sparxsystems

sparxsystems

Sparx Systems


99 Albert Street
Creswick,
Victoria
3363
Australia
P: +61 3 5345 1140
F: +61 3 5345 1104

Sparx Systems specializes in high performance and scalable visual modeling tools for the planning, design and construction of software intensive systems. A Contributing Member of the Object Management Group (OMG), Sparx Systems is committed to realizing the potential of model-driven development based on open standards. The company’s flagship product, Enterprise Architect, has received numerous accolades since its commercial release in August, 2000. Enterprise Architect is the design tool of choice for over 300,000 registered users world-wide.
Monday, 17 February 2014 00:44

How to Design a Geodatabase - Live Webinar!

The proliferation of location based services in banking, finance, energy, health, entertainment and many other industries, makes geographic data more valuable than ever! To store and manage geographic data, many organizations rely on Esri's ArcGIS geodatabase.

How can you use state-of-the-art modeling tools to design and document these geodatabases? How do you link and trace existing geodatabases with other parts of your corporate model? Senior Analyst at Sparx Systems, Ben Constable, will answer these questions and demonstrate the design of an ArcGIS geodatabase in Enterprise Architect.

Two live sessions will be conducted to accommodate attendees in different time zones on the 25th and 26th of February.

We invite you to register now:
www.sparxsystems.com/webinar



 

Thursday, 30 January 2014 23:14

Mobility - Global Change Agent

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in 2013, there are almost as many mobile-cellular subscriptions as people in the world and in 2014 the number of mobile phones in use will exceed the number of people on the planet. The mobile revolution is providing equity of access to education, health, government, banking, environment and business for many sectors of the global community while challenging enterprise business models in every sector. It is a platform that is here to stay and a disruptive influence on business that cannot be ignored.

 

Mobile devices form the platform that will deliver work models that are very different from the past and facilitate social networking. This force will inform the enterprise architecture that will deliver strategic support for mobile devices owned by employees and provide open, secure environments to allow these devices to connect to enterprise systems including the cloud. At the Gartner AADI event in December 2013 one of the key takeaways was that  “SOA is more critical than ever. The age of the monolithic application is over. An agile, multidimensional approach to architecture is absolutely essential to support continuous development and innovation. Give developers the tools to fail fast, iterate quickly and innovate for businesstransformation.”    

 

By defining an envisioned future state that can be shared and discussed enterprise architecture will assist organisations to navigate change in an agile manner while enabling milestones to be achieved within agreed timeframes. A key standard for enterprise architecture is the use of UML for creating design models. Based on the Object Management Group’s (OMG) Unified Modeling Language (UML), Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect enables SOA project teams to capture ideas, concepts and designs using industry standard notation. Enterprise Architect also leverages UML Profiles to provide domain-specific modeling capabilities for the broad set of roles within SOA practitioner base. See http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/platforms/soa.html

Enterprise architecture is about ensuring that an organization has the right integration/alignment between IT and the business (including people, processes, investments, information and technology) in order to better support the business's capabilities and to enable the business to evolve toward a future state, according to Gartner. “It is not just about technology. Enterprise architects facilitate the process to define a "future state" for the enterprise (requirements, principles and models) so that they can identify gaps between that future state and today's capabilities. Only by doing this can an investment portfolio be planned, to fill the gaps that exist between the future state and the current state. Ultimately, the business value of EA resides in these gaps being clearly identified and thoughtfully filled via appropriate, well-engineered programs.”

Enterprise Architecture is the key to driving digital strategy http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2586115

 

Wednesday, 29 January 2014 03:08

Data Synthesis and Systems Integration

The success of business models lies in their agility, the extent to which they adapt to changing market conditions and how they maintain efficiency and competitiveness in international supply chains. Today markets are changing at an unprecedented pace, driven by mobile, social, cloud and data technology. 

IDC states that “by 2020, a third of the data in the digital universe (more than 13,000 exabytes) will have Big Data value, but only if it is tagged and analysed”

In an ideal world, large enterprises want to be able to respond to market change, with the speed of smaller competitors. This agility lies in the organisational ability, to create innovation cycles at the technology, people and process levels- the development of new applications based on insights crystallised, from the effective collection, management and analysis of data.  These cycles have the potential to continually drive, innovation and solutions.

An Enterprise Data Architecture identifies the strategic data requirements and the related components of the information management solution at the enterprise level, and supports the ability to leverage data into business intelligence.
Such architecture informs organisation strategy and provides a formal approach to creating and managing the flow of data and data processing across IT systems and applications. This includes defining objectives for the improvement of data collection and use, process improvement, effective decision making on new and modified solutions, data warehousing, integration and reporting initiatives.

