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Enterprise Architect User Group: London 2017
Written by DT_Sam
RepoDoc, a call for testing
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- We are Profiling EA Users
Managing a student project with Enterprise Architect - Part 4
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- CIO Review's 20 Most Promising BPM Solution Providers 2017
- Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server - Coming Soon
- SD Times - How UML makes a DevOps-driven digital transformation possible
Use C#, Java, for your VB Scripting
Written by Helmut Ortmann
In an in-depth and illuminating interview with Sparx Systems Founder and CEO Geoffrey Sparks, Alexandra Weber Morales from SD Times identified several key aspects surrounding the company's continued growth in the DevOps space.
Geoffrey illustrated how Enterprise Architect provides a solid platform for the delivery and support of new applications, services, and technologies, by encouraging and facilitation of increased productivity between development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops). The Sparx CEO also explained the importance of UML as the established standard for software modeling.
"Within those organizations that are undergoing digital transformation
to improve operational efficiencies (many of whom are Sparx Systems
customers), there is a prevalence of UML tools deployed to manage application
delivery, a process which relies implicitly on code quality assurance."
- Geoffrey Sparks, CEO & Founder, Sparx Systems
Read the full article in PDF - available on the Sparx Systems website here
Visit SD Times website here
Read More about Sparx Systems and DevOps here
The Pro Cloud Server, coming in Q2 this year will offer enterprises a convenient way to host EA models on their internet or intranet environment, to broaden available access to the model throughout the enterprise.
Sparx Systems' web client WebEA will connect to the Pro Cloud Server to provide a mobile view of Enterprise Architect models in real time, fostering collaboration between model authors and stakeholders and supporting access on the move. Discussions when enabled, will be stored in the model to create a seamless vision of stakeholder feedback visible in both the cloud and desktop environments.
Entry-level creation of requirements, issues, tests and use cases enables stakeholders a more advanced method of contributing to the model. And the creation of watch lists will help keep model authors and stakeholders alike informed of changes to the model.
Sparx Systems is hosting a read-only copy of the EA Example model for users to explore.
Select model: EA Example
Access code: demo
More information as well as a sign-up form for more information is online at: http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/procloudserver
According to the World Economic Forum, over the coming years, the employment landscape will be deeply impacted, by the disruptive changes to today's commonly accepted business models.
However, opportunity abounds for those industries, enterprises and individuals, who effectively adapt and transform. That said, the middle aged geospatial sector is now facing a crisis, - a perfect storm of advancements in technology infrastructure, market sustainability and geospatial information commodities.
Together, these critical elements present a change force, whose energy source is relentless innovation. It is challenging market exclusivities and the business models of every industry including journalism, taxis, accommodation and travel which have recently, been irrevocably changed.
A nascent technology, the Internet of Things (IOT) promises to enhance our physical environment and the geo-specific data generated in real time by the IOT, will reveal how the physical world is shaping human activity, - and vice versa. Within a decade, IDC predicts, that 30 billion geo-located things will be connected and this ecosystem will generate a revenue of $1.7 trillion. In 2007 the estimated information content of all human knowledge was 279 Exabytes growing to 35 Zetabytes by 2020.
Big data is disrupting the enterprise, data processing methods and usage and for the enterprise to effectively work with vast volumes of data at speed, new enterprise architectures will be required. People, processes and systems help the enterprise turn raw data into useful information and informed action and with big data talent in short supply, successful users source skills wherever they can find them, leaning heavily on external, experienced resources. Furthermore, well-defined user needs, functional requirements, and application specifications are essential for the success of any enterprise system, be it geospatial or otherwise.
The Big Data explosion is also “driving strong growth in big data-related infrastructure (21.7% CAGR), software (26.2% CAGR), and services (22.7% CAGR),” according to a report from IDC in late 2015, while the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, has forecast a higher than average 17% growth in demand for software developers, between 2014 and 2024.
A Turning Point
The AGI Foresight Report 2020, from 2015 highlights the fact, that the geospatial industry is at an existential point in its history. Industry change will only be driven, through the recognition of the latent possibilities of data and data value-add services, and this requires a fundamental and deep understanding of the relationship with digital data. At this time, the inability of the industry to succinctly explain the usefulness or value of their data, tools or services coupled with a perception of an “inner sanctum of GIS” are holding the industry back. To “ditch this image” and change from seeing itself as a data provider and become a data service will present the geospatial industry, with the greatest of untapped opportunities.
As the industry struggles to take advantage of this data El Dorado, other industry sectors are reaping rewards. A recent survey of leaders in the Australian spatial sector “found that 95% believe spatial services are either not achieving growth potential, or that the growth is being captured by other industry sectors.” In a global geoservices market with anticipated annual growth of 30%, ideas have to be actualised faster and more cost-effectively, otherwise competitive market forces will eat the associated opportunity and those ideas will never reach fruition.
