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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.

un ggim 2016

 

Event: UN Global Geospatial Information Management Forum
Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Date: April 20-22, 2016

The Fourth High Level Forum on UN Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) will be hosted in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) at UNECA's Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 20-22 April 2016.

Enterprise Architect has been an essential platform for the development of Statistical and Spatial Frameworks.

More Information...

Monday, 15 February 2016 23:43

BPMN and the Digital Enterprise - Part 1

Schumpeters Gale:

Creative destruction or “Schumpeters Gale” describes the persistent process of change that internally renews the economic status quo, destroying the old and creating the new. Schumpeter’s description of the process of change - while describing economic forces - could aptly be applied to technology, specifically, information technology. Just like a gale, the disruption maelstrom can suddenly destroy markets, industries and businesses and their operations and processes.  The aftermath is the new “normal”.

 

Digital storm blur sliced 600x251

 

Value Chain:

Michael Porter first used the term “Value Chain” three decades ago, to describe how an organisational unit, can manage its business while gaining competitive advantage. Within that period, Business Process Management (BPM) has become a critical success factor.  While the cyclone of digital disruption grows in intensity, the time to adapt business processes to the tempest shrinks. This adaption is business process re-engineering, necessitated by the forces of change - cloud, social media, mobility, Internet of Things and data. See “Growing Business Agility to Create Competitive Advantage - Digital Transformation”.

 

Business Language:

BPM Notation, (BPMN) a core enabler of Business Process Management (BPM), is a  notation readily  understood by business users, from the business analysts that create the initial drafts of processes, to the technical developers responsible for systems implementation, that will execute those processes and finally to the business people, who will manage and monitor those processes.

The value of BPMN is that it simplifies the creation of business process models while addressing the inherent complexity of business processes. Enterprise Architect provides a full-featured implementation of the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) allowing business processes to be expressed in a standard graphical notation and traced throughout enterprise and system models. It can also be used, to automatically generate Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).

 

cio review bpmMobile:

The Mobile revolution is providing equity of access to education, health, government, banking, environment and business, for much of the global community. However, it is also challenging enterprise business models in every sector. It is here to stay and represents a disruptive influence on business that cannot be ignored.

 

Cloud:

The transformative power of Cloud is presenting opportunities to efficiently facilitate new revenue, services and business, as companies harness. It is collapsing the supply chain, creating more effective and timely interaction between clients and suppliers while delivering speed, agility and cost reduction to IT and other functional areas within the enterprise, such as HR and CRM.

 

Internet of Things:

The Internet of Things (IoT) will require organizations to master new business models, architectures, operating systems, tools, methodologies, databases, networks, middleware, and sourcing partners.  The explosion of the IOT will contribute to the generation of exponential data growth which threatens our current ability to cope. Without support from collaborative technologies that support highly automated processes, the time required to make this data re-usable is impractical. Meanwhile new data silos are spawned. Sparx Systems has provided a trinity of powerful tools to address this issue, - Cloud Service, Reusable Asset Service and OSLC.

 

Measured Success and Business Governance:

Meanwhile, systems integration is being challenged because legacy systems cannot integrate with the new force-driven technologies, as system documentation is often inadequate.  The inability to meet this challenge prevents many sectors from seizing the new opportunities created by change.  The success of this critical adaption and reinvention of core business processes is measured in the resulting digital value, consistently realised by customers, suppliers, partners and other stakeholders alike.

 

Essential Tools:

bpmn model with bpsim configuration

 Across different business sectors, an awareness of this “new business norm” necessitates the basic requirement that enterprise-class BPM principles are hard wired into operations.  To fulfil this fundamental governance requirement, Enterprise Architect and standards, including Business Process Modeling and Notation (BPMN), are essential tools. They can improve agility and flexibility and create leaner organisations, by assisting to integrate the business elements of the value chain.

 
While applying UML as the base, these techniques enable the enterprise to better understand and design its enterprise architecture and allow the organisation to react rapidly, with greater control over outcomes and governance obligations.  Enterprise Architect supports the direct mapping of these obligations to the enterprise architecture.

 

Additional Resources:

Page: MDG Technology for Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)

Brochure: MDG Technology for BPMN

Platforms Page: Tools for Business Process Modeling using the BPMN

Resources: The Business Process Model

News Item: Sparx Systems - 20 Most Promising BPM Solution Providers 2015

 

For information about how Enterprise Architect provides essential support for all of the critical business change issues mentioned above, please visit Sparx Systems website at www.sparxsystems.com, where you can download a 30 day evaluation licence and test for yourself.

 

BPMN and the Digital Enterprise Part 2: Read More Here

eausergroup lindholmen science park gothenburg

 

 

 

 

 

This one day Enterprise Architect User Group will be held on 14th April 2016.

Featuring three tracks, the meeting will focus on a “hands on approach to Enterprise Architect” that will be supported, with 30 minute presentations and associated workshops.

 

new.png

 

For full details of the event, please visit the Biner website here.

For future User Group events in your area, please visit the EAUG website.

planet nine in outer space artistic depictionOn 20 January 2016, researchers Konstantin Batygin and Michael E. Brown at Caltech announced a calculation-based evidence of a massive ninth planet in the Solar System.

Planet Nine would be 10 times the mass of Earth (approximately 5,000 times the mass of Pluto), and have an orbit that is so far away that it could take it 15,000 Earth years to orbit the Sun. It would most likely be an ice giant with a thick atmosphere of hydrogen and helium.

 

lsst graphic

However, as Zeljko Ivezic (Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project Scientist) suggests “if it exists, might be too small to be discovered with ongoing sky surveys, but large enough to be discovered even with only the first year of LSST data! That would be a great way to start the survey!”

