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Dunstan Thomas Consulting Cloud services deployment of Sparx Enterprise Architect for ATOC


Dunstan Thomas Consulting (DTC) worked with ATOC to install and configure Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect to enable them to work in a collaborative environment using a MySQL hosted model repository.

This model repository was located on a server within the ATOC premises and accessed via LAN and ODBC and remotely via a VPN.

During this engagement, Dunstan Thomas Consulting not only worked with ATOC but also ensured that they had gained the skills necessary to perform all repository administration tasks (such as creating new Groups and Users) by themselves.

They made a strategic decision to move all servers to the cloud and dispense with VPN connections for remote working.

ATOC contacted Dunstan Thomas Consulting to work with them to perform a migration of their existing Enterprise Architect infrastructure to the cloud.

Background


ATOC are relative newcomers to Enterprise Architect and have been using the tool to model, primarily, business processes using BPMN 2.0.

ATOC have a number of modelling teams allocated to specific groups and have a number of floating licenses. Dunstan Thomas Consulting worked with them to create a collaborative modelling environment using a shared model repository hosted using MySQL, together with a repository structure and the necessary Groups and Users which were authenticated using Windows Authentication.

The initial modelling infrastructure was as illustrated below:



While this infrastructure was very successful, ATOC made a strategic decision to move all servers to the Cloud, thus allowing access via HTTP or HTTPS protocols from any location. After some trials, they decided upon using Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the cloud hosting platform.

ATOC contacted Dunstan Thomas Consulting to provide consultancy services to:

  1. Install and configure an AWS hosted MySQL repository suitable for use as an Enterprise Architect repository.
  2. Install and configure Sparx Cloud services to use HTTPS protocol for connection to this AWS hosted MySQL repository.
  3. Install and configure secure access to Enterprise Architect floating licenses also hosted on AWS cloud.
  4. Create a set of Groups and Users for the AWS hosted MySQL repository, ideally using Windows Authentication.
  5. Migrate the existing model repository from the ATOC hosted MySQL database to the AWS hosted MySQL repository.

This new infrastructure is illustrated below:

Challenge


In January 2016, Dunstan Thomas Consulting worked with ATOC to perform the installation, configuration and migration of their model repository.

ATOC had already created the necessary server images on AWS for the MySQL database and a Windows Virtual Machine for hosting the Sparx Cloud Services and floating licenses.

The challenges posed by this installation and configuration were:

  1. Creation of the database structure on MySQL.
  2. Configuring the Sparx Systems Web Services.
  3. Creation of a certificate for HTTPS protocol connections.
  4. Testing the connection.
  5. Allowing access to the AWS hosted Sparx Systems Web Services via specific TCP ports.
  6. Providing an alternative to Windows Authentication since the ATOC active directories cannot be migrated to AWS.
  7. Ensuring access to the AWS hosted floating licenses were protected from unauthorised access.
  8. Performing the migration of the existing ATOC model repository to the new AWS hosted model repository.

Why ATOC chose to use Enterprise Architect and Dunstan Thomas

“For many years here at ATOC we had been using a number of modelling tools. The office was comprised of a mish-mash of modelling tools raging from Microsoft Visio to Rational System Architect this often resulted in interoperability issues and a lack of standards across the enterprise. As the Lead Data Architect I was given the task of procuring a new modelling tool which was affordable and fit for purpose across the ATOC enterprise. After tediously trawling through a labyrinth of Modelling tools it was decided that Sparx’ Enterprise Architect (EA) was the best tool that would meet ATOC’s needs and after a further careful selection Dunstan Thomas was chosen to carry out the installation and customisation.

DT showed professionalism and very importantly grasped and understood ATOC’s business needs. DT have provided ATOC with both the skills and expertise to productively use and administer EA over the last year. It was therefore a given that when I was asked to move our entire EA infrastructure into the Cloud I selected DT for the job a decision that once again proved to be the right one. The entire EA infrastructure was successfully moved into the Cloud on time and on budget.”


Al-Rasheed Amzart
Enterprise Data Architect, ATOC

Solution


Creation of the database structure on MySQL

This was a simple matter of executing the SQL script as provided by Sparx Systems. Only a single user (with DBA privileges) needs to be created, since all access to the MySQL database is via the Sparx Systems Cloud Services.

Configuring the Sparx Systems Web Services

The installation of the Sparx Systems web services presented no issues. ATOC decided on using the default settings for the Cloud Services including the use of the default ports for Cloud Services administration, HTTP and HTTPS protocols.

