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Nizam Mohamed

Nizam Mohamed

13+ Years with Sparx EA - Training, Consultation, Customization and Support. Offered Training and Consultation for Sparx EA clients across the world.

Key Skills - Sparx EA - Metamodel definition, Deployment, MDG Development, Addin Development, Advanced Documentation Templates, Model Harvesting.

Complimentary Skills
Business Development, Data Warehousing, UML, SysML, BPMN, Enterprise Architecture, Solution Architect, TOGAF, ArchiMate, SDLC management.

Thursday, 05 September 2019 21:17

Enterprise Architecture using Prolaborate

Sign up for the upcoming Sparx Sytems webinar!

Enterprise Architecture using Prolaborate

A Case study driven illustration of Enterprise Architecture Capabilities in Prolaborate

The CEO of a leading utility firm intends to leverage an EA tool, to help them with the planning and decision-making required for his digital transformation strategy.

The organization identified three use cases as its primary needs for an EA tool, this article will give an high level overview of how Prolaborate helps them realize the use cases.

Use Case 1 – Smarter Decision Making

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect tool is populated by architects, analysts and other users across the organization. The information represents the length and breadth of the architecture landscape using industry standards as TOGAF or ArchiMate or Zachman framework.

However for maximizing the real value of Architecture practice is possible only when the broader organization) can use the information collaboratively on a regular basis for analysis and decision support that real value is realized.

Value Capabilities Application Treemap

L1 Capabilities Bubble Chart

 

Project Roadmap 1

Use Case 2 –innovation Through Collaboration

Ability to innovate is key for successful digital transformation. To enable innovation the teams must evaluate the current state and emerging technologies.  Prolaborate enables innovation with a structured yet flexible and iterative collaboration and review capability.

Prolaborate enables a state-of-art platform to enable seamless collaboration between the Architecture team, strategy team, innovation team, product team, and infrastructure team.

Collaboration

 

Use Case 3 – Application Portfolio Management

The CEO was also recommended that there are several duplications of IT assets as a result of several mergers and acquisitions.  To enable a lean, agile organization, the CEO has set his priority to clean up duplicate IT assets.

Prolaborate lets architects create views that will allow the organization to gain the ability to make more conscious investment choices for application landscape to reduce complexity. The Prolaborate views would allow applications with overlapping functionalities to be visible, outdated applications identified, strategic importance assessed, to foster teams to manage applications seamlessly.

Application By Lifecycle

 

Applicatoin By Vendor

Explore the incredible advancements in Enterprise Architecture views in Prolaborate, visualize an organizations IT landscape from Strategy to Implementation. Check out the New and improved capabilities of Prolaborate to perform Value chain analysis, Capability alignment, Application Portfolio Management, Process Optimization to facilitate rapid decisions, quickly.

In this webinar, we'll show you how to:

  • Effective Enterprise Architecture using Prolaborate – creating views ranging from Vision and Objectives tracking down to Applications and Servers.
  • Learn new utilities to simplify analysis – Relationship Matrix, Spreadsheet interface, Landscape Diagrams.
  • Enhanced Charts and Reporting - Heatmaps, Treemaps, Burst charts, Bubble charts etc to efficiently leverage Architecture Data.

For more information and registration please visit https://sparxsystems.com/resources/webinar/sparxservices/prolaborate1909/index.html/index.html

Or Click Register Now. To know more about Prolaborate or request a demo please visit https://prolaborate.sparxsystems.com 

Images Assets and Custom Diagrams in EA 15

Using images to add relevance to any architecture diagram is a very common practice. Enterprise Architect has always supported modellers to set ‘Alternate Image’ or ‘Default Image’ for elements to create such diagrams.  However the users have always sought for an ability to manage a set of image assets in a catalogue and reuse it across multiple diagrams.

The New approach in EA 15 to manage and reuse images in diagrams is a significant enhancement. The ‘Image Asset’ element lets users create a model item to store an image. These items can then be used to apply overlays on other model elements.

Image Assets

The Image Asset images can be used as alternative images in place of the standard UML notation for elements on diagrams. They can also be used in documentation by inserting hyperlinks to the Image Asset element. When a report is generated, the hyperlinked Image Asset element is rendered using its 'owned image'

To create an image asset, Select the 'Artifacts' section in toolbox | select 'Image Asset' | click on the diagram, or Drag an 'Image Asset' Artifact from the toolbox onto a diagram.

