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Dr. Konrad Wieland

Dr. Konrad Wieland

Dr. Konrad Wieland

LieberLieber Software GmbH (Consultant)
 
Dr. Konrad Wieland is an expert in modeling and model-based software development in the most diverse domains. Even during his dissertation at the Vienna University of Technology, he published a host of articles on team-based modeling and software configuration management. Since 2012, as Consultant and Product Manager at LieberLieber he has continued to expand his expertise in these and other areas in and around Enterprise Architect.

LieberLieber Software: Volkswagen accelerates with Enterprise Architect

Volkswagen relies on Enterprise Architect along with bespoke LieberLieber modeling assistants to clearly and precisely communicate its requirements on infotainment software and systems development to its suppliers, and can now move ahead with plans to develop its own in-house infotainment software in the future.

Vienna/Wolfsburg  –  Based in Wolfsburg, Germany, the Volkswagen Group (VW) is the world’s second-largest automobile manufacturer and Europe’s leading manufacturing company overall. Its “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025” program constitutes the biggest change process VW has ever initiated in its entire history. The overall vision is to become one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable mobility. A key area here is digitisation, which is being intensified in all brands, areas and functions. Since software is a core element of every digitization, the new strategy brings considerable changes, especially in software development. Hermann Gollwitzer, system architect for infotainment systems at VW in the EEMF/3 subdivision: “Our customers are accustomed to high standards when it comes to the electronics systems they experience when outside of their cars, and we naturally also want to meet these expectations within the car. However, as requirements and functions increase in complexity, we must also exploit new methods such as model-based development. With LieberLieber we have found an ideal partner who delivers solutions that are precisely adapted to our needs.”

Since recent history had already seen the introduction in the enterprise architecture department of Enterprise Architect by Sparx Systems for model-based development, it was easy to expand the use of the modeling platform with extensions created by LieberLieber. Daniel Siegl, CEO at LieberLieber: “We are pleased to be able to support VW in implementing Strategy 2025 with tailor-made extensions for Enterprise Architect. As efficient software and systems development is also becoming strategically more and more important for companies such as VW, we are doing everything we can to expand our role in further establishing their model-based development approach.”

Clear communication with suppliers
As part of Strategy 2025 it was also noted that, as the number of digital and software-based components in vehicles increases, customer satisfaction with these components is also becoming increasingly important. While VW intends to become one of the best companies in the world when it comes to user experience, since an almost countless number of suppliers actually work on a car, it is first necessary to optimize the communication with them and be able to clearly convey to them the requirements on new systems under development. A complex function such as voice control is distributed across the entire system and should operate without error at all times. Therefore, every supplier must know very precisely how the system should ultimately function. Previously, these requirements were only depicted in graphical form, but this is no longer sufficient. “We work with a wide variety of suppliers, all of which must receive our requirements in a homogenous and easily understandable form. This is the only way we can ensure that the often very complex functions always create an optimal user experience. This can no longer be guaranteed with traditional methods, but only by way of model-based development,” says Gollwitzer.

Increased use of Enterprise Architect
Enterprise Architect from Sparx Systems has been in implementation at VW for some time, but until now has not seen widespread use. “Enterprise Architect is a powerful tool for model-based software and systems engineering, but due to its complex range of functionality it has been applied only in limited scope. We were therefore very happy to have gotten to know LieberLieber about one and a half years ago, a seasoned expert able to adapt the tool for our purposes with specific modeling assistants,” says Gollwitzer. The structure of the models to be developed was defined in joint meetings. To help developers comply with this structure, LieberLieber developed two “digital modeling assistants” (extensions for Enterprise Architect) and a tool for importing data formats such as JSON (data format for data exchange between applications) into Enterprise Architect.

On the one hand, the two LieberLieber modeling assistants support the developers in the area of technical architecture, and on the other hand when it comes to the functions. Within the department, so-called “functional owners” are always defined for the functions to be developed, who must transmit the corresponding requirements to the suppliers as precisely as possible. “Thanks to the LieberLieber modeling assistants, the necessary steps in Enterprise Architect are clearly mapped out and supported automatically. This means that the tool and the method are now finding much more acceptance,” says Gollwitzer.

Sequence diagrams provide suppliers with clear guidelines
While the purely graphical requirements define the basic structures, the suppliers are also given so-called sequence diagrams that define functional behavior. These describe the desired function in clear detail so that there are no misunderstandings. The Sequence Editor developed by LieberLieber supports the developers in creating and editing sequence diagrams automatically by means of a suggestion list. It also reports input errors interactively and displays the changes in the code in a separate window. “The digital modeling assistants very specifically limit the great possibilities of Enterprise Architect while accelerating error detection and data exchange. This makes the step into the new technology of model-based development much easier for us.  On this basis, it seems quite feasible for us to create more software in-house,” emphasizes Gollwitzer. As a systems architect he is well aware that the biggest hurdle in dealing with a new methodology is its acceptance in order to achieve the desired model structure. For this reason, the corresponding introductory steps can only be implemented slowly in day-to-day production. However, once successful, hundreds of developers could realize maximum benefit from the new approach.

