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Sam NiceDunstan Thomas Consulting
European Enterprise Architect User Group Conference
Call for Speakers
If you are a user of Sparx Systems’ Enterprise Architect, we’re inviting you to share your user stories with the EA community at the next User Group event in central London on May 19th 2015.
We are interested in just about everything you do with Enterprise Architect, from the organisation of your model to enhancements you have made using MDG or the automation API, or even just a project with which you are especially happy. That said, we are not just after the sunshine stories and would be interested in hearing about any experiences learned the hard way.
Presentations of an obvious or purely commercial nature will not be accepted.
Some example topics are:
- Enterprise Architecture (TOGAF, DoDAF/UPDM)
- Business Architecture, Capability Mapping, Process Modelling
- Systems Engineering
- Business Analysis, Requirements Management
- Modelling Languages (UML, SysML, BPMN, ArchiMate)
- SOA, DDS, GIS, NIEM
- Data modelling
- Code generation/IDE integration
- Project management
- EA-based reporting
- EA scripting and automation
- Tool adoption/deployment
- MDG Technologies/UML profiles
- Model collaboration and management
- Test management
Call for Speakers closes on 24th April, 2015
Enterprise Architect London Conference 2015
London, England on May 19th 2015
Conference Takes place at:
Park Plaza, County Hall, London
You will be confirmed as a speaker no later than 29th April, 2015.
Planning is underway for this year's UK UserGroup Event in May with the new features of EA12 to discover and best practice from users around Europe to share. But unfortunately the venue we hoped to use is not now available
Do you have a suitable venue?
In order to keep our costs down for all attendees we rely on the generosity of EA users donating facilities. In exchange we give a number of free places so that the host organisation can get maximum benefit from the event.
Ideally we'd like a room in or close to London that can hold approximately 120 - 150 people, with one or two break-out rooms nearby for parallel streams of presentations and a space for refreshments/lunch and networking. If you have something which is not exactly like this, but similar, then we can be flexible! We pay for the food and any other charges, and do all the organisation.
The London location is important as many international delegates fly in to attend this, our largest annual European event.
If your company can help, or you think you may know of a suitable venue, please reply to this email or contact us via the form on the website at http://www.eausergroup.com/contact-ea-user-group as soon as possible. Thank You very much!
If you are not familiar with Dunstan Thomas Consulting we have been Sparx Systems Global training and solution partners for the past eleven years and over that time have been instrumental in delivering solutions to a variety of industries. Our clients range from Waitrose and John Lewis Partnership in retail, Vodafone and EE in the Telecoms space, GE Aviation & EADS Astrium in the aviation sector, Allianz and Deutsche Bank in the financial sector and Transport for London, and The Intellectual Property Office in the public sector.
Why on-line training?
The discussion about adding an online training service to our portfolio is one that has come up several times over the last few years but were unable to justify the time needed for R&D to make it work when our Consultants are already so busy.
However we began to notice a pattern. These days it is harder and harder for organisations to release their employees for days at a time regardless of how necessary the training in question may be. With this in mind the option of on-line training was raised again but this time we were specifically thinking about a self-paced option, something that will allow users to dip in and out without time constraints.
We also came to the realisation that we already have a wealth of existing materials to build on and so there wouldn’t be a need to redevelop thereby enabling us to progress from having our already popular instructor led sessions to also having an online version. This would enable us to offer our clients a blended learning solution.
How to deliver?
Having decided that we were going to go ahead and put together an on-line training environment we needed to do some research on available platforms for delivery. This prompted a visit to the Learning Technologies Exhibition in January of 2014 to meet and speak with platform vendors as well as attend various presentations to see what was out there and how we could use it.
Coming away from the exhibition we had several options to investigate but the standout platform seemed to be Moodle. You can read more about Moodle at; https://docs.moodle.org/28/en/About_Moodle
Following the setup of a test environment we had to decide on how best to present our materials. From competitor research we found that most common uses of environments like this were video and PDF delivery to students but we wanted more than a document delivery system after all you can achieve that with an email.