 

Image Asset Diagram

Figure 1 Image Assets Catalogue

 

Custom Diagram

The new ‘Custom Diagram’ option in EA 15 allows users to create a highly customizable, graphic-rich diagram that is on-par with any modern drawing tools.  Custom Diagram enables the most options to use the Image Assets.

Using Image Assets

The Image Assets from the repository can be used to perform the following actions

  • Set as Icon – As an icon of an Existing Element
  • Set as Alternate Image – As an alternate Image on an existing element
  • Add as element with Icon
  • Add as element with Image
  • Add as link

Image Asset Options

Figure 2 Options to Use Image Assets

Set As Icon

Use Image Asset to  set it as an icon for an existing element or a new element (This is my favourite!).  In the previous versions, users must rely on shapescripts to achieve such visualization.

Image asset Set As Icon

Figure 3 Set Image as Icon

Set as Alternate Image

You can also use the Image Asset to set it as an alternate image for an existing element or create a new element with the image as alternate image.

Image asset Set As Alternate Image

Figure 4 Set Image as Alternate Image

Updating Image Asset

There are two key benefits in using the ‘Image Assets’

  1. Ability to drag and drop from project browser to apply image as an icon or alternate image
  2. Ability to update the image asset and also cascade the change across all diagrams where the image asset is used

You can ascertain the impact of modifying a Image Asset by using ‘Find In All Diagrams’ (Element Usage, similar to any other element usage)

Image Asset Usage

Figure 5 Image Asset – Usage

Summary

Using the new enhanced ‘Custom Diagram’ and ‘Image Asset’ of EA 15, I’ve created a deployment diagram (below) which was in-par with a graphic rich diagram created using any drawing tool, at the same time retaining the benefits of a modelling repository.

Prolaborate Architecture Diagram

Figure 6 Prolaborate Architecture Diagram created using EA 15 Image Assets

Knowledge management systems such as Confluence, SharePoint, etc. have revolutionized ways to share documents. Digital documents that allow live and breathing documents to be regularly updated and maintained by everyone in the team significantly reduces the overheads in maintaining a document repository.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect and Prolaborate let users visualize the entire architecture landscape of organizations and also allows wider stakeholders to collaborate and socialize on these architectural artifacts.

However, these two enterprise value-add tools should be seamlessly integrated to maximize productivity and foster digitalization. These tools share many synergies and when used in conjunction with each other would greatly improve the quality of information available in the Knowledge management systems.

Conventional practices involve architects copying a static image of the diagrams from Enterprise Architect models and manually creating tables with information from the models. This practice defeats the purpose of digital systems and draws us back to the age of the static document, where most of the information is dead and stale.

The new tools and capabilities from Prolaborate (https://prolaborate.sparxsystems.com), now let model sharing to be smooth and real-time, enabling users to publish models, reports, diagrams and artifact details live into Confluence and SharePoint pages, which greatly reduces the need for manual copy-paste activities.

Confluence Prolaborate Page

Such a live integration between a modeling environment and the knowledge management systems greatly helps in teams to stay updated with the latest information.

Prolaborate Confluence macro

This would greatly minimize the time wasted in verifying the information available in documents and allows better, reliable project decisions to be driven from digital documents or wiki pages available in Confluence or SharePoint. 

The video below gives a detailed view of how integrating key Enterprise Tools is enabled using Prolaborate,

Prolaborate-Jira-Confluence

For any further queries or a demo of how this integration could be made possible using Sparx Systems Prolaborate, please visit https://prolaborate.sparxsystems.com or write to //This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Enterprise Architect supports comprehensive architecture modelling through its extensive support for standards and ability to allow extending such standards to suit organization specific needs.  Enterprise Architect can be used to create a holistic view of the organization with all granular details across the Business , Application , Information and Technology Layers captured in a single source of truth. The details are stored as Attributes associated to indvidiual artifacts, which can be used for slicing and dicing and further due diligence.

Application Portfolio Management includes several tasks which require careful analysis of Enterprise Architect model information. Dynamic, intuitive reports and charts provided by Sparx Systems Prolaborate can present the model information in Sparx System Enterprise Architect in a visual way to make users aware of current or upcoming architecture and specifications. This allows teams to take the right decisions driven by accurate model information.

