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European Enterprise Architect User GroupCan you help us?

European Enterprise Architect User Group - London

Planning is underway for this year's UK UserGroup Event in May with the new features of EA12 to discover and best practice from users around Europe to share. But unfortunately the venue we hoped to use is not now available 

Do you have a suitable venue?

In order to keep our costs down for all attendees we rely on the generosity of EA users donating facilities. In exchange we give a number of free places so that the host organisation can get maximum benefit from the event.

Ideally we'd like a room in or close to London that can hold approximately 120 - 150 people, with one or two break-out rooms nearby for parallel streams of presentations and a space for refreshments/lunch and networking. If you have something which is not exactly like this, but similar, then we can be flexible! We pay for the food and any other charges, and do all the organisation.

The London location is important as many international delegates fly in to attend this, our largest annual European event.

If your company can help, or you think you may know of a suitable venue, please reply to this email or contact us via the form on the website at http://www.eausergroup.com/contact-ea-user-group as soon as possible. Thank You very much!

Published in News

Dunstan Thomas Consulting Waitrose 

Executive Summary

Dunstan Thomas Consulting (DTC) worked with the Waitrose IT Strategy & Architecture team to understand how to get maximum value from using Sparx Enterprise Architect (EA). The team wanted to explore the capabilities of the tool to optimise its existing investment in EA skills and software


Background

Waitrose IT has used Sparx Enterprise Architect since 2008 for UML modelling as part of the Partnership Systems Development Methodology (PSDM). This methodology is used across the John Lewis Partnership as part of the development lifecycle. In December 2013 the Waitrose IT Strategy & Architecture team started to investigate how to extend the existing use of EA from an analysis and development tool to an enterprise architecture tool. The IT Strategy & Architecture team was starting to work collaboratively across the business areas so they needed to be able to capture more stakeholder views to represent the enterprise architecture landscape. An Architecture Methods and Tools group was responsible for setting up how the IT Strategy & Architecture team worked with other teams and for setting up the architectural governance mechanisms.


Challenge

Wider use of EA comes at a time when the Waitrose IT Strategy & Architecture team is growing in size and forging closer links with the rest of Waitrose. A demand for greater transparency also puts the onus on EA to help visualise some key high level elements which are crucial for business and IT planning, helping to illustrate: ‘What is our vision and objectives?’ and ‘Why are we doing this?’ Waitrose wanted to map the motivation, business, application, technology and implementation landscapes using ArchiMate notation in EA.

ArchiMate is a standard modelling notation to describe enterprise architectures. It presents a clear set of concepts within (and relationships between) architecture domains, and offers a simple and uniform structure for describing the contents of these domains. The team identified a few missing key elements from ArchiMate that they wanted to be included in the Waitrose metamodel. The team wanted to be able to model new elements, such as ‘Capabilities’, and to enhance existing elements, such as ‘Application Interface’, to display more information.

As Iain Plank, Enterprise Architect explained:
“The IT landscape within large organisations has generally become way too complex. It really is crucial to rationalise and centralise expertise pools as much as possible. If this work is not done, you end up with lots of systems with over-lapping capabilities. IT silos waste resources and prevent systems talking to each other which invariably generates more inefficiencies. We need to plan holistic IT systems to avoid these inefficiencies. Modelling our understanding of the enterprise is part of the solution.”


Solution: Enterprise Architect Super User & Reporting Training

Waitrose contacted Dunstan Thomas Consulting (DTC), the EA training specialists to investigate Sparx Enterprise Architect’s potential capabilities. Dunstan Thomas provided training on EA with a specific focus on enabling Waitrose to extend ArchiMate and to create the new elements required by Waitrose. In discussion with Waitrose, DTC designed a specific two day course for five Waitrose analysts based on DTC’s ‘EA Power User’ and ‘EA Reporting’ training courses. The training was completed during March 2014.