Using some sample material we had a look into the different presentation options within the environment and settled on full lessons delivered by HTML via web browser. This would then be supplemented with documentation and video to deliver a well-rounded and nicely packaged learning experience.
While we have an abundance of material begging to be adapted for on-line delivery we chose to launch the service with two brand new sessions. This is where Colin Coates and Phil Chudley (names most of you are familiar with I’m sure) joined the project.
With Colin having only recently published his article on documentation generation with EA to the Sparx Community site he decided he would take this opportunity to completely rework our documentation session from the ground up building on the snippets from his article; Learn through pictures: Fundamentals of HTML Reporting.
Phil decided that with the latest version of SysML he would do a complete rebuild of our SysML and EA training course and so SysML 1.3 made practical using Enterprise Architect was born.
Both of these undertakings started with story boarding sessions followed by weekly meetings with deliverables to be transposed into the test environment. After several months our courses were ready so all that was left was to get someone to test it. We approached some of our clients and they agreed to test the system and provide us with feedback, which led to some revisions and aesthetic changes.
The environment goes live!
Early February of 2015 saw not only a complete overhaul of the look of the environment but also the live deployment of the site with the two new courses as well as a “How to use the virtual learning environment” course (this session is included in every subscription) but we were also able to launch the adapted Introduction to UML session.
What comes next?
The upcoming releases for the DT Consulting on-line training courses are as follows;
- Business Process Modelling using BPMN 2.0
- Business Process Modelling using BPMN and Enterprise Architect
- An Introduction to ArchiMate
- UML with Enterprise Architect for Beginners
- UML with Enterprise Architect for UML Practitioners
- Enterprise Architect – The Practicalities
If you would like to know more about our online training service please visit our online training page.
Dunstan Thomas Consulting (DTC) worked with the Waitrose IT Strategy & Architecture team to understand how to get maximum value from using Sparx Enterprise Architect (EA). The team wanted to explore the capabilities of the tool to optimise its existing investment in EA skills and software
Waitrose IT has used Sparx Enterprise Architect since 2008 for UML modelling as part of the Partnership Systems Development Methodology (PSDM). This methodology is used across the John Lewis Partnership as part of the development lifecycle. In December 2013 the Waitrose IT Strategy & Architecture team started to investigate how to extend the existing use of EA from an analysis and development tool to an enterprise architecture tool. The IT Strategy & Architecture team was starting to work collaboratively across the business areas so they needed to be able to capture more stakeholder views to represent the enterprise architecture landscape. An Architecture Methods and Tools group was responsible for setting up how the IT Strategy & Architecture team worked with other teams and for setting up the architectural governance mechanisms.
Wider use of EA comes at a time when the Waitrose IT Strategy & Architecture team is growing in size and forging closer links with the rest of Waitrose. A demand for greater transparency also puts the onus on EA to help visualise some key high level elements which are crucial for business and IT planning, helping to illustrate: ‘What is our vision and objectives?’ and ‘Why are we doing this?’ Waitrose wanted to map the motivation, business, application, technology and implementation landscapes using ArchiMate notation in EA.
ArchiMate is a standard modelling notation to describe enterprise architectures. It presents a clear set of concepts within (and relationships between) architecture domains, and offers a simple and uniform structure for describing the contents of these domains. The team identified a few missing key elements from ArchiMate that they wanted to be included in the Waitrose metamodel. The team wanted to be able to model new elements, such as ‘Capabilities’, and to enhance existing elements, such as ‘Application Interface’, to display more information.
As Iain Plank, Enterprise Architect explained:
“The IT landscape within large organisations has generally become way too complex. It really is crucial to rationalise and centralise expertise pools as much as possible. If this work is not done, you end up with lots of systems with over-lapping capabilities. IT silos waste resources and prevent systems talking to each other which invariably generates more inefficiencies. We need to plan holistic IT systems to avoid these inefficiencies. Modelling our understanding of the enterprise is part of the solution.”
