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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 380,000 registered users world-wide.
Thursday, 21 January 2016 01:48

The Agile Business Analyst

“It's not the technology that's scary; it's what it does to the relations between people that's scary”

- Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Everything Changing:

We are all aware that we are living in a period of unprecedented disruption where everything that we thought as being the status quo, business as usual, is changing rapidly.  Technology ‘disrupts existing markets and value networks, displacing established market leaders and alliances’.  Popular examples are Uber which is challenging the taxi industry model. Then there is AirBnB challenging the accommodation industry model and 3D printing which is challenging the manufacturing model.  

However, in a recent interview Jay Scanlan and Paul Wilmot from McKinsey, posit that unlike a pure play disrupter such as Uber, “our incumbent organizations and our incumbent clients have a broader range of concerns that they need to address. And they have a broader range of customer needs and consumer demands that they want to fulfill.”

Unlike start ups, incumbent organizations hold valuable assets like people, finance and data, etc. Scanlan and Wilmot pose the question as to how incumbents will strategically use these assets to defend themselves against aggressive competition, as digital disrupts their industry.

 

agile cycle 300pxAgile... The New Norm:

In the face of this change, the adoption of Agile approaches to project management is growing.  It is expected that in 2016 the US Federal Government General Services Administration will solicit bids for a number of major agile projects.  This follows the piloting of agile projects last year by 18F, an agile development consulting arm, within General Services Administration.

A recent survey of development and IT professionals, shows that Agile is now the norm. The majority of development teams and projects now embrace the methodology, while pure waterfall approaches are in the minority. The study conducted by HP in 2014 consisted of an online survey of 601 software developers and IT professionals  representing over 600 organisations,  where 400 + described themselves as “pure agile”.

According to Gartner “Digital business will require application leaders to explore development outside of traditional IT and to ensure fast-paced incremental releases in order to be competitive.”  Just as digital transformation is changing role of application leaders such as the CIO, so too it is impacting the role of the Business Analyst (BA) in the private and public sectors.

 

The Agile Business Analyst:

The BA has traditionally embraced the rapids of change much like a canoeist. Using the IIBA Body of Knowledge (BABOK) as both their map and compass, they engage the volatility and uncertainty of change. With an innate capability they navigate successful transits, piloting by their experience and understanding of the different currents and hazards.  

Agile presents great opportunity for the BA.  In the process of connecting people and engendering understanding, improving product quality and increasing customer satisfaction, they have the potential to play many roles, to become the consultant.

A key finding of the HP survey was that the majority of participants agreed that “the primary motivators for Agile adoption are associated with improving team collaboration and increasing software quality and customer satisfaction.”

Becoming increasingly involved in Agile projects and addressing the growth in the variety of concerns of the stakeholder (the Customer) will require that the BA leverage the use of Agile tools.  This technology will enable the BA to help their clients find ways to make Agile work for them.


BABOK  3.0 Reference Model - an Agile Approach:

babok mindmap shotRecently, through a collaboration agreement between International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and Sparx Systems, a BABOK 3.0 Reference Model has been developed in Enterprise Architect.

This Reference Model provides case studies covering every knowledge area, task and technique in the BABOK Guide. Each case study contains hundreds of examples utilizing diagrams, matrices, charts, documents, and a plethora of tools.  This functionality with many others is combined with the power of Enterprise Architect.

The Reference Model links the BABOK 3.0 to a rich and complete User Guide that provides help and guidance with every aspect of using Enterprise Architect.  Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is the control center supporting real time collaborative Enterprise Architecture planning, building, testing, deployment and communication across all domains and stakeholders.


Enterprise Agile Adoption:

As the constraints of the traditional enterprise architecture approach are replaced by the force of digital convergence and transformation, executives seek agile enterprise architecture approaches and technologies that are fit for purpose.  The tools deployed to manage that architecture are critical to the success of digital transformation.

Detailed descriptions in the Reference Model will teach the Business Analysts how to use the tool to complete tasks and perform techniques including process modeling and requirements management. Videos, slideshows and white papers add to the rich set of guidance that will help BA's become an Agile Business Analyst assisting organizations to become more purposeful in how they choose to adopt Agile.

Seeking customer feedback and quickly improving the product, fuels the success of many disruptive technologies.  This is the approach of Sparx Systems to the ongoing development of Enterprise Architect. As Sparx Systems CEO, Geoff Sparks notes, “Agile development provides a shared and flexible team experience through complete transparency, iterative development and constant feedback - it has been the essential design goal of Enterprise Architect for over a decade and it will remain just as valid today.”