Using the Cloud Services administration tool, DTC created an ODBC connection to the MySQL database.

Creation of a certificate for HTTPS protocol connections

This wasn’t complicated, as a batch file is provided by Sparx Systems for the creation of a Self-signed certificate using OpenSSL. This did require downloading an openssl config file which again presented no issues.

Testing the Connection

In order to test the connection to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository, it was necessary to create a minimal structure. DTC performed this task by using the Model Transfer functionality within Enterprise Architect to transfer a local repository consisting of just a single Model Root to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository. This was achieved without encountering any issues.

Once transferred a connection was made between Enterprise Architect and the AWS hosted MySQL model repository using both HTTP and HTTPS protocols. This worked perfectly.

Allowing access to the AWS hosted Sparx Systems Web Services via specif ic TCP ports

Since access via TCP ports is usually blocked by default by the Windows Firewall, DTC created the necessary inbound and outbound rules to allow traffic through the TCP ports for HTTP and HTTPS access as specified in the Cloud Services configuration file.

Providing an alternative to Windows Authentication since ATOC active directories cannot be migrated to AWS

Authentication on the ATOC hosted MySQL model repository was performed using Windows Authentication and active directory. However, this cannot be migrated to AWS, so another method of authenticating the connection to the AWS hosted MySQL had to be found.

There is only one viable option, namely that each user has their own user id and password. ATOC found this solution perfectly acceptable, and were able to create the necessary groups, users, passwords and permissions using skills learned during the first consultancy engagement with Dunstan Thomas Consulting.

Ensuring access to the AWS hosted f loating licenses were protected from unauthorised access

Initially the solution was to install the Sparx Licence keystore manager on the same Windows Virtual machine as the Sparx Systems cloud services.

This was performed without any issues, and included modifying the Keystore services configuration to request a password for access to the keystore. However upon testing it was discovered that the Enterprise Architect client was not able to connect to the Keystore Service running on the AWS hosted virtual machine.

Several attempts at finding a solution were tried:

  1. Creating inbound and outbound rules on the Windows firewall to allow access to the port required by the Keystore service.
  2. Configuring the AWS security group settings to allow access to this port.
  3. Removing the request for the password to access the keystore.

Unfortunately all attempts at finding a solution failed.

Dunstan Thomas Consulting then discovered that ATOC made use of Microsoft Cloud Based SharePoint functionality, and proposed a solution to host the Sparx Systems floating licences on the Microsoft Cloud Based SharePoint.

This was performed, tested and ATOC were delighted to see that this solution worked perfectly. Furthermore, since only their staff had access to the Microsoft Cloud Based SharePoint location, access to the Enterprise Architect floating licences was provided automatically without the need for a user to supply a password.

Performing the migration of the existing ATOC model repository to the new AWS hosted model repository

As the ATOC model repository is reasonably large, Dunstan Thomas Consulting proposed that only a single section be migrated to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository. This could then be tested and once agreed that all was working successfully, the remainder of the model repository could be transferred.

Initially, Dunstan Thomas Consulting performed this using the Model Transfer functionality within Enterprise Architect, and whilst successful, it took a very long time to complete.

Once transferred successfully, ATOC with the guidance of DTC created a Group, Privileges and Users on the AWS hosted MySQL model repository. Concurrent access to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository was then tested and this test was successful.

ATOC then undertook the transfer of the remaining sections of the model repository to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository themselves, and discovered that a more timely and reliable method of migration was to use export and import via XML files. ATOC then created the remaining Groups and Users.

This was achieved on time prior to the AWS hosted MySQL model repository going live.

Results


“ATOC’s main purpose for moving its EA infrastructure into the Cloud was twofold. Firstly floor space is at a premium and there was a need to decommission one of our primary in-house server rooms and all its contents in order to free up valuable space. And secondly a number of applications and file sharing resources have already been moved into the cloud. This move meant that key EA resources could be accessed directly over the internet and security would be provided by ATOC’s Active Directory and local client security would be provided within Enterprise Architect. Using AWS meant that we could scale our EA database in a more dynamic way.

Users have also found that when using EA across AWS it is much faster and more stable than previously. This ease of use has helped to increase and improve productivity and these improvements have all been realised within weeks of having EA installed within AWS.”


