ARIS Community - We Love BPM

Features en detail: ARIS Express import in ARIS Business Architect

peur's picture
by Peter Urban in Professional ARIS posted on 2010-03-10

With ARIS Express we wanted to address the following use-case from the very beginning: every person involved is able to describe his, say, daily process using ARIS Express and these models are later on collected and reused by ARIS experts in ARIS Business Architect. This scenario is now coming to life with a new feature in ARIS Business Architect – the import of ADF files created by ARIS Express.

Let’s imagine that you are running a book selling business. An employee responsible for electronic sales describes the order process on your website in ARIS Express like this:

EPC in ARIS Express

You want to make that model a part of your process repository, of course, in order to have a possibility to drill down high-level models and see detailed processes. Now you can import created ADF into any group in your database (sure, you must have permissions for import) via context menu.

Import of ADF files in ARIS Business Architect

After import, the model created in ARIS Express is stored in your repository and ready to be further refined – adjusted to comply with company’s modeling conventions or assigned to other models for example. A model is always imported in the same language as it was created in ARIS Express, so it may happen that you don’t see attributes after import, because you are logged in using a different database language. In such a case, you might want re-login using original model’s language to see them, or you can also fill in properties in other languages, as you are used to from ARIS Business Architect.

EPC in ARIS Business Architect after import

Well, now we’ve got the book order process in a database and it is a part of company’s processes. As you can see, objects in model have standard ARIS look & feel, but maybe you prefer the look & feel of ARIS Express. And yes, it is possible to have it in ARIS Business Architect, too! You just need to import Express filter and template, which you can find on the installation DVD in the folder “Databases and Filters”, subfolder “Filters”. If you log in to a database using Express filter, your models will look exactly as they do in ARIS Express.

Look and feel like ARIS Express in ARIS Business Architect

So why is ADF import in ARIS Business Architect a very powerful feature? Because in your company, there are people who have the knowledge about organization’s processes, but who are not familiar with BPM. And there are BPM experts, who know their tools, but a big deal of their daily work is to talk to people and figure out what they are doing. While ARIS Express is a great tool for the first group to transform their process knowledge to models, ADF import provides possibility for BPM experts to collect that knowledge as models and reuse it further.

Note: This article describe a feature introduced or extended with ARIS Platform 7.1 Service Release 5. See this post for links to similar articles.

There are no attachments
lucia ballerini posted on 2010-05-13

I understood the answer , thak you; but I don't see import adf, I only have the possibility to choose import XML file... I created the DB so I have the permission to import ;

Sebastian Stein posted on 2010-05-14

Hi Lucia,

make sure that you got ARIS 7.1 Service Release 5 installed. Also, make sure you are using ARIS Business Architect and not ARIS Business Designer. If that still doesn't work, please contact our hotline in case you got a valid support contract.

Pierre Pilven posted on 2010-05-18

Hi Peter,

Thanks for this helpfull post, I tried to import adf into Architect but it seems to be very long more than 15 min for 1 model.

Is there any pre requist to be able to import Aris Express Model into Architect.

I mean do you thing that some features of Aris Express are not supported on Architect so the import function can not work properly ?


Frank Weyand posted on 2010-06-01


in SR5, there was a bug which can force the import to fail, this can happen sporadically. This will be fixed in SR06, which is released recently.



Markus L. posted on 2010-07-29

Thank you very much for this tutorial, this is helpful.

I am just wondering if you can also do it the other way... is it possible to import EPK models that are created in ARIS Business Architect into ARIS Express? That would be great!

Oscar Riquelme posted on 2011-01-31


Hi there, good helpful post.
I been working with aris express, and the company bought the license aris 
7.1 Architect. 
I been importing *.adf files to Aris architect, but I want that the model made in Aris Express, conserve the look and feel of ARIS 7.1, not Aris Express.
What should I configurate to keep the look and feel of aris Architech 7.1 instead Aris Express? Thanks a Lot
Frank Weyand posted on 2011-02-01

Hi Oscar.

If you import Express files, you are getting asked if you just want to import the files or if you also want to enhance your configuration by ARIS Express symbols.

Enhancing means, that the symbols from Express are also available in your ARIS installation. This is done by automatically importing the symbols and the template which are used in Express.

During the first import you just need to set the right setting in the import wizard (see example).



Oscar Riquelme posted on 2011-02-01

Thanks a lot frank, actually I want to use the symbols of Aris Architec 7.1, I don`t want to use the symbols of Aris Express now.

So, it´s possible to import and adf file, and automacally the Aris Architec transform the model to the symbols of Aris Architec?

Like This...

What should I configurate?...thanks

Frank Weyand posted on 2011-04-08


as described in the very first post of this article from Peter above, if you do not import the ARIS Express filter and template, ARIS uses the standard symbols automatically.

All you need to do is to apply the template, or adjust your template.



Justin McDowell posted on 2012-02-27

I've extended my filter to use the ARIS express symbols and now I want to undo this action. How can I acomplish this?

Frank Weyand posted on 2012-02-28

Hi Justin,

what happened is nothing else then a "filter merge". There is not "undo" operation for merging filters, so, if you want to remove the express symbols, you can:

1.) in the ARIS configuration, open the filter and remove all thy symbols which you like to delete

- or -

2.) remove all the Express symbols generally, so they are also not available anymore in the full method.



Tihomir Budic posted on 2014-02-24

Hi Frank,

can you send me .acm Express filter and Template for Aris Architect.


Frank Weyand posted on 2014-02-24

Hi Tihomir,

they are attached here:

Filter and template did not change since Express 2.2.

Bye the way, your standard ARIS includes this filter and template. If you import an ADF file, you are getting asked whether you want to import filter and template or not.