 

Additional Information:

UBLlogoFollowing almost one and a half decades of effort by the OASIS Technical Committee, the OASIS Universal Business Language (UBL) V2.1 was approved as an International Standard: Universal Business Language (UBL) v2.1 (ISO/IEC 19845) on Friday 18 December 2015.

 

UBL, the Universal Business Language, is the product of an international effort to define a royalty-free library of standard electronic XML business documents such as purchase orders and invoices and was developed by an OASIS Technical Committee with participation from a variety of industry data standards organizations.

 

The UBL originated out of efforts in 1999 to create a set of standard XML "office documents" within OASIS.  The working group that came to be known as UBL was established as an in November 2001.  This approval of the Universal Business Language (UBL) v2.1 (ISO/IEC 19845) ensures that UBL is both recognized in public sector policies and will also provide additional layers of governance for the long-term sustainability of UBL.  Sparx Systems has been a long term supporter of the work of the OASIS Technical Committee responsible for this development and has demonstrated this relationship with provision of Enterprise Architect licences for the standard development effort.

 

Sparx Systems support for standards was extended with the addition of the Schema Composer in the release of, Enterprise Architect 12 earlier this year.  Following expressions of concern about the lack of semantic interoperability between various standards communities and the impact that this was having on the adoption of standards by the stakeholders in various industry ecosystems, Sparx Systems created the Schema Composer which enables semantic interoperability, by automating the building of XSD and similar data definitions from a model subset, using simple check boxes. 

 

Direct Support for Key Industry Standards

The Schema Composer currently targets a number of key industry standards including CIM, NIEM, UN/CEFACT, UBL and generic XSD, RDF, OWL and other formats and allows the rapid design and build of  XSD and similar data definitions such as RDF and JSON, from a selection of elements within the model. 

NIEM

NIEM schema definition and model transform (for creating NIEM model extensions and schemas) is directly supported in Schema Composer and a NIEM subset can be created directly within your model ready to define extension and exchange schemas.

CIM

Similarly CIM XSD schemas are directly supported in the Schema Composer as is CIM Augmented RDFS which includes both forward and inverse property for each bi-directional Association in the message. See http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/products/ea/12/index.html

Enterprise Architect provides the following resources for the composition of business documents using UBL:

 

UML Framework
         -  UBL 2.1 Main Document Libraries
         -  UBL 2.1 Common Component Libraries

 

Business Document Composition
         -  Schema Composer for component composition
         -  Schema Composer for document composition
         -  Schema Composer for schema generation
         -  Add-in integration
         -  Scripting integration

 

For more information, please visit the Enterprise Architect User Guide.

 

"OASIS", ["UBL" and "Universal Business Language" ] are trademarks of OASIS, the open standards consortium where the [UBL] specification is owned and developed. [UBL] is a copyrighted © work of OASIS Open. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015 03:15

Sparx Systems has an Updated Forum

The Sparx Systems forum has undergone a much-requested update, giving it a fresh appearance and improved indexing - making it easier and faster to connect with relevant information and knowledge than ever before.

new forum screenshot

Since way back when in 2001 and Enterprise Architect version 3, the Sparx Systems Forum has performed an integral service, bringing together most enquiring and resourceful members of the user community. Since that time the forum has grown to include over 115,000 posts, covering a plethora of topics including methodologies and add-ins to usage issues and feature requests.

We encourage you to visit the forum and let us know what you think.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect has been ranked #1 by the user community at IT Central Station - the dynamic community site providing unbiased user based critiques  and comparisons of software products.

 

it central station ranks sparx systems number 1Enterprise Architect has been identified as a 'stand-out' solution in the areas of Architecture Management and also Business Process Design; registered members of IT Central Station can download a free detailed report.

 

The highly positive result is based on a number of factors, including the rating reviewers have given to products, as well as the number of reviews and interest displayed by visiting members.

 

IT Central Station is an online 'Community Built on Trust' with a strong focus on enterprise professional members being 'validated' and a 'zero-tolerance' for fake reviews; community managers actively monitor the site to ensure credibility of the brand.

 

We would like to take the opportunity to thank our User Community for their feedback and ongoing interest in Enterprise Architect.  

Prominent Business/IT publication CIO Review Magazine has identified Sparx Systems as one of the '20 Most Promising Productivity Tools Solution Providers' for 2015.

cio review productivity tools logo nov 2015 sparx systems

Published in the November issue of CIO Review, Editor-in-Chief Pradeep Shankar described Sparx Systems as "A vendor of a productivity platform for the planning, design, and construction of software intensive systems based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML)."