The Architecture dashboards by Prolaborate leverage the information in Enterprise Architect Models. These dashboards allow Enterprise Architect modellers to address key reporting requirements such as application lifecycle management, portfolio management, cost management, health management and much more. Dashboards for these use cases can be created for different organizational units and consumers using Prolaborate Dashboard designer. This Article shows some commonly used dashboards for Application Portfolio Management

Application Health

The dashboard for application health check showcases the health indicator information for all applications (Systems). This is considered as one of the most informative views to understand the IT landscape. The clickable charts and reports allow users to understand the details if required.

Applications by Lifecycle

The dashboard for Applications by Lifecycle shows a holistic view of the Status of Applications in the IT landscape. This view allows users to be informed in the budgeting, forecasting, and new integration designs. The intuitive report allows searching Applications by Name or status and identifying its status. Users could also delve into the details to understand additional details of the systems including its IT and Business Units, Health Indicators, etc.

Application Ownership and Support

This multi-factor dashboard reports on applications, by its ownership (IT and Business) and Vendor (Support). The graph allows users to enable or disable a supporting vendor and see the result set or slice and dice based on Business unit or IT unit and understand the supporting vendor. These types of consolidated reports greatly simplify the due diligence activities and provide significant business insights.

Application Security Classification

The security dashboard for applications provides users with an overview of Security classification of applications categorized by its lifecycle. This chart gives users and governing authorities a clear view of applications that need attention and further IT Spend.

These dashboards present data in Enterprise Architect  models in a conceivable and comprehensible way that allows you to evaluate the application landscape seamlessly. This was a quick look at the Reporting and charting utilities in Prolaborate that allows performing Application Portfolio Management using Enterprise Architect models.

The video shows all these dashboards in action.

The Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server offers a powerful gateway for third party tools to integrate with Enterprise Architect models. Pro Cloud Server allows users to Explore, query, retrieve and update information from Enterprise Architect using powerful OSLC interface.  Prolaborate, powered by Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server, is a sharing and collaboration software for Sparx Enterprise Architect, that makes model sharing simple, efficient and collaborative. Prolaborate is an agile way to foster model based collaboration across the enterprise. It lets modellers engage wider business community with customized landing pages, simplified forms, structured reviews, instant notifications, advanced visualizations and much more.

Visit www.prolaborate.sparxsystems.com or Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any questions or would like to look at some worked out examples in Enterprise Architect to enable such Architecture capabilities.

The Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server offers a powerful gateway for third party tools to integrate with Enterprise Architect models.

Pro Cloud Server allows users to Explore, query, retrieve and update information from Enterprise Architect using powerful OSLC interface. 

Prolaborate, powered by Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server, is a sharing and collaboration software for Sparx Enterprise Architect, that makes model sharing simple, efficient and collaborative. Prolaborate is an agile way to foster model based collaboration across the enterprise. It lets modellers engage wider business community with customized landing pages, simplified forms, structured reviews, instant notifications, advanced visualizations and much more.

Prolaborate InfoGraphic

Prolaborate - HIGHLIGHTS

  • View models from anywhere, anytime - web browsers and tablets
  • Simple, contemporary interface.
  • No installation overheads
  • Connects to EA models directly
  • Minimize the need to transfer contents between models
  • Greatly minimizes XML Model export efforts
  • User Experience driven portal with advanced visualizations and dashboards
  • Superior Impact analysis graphs based on EA data
  • Custom user specific dashboards for personalized experience.
  • Ability to share selective parts of Enterprise Architect Model to intended end users
  • Show end-users exactly what they’ll be interested in,
  • Minimize the need to transfer contents between models
  • Integrate with Knowledge management systems (SharePoint, Confluence, etc.,)
  • Embed live, interactive EA diagrams in portals
  • Always view the current information when it matters
  • Advanced model governance with granular access control capabilities
  • Control visibility of packages and artifacts to different business groups.
  • Attribute level read/write control
  • Custom forms and views to cater to different users
  • Choose the right mix of artifacts and attributes to design user specific forms
  • Minimize information overload by removing unused or advanced tagged values.
  • Get Notified instantly on model updates and comments
  • Email and in-app notifications to keep you updated
  • Explore happening items from the comprehensive personalized feeds

You can take a quick look at how Prolaborate works by clicking the links below.