Al-Rasheed Amzart
Enterprise Data Architect, ATOC

Summary


With Dunstan Thomas Consulting’s help and experience ATOC migrated their existing model repository and floating licences to the cloud, on time and without any major issues.

At a Glance


  • ATOC took the strategic decision to move all servers to the cloud and required Dunstan Thomas Consulting to provide help and expertise to enable this to happen.
  • The Enterprise Architect model repository was hosted successfully using AWS and MySQL.
  • The Enterprise Architect cloud services was hosted successfully using AWS and a virtual machine running Windows server.
  • The Enterprise Architect floating licenses could not be hosted on AWS, but were hosted successfully using Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint.
  • The migration of the existing repository was successful, but very time consuming. The most reliable means of migration was using export and import using XML files.

You can download a copy of this case study here.

Published in Case Studies
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 23:53

Preparing for the Software Future

"Software is eating the world"

Marc Andreeson, Co-founder of Netscape

 

DigiziedWorld 300x300In those competitive business scenarios where most of the value is delivered by software, the value chains of established players are disrupted. The impact of this force will grow, with a voracious appetite for competition.

The software driven dynamic has been referred to as “unscaled” by Harvard Business Review and it makes incumbent industry players look listless.  Immediate instances are Uber who have left the taxi industry stalled in their wake and agile AirBnB who have stolen a march on the sleeping accommodation sector.

Unscaling is neither upscaling or downscaling, it is small becoming the new big and it occurs when the global audience of the inexpensive Internet becomes exploited and a wide choice of modular services is accessed. It is nimble and quick and it is an innovator nirvana.

 

Print Media

The newspaper and magazine industries have recently seen significant disruption as print circulation continues a global freefall, while the number of readers getting their news via smart phone or tablet rises rapidly. According to a report “US Smartphone Use in 2015”, published by the Pew Research  Center, 64% of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35% in the spring of 2011.  A majority of these use their phone to follow along with breaking news, and to share and be informed about happenings in their local community.

This disruption is patently evident in many different industries over recent years. The disruption is not simply the move away from traditional media, but reflects a change in reader empowerment.  Ordinary people now have the capability to be journalists and contribute to online conversations.  All of this is facilitated by software that simplifies publishing, video production and live updates as global events happen.

 

Manufacturing

Take one of the more recent developments in the manufacturing industry, that of 3D printers which are software controlled. This technology enables the rapid development and revision of products while bypassing costly traditional manufacturing processes.

However as the 3D printing revolution is gathers pace the technology is finding deployments in core manufacturing.

In 2013 a South African aircraft manufacturer Aerosud, an established supplier to major aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing, started building a 3D printer capable of manufacturing aircraft components an order of magnitude faster and close to fifty times larger than any previous printer capable of making metal parts.

 

DigiziedWorld autoAutomotive

The average high end modern car has 100 million lines of code, creating a lower-cost entry point for non-automotive companies with fresh approaches. The trend toward hybrid and electric vehicles such as the Tesla, which is completely computer controlled will only accelerate the software shift. Software runs engines, controls safety features, entertains passengers, guides drivers to destinations and connects each car to mobile, satellite and GPS networks. The automobile is shifting from mechanical to electrical and software controls. 

The degree of software control and complexity in cars and is growing and according to the Economist in January 2016, technology firms may be better placed than car makers to develop and profit from the software that will underpin both automated driving and vehicle-sharing.

Some of these firms may even manufacture cars of their own. Local Motors has produced the first of a range of road-ready, 3D printed vehicles. The Low Speed Electric Vehicles (LSEV) will debut in Q1 2016.  A highway-ready version will be released in late 2016.

 

Taxi Services

Uber is innovating at the intersection of lifestyle and logistics, connecting riders with safe, reliable, convenient transportation providers at a variety of price-points in cities around the world.  The company owns no cars and is disrupting the global taxi industry while focusing on new logistics sectors. Just before the recent consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, GM announced a $500m investment in Lyft, US based nationwide ride-sharing service. Lyft started in 2012 and is currently valued at US$2.5B

 

Retail

According to research from the Global Center for Digital Business Transformation (DBT Center), 47 percent of retail executives believe that disruption could put them out of business.  The combination of on-line, in-store, call center and mobile is creating a new retail customer experience called omnichannel that is managed to ensure that it is seamless, integrated and consistent across all channels.  The decision as to how service will be delivered is becoming the prerogative of the digitally empowered customer rather than that of the retailer.