 

The selection committee of prominent CEO's, CIO's and analysts, including the CIO Review's editorial board was responsible for deciding the final list from hundreds of potential solution providers. The selection process involved evaluating potential vendor's ability 'to fulfill the need for cost-effective and flexible solutions that add value to the Productivity Tools landscape.

 

Sparx Systems Founder and CEO, Geoffrey Sparks, spoke candidly with CIO Review, "As a tool vendor we are focused on on providing high precision modeling tools that match the needs of consultants, trainers, and industry in general..."

 

Read the full inteview, 'Agile Modeling Patform for Seamless Enterprise Operations', by clicking on the link above (450Kb PDF download).

 

 

 

 

AI logoSparx Systems Founder and CEO, Geoffery Sparks, spoke with Acquisition International Magazine last month about the Sparx Systems business model, the early days and the power of the Sparx Systems Global Partners Network.

 

Geoff was featured in the magazine's CEO of the Month section and offered a unique insight into how Sparx Systems began, first releasing Enterprise Architect in 2000.  With 15 years of continious development and growth, the Enterprise Architect platform has a strong feature set "... that would be expected in an industrial strength modelling solution, in a single, highly functional, low cost package." stated Geoff.

 

The company founder also highlighted the importance of the Global Network Partners to the growth of Sparx Systems. "We have reached out to experts in reselling, training and consultancy services and created a global partner network to support client companies."

 

Read Geoff's full interview with Acquisition International Magazine on ISSUU here

2015vsm RCA medal bronze 200x263Enterprise Architect has recently been given the Bronze award in the Visual Studio Magazine 2015 Reader's Choice Awards.

The Sparx Systems design and build platform was recognised as an outstanding solution in the 'Software Design, Frameworks, and Modeling Tools' category.

In a recent Press Release (attached), Editor in Chief of Visual Studio Magazine stated that "The Visual Studio Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards offers a chance for readers to participate in giving public praise to those companies deserving of the recognition.”

More than 400 products across 31 categories were included in an online ballot run by Visual Studio Magazine, with hundreds of magazine subscribers responding over a 3 week period in late September.

Monday, 31 August 2015 03:49

Upcoming Webinars - Late 2015

Sparx Systems is pleased to announce a number of upcoming webinars covering topics including geodatabases, Cloud Services and migrating ArcGIS models in Visio.

To learn more, visit our Webinar directory:

www.sparxsystems.com/webinars

 

Modeling Techniques for Large-Scale ArcGIS Geodatabases

September 2015 Learn how to create modular schema designs to maximize reuse; define scalable design diagrams from reusable components; and leverage inheritance of abstract shape stereotypes.

Click to Register

 

Introduction to Cloud Services

October 2015 Learn how to create, manage and configure the Sparx Systems Cloud Service to provide convenient, secure model access anywhere in the world.


Click to Register

 

How to Migrate Visio ArcGIS Models to Enterprise Architect

November 2015 Learn how to migrate existing ArcGIS (CASE) Models in Visio to Enterprise Architect and leverage state-of-the-art modeling tools to update and maintain geodatabase designs.
Click to Register

 

Event: IIBA® Business Analysis Professional Day
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Date: 19th October 2015 (8am-5pm)

The IIBA® Business Analysis Professional Day is a highly interactive, conference-style event and is the official conference of the IIBA Australia Chapter. Attendees from a diverse range of industries will have the opportunity to share ideas about how to face the challenges of modern business analysis.

The Business Analysis Professional Day will include a number of specialist streams from some of the most respected experts in the world of business analysis who will share practical skills that can be immediately put to use

The event is an excellent networking opportunity. Attendees from a diverse range of industries will have the opportunity to share ideas about how to face the challenges of modern business analysis.

Whether you are new to business analysis or an advanced practitioner, the Business Analysis Professional Day will help you to advance your skills and knowledge.

For More Information and Tickets visit the EventBrite website

 

           Sparx Systems - Silver Sponsor

Sparx Systems proudly supports this event as a Silver Sponsor and will be in attendance to showcase Enterprise Architect.

Attendees to this event will also be able talk to key personnel from Sparx Systems to discuss how Enterprise Architect can be used in their business environment.

Modeling ArcGIS Geodatabases with Enterprise Architect 12

Are you getting started with ArcGIS geodatabase design and wondering how UML can help?
Have you worked with ArcGIS for years and want a better way to design and share schemas?

We'll show you how to design, validate and generate a simple geodatabase from the ground up.

 

In this webinar you will learn how to:

Model a geodatabase schema using UML and Enterprise Architect 12

Check the semantics of your model with a powerful validation tool

Implement your design using ArcCatalog

 

We encourage you to Register Today.