Solution: Enterprise Architect Super User & Reporting Training
Waitrose contacted Dunstan Thomas Consulting (DTC), the EA training specialists to investigate Sparx Enterprise Architect’s potential capabilities. Dunstan Thomas provided training on EA with a specific focus on enabling Waitrose to extend ArchiMate and to create the new elements required by Waitrose. In discussion with Waitrose, DTC designed a specific two day course for five Waitrose analysts based on DTC’s ‘EA Power User’ and ‘EA Reporting’ training courses. The training was completed during March 2014.
Sparx EA Power User modules:
- UML Profiles - Extending the UML and ArchiMate through the use of Profiles within Enterprise Architect thus allowing customised modelling.
- Tagged Values - Tagged Value types, enumerated tagged values, pre-defined structured tagged values.
- Shape Scripts - Use and definition with stereotypes, use and definition within Profiles, structure of Shape Scripts, predefined functions creating Shape Scripts, use of Tagged Values within Shape Scripts.
- Model Driven Generator (MDG) technologies - to create re-useable project structures, encapsulating UML Profiles and RTF templates in MDG, customised tool boxes and diagrams.
Generating Documentation with EA modules:
- HTML documentation
- Customisation of the output of HTML documentation
- RTF documentation using the templates as supplied with Enterprise Architect
- Producing customised templates
- Selecting the content
- Specifying the data to be output
- Formatting the output
- Use of tables
- Filtering and selecting the project content using report options, properties and model documents
- Use of model documents, Enterprise Architect master documents , Word master documents, and template fragments
- Batch production of documentation using Resource Documents
Dunstan Thomas Consulting were called back in June 2014 to assess how effectively Waitrose had done the configuration since the initial training and made sure that the tool was ready to be used in production of the architectural artefacts. During two days of trouble-shooting, stumbling points and additional queries were addressed and the Waitrose configuration of Sparx Enterprise Architect was good enough to be deployed to the EA user communities.
Dunstan Thomas Consulting training made it clear that Waitrose’s IT Strategy & Architecture team could do a great deal more with EA than was previously thought possible.
Stephanie McMahon, Business Systems Analyst:
“The Dunstan Thomas consultant who led the training, Phil Chudley, was brilliant for us. He helped us see what was possible with EA and taught us what could be done and what couldn’t be done, which is just as valuable. Together we made EA really sing for the first time. We are now able to model our landscape much more effectively with a tool we already had in-house. No additional licenses have been needed. It has been a great exercise in unlocking the potential of an existing tool.”
Iain Plank, Enterprise Architect:
“Enterprise Architect can now be used to build models using the actual terminology they use in the business. For example we have ‘Capability’ which flows through our models and is used when talking to the business. But that object does not exist in ArchiMate ‘out of the box’. Dunstan Thomas Consulting taught us how to create the new object and tag relevant properties and features to it.”
The IT Strategy & Architecture Methods and Tools group has passed on the new ways of working using EA around the Waitrose IT department. A number of ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions for Architects, Business Analysts, Developers and Testers were delivered. The team are now starting to explore some of the EA capabilities around reporting.
For Waitrose’s Lead Information Architect Ian Batty the insights provided by the training were invaluable:
“Dunstan Thomas’ training helped us to link the logical to the physical data models. We could link the logical to the conceptual already but to go a step further to link logical to the physical was a breakthrough which the training enabled.”
“Following the training we have been able to get a long way down the road towards gathering a holistic picture of how systems link to each other. With this view we can now run an accurate and timely impact assessment if we want to make a change. We are constantly looking for new efficiencies and that means exploring different ways of doing things. EA helps us make the right decisions when planning systems changes.”
Howard Burgess, IT Systems Developer and the Waitrose ‘Super-User of EA’ has been using EA since 2008 when Partnership Services Training first selected it. He used it for development and code generation in the past but today, as a key member of the IT Strategy and Architecture team, he is using it to define the core business data model which the development teams use as the basis for interfaces between systems
Howard Burgess explains:
“It is critical to have one common definition of what a ‘line’, ‘branch’ or ‘customer’ is. This definition, its attributes and relationships will then be used by all teams. This commonality enables systems to pass data to each other more easily. It also speeds up IT projects as the work can be reused.”