"... demand for enterprise application development is
set to significantly outstrip supply in the short term..."
The uniqueness of geospatial technology, lies in its use of geography as its common framework to integrate many different interests, within which the range of innovative use cases, is growing rapidly. Ubiquitous geospatial technology flows into opportunity spaces and enables innovation in many sectors and opportunity for the geospatial industry, lies in collaboration with those sectors which consume geospatial data.
For example Drone technology is now feeding the demand for high quality data and enhancing data processing and accessibility and it is predicted that Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's) will replace conventional ways of collecting remotely sensed data.
A practical use case for this innovation is the support being provided in Kathmandhu for the humanitarian efforts, following the devastating Nepal earthquakes. Another is conservation and environmental protection, such as analysing glacier dynamics in the Himalayas.
Software's Growing Market Influence
'Preparing for the Software Future', written earlier this year by Sparx Systems, focused on the pervasive influence of software on the future, specifically in terms of those innovative business solutions, in every sector of industry, (including geospatial) which are disrupting long accepted and protected models. The post noted, that success for a growing number of companies, lay in embracing the rising strategic importance of software and in viewing software development, as a crucial competitive battlefield.
The US government also acknowledges this fact. In April the Washington Post reported that leading companies, like Walmart and AT&T, along with the likes of Facebook and Apple and a bipartisan coalition of 27 governors, have called on Congress “arguing that the United States needs far more students who are literate in the technologies that are transforming nearly every industry.”
The demand for enterprise application development is set to significantly outstrip supply in the short term and given these market dynamics, platforms that reduce hand coding and enable rapid delivery of business applications are essential technology. By freeing businesses of this overhead, these development platforms significantly reduce the costs associated with traditional development solutions while addressing the challenges of future enterprise application development and legacy modernization.
Geospatial Services Demand
Oxera published a report on behalf of Google back in January 2013 showing a geospatial services market revenues at between $150-270B per year and according to Technavio, the global GIS market will experience “a CAGR of more than 10% by 2020.” Analysts have estimated the software segment to account for a market share of more than 48% during the forecast period.
Digital disruption will create many new cross-functional roles for which employees will need both technical, social and analytical skills. An article by Forbes reporting on the skills demand being generated by big data shows that between 2014 and 2015, the highest growth was for software and application developers. This is corroborated by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model from the US Employment and Training Administration (ETA).
Software based demand for business applications, coupled with well documented shortages of developers , is giving rise to the 'citizen developer', a new role description, that is increasingly turning up in social media. According to the Gartner glossary, this emergent user, is one who “creates new business applications for consumption by others, using development and runtime environments, sanctioned by corporate IT.” While it is likely that citizen developers such as a GIS-savvy geographers with limited programming skills, could eventually become developers, coding is less that 20% of the application development lifecycle. When it comes to developing a concise, correct, consistent, and mutually understandable design, software system requirements and designs, must be easily analysed, developed and managed in a coordinated manner.
Amidst myriad communication barriers and team pressures, constantly changing system requirements, increasing complexity and shrinking design cycles, the right automation tools are essential to ensure that the right system is built, with the right quality and performance characteristics, within budget and on schedule.
The ability to universally share maps in the cloud, makes them available across many mobile devices. These can be programmed and customized by outside developers and users, through application programming interfaces, or APIs. With the introduction of the Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect ArcGIS profile, the information gap between different domains is bridged, allowing geospatial components to be linked to requirements, system and business models. Geospatial experts are equipped with the modeling tools, to create and work with geodatabases, re-engineer spatial legacy data and integrate their work with others.
As experiences are gathered from initial commercial applications of a new technology, the range of functionalities and their adaption are increased, for each specific technology use case. The geospatial industry recognises, that its specialists “are no longer representative of the typical user of many of the technologies (they) are developing.” Innovation is driven and supported by collaboration between different stakeholders with shared aims. The collective intellectual effort of academic institutions, start-ups and large corporations, propels the progress of new technologies.
Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard and it enables industry and enterprise to synergise the strengths of all their parts, while creating a shared awareness of issues. It encourages trust and builds confidence in group stakeholders and promotes interoperability and collective problem resolution. Because collaboration reduces or eliminates process overlap and resource redundancy, creative energy is harnessed and the chance of success is increased. This makes practical sense, as the combined data sets are too large for any one industry or enterprise to analyse. With a documented history of working collaboratively with many industries including the geospatial industry, Sparx Systems standards based technology, is used by these industries, to assist their adaption to the challenges of disruption.