 

DigiziedWorld aviationManaging the Crisis

While digital disruption of traditional business value chains is a fact, the disruption itself can be seen as a positive, not only because competition sparks innovation, but because it delivers greater value, particularly for the customer and those other actors who drive the success of the business, by consistently realising the resulting digital value.

 

Mission Critical

In a McKinsey article, on the perils of ignoring software development, the article includes a statement that “Despite the mission-critical nature of software, it gets surprisingly little attention in the C-suite.”  Further to this they add that as digital technologies continue reshaping markets, the keys to success for a growing number of companies are, embracing the rising strategic importance of software, and viewing software development as a crucial competitive battlefield.

In many instances it is not a single technology, but different technologies that merge which cause digital disruption in the value chain. Once again, change agility needs technology support.  These new process demands are growing in many business sectors and because successful transition to the maximum utilisation of strategic information technology is a priority for many organisations, enterprise-class BPM principles are being hard wired into operations. Tools such as Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect and standards including Business Process Modeling are essential. 


Innovative Technology

Approximately 2.3 million lines of code run the International Space Station and it is imperative that it continues to function as expected.  The development of software that is mission critical or essential to the survival of business today, necessitates the use of fit for purpose, industrial strength technology.

DigiziedWorld renewablesSparx Systems Enterprise Architect delivers revolutionary architecture to meet the challenges of the digital revolution, separating exploratory areas of the business, from those that are well established, while supporting collaborative agile development, based on the business direction, strategy and vision. It allows the organisation to revise existing enterprise architecture to support the ongoing process of business transformation.

 

Inherited Value

To accept risk and get comfortable with a pace of change that is very different from the current IT operational models, it is essential to leverage technologies that have been designed to mitigate risk and that are built to support industry best practice and standards for industry.

This agile enterprise architecture platform fosters innovation, by enabling continuous building and refactoring, to facilitate the emerging and vanguard technologies.  Simultaneously in a disruptive business environment where continuity is the highest priority, Enterprise Architect supports the consolidation of legacy capabilities.

 

Enterprise Architect

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is the popular, powerful and affordable visual modeling platform, capable of meeting the exacting demands of enterprise IT and Business. 

To manage change in a hyper changing world, organisational leaders are now selecting reliable, scalable solutions that have been extensively road tested, by many hundred of thousands of users. 

In a period of global industry disruption such as is currently being experienced, it is essential to choose the right, standards based platform with the lowest maintenance overhead, to meet the challenges of predictive change management, collaboration and  interoperability.

Published in Sparx Insights

Sparx Systems partner OMNILINK was awarded the Victorian Spatial Excellence Award (VSEA) for Export in September 2015.

OMNILINK has also been nominated for the Asia Pacific Spatial Excellence Award (APSEA) at Locate 16 during 12-14th of April at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

The AssetWhere™ product which allows organisations to visualise underground services, room and building details and key asset information in a map-based system, was recognised for improving the Management of Property Records in Schools in the UK.

 

vsea 2015  locate16  apsea

 

The Sparx Systems visual modeling platform, Enterprise Architect, the tool of choice for the global geospatial community was used to design and build the AssetWhere™ solution.

Published in News
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

Published in Sparx Insights
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.

Published in White Papers
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:

Published in News

Introduction

Straight out of the box, Sparx Enterpise Architect provides support for multiple modeling notations. Using a synergy of notations can result in a better description of business architecture. This article considers how ArchiMate, BPMN and UML can be combined into a model that is focused at a high-level of abstraction, whilst still allowing for some critical details to be explored.

Revealing layers of abstraction

As explained in Marc Lankhorst's book Enterprise Architecture at Work (third edition, p. 117), modeling notations provide a way to represent knowledge. The process of building, sharing and transforming the model can foster a new level of understanding amongst the participants. This refined knowledge is (at least) as valuable as the resulting model artifacts (the representation). Effective communication of that knowledge requires consideration for the target audience and an appropriate level of detail.

ArchiMate is good for:

  • People who have a job title like Enterprise Architect or Business Architect.
  • Presenting high-level and layered abstractions of the business itself, along with the software and technology that are used to support it.
  • Tracing and illustrating how the motivating strategy is realised by the business.
  • Planning the evolution and transformation of a business.
  • Supporting concepts that are similar to those found within TOGAF.