  • See how a diagram is viewed as a Guest. Click here
  • See how a team member gets to see a selected part of the model. Click here 
  • Check out the landing page – a completely tailored Dashboard. Click here 
  • You can also display a thumbnail view of diagrams for a user to start with. Click here 
  • Take an obligation free 30 day trial https://prolaborate.com/try-instant-trial . For more information or a personalized demo, please visit www.prolaborate.com or write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server offers a powerful gateway for third party tools to integrate with Enterprise Architect models.

Pro Cloud Server allows users to Explore, query, retrieve and update information from Enterprise Architect using powerful OSLC interface. Use the extensive RESTful API to exchange information between your model repository and other systems. 

Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server (PCS) offers a gateway to Enterprise Architect models. This offers a significant advantage in the tooling space. As modern teams evolve to be more agile and robust, there is an increasing need for various tools to seamlessly exchange information. The conventional way to extend the COM API of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect was perceived as an overhead in integrations with web-based tools such as JIRA, Jama, VSTS, ServiceNow, etc. The Pro Cloud Server RESTful API is a perfect answer to this problem.

Sparx Systems strengths lies in its strong partner ecosystem, which works closely with clients across the globe offering training, consulting services, and also develops niche products that solve critical business needs. The Pro Cloud Server API now opens up the channel for such partners to leverage this API to develop web based applications that extends Enterprise Architect capabilities or develop web based integrations to other tools.

The next section discusses the two web based platforms that leverages the capabilities of Sparx Pro Cloud Server to offer web based interface to users.

  1. WebEA – WebEA provides a real-time view of content contained in an Enterprise Architect repository to be shared with EA modellers with a smart phone, tablet or computer simply using a web-browser.
  2. Prolaborate - Prolaborate provides an agile way to foster model based collaboration and lets modellers engage the wider business community. It offers the tools to share simplified view of model information and let teams work together to produce models that are accurate and up-to-date. 

Please refer to WebEA , Prolaborate – Analysis article to get an overview of the web solutions that explores the gateway to offer web platforms for Enterprise Architect.

5 reasons why web based sharing and collaboration is imperative for modeling teams.

Enterprise Architect offers a wide spectrum of modeling solutions that lets users capture all
facets of an IT landscape. The models are rich, comprehensive and greatly helps in articulating key
answers to business queries. This article shows 5 key reasons why web based sharing and
collaboration maximizes the value of these models.

Acceptance from the business community - Models in Enterprise Architect convey pivotal information
to business users. Sharing a selected view of the model with focused information lets business users
conveniently view the live information. This maximizes acceptance of models as the key source
for due diligence. See how a business user can view models by clicking a link
View Live Diagram

Minimize Learning Curve - Viewing simplified views of models over web browsers and iPads greatly
reduces the learning curve in getting accustomed to a new modeling tool. The business users gets to
see what is relevant for them. Simple, modern web interfaces allows quick understanding and
fosters engagement significantly. A targeted set of diagrams can be shown in a
Thumbnail View a
customized
User Dashboards to let the business users quickly navigate their way around.

Simple and Focused - Models are comprehensive, which also makes it overloaded with information.
Simplifying an end users view is highly imperative to convey the right details. Prolaborate, is a web
sharing software for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, allowing the creation of simplified portals for users.

This can be used to define highly curated views on any part of the model. See how a process diagram and its details are
simplified
Process Diagram

Instant Feedback and Updates - Enterprise Architect diagrams are created to answer key user queries or demands.
Such finished diagrams are usually printed in Word documents and the review comments are
gathered in Excel. A live sharing platform like Prolaborate lets modelers and end-users to view live
Enterprise Architect diagrams, share Feedback on live diagrams, and also get the changes updated instantly. This
greatly reduces the turnaround time and improves agility.
Participate in Review


Keep them Notified - Another significant challenge in keeping the users notified of new discussions,
model changes, review comments, approvals, rejections etc is also addressed by the web sharing
solutions. Social media like discussion portals, instant notifications, email notifications, daily
summary and much more lets users to be always informed of key events from the team.
Learn more
on Notifications


Prolaborate, powered by Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server, is a sharing and collaboration software for Enterprise Architect that allows these models to be conveniently shared to non-modeling community.

To know more on how you can enable collaborative modeling please visit www.prolaborate.com or
write to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.