The LieberLieber Sequence Editor – A brief introduction
The Sequence Editor is an extension created by LieberLieber for use with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. It is used to create and edit sequence diagrams in text form, which clearly describe the requirements for the system to be developed to the supplier.

The advantages of the Sequence Editor:

  • The correct syntax entry is supported by an automatic proposal list
  • Errors during input are reported interactively
  • The diagram window automatically shows the changes in the code

The operational steps are explained as follows:

Step 1 – Define Package scope
The package scope defines the packages used by the editor to search for lifeline classifiers. All instantiable elements (actors, classes, components, etc.) within the defined scope are offered in the next step for the creation of lifelines.
The automatic completion lists all possible packages. Entering additional characters restricts the proposal list. The corresponding list entry is transferred by tab key or mouse click.

https://www.lieberlieber.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Packagescope-definieren.jpg

Step 2 – Create lifelines
As long as an input line is not syntactically correct, it is marked red. The diagram is updated after entering each correct line of code.

https://www.lieberlieber.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Lifelines-anlegen.png

Step 3 – Create messages
The possible messages between the lifelines are offered in the proposal list.

https://www.lieberlieber.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Messages-anlegen.png

With the help of the LieberLieber Sequence Editor a sequence diagram is generated. In addition to lifelines, actors and sequence messages, sequence response messages are also generated that additionally describe a return message with an HTTP response code.

https://www.lieberlieber.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Login-268x300.png

Finally, the diagram elements can be placed as desired.
Only sequence diagrams are offered in the selection list. It allows switching between the sequence diagrams of the model.

https://www.lieberlieber.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Grafik.png


 About VW
The VW Group comprises twelve brands from seven European countries: Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Audi, SEAT, ŠKODA, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Ducati, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, Scania and MAN. The Volkswagen Group also offers a broad spectrum of financial services. These include dealer and customer financing, leasing, banking and insurance business and fleet management. With its program “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025”, the Volkswagen Group has cleared the way for the biggest change process in its history: the realignment of one of the best automotive companies into one of the world’s leading providers of sustainable mobility. To this end, the Group will transform its automotive core business, including the introduction of more than 30 additional all-electric models by 2025 along with the expansion of battery technology and autonomous driving as new core competencies.


 About LieberLieber Software

We are a software engineering company. The know-how of our employees lies in model-based software and system design based on tools such as Enterprise Architect from Sparx Systems.

Our customers are companies that place particular importance on the quality of their software and systems development. They wish to maintain a constant overview of their complex development scenarios while ensuring that security-relevant requirements are clearly represented in models.
For this task we provide our own special tools, such as LemonTree and Embedded Engineer. In addition, we offer a range of useful tool integration services to help make our customers' development processes more productive.

http://www.lieberlieber.com

The rapidly-growing automotive supplier Preh Car Connect GmbH is re-establishing its software development on the Product Family Engineering methodology. Preh engineers, already longtime Enterprise Architect users, were recently introduced to LemonTree from LieberLieber. The new concept was unveiled in a joint presentation and is nothing short of ambitious.

Vienna/Dresden – Product Family Engineering (PFE) helps companies more easily reuse or issue new versions of software they have already created. The resulting variants differ in their functional scope, but the basic components of the software are used again and again. Computer scientist Tim Michaelis, software architect at Preh Car Connect: “As our company continues to see strong growth and the implementation of numerous series projects, we can effectively use components of our own software again and again. So far, however, this has only been possible through the laborious manual copying of software architecture models. Together with LieberLieber, we are now working on a project that will automate such processes. LemonTree is an important building block for us in order to be able to implement these development steps faster and more easily.” At Preh Car Connect, a total of approx. 1,200 employees work at eight locations worldwide. The headquarters and central development site of the company is located in Dresden. For more than 20 years, the company has been developing and producing high-quality infotainment systems for well-known OEMs such as the Volkswagen Group.