Sparx EA Power User modules:

  1. UML Profiles - Extending the UML and ArchiMate through the use of Profiles within Enterprise Architect thus allowing customised modelling.
  2. Tagged Values - Tagged Value types, enumerated tagged values, pre-defined structured tagged values.
  3. Shape Scripts - Use and definition with stereotypes, use and definition within Profiles, structure of Shape Scripts, predefined functions creating Shape Scripts, use of Tagged Values within Shape Scripts.
  4. Model Driven Generator (MDG) technologies - to create re-useable project structures, encapsulating UML Profiles and RTF templates in MDG, customised tool boxes and diagrams.

Generating Documentation with EA modules:

  1. HTML documentation
  2. Customisation of the output of HTML documentation
  3. RTF documentation using the templates as supplied with Enterprise Architect
  4. Producing customised templates
  5. Selecting the content
  6. Specifying the data to be output
  7. Formatting the output
  8. Use of tables
  9. Filtering and selecting the project content using report options, properties and model documents
  10. Use of model documents, Enterprise Architect master documents , Word master documents, and template fragments
  11. Batch production of documentation using Resource Documents

Dunstan Thomas Consulting were called back in June 2014 to assess how effectively Waitrose had done the configuration since the initial training and made sure that the tool was ready to be used in production of the architectural artefacts. During two days of trouble-shooting, stumbling points and additional queries were addressed and the Waitrose configuration of Sparx Enterprise Architect was good enough to be deployed to the EA user communities.


Results

Dunstan Thomas Consulting training made it clear that Waitrose’s IT Strategy & Architecture team could do a great deal more with EA than was previously thought possible.

Stephanie McMahon, Business Systems Analyst:
“The Dunstan Thomas consultant who led the training, Phil Chudley, was brilliant for us. He helped us see what was possible with EA and taught us what could be done and what couldn’t be done, which is just as valuable. Together we made EA really sing for the first time. We are now able to model our landscape much more effectively with a tool we already had in-house. No additional licenses have been needed. It has been a great exercise in unlocking the potential of an existing tool.”

Iain Plank, Enterprise Architect:
“Enterprise Architect can now be used to build models using the actual terminology they use in the business. For example we have ‘Capability’ which flows through our models and is used when talking to the business. But that object does not exist in ArchiMate ‘out of the box’. Dunstan Thomas Consulting taught us how to create the new object and tag relevant properties and features to it.”

The IT Strategy & Architecture Methods and Tools group has passed on the new ways of working using EA around the Waitrose IT department. A number of ‘Lunch and Learn’ sessions for Architects, Business Analysts, Developers and Testers were delivered. The team are now starting to explore some of the EA capabilities around reporting.

For Waitrose’s Lead Information Architect Ian Batty the insights provided by the training were invaluable:
“Dunstan Thomas’ training helped us to link the logical to the physical data models. We could link the logical to the conceptual already but to go a step further to link logical to the physical was a breakthrough which the training enabled.”

“Following the training we have been able to get a long way down the road towards gathering a holistic picture of how systems link to each other. With this view we can now run an accurate and timely impact assessment if we want to make a change. We are constantly looking for new efficiencies and that means exploring different ways of doing things. EA helps us make the right decisions when planning systems changes.”


Howard Burgess, IT Systems Developer and the Waitrose ‘Super-User of EA’ has been using EA since 2008 when Partnership Services Training first selected it. He used it for development and code generation in the past but today, as a key member of the IT Strategy and Architecture team, he is using it to define the core business data model which the development teams use as the basis for interfaces between systems

Howard Burgess explains:
“It is critical to have one common definition of what a ‘line’, ‘branch’ or ‘customer’ is. This definition, its attributes and relationships will then be used by all teams. This commonality enables systems to pass data to each other more easily. It also speeds up IT projects as the work can be reused.”

“Dunstan Thomas’ training has helped with development of the data model in specific areas. For example we were able to find out about EA’s facility to demarcate Controlled Packages which are pieces of a data model which can be used across multiple projects. We had not used this functionality before. We did some proto-typing and we decided that this was our preferred route to implement our common data model. Phil Chudley helped clarify the value of this.”