“Dunstan Thomas’ training has helped with development of the data model in specific areas. For example we were able to find out about EA’s facility to demarcate Controlled Packages which are pieces of a data model which can be used across multiple projects. We had not used this functionality before. We did some proto-typing and we decided that this was our preferred route to implement our common data model. Phil Chudley helped clarify the value of this.”
“He made us think about new ways of capturing information, this led us to innovate more in this area. For example, we wanted a security classification so that certain data such as ‘customer address’ can be tagged ‘private’ while any Waitrose branch name and address remains public. We are now able to tag data according to this new security classification to ensure personal data on all systems is kept private. The MDG in EA captures and records this. We are now building up this meta-data, the data behind the data.”
In DTC’s EA reporting training course Waitrose also learnt how to report more effectively. Waitrose has up to 700 data objects and each has between one and 30 attributes. It is a huge, complex model. They wanted to do a report which printed the whole model as a PDF. Discussions in the training on the use of MDG got the team at Waitrose thinking about further plug-ins for EA. The team have used a wiki page plug-in so they can publish the definition of a specific technical phrase without the business users having to use EA.
Howard Burgess explains:
“Some of the components of the common data model are owned by specific parts of the business. We wanted the business managers to feel like they had more visibility and control over these pieces. Rather than installing EA on each of their PCs and giving them extensive training on how to use it we built a wiki server and began populating it with descriptions of what specific elements mean and contain. Business managers are able to click on a specific term and read the wiki definition of what a technical term is. In this way we can promote better understanding of common terms and bridge any gaps of knowledge between business and IT.”
“I like the fact that it is so open: you can create, manipulate, export and customise data models using it. EA is a great little piece of software. With Dunstan Thomas’ help we are now exploring its full potential.”
This case study is available to download from the DT Consulting website.
Online training with Dunstan Thomas
DT Consulting now offer a virtual learning environment to compliment our existing classroom offering.
This new browser delivered self-study training environment will bring to you DT Consulting’s most popular training courses covering areas such as;
- Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect
- The Systems Modelling Language (SysML)
- The Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN)
- The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
- The Unified Modelling Language (UML)
- An Introduction to UML
- Reporting with Enterprise Architect
- SysML 1.3 Made Practical with Enterprise Architect
- Business Process Modelling using BPMN 2.0
- Business Process Modelling using BPMN and Enterprise Architect
- An Introduction to ArchiMate
- UML with Enterprise Architect for Beginners
- UML with Enterprise Architect for UML Practitioners
Please visit our website for information on subscription pricing.
European User Group Event; London 2014
On May 16th the European EA user group will be hosting the next EA User Conference in London.
As with previous events this exciting day will presented as a multi-track event covering areas of interest to the Enterprise Architect Community:
- Track 1; Customer Experiences
- Track 2; Using EA / EA Techniques
- Track 3; Extending EA
As you can see we have an exciting keynote speaker in the form of Sander Hoogendoorn from CapGemini, here's a little taste of his presentation;
- Pragmatic agile model driven development using smart use cases;
- Unlike the more popular user stories, smart use cases provide a unique, and structured way to deliver requirements in both agile and traditional projects. During this high speed talk Sander Hoogendoorn, Principal Technology Officer and Global Agile Thoughtleader at Capgemini, will demonstrates a proven approach to identifying, modelling and estimating smart use cases from the project's scope and business processes. It will also show how smart use cases nicely fit your on-line dashboards, your software architecture, how code is generated from them, and how testing can be automated as well.
This talk is high-paced, interactive and packed with new insights. It will also demonstrate the effective use of tools in effective and pragmatic agile model driven development and contains live coding (in C#) on stage.
There is limited space available so please book now to avoid disappointment.
We look forward to seeing you all London
Following last year's successful event the European EA User Group (EEAUG) is back with it's second annual event on the 15th May 2013. The event being held in Central London is the best multi-track day in Europe to meet and interact with other EA users on all levels and abilities.