Presentation at TdSE 2017
LieberLieber CTO Roman Bretz and Tim Michaelis presented the new concept at the “Tag des Systems Engineering 2017” conference (TdSE 2017, engl.: “Systems Engineering Day 2017”), held from November 8-10 in Paderborn, Germany. The presentation, entitled “Model Versioning in Product Family Engineering with Enterprise Architect and LemonTree,” highlighted how cost and innovation pressures are the key drivers for the changeover to a PFE approach. Roman Bretz: “At the TdSE 2017 conference we introduced our concept for distributed work on various model versions while always keeping the ’basis software platform’ consistent. The main idea behind it is the application of already-existing approaches that are well established in the area of source code configuration management.” The growing necessity to tighten development cycles requires close cooperation of all customer project and platform development stakeholders. The situation wherein complex products made up of many components are managed by special teams that previously worked on a common model has brought forth completely new challenges at the model level. To establish the so-called “basis software”, which forms the core of the individual product lines, as an independent platform and to adapt and expand it into in individual customer projects is not possible within the standard functionality of today’s modeling tools.

Grafik 2

Taking steps toward Product Family Engineering
A study published in 2017 by the German management consultancy Unity AG (see box) describes various stages of expansion in PFE. Although there is a clear move away from integration to anticipation in software engineering, in a practical sense this reorientation is still in its infancy. Michaelis: “PFE represents a big change to us in the company, to which the support provided by tools such as LemonTree is important. It helps us to more precisely track changes in the project models.” The introduction of this new method places Preh squarely among the pioneers in the automotive industry, achieved with the help of LieberLieber experts. Bretz: “We are proud to bring our know-how into this project. It’s a perfect fit with our company philosophy, which is to apply only state-of-the-art methods in practical model-based software and systems engineering scenarios.” As verified by the aforementioned study (p. 22), in this field there is certainly still enough to do: “In digital transformation, model-based systems engineering is the basis for mastering the complexity of vehicle development. The model-based approach promotes standardization. Distributed development, variant management and cross-domain mechatronic development processes are becoming more effective and efficient.”

Study: Automotive industry in transition
In its study entitled “The Digitization of Product Creation – The Automotive Industry in Transition,” Unity AG sheds light on the digitization of product development in the automotive industry: “To summarize, all these challenges point to two aspects: complex, networked contexts and high rates of change. Both will not be manageable with current development methods. Instead, it is important to establish new and consistent model-based processes on a cross-disciplinary system engineering foundation.” (p. 12). In regards to model-based PFE, the article states: “Model-Based Product Family Engineering promises to escape this dilemma. Overriding goals are the control of the variance and the shortening of the time to market. At the same time, improvements in individual components are to be reflected in many different products… In addition, the model-based approach ensures both the consistency of development work and the singularity of the development effort.” (p. 23)

Schulze, S.-O./ Steffen, D./ Wibbing, P./ Wigger, T.: OPPORTUNITY: Die Digitalisierung der Produktentstehung – Die Automobilindustrie im Umbruch, UNITY, 2017

Grafik 1

More: https://www.lieberlieber.com/

 

    

Hello fellow Enterprise Architect user!

 

we are very happy that the new release of EA's diff & merge extension LemonTree (c) by LieberLieber is available.

You can request the new version 1.3: http://lemontree.lieberlieber.com

Benefit of all features of your version control system by checking in EAP files! But do you already know that LemonTree can also diff DBMS such as SQL Server, Oracle, MySQl, etc.?


 

 

************* Release notes *************

We regularly provide updates like this to improve LemonTree.

Especially this release 1.3 brings improvements in speed and stability.

In addition, we have implemented the following improvements:

-          Dependencies of changes: When the user is manually changing the merge result, heavy dependencies of changes are now considered.

-          The order of swim lanes are now correct after merge.

-          SVN integration is now more robust: The SVN hooks are not used anymore

-          Git Integration: Bug fixed when writing model

-          Problems with ports and their types (classifier + redefined port) are solved.

-          Better logging

-          Additional UI fixes

 

 

Monday, 06 March 2017 08:12

Fresh News: Enterprise Architect and Git

It started off over 24+ months ago... there was a product we were building that created a solution to a problem called LemonTree (c).


Now if you haven't heard of it, it's a tool to help alleviate a common challenge that many EA modelers face: Branching and merging Enterprise Architect projects (models).


Fast forward
18 months later, after huge success of LemonTree, we started to recognize the next challenge, support of other popular version-control systems - more particularly Git.

And that's when LemonTree with Git integration was born.


Today, we are EXCITED to announce
theofficial major release of LemonTree with Git support to the public.

You cansee it in action, how it works here!


Here's LemonTree at a glance:

  • Uses fine-grained 3-way diffing algorithm.
  • Enables the development of multiple parallel branches of models to target and merge individual models.
  • Acts like an external diff/merge program (EA independent).
  • Seamlessly integrated into TortoiseSVN and Git.
  • Shares the benefits of Version Control repository.
  • And much more..

Go check our latest release v1.2: LemonTree here..

We have often to do with EA models we’ve never seen before. In such cases, you have either to click through the project tree (can be confusing and time-robbing) or you use some pre-defined Model Views.

The picture bellow shows how it could look like on your machine when you’ve read the article to the end.