By design, the ArchiMate 2.1 specification does not (explicitly) provide for detailed:

  • Business process modeling
  • Data modeling

Meanwhile:

  • BPMN (Business Process Modeling and Notation) is focused on the detailed modeling of business processes; naturally enough, BPMN is increasingly used amongst the Business Analyst community.
  • UML Class diagrams may be used to detail data types, along with the relationships between data types; they are widely recognized amongst software developers, and a good alternative to using entity relationship diagrams for logical data modeling.

Coordinating multiple notations in a single model repository

UML is the native metamodel and notation of Sparx Enterprise Architect. Each additional notation (such as ArchiMate and BPMN) is provided as a MDG (Model-Driven Generator) technology within the tool. The UML specification provides for semantic extension of the UML through the mechanism of Profiles, Stereotypes and Tagged Values. Profiles are the heart of each MDG Technology, enhanced with Sparx tool specific details supporting new types of diagram notations and diagram toolboxes.

Using multiple notations within a single repository requires a disciplined approach in order maintain clarity. In brief, the best practice is to:

  • Restrict the elements of each notation to a separate root node.
  • Use the UML «Trace» dependency to provide an elegant way of relating elements belonging to different notations.

Add root node to your Sparx Enterprise Architect repository

You might not have realised that the File|New Project… menu option is something of a misnomer. Both EAP and FEAP files are actually self-contained model repositories, and can therefore contain multiple root nodes (just like a RDBMS hosted shared repository, whether accessed through an ODBC or Cloud connection). As a reminder, you can add a new root node into a repository by performing the following steps:

  1. If necessary, click View|Project Browser to open the Project Browser window.
  2. Right-click inside the blank (white) area of the Project Browser window and then click Add|Add Root Node….
  3. The Create New Model (root node) window is displayed. Type MyCorporation (ArchiMate) into the Model Name field.
  4. In a similar way, create root nodes for:
    • MyCorporation (BPMN)
    • MyCorporation (UML)

Create a «Trace» dependency between elements belonging to different notations

As stated in the Unified Modeling Language 2.5 specification (p246):

"Models can have Abstraction Dependencies between them: refinement (stereotyped by «Refine» from the Standard Profile) or mapping (for example stereotyped by «Trace» from the Standard Profile). These are typically represented in more detail by Dependencies between the elements contained in the Models. Relationships between elements in different Models generally have no direct impact on the contents of the Models because each Model is meant to be complete. However, they are useful for tracing refinements and for keeping track of cross-references between models."

ArchiMate for an architectural understanding

For example, an ArchiMate Business Process Viewpoint diagram for Purchase Item might look as follows:

 

business-process-viewpoint-purchase-items.jpg

This provides a high-level overview of a core business process, with enough detail to inform stakeholders and decision making at a whole-enterprise level of abstraction.

BPMN for detailing business processes

BPMN can be used to detail the ArchiMate Business Process concept, as follows:

 

bpmn-purchase-items.jpg

UML for detailing the data entites

UML Classes can be used to detail the ArchiMate Business Object concept, as follows:

 

logical-data-modeling.jpg

Usually, diagrams should only contain a single notation. In the examples above, multiple notations are deliberately used to visualise «Trace» dependencies between the ArchiMate, BPMN and UML elements.

How-to add «Trace» dependencies between elements model elements

Best practice for adding «Trace» dependencies using a diagram is to:

  1. Temporarily add the required elements of the foreign notation to a diagram.
  2. Draw the «Trace» depencies between elements.
  3. Remove the foreign notation elements from the diagrams, whilst retaining the traceablity links within the model repository. (So, delete the foreign elements from the diagram, but NOT the repository).

Alternatively, you could use the Relationship Matrix functionality of Sparx Enterprise Architect (click Tools|Relationship Matrix to get started).

Summary

The UML specified «Trace» dependency (relationship) is an elegant way of tracing between different modeling notations. Sparx Enterprise Architect provides a wide coverage of modeling notations, by leveraging the UML Profiles mechanism, and enhancing it with MDG technologies. In practice, this enables a synergy of the ArchiMate, BPMN and UML notations. Models can be constructed as layered abstractions, moving from one notation to another to suit the level of detail required by the user and intended audience.

Published in Tutorials
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.

Published in News
Thursday, 17 December 2015 01:11

Enterprise Architect Rated #1 by IT Central Station

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Published in News

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

cio review productivity tools logo nov 2015 sparx systems

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Published in News
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