Agenda - Wednesday 15th May 2013
The event tracks are;
- Track 1 - Setting up projects for success with EA
- Track 2 - Project Delivery with EA
- Track 3 - Implementation & lessons learnt
The agenda for the day will be as follows;
- Exhibition, Coffee & Welcome
09:45 - 10:30
- Keynote - Modelling Software Intensive Systems with Doug Rosenberg.
10:30 - 10:45
10:45 - 11:30
- Track 1 - Requirements alone don't fly! with Paul Hewitt
- Track 2 - BPMN 2.0 with Phil Chudley.
- Track 3 - Fifty Enterprise Architect tricks with Peter Doomen.
11:45 - 12:30
- Track 1 - Writing Use Cases in EA with Ian Mitchell.
- Track 2 - SysML with Roman Bretz.
- Track 3 - User Story: EA usage at ACV with Geert Bellekens.
12:30 - 13:30
- Lunch & Exhibition
13:30 - 14:15
- Track 1 - MDG Profiles & Toolboxes with Phil Chudley.
- Track 2 - Analyser Workbench with Daniel Siegl.
- Track 3 - User Story: EA usage at Evry with Knut Paulsen.
14:30 - 15:15
- Track 1 - Modelling with Enterprise Architect - What's in it for the PM? With Jackie Mitchell.
- Track 2 - EA Navigator with Geert Bellekens.
- Track 3 - How to do less work, have more fun and become (a bit) more famous doing it with Ian Mitchell
15:15 - 16:30
- Refreshments, Exhibition and Q&A with speakers & organisers.
For information on location & directions, or, to book you place visit the website.
Reverse Engineering the Android SDK with Enterprise Architect
Recently one of our Senior Conulstants here at DT (Colin Coates) thought it would interesting to use Enterrprise Architect to reverse engineer the Android version 1.6 SDK (as used in the brilliant Google Nexus 7 tablet) into a UML model.
He started the process by clicking the menu:
Tools > Source Code Engineering > Import Source directory…
Colin then used the following settings in the Import Source Directory (dialog) window:
- Source Type = Java (of course!)
- Recursively Process Subdirectories
- Create Logical Diagram for Each Package
- Create Package per Namespace (in the Package Structure radio-button group)
- Synchronize existing classes (in the Synchronization radio-button group)
- Prompt for action (in the Remove Classes not found in code radio-button group)
The UML model and diagrams (including their layout), are presented exactly as created by the automated import process.
It’s often the case that we need to map various attributes on entities into other entities. For example you might need to migrate data from one system to another and structurally the same concepts are held slightly differently. Documenting these mappings is not obvious in the UML, so below I’ve provided a simple example of how a composite structure diagram could be used to provide the mappings. Some notes have been added where conversions need to be performed and these could be represented more formally using diagram references to behavioural diagrams such as sequence or activity diagrams. This is quite possibly not 100% UML compliant / intended usage; but it provides a tool for this type of mapping which otherwise seems to be lacking in the standard UML specification.
Note: The collaboration represents the concept being mapped (in this case a customer/client) and is source / target agnostic.
You can read more articles like this on our blog.
The TOGAF MDG Extension
The TOGAF MDG extension is provided as a separate licensed component that extends the functionality of Enterprise Architect. The licence to use the TOGAF MDG extension is included in the licence price for the following editions of Enterprise Architect:
- Business & Software Edition
- Ultimate Edition
For all other editions an additional license is required in order to use the TOGAF MDG extension. Of course, the TOGAF MDG extension is available for 30-day free evaluation. Please note that although the license to use TOGAF is included with the Business & Software, and Ultimate editions, the TOGAF MDG extension still needs to be downloaded and installed.
The TOGAF MDG extension can be downloaded from:
A good user guide can also be downloaded from:
Once downloaded, simply double-click the file 'EATOGAF.exe' to begin the installation process. When Enterprise Architect is restarted, then the functionality of TOGAF is available.
This is provided by:
- The Add-Ins menu
- TOGAF toolboxes and TOGAF elements
- Options on the Select model(s) dialog
- New TOGAF diagrams on the New Diagram dialog
The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is one of the most widely accepted methods for developing enterprise architecture. TOGAF is an open framework providing a practical, definitive and proven step-by-step method for developing and maintaining enterprise architecture.
