS-to-ERwin first then ERwin-to-ARIS, enables round-tripping, the ARIS ID fields go round there.

ARIS governance of the single-source-of-thruth data models, has several advantages. One which comes to my mind, is the interface to MDM Master Data management implementation platform, to webMehtods OneData. Even today ARIS-to-OneData interface, using the standard ARIS export, is available! One can design the logical data model in ARIS, then continue in OneData in implementation configuration. OneData is a Multi-domain Universal MDM tool, extensible in data model sense (not closed to one-structure only).

CMDB (IT Configuration Management Data Base) is one example in enterprise architecture, where the master copy is in CMDB, not in ARIS. Here ARIS provides the CMDB-to-ARIS interface with round-trip, to take basically perhaps every night the fresh configuration data into ARIS, selected important parts in enterprise architecture sense, not the whole stuff of details.

Yes, before you push the comment button, I reply your question: The present version to transfer a data model ARIS-to-OneData, is not incremental, it will be. Even the present one is amazing..

Best regards, Sakari

by Abhijit Das Author
Posted on Fri, 01/20/2012 - 14:34


It is really amazing how architecture similarity between different company emerge even though they are altogether different company and sometimes different type of company (like ARIS -CMDB, ARIS-Erwin etc).

Yes governance is really an important aspect you have to define. But I would say it depends what you want to make it as source of truth and the state of the interface. Most importantly having a governance process would cover yourself for any situation. And having a detail governance process is always better than not having any.

In my case Erwin is the source of truth as I thought it is more advanced and meant for data modeling than ARIS (my Software AG colleagues might get offended) (same like CMDB for IT). For us it gives a snapshot of the models and objects of Erwin (concept, subject area,entities, attributes etc) so that modellers can use the objects in their models. There are questions around objects which are being redundant in Erwin and what will happen to those objects in ARIS (especially if they re used). My answer is governance documents will define alongwith several other situation what is the process of handling that.

Hope this give some useful information.


Abhijit Das


by Troy Cross
Posted on Wed, 10/03/2012 - 13:30

I was wondering, if anyone has created or knows where there is a document on best proactice to keep ERwin and ARIS up to date and in sync with each other.  We have some of our information in ARIS and some in ERwin,  but would like to utilize both tools.

Any advice or help would be apreciated.


Troy Cross



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