Innovation often occurs by bringing different approaches to problem solving, together in a business. Many industries have worked hard over the last decade to define shared meta-models that are specific to their industry and which support a standardized structure for systems communications. It is these models which now form the basis for contractual information sharing across organizations and across geographic borders.
However, when information is shared between organizations, it is frequently the case that only a subset of the full meta-model is required, but it is essential, that what is shared conforms precisely to the agreed meta-model. In this case, the Schema Composer is the perfect tool for deriving contractual schema based on sub-sets and restricted data sets that take a 'slice' through the meta-model as a whole.
"Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard and it enables
industry and enterprise to synergise the strengths of all their parts..."
Role of Academia
The World Economic Forum report “The Future of Jobs 2016”, notes that education systems are providing siloed training and continuing practices from last century that are hindering progress in addressing the current labor market and talent issues. The Report recommends that businesses and education providers, government and others collaborate as this can result in higher quality across the talent pool, lower costs and increased social benefits.
Similarly the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) report “Future Trends in Geospatial Information Management: the five to ten year vision”, commenting on extracting value from big data, notes that “will place a premium on highly skilled data modellers.” The report also notes that “The development of these skill bases will be delivered through a wide range of professional, academic and in business approaches, as recognition grows of the need for a managed process of skills development and capacity building.”
Support for the Geospatial sector and Academia
Sparx Systems has an education outreach function that delivers flexible licensing options for academic institutions and individuals, through in our Academic Licencing Program. Access to Non Commercial and low cost licences of the popular visual modeling platform, Enterprise Architect is made available to those education institutions who are interested in offering education programs that address the challenges presented by big data. We have also worked closely with 50+ global industry domains including government, providing licences through our support program for Standards Development and have instituted awards to encourage universities and institutions to develop model based solutions for industry. Two of these awards have been offered in the health and geospatial communities and were awarded through HL7 and the EU INSPIRE.
As an organisation that has been recognised by CIOReview, for helping rapid adaption to new technology trends and improving operations across the enterprise lifecycle, we look forward to ongoing collaboration with industry, academia and government.
Collaboration is becoming a new enterprise standard. In the face of the disruptive challenges pending from the Nexus of Forces, successful transition to the maximum utilisation of strategic information technology is a priority for many organisations. Collaboration enables the enterprise to leverage the strengths of all its parts to increase the chances of success while reducing or eliminating process overlap and resource redundancy. Shared awareness of issues through collaboration encourages trust and builds confidence in individual group members and synergises the collective response to problem resolution. Responding effectively to the challenge of the Nexus of Forces is beyond the capacity of any individual part of the enterprise.
Gartner says that by 2016, 30% of enterprise architecture (EA) efforts will be supported, as a Business and IT collaboration, a 21% increase from 2011.
Betsy Burton, a vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner said in a 2011 Press release “Organizations that do not focus EA on their business strategy and on collaborating with business leaders will be greatly limited in their ability to deliver substantial business value. To achieve business outcomes and to drive business change, EA value must be collaboratively developed and supported within the context of the business direction, strategy and future vision."
People support what they helped to create and the organization's enterprise architecture plays a key role in the transition to this state.
It is no surprise that in the current atmosphere of technology change that collaboration in the enterprise architecture work space is growing. In its Worldwide Semiannual Software Tracker for 2014 IDC shows that the software market grew by 5.5 percent in 2013 and that the Applications market segment -- which accounts for half of total software revenue -- collaborative applications and content applications stood out with CAGR of 10%. This growth is being driven by the adoption of enterprise social networks and team collaborative applications.
A very recent article in SD Times, reports from the 2014 Collaborative Development trends report by the Linux Foundation that collaborative development is on the rise. Nearly half of business managers surveyed said they got involved in collaborative development because it allows them to innovate and/or help transform their industry.
A common reference frame that allows individuals to understand what the goal is, and their contribution and role in achieving the goal, is at the heart of any change, whatever it may be.
The NASCIO (National Association of Chief Information Officers) Enterprise Architecture and Governance Committee, conducted a study in 2012 called “What Makes Collaborative Initiatives Work?” and sounded a call to action for the promotion of enterprise architecture best practices for organizing and managing multi-jurisdictional collaboratives. The rationale was that, “If enterprise architecture is essential to managing a single enterprise’s complexity and ongoing change, how much more important in the more complex circumstance of a multi-jurisdictional “enterprise.” collaborations.
Widely accepted standards help foster product interoperability and system architectures that mitigate risks, simplify and reduce delivery time and yield a stronger ROI as global industries such as healthcare, retail, utilities, telecommunications and other sectors continue rapid modernisation programs.
Interoperable system architectures that share a common language and interfaces at a hardware, software and system level are essential for successful global industries.