The dollars are in the detail when it comes to data management practice. If organisations are to reap this value, they will need to enable data synthesis on a shared, intra-organisation basis, and for this, modelling of data assets is imperative. Enterprise Architect has a built in data modelling profile and further information can be found here http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/enterprise-architect/information-data-modeling/information-data-modeling.html

Gartner recommends that “enterprises should adopt a portfolio of data integration tools that support a range of data delivery styles” including “federated and virtualized views of data.” It is recommended to take into account both existing data integration processes and future needs relative to a range of use-cases including data warehousing, operational application integration, system migrations and data conversions, and intra-enterprise data sharing.

The Big Data Survey http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2593815 conducted by Gartner in 2013 reveals that “64 Percent of organizations have invested or plan to invest in Big Data in 2013”.

 

New webinar on the 28th and 29th of January.  Register Today to learn more about Enterprise Architect.

Scott Hebbard, Communications Manager at Sparx Systems, will demonstrate how to use the Visual Execution Analyzer (VEA) to debug applications. In this session you will learn how to:

  • Take a model driven approach to software engineering
  • Use the Visual Execution Analyzer to debug and compile your code
  • Automatically generate a sequence diagram from executing code
  • Use the model to track issues and changes to code

To suit users in different time zones, we will hold two sessions - each 30 minutes in duration.

http://www.sparxsystems.com/resources/webinar/webinar-registration.html

Sunday, 19 January 2014 22:07

Innovate for Competitive Advantage

Organisations or complex adaptive systems share a common characteristic. They are self organising and have the ability to learn, adapt, and differentiate themselves from other self organizing systems.

 

The strength of this characteristic is about to be tested in the face of an imminent and challenging period of disruption that Gartner calls the Nexus of Forces. The forces of this Nexus are Mobile computing, Social collaboration, Cloud and Information (Big Data) and it is predicted to create unprecedented change.

 

Good information management practice has always been the basis of competitive advantage and resulting business success, but the big advances that innovation creates also means big change. This is unfamiliar and uncharted territory and effective navigation and management, is a matter of survival.

 

Today, information is a strong currency and an inability to leverage information across use cases, roles and organizational structures, can mean an undiscovered El Dorado of value. Governing, managing, storing and analysis of information that is centralized and decentralized is critical to success.

 

For innovation to grow and to avert the risk of creating new information silos, good business triage is essential. A clear view of information capabilities and management solutions that are consistent for sharing and reuse, will mean greater business value. Engaging as many aspects of the organization as possible in problem solving, depends on the flow of ideas and the socialization of people, who would otherwise be siloed.

 

Organizational theorist Ikujiro Nonaka suggests innovation comes from serendipity. Knowledge is not created by information processing, but is created by “tapping the tacit and often highly subjective insights, intuitions, and hunches of individual employees and making those insights available for testing and use by the company as a whole". Organizational silos are the nemesis of serendipity.

 

Gartner in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Architecture Tools recognized Sparx Systems, for the fourth year running. Our user base tells us that Enterprise Architect has allowed them to take unprecedented control of planning and development and to make corporate decisions that fully integrate the wisdom of both business and IT leaders and stakeholders. For more detail on how Enterprise Architect supports the organisation in addressing major disruption, please refer to the Whitepaper.

 

 

 

Friday, 10 January 2014 02:16

Order from Chaos - Developing Use Cases

Using the metaphor of a jigsaw puzzle from the previous blog, we inferred the necessity of technology to tame the complexity of a system that is in a state of constant change but which nevertheless must be managed and guided such that it meets key objectives at the individual and enterprise level. The major problem is that jigsaws never come with instructions on how to build order out of chaos – and the individual approach is usually random, based on trial and error!

 

With any project, be it building a house or fixing a washing machine, a manual is essential. To have any chance of arriving at a destination when setting out into unknown territory, it is wise to have a plan or a map. Without these instructions one can lose track or get completely lost. In the enterprise, when teams lose the focus of project objectives, this translates as financial loss or project failure.

 

Similarly, a Use Case is a documented record that describes a procedure for interaction with a system and when these records are collectively available they stimulate discussion, which generates ideas for improvements and efficiencies. A Use Case approach forces the consideration of users and customers, which can help elicit feedback and create a dialog to help build better systems. The interaction or cooperation generated creates added value. These records provide transparency, agreement and shared awareness, acting as way markers in a broad landscape of procedures that are foreign to many, as individual knowledge is often siloed.

 

Although Use Cases are valuable and provide a positive return on investment in time and resources, their development is also takes time. For many different teams however, they lay a foundation for future reference. Enterprise Architect is an indispensable, time saving tool in the Use Case development process.

 

In mid 2013 Sparx Systems conducted a webinar showcasing model driven development of Use Cases. This informative session reviewed the rich features of Enterprise Architect that can assist in the key processes of analysis, development and testing, saving time while replacing random processes with best practice and creating consensus and clarity between stakeholders.