“He made us think about new ways of capturing information, this led us to innovate more in this area. For example, we wanted a security classification so that certain data such as ‘customer address’ can be tagged ‘private’ while any Waitrose branch name and address remains public. We are now able to tag data according to this new security classification to ensure personal data on all systems is kept private. The MDG in EA captures and records this. We are now building up this meta-data, the data behind the data.”


In DTC’s EA reporting training course Waitrose also learnt how to report more effectively. Waitrose has up to 700 data objects and each has between one and 30 attributes. It is a huge, complex model. They wanted to do a report which printed the whole model as a PDF. Discussions in the training on the use of MDG got the team at Waitrose thinking about further plug-ins for EA. The team have used a wiki page plug-in so they can publish the definition of a specific technical phrase without the business users having to use EA.

Howard Burgess explains:
“Some of the components of the common data model are owned by specific parts of the business. We wanted the business managers to feel like they had more visibility and control over these pieces. Rather than installing EA on each of their PCs and giving them extensive training on how to use it we built a wiki server and began populating it with descriptions of what specific elements mean and contain. Business managers are able to click on a specific term and read the wiki definition of what a technical term is. In this way we can promote better understanding of common terms and bridge any gaps of knowledge between business and IT.”

“I like the fact that it is so open: you can create, manipulate, export and customise data models using it. EA is a great little piece of software. With Dunstan Thomas’ help we are now exploring its full potential.”


This case study is available to download from the DT Consulting website.

Published in Case Studies

European Enterprise Architect User Group 2015 in Zürich, March, 10th 2015

After a series of highly successful German Enterprise Architect User Community events in previous years, it is my great pleasure now to be able to announce a first time event in Zurich. Thanks to the support of UBS AG, the European Enterprise Architect User Group event will be held in Switzrland at the company's headquarters in Zurich. The event will include a series of lectures and a permanently-staffed Experts Corner, and during coffee breaks and lunch there will be plenty of time for more in-depth conversations with users and lecturers alike.

The lectures will be held alternately in English or German. In his keynote speech, David Würth, Enterprise Architect Specialist at UBS, explores the standardization activities and use of Enterprise Architect, and shares some of his enterprise-wide initiatives. Phil Chudley, TOGAF and BPMN specialist since their very beginnings, will illuminate us on the topic "Enterprise Architecture" and associated technologies...and of course you won’t want to miss presentations by Swisscom and the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB).

Save the date: Tuesday, March 10th, 2015, from 9.00 till 17.00 at UBS AG in Zurich

Registration at http://www.eausergroup.com/events

 

 

Published in News
Thursday, 19 February 2015 00:54

Sparx Systems showcased by OMNILINK at Locate15

OMNILINK will attend Locate15 the premier Australian and New Zealand geospatial industry event in Brisbane from March 10-12 2015. OMNILINK, an organisation well known to the geospatial community across Australia and New Zealand will be promoting the integration of good modelling and planning methods and toolsets as a critical practice to maintain market presence, while leading the technology race.

Enterprise Architect will be showcased by OMNILINK at Stand 19 and they will demonstrate how the integration of good modelling and planning methods and toolsets are critical to maintaining market presence while leading the technology race.

Visit OMNILINK at Stand 19 and pick up your copy of the Case Study on how Enterprise Architect was used to drive the development of a new generation of OMNILINK spatial product and derive benefits that have become re-useable assets.

For almost a decade Sparx Systems has supported the international geospatial standards development effort and has strong business relationships with ISO/TC 211 and INSPIRE.

The European location Framework (ELF) is defined as an Enterprise Architect project and the ELF data model and the application schemas build upon the INSPIRE specifications.

More recently through the Office of Spatial Policy and in partnership with CSIRO Sparx Systems has been supporting the development of the Foundation Spatial Data Framework (FSDF).

 

Published in News
Wednesday, 18 February 2015 09:43

Dunstan Thomas launch online training service.