Model Views - Diagrams

The feature could be very helpful also in other situations and we wonder why it’s used so rarely. Using Model Views you can create access points to any elements you want independently from its position in the project browser. It can be compared with database views if you are familiar with databases.

The only thing which is a bit annoying while creating a view, you have to create a model search first. If you use the Query Builder, the created search can be used as a basis for a view without any problems. In case the functionality of the Query Builder is insufficient and you need to create an SQL query, it has to fulfill some criteria. Within your query, you need to define three fields: CLASSGUID, CLASSTABLE and CLASSTYPE, as shown in the following example:

SELECT ea_guid AS CLASSGUID, 't_diagram' as CLASSTABLE, Diagram_Type AS CLASSTYPE, Name, [Version], Author, Stereotype, CreatedDate, Diagram_Type, ModifiedDate
FROM t_diagram
WHERE t_diagram.Diagram_Type = 'Statechart'
ORDER BY ModifiedDate ASC

Diagram Views help a lot to explore unknown projects. Thus, we have created views for all common diagram types.

Feel free to download and to use them: Searches and Views

First step – open Model Search / Find in Project dialog and import the xml file that contains the definition of searches:


Model Views - Import Searches

 

Second step – activate Model Views window and import the xml file that contains the definition of views:


Model Views - Import Views

Enjoy!

Thursday, 03 November 2016 14:18

New SysML Book for Enterprise Architect Users

We are very proud to announce that Dr. Oliver Alt from LieberLieber has finished a much enhanced version of his previously german SysML book in english.

“Practical Model-based Systems Engineering with SysML – Handbook”

image

 Highlights:

- Model-based Systems Engineering with SysML and the Control Chain approach
- All in-practice-relevant topics for Model-based Systems Engineering are covered in this book
- Learn about SysML and the related state-of-the-art technologies and how to use them with Enterprise Architect

This book is your key to learning all of the relevant things you need to know about the practical use of Systems Modeling Language (SysML) and Systems Engineering for mechatronic systems.
It introduces you to the Control Chain approach for describing hardware/software systems on a logical level.
With this methodology you can describe hardware and software components as a comprehensive functional assembly.
This book is also your introduction to Systems Engineering and SysML as a pragmatic approach.
Only relevant modeling language elements used in everyday practice are covered to keep it as simple as possible, and to reduce learning effort.
In spite of this, you are provided with enough background information for your daily work in Systems Engineering for designing simple or even very complex systems.

New state-of-the-art topics have been added, such as data integration with ReqIF, system data linking using OSLC-technology, Industry 4.0 and Big Data in Systems Engineering.

You can buy get your copy on Amazon (click this)!

Or buy it here via share-it (click this)!

 

Software and Systems Engineering, as any other interdisciplinary activity, requires the ability and means to build systems which are so large and complex that they have to be built by teams or even by teams of teams of engineers. In combination with a model-based approach, these teams need the possibility for modeling in a concurrent way. With other words, multiple users must be able to work on the same model in parallel or even on multiple versions of the same system. In code-centric software engineering, developers profit for years from the features provided by Version Control Systems (VCS), whereby one of the most important features is the possibility of comparing and merging changes of the same file. The key technique hereby is the so called three-way difference analysis which is also considering the common ancestor version of the artefact under comparison. Traditional approaches uses text- and line-based comparison tools, which are not suitable for graphical-based models.

In general, two different versioning strategies exist to cope with the concurrent evolution of one artifact. These are described in the following:

 

When pessimistic versioning is applied like it is implemented in EA, an artifact is locked while it is changed by one developer. Since other developers cannot perform any changes while the artifact is locked, conflicts are completely avoided with this strategy. However, the drawbacks are possible idle times for developers waiting for the release of a locked artifact.

To avoid such idle times, optimistic versioning allows the developers to change the same artifact in parallel and independently of each other. This process is depicted in the following figure:

 

The following videos give you insights into the latest developments in model versioning and act as tutorials in how you can set Enterprise Architect models under optimistic version control:

Tutorial 1 – LemonTree Introduction to Model Versioning

 

Tutorial 2 – LemonTree Model Comparison Tutorial

 

Tutorial 3 – LemonTree Concurrent Modeling Tutorial

For more information please visit: lemontree.lieberlieber.com

Tuesday, 20 September 2016 10:30

Fresh Modeling Versioning with LemonTree

LieberLieber is proud to present a brand new Enterprise Architect tool named LemonTree (c). The most important function of this ground-breaking product is the diffing and merging of model versions.

Now, you do not have to lock your packages. Just check-in your eap files in your version control system!

Standard approaches use line- and text-based applications that do not suffice for graphic models. Only the finely-grained 3-way diffing algorithm that considers the model’s graph structure enables an exact comparison between two models.