Install the Essential Open Source EA Tool

Standalone Install

Recommended for your first installation of Essential.

Typical installation time = 30-60 mins

Multi-user Install

For production-ready installations where multiple users need to edit data at the same time.

Typical installation time = 3-6 hours

Essential in a Box

A pre-configured single-user version of Essential. Ideal for users who want to review Essential Open Source prior to full installation.

Download Standalone (v6.19.10)

Release date: 7th June 2024


  1. This version may be behind the latest release
  2. On Windows, install outside Program Files folder
  3. Not suitable for multi-user environments
  4. Depending on your desktop policy configuration, this may require administrator access to run


Follow steps 1-3 to install all the software pre-requisites and the Essential Components.

1. Install Software Pre-Requisites

External components required to use Essential

NameVersionDescriptionInstall Notes
Java Runtime Environment Version 1.8 Required to run Protege and Apache Tomcat View
Essential Protege Ontology Editor The platform for capturing the architecture model

Windows-64 Install with JVM
MacOS Install
Linux-64 Install with JVM
Linux-64 Install without JVM
Unix Install
Setting memory
Additional notes for MacOS Users
Apache Tomcat *8.5 or 9.0 ONLY A Java web application server for running the Essential Viewer View

* Essential Viewer can be used with any Java web application server but the installer assumes Tomcat. Please contact the Essential Project team via the forums for further details of installing Essential Viewer with other Java web application servers.

Optional Additional Components

Only required when using the multi-user database version of Essential in production scenarios. We strongly recommend evaluating the standalone version of Essential before setting up the multi-user version.

NameDescription Install Notes
Database Essential supports MySQL, Postgres or Microsoft SQL Server as a back-end database in Production scenarios MySQL Website
Postgres Website
JDBC Driver The relevant JDBC driver for the selected database MySQL Website
Postgres Website

2. Install Essential

Core components required for Essential

Name Version Description Link Last Updated
Widgets 6.7A set of custom-built plug-ins for the Protege Ontology Editor. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions.Download6th February 2020
Meta-Model 6.19The main repository files for Essential. Save this to a user accessible area such as your Documents folder, unzip and then open using Protege.Download15th January 2024
Viewer 6.19.10A Java Web Application for publishing, analysing and reporting against enterprise architecture models captured using the Essential Meta-Model. Copy this file to your Tomcat install 'webapps' folderDownload7th June 2024
Import Utility 2.9.2A Java Web Application for importing existing content from spreadsheets into the Essential repository. Copy this file to your Tomcat install 'webapps' folderDownload7th June 2024
Import Utility Example Configuration 2.0An example configuration of Import Activities for the Import Utility. Save this to a user accessible area such as your Documents folder and select it from within the Import Utility's System Settings tab, using the "Import Configuration..." buttonDownload6th February 2020

Migration – Existing Users

Existing users can use the Essential Update Packs at the bottom of this page to migrate their repository.

Latest Release Notes

Details of what has changed in each version of Essential Architecture Manager can be found in the release notes.

3. Follow the Install Guide

Get Essential Working

Essential Architecture Manager can be installed in either Stand Alone or Multi-User mode and the Installation Guides provide instructions on how to install and configure the software components of the Essential Architecture Manager.

Standalone Install

Recommended for your first installation of Essential. This guide walks you through installing Essential on a single notebook or workstation.

Install Standalone

Multi-User Install

For installations where multiple users need to edit data in Essential at the same time. This guide walks you through installing and configuring a client-server, multi-user deployment of Essential for production scenarios.

Installation Guide

Memory Settings

Check the recommended memory settings here. The majority of issues with install are due to memory settings being incorrectly set, so please read the memory settings page before you start.

Essential Launchpad

To get a number of key views working quickly, use the free Essential Launchpad, find out more about Launchpad here

Next Steps

Useful links once you have Essential up and running

Getting Started Guide

The Getting Started tutorial explains how to open the Essential Meta-Model in Protege and begin using Essential Architecture Manager.

How To Guides

The how to page has how to guides for getting views to work and also how to populate summary pages.

Free Models

We have free models to download and import into Essential (via Data Import in Cloud/Docker or the update tab in Protege) here.


Aside from the Essential University, we do offer paid-for online training models, which can increase your speed to value.  Note the examples use Essential Cloud, so it looks slightly different, but the meta-model and views are the same, and 90% of the course content is relevant to open source.  Prices are here

Essential Playbook

Playbook gives you pointers on how to be successful and where to start your initiative, see here.

Meta-Model Reference

The Essential Meta-Model Reference provides definitions for the meta-classes and relationships that comprise the Essential Meta-Model, see the tabs on this page.


Essential Open Source is a community project and, as such, is not supported with any formal SLA. Any questions or problems can be raised through our Essential Forums where we will do our best to provide assistance.

Source Code

Access the source code for Essential Open Source via our GitHub site. https://github.com/essentialproject.

Essential Update Packs

Required to update the Essential meta-model in Essential Open Source and Essential Docker. For Essential Cloud, these updates can be applied directly using the System Update feature. We recommend you read the Release Notes before installing updates.

Update Packs
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