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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.

Published in Sparx Insights


Any business can benefit, from the solid foundation that standardization brings. The development of new technologies and opportunities, to share and enhance existing practices, are just two of the many benefits, to be derived. Furthermore the economies introduced by standardization dramatically reduce tooling and process duplication while increasing the competency of the work force while the efficiency and effectiveness of standards can ultimately save lives.

However, for enduring economic health and prosperity, the adoption of standards that support interoperability between business partners, is essential. In recent history there has never been a period of standards development like that which we are currently experiencing. Communication circles the globe in a click while global competition is on our doorstep 24x7 and legislation-driven change is creating a tsunami of disruption and opportunity where standards offer navigation and increased survivability. 

Interoperability,- that is, the ability to transfer and use information in a uniform and efficient manner across multiple organizations and information technology systems- underpins the level of benefits accruing to enterprises, government and the wider economy through e-commerce.  To enable two information systems to interoperate, they have to be implemented based upon a mutually agreed set of specifications covering both the business aspects (e.g. how the business activities of one party interact with those of its business partners, what the legal consequences of such interactions are, what information needs to be sent from one party to another, the semantics behind the exchanged information, etc.) and the technical aspects (e.g. what protocol and message format should be used to send information from one party to another).

Successful communication has traditionally been effected by laborious and error prone processes.  It takes the “dedicated” quite some time, to gain a degree of familiarity with the dense and interconnected style in which XML schema specification is written. Most people simply cannot afford such a luxury. Meanwhile on the receiving end the user finds it very difficult to decide whether the error is in their schema/instance or a bug in their processor.

In the standards area the Schema Composer in EA 12 represents a key enabling technology.  Standards and frameworks such as NIEM and SWIFT provide the grammar to communicate between organisations and at low level, this requires a common information model. The Schema Composer allows an organisation to quickly create XML files in XSD which specifies how to formally describe the elements in an XML document. This description can be used to verify that each item of content in a document adheres to the description of the element in which the content is to be placed, enabling propagation of data between different organisations. With these types of data interchange you want to be able to define various interchanges that support communication of details from sub-sections of your broader schema. For example, as a vehicle manufacturer you may want a data interchange with a parts supplier which involves a different data interchange that you would have to a retailer selling your models. These can involve different data sets, with specific data types, from the same overall schema.

For more information or to evaluate the Schema Composer please visit www.sparxsystems.com and download a copy of Enterprise Architect version 12

Published in White Papers

The Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE™) Consortium is an aviation focused professional group managed by the Open Group. Recently Sparx Systems contributed a collection of licenses to assist members in their development of the FACE Data Model. The Open Group, via its latest news release and the FACE website thanked Sparx Systems for their assistance:

"[Enterprise Architect has] been instrumental towards the development of the FACE Data Model and DoDAF 2.0 representations of FACE Enterprise Architecture products. In addition we appreciate their assistance in setting up a shared working environment for these efforts."

 

          

 

 

Published in News