Online training with Dunstan Thomas

Online training with Dunstan Thomas

DT Consulting now offer a virtual learning environment to compliment our existing classroom offering.

This new browser delivered self-study training environment will bring to you DT Consulting’s most popular training courses covering areas such as;

  • Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect
  • The Systems Modelling Language (SysML)
  • The Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN)
  • The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF)
  • The Unified Modelling Language (UML)
  • ArchiMate

 

Available Courses

 

Coming Soon…

Please visit our website for information on subscription pricing.

Published in News

Model-based development has established itself in more and more economic sectors, and is now also used in various scenarios for SAP projects. This means that both development as well as maintenance costs can be significantly reduced.

Over its entire lifetime, software costs money; in addition to pure development costs, significant maintenance costs arise during the utilization phase. As soon as the software is in live operation, associated costs are entered under “Software Maintenance” – costs which can reach up to 80 percent of overall lifecycle effort (see B. Hohler, Skript WRT Hannover 2008/09). According to an analysis by the software company Cast Research, maintenance costs alone amount to USD3.61 per individual line of code. It is also interesting to note that 47 percent of overall maintenance costs must be spent on dealing with problems, whereas 28 percent apply to verification and only 25 percent to implementing actual changes (see B. Hohler, ibid., p. 3).

In addition to good software design, the quality of the source code and, naturally, fulfillment of the software’s functionality are decisive for a lean maintenance cost structure. As a rule: The higher the quality of the software development, the lower the expenditures for operating the software. To avoid spiraling costs due to inadequate software design and low-quality source code, the link to model-based development is a promising approach – already underpinned by numerous studies and successes. The clear documentation and visualization provided by the models translate into time savings when becoming familiar with and developing the software, which in turn lowers maintenance costs. In this way, refactoring can be carried out from the start with well-structured software architecture, and continuously monitored...significantly extending software and system lifetime.

New tool connects model-based development and SAP

Gobas GmbH is a union of IT companies from the Braunschweig and Hannover metropolitan area which are focused on SAP and mobile development. Until only a short time ago, the model-based development of software in an SAP environment was not an issue for this company. Now, the strong growth in interest has led Gobas to develop its new tool - q.trans - for model-driven software development in SAP. “Many of our customers are running SAP, yet at the same time they are moving toward model-based development. In order to connect these two worlds in the best way, we have linked q.trans with Enterprise Architect,” says Markus Abel, CEO at Gobas.

With over 380,000 users worldwide, and of these around 60,000 in the German-speaking world, Enterprise Architect by Sparx Systems is a widely-used UML modeling platform. Its implementation in an SAP environment, facilitated by Gobas q.trans, unlocks an entirely new circle of users: “We are pleased that q.trans was developed with the help of Enterprise Architect. This has created a bridge of sorts between Enterprise Architect and ABAP OO development in SAP, opening up a very interesting new market. Once again, the benefits brought by Enterprise Architect to optimization and better understanding of complex software projects is made clear,” emphasizes Hans Bartmann, CEO of SparxSystems Central Europe.

Model-based development with UML growing in popularity

Model-based development based on the graphical language UML/SysML (Unified Modeling Language/System Engineering Modeling Language) continues to find its way into more industrial sectors. The Industry 4.0 initiative also places model-based development squarely in the center. The growth in model-driven development is intensifying, not least due to the continual improvements in the UML/SysML modeling language.

Seventeen years ago, the industrial standards body OMG (Object Management Group) published its first UML specification. Meanwhile, work is being carried out on Version 2.5, which will provide developers with even more detailed description options for their models. With the introduction of SysML several years ago, the application options of model-based development have been expanded to include entire systems. More and more academics and users see the future of software and systems engineering clearly in model-based development, from which code can be automatically generated.

The core idea of model-based engineering is to create a functional model for the product to be developed. This functional model can be taken as a basis for simulation even during development, and once it is completed it serves as the foundation for the generation of code. It is estimated that consistent development and verification on the model level can translate into savings of somewhere between 30 to 50 percent.