 

The webinar can be viewed at:

http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/resources/demos/use-case-analysis/model-driven-use-case-analysis-with-structured-scenarios.html

 

 

 

Thursday, 19 December 2013 22:49

Enterprise Jigsaw Puzzle

 

Imagine that a group of people are putting together a jigsaw puzzle whose pieces continually change shape as do the spaces that they must eventually fill. Each group has responsibilities to the completion of the overall puzzle but more importantly must develop their own respective piece of this puzzle and ensure that ultimately, that piece seamlessly complements those shared boundaries created by the relationships of others. This scenario of mutual dependencies and volatility could be analogous of any organisation in the current hyper-competitive business environment.

 

 

 

Of course each team can communicate with others throughout the project, but without a fully shared vision, collaboration will be sub-optimal. Ideas and innovations will remain siloed within each group and should the puzzle ever be completed on time and to budget, it will have many disconnects, repetitions, gaps, and missing pieces. Some groups will produce excellence, but no group can fully share its value with the others.

 

 

 

Ultimately, someone must have overall responsibility for coordination of the effort and more importantly management of inherent risk, resources and timelines, all of which demands access to technology solutions. Each piece, complementary space and multi-shared relationship in the puzzle requires collaboration between many different stakeholders.

 

The plan and co-ordinated approach shared by each team responsible for each piece must be captured at the beginning and the ability to communicate and share progress at the individual, team and organisational level must be made transparent, simplified, and accessible to everyone.

 

 

 

The responsibility for Enterprise Architecture falls to the Chief Enterprise Architect. However, the creation of the architecture is a shared task. Stakeholder equity of access to enabling technology is imperative - and it must be affordable. Every role, including managers, analysts, systems architects, and engineers must have sufficient understanding of the strategy detail, allowing them to make informed decisions and to execute the plan that leads to realization of the shared vision.

 

 

 

Enterprise Architect provides the ultimate collaboration solution, transparently interlinking all of the individuals and groups in a shared vision, while enabling an inclusive and contextual decision history across the local and global locality of the project teams. Enterprise Architect is an enterprise requirements definition and management platform, with full support for collaboration including authoring, validating, and managing requirements, and communicating those requirements to the broader team through seamless integration.At any future time, and as the delivered solution evolves to meet changing business objectives, the thread of those original decisions can be continually reviewed, tracked and monitored to ensure complete traceability.

 

 

 

For more information on requirements management in Enterprise Architect, please visit: http://www.sparxsystems.com/resources/demos/requirements-management.html

 

 

 

To learn more about tools for traceability in Enterprise Architect, please refer to the following webinar:

 

http://www.sparxsystems.com/resources/demos/traceabilitytools/webinar-tools-for-traceability.html

 

 

 

Thursday, 05 December 2013 05:28

CIM User Group Meeting in Australia

The CIM Users Group (CIMug) is a subgroup of the UCA International Users Group, to provide a forum in which users, consultants, and suppliers can cooperate and leverage the IEC CIM international standards to advance interoperability across the utility enterprise.

 

The Common Information Model (CIM) is an abstract information model that provides data understanding through the identification of the relationships and associations of the data within a utility enterprise. This model which is maintained and developed in Enterprise Architect supports the exchange of data models and messages and increases the ability to integrate applications both within the enterprise and with trading partners. The CIM Users Group is focused on helping its members obtain the benefits of adapting IEC TC57 modeling standards for all utility operations on a global basis.

 

These include IEC 61970 – For power system modeling and energy utility data exchange including EMS, topology, wires, SCADA, etc.

 

IEC 61968 – For power system modeling related to DMS, assets, work, GIS, metering and application messaging.

 

IEC 62325 – Modeling for energy markets with support for both North American, European and other markets under consideration.

 

For the first time, the CIMug will meet in Australia to address the use of the CIM standards in Australia, New Zealand, and other Asian countries. This meeting will be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)



Date: Feb 25-27, 2014
Venue: Melbourne, Australia

 

As they come to hand there will be further details available at the website http://cimug.ucaiug.org/default.aspx

 

 

 

Monday, 25 November 2013 03:59

Workflow Scripting in Enterprise Architect

Using Workflow scripting you can set the order of work to be performed by members of the team and ensure that specified outcomes are obtained on completion of the workflow routine.

This paper describes Enterprise Architect's Workflow scripting and the key features that facilitate a Workflow process. It makes reference to a sample model containing examples of workflow definitions and other metadata that enable workflow support, along with guides for writing and debugging workflow script.

Friday, 22 November 2013 04:49

ODM MDG Technology Whitepaper

This paper introduces ontology development with UML using Enterprise Architect's MDG Technology for ODM. The Ontology Definition Metamodel (ODM) was developed by The OMG and covers the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and the Resource Definition Framework (RDF).

By integrating ontology support into Enterprise Architect, MDG Technology for ODM facilitates direct traceability between elements in system models and concepts defined in an ontology.