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is providing a scalable, shared model to integrate the work of the geographically dispersed LSST team. Enterprise Architect has delivered complete requirements traceability, round-trip code engineering and detailed SysML support.

 

Additional Resources:

  • Case Study: Designing the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope with Enterprise Architect - PDF Document
  • Download E-Book: 20 Terabytes a Night: Designing the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope's Image Processing Pipelines - PDF Document
  • Official website: Large Synoptic Survey Telescope - Visit Site

 

Creative Commons Attribution: Planet Nine in Outer Space artistic depiction image by Prokaryotes

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 21:47

Introduction to the Database Builder

enterprise architect for database administrator roles banner

Enterprise Architect’s Database Builder provides interactive connectivity to a DBMS,  supporting both the initial creation of a database and the ongoing update of tables, views, triggers and procedures – all from within the design model.

 

This tutorial paper works through a simple database example (attached in .ZIP file) using the Database Builder to create tables within a new Database, then make modifications in both the model and the Database and use the compare functionality to update the Database and the model respectively.

Wednesday, 03 February 2016 02:57

Standards, Interoperability and Innovation

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent; a part of the main;"

 - John Donne

 

Connectedness:

As the impact from the digital industrial economy takes effect, not only will it inform enterprise how to successfully leverage globally interconnected technology to deliver results according to the mission and vision of the company - the impact will drive the need to digitally renew the business. A connected world eliminates silos and the extent of connectivity determines levels of inclusion in the digital economy, the quality of services and products and the resulting customer loyalty.

 

Innovation from Inspiration:

The Ptolemaic SystemInnovation is a palimpsest of disruptions, evidence that the advances of modern science are inspired by the achievements of the past.  The majority of innovative ideas take products, services or processes that are already working and improve on them. One clear example is the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) which, when completed, will provide unprecedented information about distant galaxies, nearby asteroids and the dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. It will boost technological development and ‘has the potential to transform our knowledge of the universe’ which for centuries, was inspired by Ptolemy.

The stars have provided pointers for the earliest exploratory excursions of mankind and  Ptolemy’s Almagest published in the first century, is a codification of the constellations and a catalogue of the fixed stars. For 1400 years, it was the standard astronomical reference and one of the most influential books in the history of Western astronomy.  Still today, standards support industry competitiveness, improve performance and enable technology such as the LSST. They do this by assisting with the codification and dissemination of new knowledge and innovations and ensuring interoperability.

 

Interoperability:

Across every industry sector, Sparx Systems directly supports standards development and those enterprise architects who rely on standards to navigate business enterprise through rapid and unprecedented change. In the burgeoning geospatial sector open standards enable organizations to take advantage of new geospatial information sources and technology tools and they are a central element of open government. Interoperability is a key aim of open standards and their development offers stakeholders such as governments, universities, research organisations and business enterprises the opportunity to participate in their development.

 

Integration:

Within the geospatial market, standards are driving rapid change and technology deployment while creating new cross - domain opportunities. The United Nations initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) provides leadership in setting the agenda for the development of global geospatial information and promoting its application to address key global challenges.
The United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management was formed in 2011.  Later that year, the First High Level Forum on Global Geospatial Information Management, and the First Session of the United Nations Committee of Experts were held in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Experts from 90 countries met to enhance global cooperation in the field of geospatial information management.
 

ArcGIS Geodatabase Design with UMLInformation Accessibility:

In 2012 the Secretary General of the UN Economic and Social Council identified “better integration of geospatial and statistical information, as a key challenge” in meeting information needs and in 2014 the United Nations Global Forum on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information took place. The UN Expert Group on the Integration of Statistical and Geospatial Information is developing a global statistical-geospatial framework – modelled on the Statistical Spatial Framework (SSF) developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).  This Framework will provide a common approach to connecting people-centric (socio-economic) information to a location, and improve the accessibility and usability of this spatially-enabled information.

 

Standards:

The spatial and statistical communities operate different metadata capabilities and approaches to ensure that these two metadata environments can work together effectively are being investigated. Metadata standards being reviewed include: Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX), Data Documentation Initiative (DDI), and the international geospatial metadata standard ISO19115.

The recently released Address Standard ISO 19160-1 defines a conceptual model for address information together with the terms and definitions that describe the concepts in the model. The model provides a common representation of address information, independent of actual addressing implementations and a means to cross-map between different conceptual models for address information and enables the conversion of address information between specifications. The Address Standard is essential to the aims of the SSF in the sharing, accessing and dissemination of information.

 

Collaboration:

Sparx Systems continues to support both the global statistical and geospatial communities and has enhanced Enterprise Architect with the inclusion of profiles for ArcGIS and GML for this sector. In addition, through our collaboration program, Sparx Systems has partnered with CSIRO to support the ongoing development of model registry features and functionality for Enterprise Architect.

As stated by Geoffrey Sparks, Sparx Systems CEO in a recent interview, “I am strongly committed to the development and implementation of common, well understood modeling languages that enable disparate domains to communicate and integrate their specific processes and architectures into a single, well understood platform.”

In the coming years Sparx Systems imagines new tools and information processing capabilities that further support the transformation of models into executable form.

Monday, 01 February 2016 01:04

ISO 19160-1 Addressing Standard Released

arcgis screenshotOn 15 December 2015, ISO 19160-1 was released.  This standard was developed by ISO/TC 211- a standard technical committee within the International Standards Organisation (ISO), to cover the areas of digital geographic information and geomatics.

The ISO 19160-1 standard defines a conceptual model for address information, together with the terms and definitions that describe the concepts in the model. The model was developed in Enterprise Architect and is presented in the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

For almost a decade Sparx Systems has supported the global geospatial community through provision of Enterprise Architect licences for standards development and inclusion of
Esri ArcGIS and GML profiles within Enterprise Architect.  

Additional Information:

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.