In the scope of SAP development, the model-based method can be implemented for forward as well as reverse engineering. Specifically the area of reverse engineering has found rather strong resonance with customers who wish to further develop their SAP solutions. With this goal in mind, various model-based development tools available on the market were tested. The results show quite clearly that Enterprise Architect was able to extract the most data from SAP solutions via the XMI interface.

UML models can also be easily imported into an SAP system with Gobas q.trans to create the development-relevant objects there, or to change existing objects according to the model specifications (”Forward Engineering“). In addition to the source code, however, reliable documentation is an important part of any piece of software. The solution therefore enables the current state of software development to be exported into a model and in this way directly embedded into the audit-proof documentation of the project source code (”Reverse Engineering“). Furthermore, the tool allows the comparison between a model and existing ABAP OO code, while offering sophisticated metrics for quality assessment of models and ABAP OO code.

Integration of metrics for quality assessment

Reliable data and figures enable the application of the scientific method when it comes to measurability of quality and costs - a quantitative assessment of the characteristics of software products, processes and projects. “It has to do with the use of software measurement…achieving specific goals, such as project controlling, error reduction or efficiency improvement” (from: Informatik-Spektrum, vol. 36, book 6, December 2013). The application of this theory in practice, however, is still in its infancy. Many companies are facing the challenge of selecting the right software metrics for measurement, and of extracting relevant conclusions from the identified indicators in order to minimize risk in their software projects.

Therefore, based on the current state of scientific knowledge, various software metrics have been integrated into the new Gobas q.trans development tool. This enables ABAP OO developers to come to the right conclusions based on predetermined measured values. At the same time, modern software development methods such as agile and incremental approach methods are supported. With the help of the implemented software metrics, the software’s development status can be continuously analyzed and documented. The progress becomes visible, project targets can be reviewed, and development errors detected early on.

Overview of Gobas q.trans functionality and scope

- Forward Engineering (generation of ABAP source code from UML models; operates across packages; generation of getter and setter methods; generation of comments; automatic syntax check; consistency check for DDIC objects; versioning; setting of an import history)

- Reverse Engineering (generation of a UML model from ABAP source code; selection criteria for objects; customizing for object names; operates across packages)

- Quality Management (comparison of objects and packages between UML and SAP; detailed listing of attributes, methods and interfaces; operates across packages; code assessment using object-oriented software metrics; depth of inheritance (DIT), Law of Demeter (LoD), cohesion LCOM, instability and various others, such as McCabe and Halstead metric

- Supported object types: domains, data element, structure, table type, database table, class, interface, function groups and packages

Published in News

This new training course teaches ArchiMate business, application and technology layers as well as motivation and implementation & migration extensions (providing full support for TOGAF).

 

http://www.hippo-software.co.uk/pages/EAforArchitectureandStrategy.htm

Published in News

With over 100 participants the second Enterprise Architect User Group Event in Germany was a great success. Airbus Group in Ottobrunn (Munich) provided the conference facilities and there was a lot of networking and discussion after the speeches and during the breaks. All registered participants will soon find the presentations at the Enterprise Architect user group site www.eausergroup.com for download.

 

We say thank you to Airbus Group for the great cooperation, to the organizing team for the excellent preparation and to all participants, that they gave us their interest and feedback. We are sure, that model based development and engineering will grow further and Enterprise Architect as a tool for different groups of users will foster its position in the user community.

Published in News

DO-178B is the current standard in aviation industry for safety critical systems - also known as: "Software Considerations in Airborne Systems and Equipment Certification".

Find attached the White Paper including links to the UML Profile and a DO-178B glossary.

Published in White Papers

This workshop teaches delegates how to customise Enterprise Architect using profiles. Delegates learn how to build an MDG technology containing profiles for custom diagram types, toolbox pages, elements and relationships. Element profiles can define colours, fonts, shapes and tagged value properties.

Published in News
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