Enterprise Architecture Features

Discover the power of Essential

Capture, analyse, manage and make informed decisions

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Everyone’s Essential Editors (Cloud)

With our cloud-based editors, anyone in your organization can maintain data. You don’t need to be an expert—the editors are designed to be easy to use and easy to understand.

Covering the backbone of an enterprise architecture, from business, application, data and technology to strategy, supplier management and ideas, the editors allow the data maintenance burden to be shared.

Rich Meta-model

Recognised as a framework in its own right by The Open Group, Essential has the most semantically rich meta-model of any currently available EA tool. This means more accurate modelling which allows for richer more sophisticated reporting providing enhanced decision support capabilities. Ontology based, it is like modelling the real world and so easy to pick up and understand.

Import from Excel, CSV or XML

Essential’s Import Utility lets you import high volumes of data from external sources with ease. You can use our pre-configured templates or create your own custom versions. And we’re not just talking about lists; Essential can import simple, complex or even create derived relationships on the fly.

Third Party Integration

Essential can be configured to import data from a wide range of sources such as CMDBs, Business Process Modelling tools, PMO tools, etc.

Forms Based Data Capture

Essential’s form-based data capture tool is the easiest way to get your team capturing data quickly and easily. We believe forms are the most effective solution when it comes to capturing data that isn’t already held in spreadsheets or other systems.

Graphical Data Capture

Sometimes you need to capture not just the relationships but the specific sequence of those relationships – for example, a business process flow. Essential supports graphical modelling where it’s needed most.

REST APIs (Cloud)

Essential’s advanced bi-directional and REST APIs let you integrate with other systems, such as CMDBs, Project management Tools, BPMN Tools and so on, to ensure that the data is shared and automatically kept in sync.


The Essential Launchpad is an easy-to-use spreadsheet that allows bulk capture of data to quick start your EA initiative.  Used with a pre-configured Import Spec it populates around 25 key foundational views to enable a successful architecture foundation to be delivered quickly and with minimum effort.

Free EA Models

Our predefined enterprise architecture reference models allow you to accelerate your Essential EA initiative by giving you a starting template. Simply download the data update file and import it into your Essential EA tool, then edit the model in Essential to meet your exact needs.

Unlimited Users

Our simple subscription-based pricing model provides for unlimited users to ensure the EA is accessible to all, supporting real collaboration across your organisation at a known and predictable cost.

Configurable Editors (Cloud)

Essential offers configurable editors, allowing you to create customised maintenance forms and surveys that are specific to your organization’s needs.


100+ Reports / Views / Dashboards

With beautiful interactive data visualisations of your organisation, Essential allows you to engage your CxOs and the business in your Enterprise Architecture. Leverage the tools within Essential, such as Road Mapping and ‘What If’ analysis, to understand strategic impact, enable digitalisation, support cloud adoption, pinpoint rationalisation opportunities to increase agility and reduce cost, reduce risk and uncover insight about your organisation’s opportunities and threats.

Dynamic Linking

Essential Viewer features an intuitive dynamic linking technology which allows for continuous navigation of the views to drill-down and discover the answers to what, why, where and who.


The Essential Viewer is mobile compatible and makes viewing and sharing links to reports easier than ever.  You can view all of your reports on any device—from your phone to your tablet – and you can share links with anyone in your organization.


Sometimes, you might have a specific business question that isn’t covered by the out-of-the-box views. Essential was conceived as a platform which can be easily extended and so it is easy to add your own custom views or get additional views via our Essential Business Lens add-ons.

Internationalisation (Multilingual)

Essential Viewer is multilingual.  We provide some translation packs, including Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, German, French, and these can easily be extended to add your own terms and you can also create your own packs in a couple of hours.

Standard Web Technologies

Because we use HTML, CSS, JS, XSL to create our views, it’s easy to build new ones using your existing development team. We can help too if you’re looking to get quick results, either with training or view development.


Notifications and Collaboration (Cloud)

Essential provides a number of collaboration and notification tools to ensure that you’re always on top of your work, including:

* The comment function allows users to attach a comment to any element from the viewer, which will ‘follow’ the element around, showing in any view where it is referenced for others to see;

* Notifications advise other users if an item they are working on has been updated;

* Feedback allows an owner to be emailed with updates on a specific view.

Ideation (Cloud)

The ideas function allows all users to suggest ideas and propose options for how the ideas could be achieved. Ideas can be linked to strategic trends, edited, shared, rated and approved.

Beyond EA

Essential manages more than just traditional the Enterprise Architecture assets (though we do that rather well). Essential can manage information about your entire organization including resources, skills, suppliers and contracts, risk, security and more.

Export to XML

No more lock-in. You can export your repository to a well-structured and documented XML format at any time. It’s your data, and we believe you should be able to do what you want with it.

Browser-based Modelling (Cloud)

Essential Cloud supports web-based data capture to allow more of your organisation to manage the information in the repository. No need for any client software. Just fire up a modern browser and you’re ready to go.

Fine-Grain Security (Cloud)

Essential Cloud has an amazing security model which can be configured to limit access at a repository, viewer, report or even instance level. You can build sophisticated privileges-based escalation of clearance levels at almost any level of granularity.


Build complex queries of the repository for quick recall using the query wizard in Essential Open Source and the Dynamic Query Tool in Essential Cloud

SAML/MFA (Cloud)

SAML Integration and MFA Support available

Enhanced Audit (Cloud)

Full Audit available to system administrators.

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