The key to TOGAF remains a reliable, practical method – the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) – for defining business needs and developing an architecture that meets those needs, applying the elements of TOGAF and other architectural assets available to the organization.
TOGAF embodies the concept of the Enterprise Continuum to reflect different levels of abstraction in an architecture development process. In this way TOGAF facilitates understanding and co-operation between actors at different levels. It provides a context for the use of multiple frameworks, models, and architecture assets in conjunction with the TOGAF ADM. By means of the Enterprise Continuum, architects are encouraged to leverage all other relevant architectural resources and assets, in addition to the TOGAF Foundation Architecture, in developing an organization-specific IT architecture.
For detailed information on TOGAF, visit:
Benefits of MDG Technology for TOGAF
- Helps align business processes and IT to the business strategies and goals
- Provides support for all the phases in the ADM
- Provides support for OMG’s Business Motivation Model
- Provides support for the Architecture Content Model
- Provides support for visual modelling of As-Is and To-Be architecture
- Provides support for modelling all four architecture domains specific to TOGAF (Business, Application, Data and Technology)
- Provides support for the report generation of TOGAF work products
- Provides out-of-box FEA reference models
MDG Technology for TOGAF Features
- A visual clickable Interface for ADM
- Useful starter model to help you become productive quickly
- UML profiles for FEAF Business, Performance, Service and Technical Reference Models
- Efficient relationship management for model artefacts with Enterprise Architect’s Relationship Matrix and Hierarchy View
- Links to external files, audit log and report generation features of Enterprise Architect provide additional capability for the Add-In in maintaining and managing your enterprise architecture
Assuming that you have already created an Enterprise Architect project, then to structure this project according to TOGAF:
- Right-click on the project root.
- Select the Add-Ins TOGAF Insert New Framework Model menu option.
- In the Name field, type a name for the model.
- Click on the OK button.
A new base TOGAF model is created, displaying the TOGAF Interface diagram. The structure created in the project browser is as below:
The diagram TOGAF-ADM is opened and is as below:
This is the defined Application Development Method, each circular node in the diagram is linked (via double-clicking) to the package of that name within your project. Empty diagrams of the appropriate type have been created in their respective packages, ready for modelling to begin. Double-clicking a circular node will open up the corresponding diagram.
If we take as example, in TOGAF a new system begins with a “Request for Architecture Work”. This is accessed by double –clicking the Preliminary node. This opens up an ADM Diagram called ”Preliminary”, which looks as below:
The single element (there could be more) details the text of the Request for Architecture Work, this is captured very conveniently by a Linked Document. In the TOGAF MDG extension, this linked document can be opened by double-clicking the Request For Architecture element. (Note this behaviour is not available for all TOGAF elements). A template form for entering the Request for Architecture Work is displayed as shown below:
It is not possible in this tutorial to detail all procedures, diagrams and elements available in TOGAF, rather it is the intention to provide an outline to get you started with TOGAF.
All other circular nodes in the TOGAF-ADM diagram function in a similar manner to that outline above.
The other linked framework diagram in TOGAF is the “Enterprise Continuum” as shown below:
Each pictorial node links to a suitable package, containing an appropriate diagram. This section of the model is designed to illustrate the corporate resources available and where they are used.
A sample model for TOGAF does ship with the MDG extension. I t is recommended to examine this model, but please bear in mind it is far from complete! A useful resource in the example model however, is the view TOGAF-SIB (TOGAF Standards Information Base).
The Open Group’s Standards Information Base (http://www.opengroup.org/sib.htm )is a database of facts and guidance about information systems standards. The standards to which it refers come from many sources: from formal standards bodies such as ISO or IEEE; from authoritative standards makers such as the Internet Society; and from other consortia, like the World Wide Web Consortium and the Object Management Group.
An example of the contents of this package is as shown below:
In this tutorial we have outlined the TOGAF MDG technology that is available for Enterprise Architect together with how to get started using the technology.