In turn interoperability supports collaboration, - 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. Using tools such as Enterprise Architect stakeholders can effectively collaborate on projects by understanding who is working on specific project tasks, what roles are to be filled and who has responsibility for the various aspects of the project.
Different team members and stakeholders must be able to input information that is relevant to their roles and activities and that is useful to the other members of shared projects. This implies the necessity to capture this information in a model that is available to all team members overcoming their geographical limitation. The emergence of new ideas, or innovation, through collaboration, has been commented on extensively. A single idea can lead to breakthroughs and competitive advantage. The idea of one person can be used by many others who can make small refinements or improvements to the idea or spark completely new ideas. These in turn become the normal as creativity destroys long accepted convention.
Enterprise Architect offers specific functionality for sharing projects in team-based and distributed development environments. Projects can be shared through network deployment of model repositories, replication, XMI Import/Export, Version Control, Package Control and User Security.
No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;…….John Donne
As the impact from the digital industrial economy takes effect, it will drive the need for enterprise architects to digitally renew the business. In a connected world, there is no place for silos, and the extent of connectivity determines levels of inclusion in the digital economy, the quality of service/product and resulting customer loyalty.
Sparx Systems supports those enterprise architects who are navigating business enterprise and facilitating digital business renewal, through rapid and unprecedented change.
Optimised service networks encourage closer consumer relationships, which in turn promote improved business relationships, while providing value added competitive barriers. Service differentiation will come from those organisations that succeed in integrating digital technologies to deliver consumers a unique and ongoing experience.
To ensure maximum customer retention and growth, utilities and telecommunications rely heavily on geospatial information systems, mobile workforce applications and communications management, for the construction, operation, maintenance and management of critical network systems.
In 1999 the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified electrification as the first of the 20 greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century and the Smartgrid - which is driving modernisation of the electricity grid - became federal policy, with the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007
The adoption of smart metering capabilities and the creation of new grid infrastructures are extending transmission and distribution systems in ways, which until recently, were not considered in the realm of the possible. Enterprise Architect is used to maintain the Common Information Model (CIM). http://enterprise-uml.com/news/453-25developing-standards-for-smartgrid?highlight=WyJzbWFydGdyaWQiXQ==
But, now this extension is connecting new or previously siloed networks, in an interoperable, communications model. This Smartgrid is a subset of a global tissue of smart connected devices called the Internet of Things (IoT). See http://www.iot-a.eu/public
The ability to automatically transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction is a scenario that suggests an explosion of connections. Providing unique identifiers with such capability, to objects, animals and people will push the installed base of connected things to 212 billion by 2020 according to IDC.
While the functionality of the Internet is based on open and interoperable standards, enabling interoperability and global accessibility the Internet of Things is for most part, a heterogeneous world of silos where standards for scalability, governance and security are yet to be developed.
The explosion of the Internet of Things will contribute to the generation of data volumes, which combined with other sources is referred to as Big Data and which threaten to outstrip our ability to deal with it while sowing new data silos. Without support from collaborative technologies that support highly automated processes, the time required make this data re-usable is impractical.
According to a 2012 Whitepaper by Oracle, An Architects Guide to Big Data, architects are expected to provide a fast, reliable path to business adoption while embracing new technologies and techniques are always challenging. These technologies and techniques should then be deployed to “share knowledge, establish standards, and to manage best practices”.
At a time when the resource “bandwidth” of the enterprise architect is being squeezed under the pressure of tasks and responsibilities, the pressure can be reduced through collaboration – the positive difference between the sum of the parts and the whole!
An affordable shared platform, supporting a highly scaleable, networked collaboration solution, is necessary. With the recent release of Enterprise Architect 11 Sparx Systems has provided several features to address this issue. The Cloud Service, Reusable Asset Service (RAS) and OSLC are a trinity of tools, which when used together, provide a powerful solution.
The Sparx Systems Cloud Services application provides a convenient mechanism for hosting data models while providing easy access to all team members, external customers and consultants, anywhere around the world.
The implementation of the RAS standard within Enterprise Architect provides a shared remote registry, accessible via a Cloud Service connection that will allow organizations to securely share information between one another in a standardised environment. Users can view the information in a single, consolidated virtual registry-repository, while retaining local control over their own registry-repositories, while modellers can easily and conveniently distribute or download data resources including reusable model structures, information, corporate directives or standards. http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/products/ea/cloud-trial.html
Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC), makes it easier for different tools to work together and users can Create, Read, Update and Delete model information such as requirements. A video can be accessed here http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/products/ea/11/index.html
Sparx Systems has partnered with CSIRO to support the ongoing development of model registry features and functionality for Sparx's Enterprise Architect UML modelling tool. http://www.sparxsystems.com.au/press/articles/CSIRO-Collaboration.html
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: