Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Your Roadmap to Digital Transformation [MSFT]

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Microsoft has published a new eBook (27 pages) that appears to have multiple titles including:

  • The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Your Roadmap to Digital Transformation
  • Your Roadmap for Digital-First Business: Transformation at Microsoft
  • Digital Transformation in the Fourth Industrial Age

These are all references to the following eBook:

Your Roadmap for A Digital-First Business-Transformation at Microsoft 2016.pdf (click on the second link)

(If the above doesn’t work, you might have to pre-register here: https://info.microsoft.com/Enterprise_EN-US_ITDM_DTebook_RegistrationPage.html.)

This publication appears to be sponsored by the Microsoft Dynamics product group.

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation

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Filed under continuous transformation, Digital Transformation

Crossing the EA Chasm: Re-visioning the ArchiMate Specification

It’s not a typo.  “Re-visioning” is the right word; one part, re-envisioning, and one part, revisioning: re-visioning of the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification.

This article presents a new architectural point-of-view for describing the ArchiMate language based on a layered architecture reference model for languages.

Motivation

Frequent feedback is that ArchiMate views are too technical and not “senior management friendly”. No enterprise architect wants to take an enterprise architecture view straight from their favorite modeling tool into a meeting with their CIO (unless their CIO is a very technical person). How can ArchiMate be customized or improved to address this?

ArchiMate often does not work well across heterogeneous or mixed-platform enterprise architectures. For example, it is difficult to work across mixed technology on-premise environments as well as heterogeneous cloud-based IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS platforms supported by a diverse complement of vendors (e.g. Microsoft Azure, Amazon WWS, IBM BlueMix, Salesforce, Google Cloud Platform, SAP, Oracle, VMware, etc.).

This situation is further complicated because none of these platform vendors document their architectures using ArchiMate. Every vendor documents their platforms and architecture reference models using their own collection of concepts, symbols, and stencils.

As of November 2016, there are approximately 3600 ArchiMate certified professionals worldwide according to The Open Group ArchiMate website (approximately 2600 ArchiMate Level 2 certifications and approximately 1000 Level 1 certifications – not accounting for overlaps). By comparison, there are approximately 730,000 Project Management Professional (PMP) professionals worldwide and, according to the OMG, “several tens of thousands of developers hold the OMG Certified UML Professional (OCUP) certification (including the updated OCUP 2 certification program)”. The implication is it should be possible to increase the broader adoption of ArchiMate beyond its current levels.

Another key motivation is to provide an architectural framework that makes it easier to understand how ArchiMate can be customized; making ArchiMate visualizations of EA models more approachable, easier to understand, and accepted by a broader audience. Customization is discussed near the end of this article.

To begin looking at how ArchiMate can be improved in terms of how it is described and how it is used, let’s start by looking at the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification and how ArchiMate is currently documented; and then, look at how the Specification can be improved (or augmented with a companion architecture reference model).

Current ArchiMate 3.0 Specification

What follows is a collection of quotations from the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification.  The quotations have been annotated as follows:

  • Italics have been added for emphasis and to identify key words and phrases
  • Numbered bullets (01) have been added for reference purposes. A legend based on the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate (described below) appears in Appendix A.
  • NOTE: The numbered bullets and legend (and italicized phrases) are not part of the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification.

Annotated Excerpts from the ArchiMate® 3.0 Specification

Start of excerpts.

Introduction
1.1 Objective

This standard is the specification of the ArchiMate Enterprise Architecture modeling language 01020304, a visual language 06 with a set of default iconography 06 for describing, analyzing, and communicating many concerns of Enterprise Architectures as they change over time. The standard provides a set of entities 0103 and relationships 0203 with their corresponding iconography 06 for the representation of Architecture Descriptions 0409.

1.2 Overview

The ArchiMate Enterprise Architecture modeling language provides a uniform representation for diagrams that describe Enterprise Architectures 07. It includes concepts for specifying inter-related architectures 09, specific viewpoints 07 for selected stakeholders, and language customization mechanisms 010203060708. It offers an integrated architectural approach that describes and visualizes different architecture domain04 and their underlying relations and dependencies 01020304. Its language framework provides a structuring mechanism for architecture domains 04, layers 04, and aspects 04. It distinguishes between the model elements and their notation 0102030406, to allow for varied, stakeholder-oriented depictions of architecture information 07. The language uses service-orientation to distinguish and relate the Business, Application, and Technology Layers of Enterprise Architectures 030405, and uses realization relationships 020305 to relate concrete elements 0103 to more abstract elements across these layers 05.

Language Structure

3.1 Language Design Considerations

image002.png

Figure. 1 Top-Level Hierarchy of ArchiMate Concepts 0102030509

End of excerpts.

The italicized words and phrases are the key words and phrases which describe the key ideas that make up the ArchiMate language (e.g. modeling language, visual language, a default set of iconography, set of entities and relationships, etc.). The initial sections of the Specification’s Introduction (quoted above) provide a comprehensive overview of the ArchiMate language.

The numbered bullets relate the key words and phrases in the Specification’s Introduction to the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate (described later in this article).

The Specification’s Table of Contents illustrates how the current version of the specification is structured:

  • Preface
  • 1. Definitions
  • 2. Language Elements
  • 3. Generic Metamodel
  • 4. Relationships
  • 5-13. Layers and Domains of language concepts further organized by Aspects
  • 14. Stakeholders, Views, and Viewpoints
  • 15. Language Customization Mechanisms

The approach used to describe ArchiMate can be improved.

An Alternative, Architectural Approach for Describing ArchiMate

Is there an alternative (and perhaps a better way) to describe the ArchiMate language with the goal of encouraging broader adoption, greater support, and more innovative applications of the ArchiMate language?  I think there is. Let’s consider a generic architecture reference model for languages like ArchiMate.

ModelMate Information Architecture for Languages

What is the ModelMate Information Architecture for Languages? The ModelMate Information Architecture for Languages (MIAL) is an architecture reference model for analyzing and describing languages.  The initial use cases are from the enterprise architecture domain but their applicability is not limited to enterprise architecture.

There are 8 primary domains in the MIAL architecture reference model (from the bottom up):

  • Vocabulary
  • Semantics
  • Grammar
  • Visual Notation
  • Visualizations
  • Descriptive Information
  • Overall Structure
  • Text Notations

For the most part, these are familiar concepts for describing most languages; technical languages in particular. These concepts are illustrated below.

modelmate-information-architecure-for-languages-3-0-5-overview

Figure 2. ModelMate Information Architecture for Languages

The MIAL 8 domains have the following definitions:

  • Vocabulary lists the names of the nouns and verbs of the language (and possibly other language parts)
  • Semantics provides meanings for each of nouns and verbs
  • Grammar governs the composition of nouns and verbs into phrases or other constructs (phrases, sentences, paragraphs, chapters, and stories)
  • Separate from the Vocabulary elements themselves, a Visual Notation provides a collection of one or more graphic renderings of each individual noun and verb
  • Visualizations describes how the Grammar and Visual Notation can be used together to create graphical views consisting of multiple compositions of nouns and verbs (graphical phrases, sentences, and paragraphs)
  • Descriptive Information describes what kinds of additional descriptive information (metadata) can be used to annotate the nouns and verbs in the Vocabulary
  • Overall Structure of a document or model
  • Text Notations for serializing an ArchiMate model into XML, JSON, or native spoken language documentation, as examples

An additional list of definitions can be found in this glossary.

The MISL 8 domains are, in turn, subdivided into MIAL 10 essential elements:

  1. Vocabulary of nouns
  2. Vocabulary of verbs
  3. Semantic definitions for the nouns and verbs
  4. Grammar rules for governing the composition of nouns and verbs (grammatical structure)
  5. Grouping and organizing constructs
  6. Visual notation comprised of a set of graphical symbols for each noun and verb
  7. Normative descriptions to guide the creation of visualizations based on the grammar rules and visual notation
  8. Annotation of nouns and verbs with descriptive information (metadata)
  9. Overall structure of a document or model
  10. Other notations for representing the structure (e.g. text, XML, JSON, native spoken languages)

Let’s look at how this information architecture reference model can be applied to ArchiMate.

ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate

What is the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate? The ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate (MIAA) is an instance of the MIAL customized to serve as an information architecture reference model for the ArchiMate language.

NOTE: The ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate is not part of the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification.

Below is the list of the MIAL 10 essential elements customized for ArchiMate:

01 Vocabulary of nouns (elements) – a vocabulary of words

02 Vocabulary of verbs (relationships) for relating one noun to another – another vocabulary of words

03 Semantic definitions for the nouns (elements) and verbs (relationships) for describing enterprise architecture models – a glossary of definitions

04 Grammar rules for governing the composition of elements and relationships into a model – a grammar

05 Collection of domains and layers for organizing the elements into several (mostly) horizontal categories (Strategy, Business, Application, Technology, Physical, Implementation & Migration) and a collection of aspects for organizing the elements across the domains into a number of vertical categories (Active Structure, Behavior, and Passive Structure) – a taxonomy

06 Visual notation comprised of a set of graphical symbols for each element and relationship – an iconography

07 Normative descriptions of views and viewpoints to guide the creation of visualizations based on the visual notation and grammar rules

08 Annotation of elements and relationships with descriptive information – metadata

09 Model structure comprised of the elements, relationships, views, and metadata enabling models of enterprise architectures to be created, analyzed and visualized – an information architecture reference model

10 Text-based notation (e.g. XML-based model exchange format) for describing an enterprise architecture model (a collection of elements, relationships, views, and metadata) – enabling the serialization of an enterprise architecture model based on the information architecture.

The annotated excerpts from the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification found earlier in this article unpack the text of the specification by mapping the numbered bullets found next to each of the specification’s key words and phrases to the 10 elements of the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate.

The ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate is illustrated graphically in the following figure. Study this architecture reference model from the bottom up.

modelmate-information-architecure-for-archimate-3-0-3

Figure 3. ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate

Organization-Level Customization

Given the layered structure of the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate, it is straightforward to see how ArchiMate lends itself to being customized at each level of the 8 domains:

  • Vocabulary
  • Semantics
  • Grammar
  • Visual Notation
  • Visualizations
  • Descriptive Information
  • Overall Structure
  • Text Notations

Extend, Replace/Update, or Remove?

Below is an initial version of the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate customization decision matrix.

mial-for-archimate-1-0-1

Table 1. ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate: Customization Decision Matrix

The first thing to note is how the decision matrix drove forward the idea that the MIAL 8 domains can be categorized into 2 groups:

  • Core
  • Non-Core

The Core group includes the “bottom 4” domains characterized by almost no opportunity for customization.  The Non-Core group includes the “top 4” domains characterized by being almost totally customizable.

Future articles will go into more depth in terms of describing how each domain in the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate can be customized.

This article is the main course; now proceed to the next course in this series: Crossing the EA Chasm: ArchiMate “Keep Calm and Have It Your Way”.

For additional thoughts on these topics, check out Crossing the EA Chasm: Reflections on the Current State of ArchiMate.

Bon Appetit,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation
mwherman@parallelspace.net

Appendix A – ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate Legend

The following legend is based on the ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate.

NOTE: This legend is not part of the ArchiMate 3.0 Specification.

01 Vocabulary of nouns (elements)
02 Vocabulary of verbs (relationships) for relating one noun to another
03 Semantic definitions for the nouns (elements) and verbs (relationships)
04  Grammatical structure governing the composition of elements and relationships
05 Collection of domains and layers and aspects
06 Visual notation (iconography) for each element and relationship
07 Normative descriptions of views and viewpoints
08 Annotation of elements and relationships with descriptive information (metadata)
09 Information architecture (model structure) for enterprise architecture models
10 Text-based notation (XML-based model exchange format) for describing an enterprise architecture model

*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

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Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Definitions, Enterprise Architecture, How do we think, ModelMate, ModelMate Information Architecture for ArchiMate, ModelMate Information Architecture for Languages, The Open Group

Crossing the EA Chasm: ArchiMate Art

As we research new and interesting ways for visualizing enterprise architecture models, we sometimes discover the “unexpected”. Check out these visualizations of visualizations.

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Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)

*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group

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Filed under ArchiMate, Crossing the EA Charm, Humor, The Open Group

Crossing the EA Chasm: ArchiMate “Keep Calm and Have IT Your Way”

archimate-have-it-your-way

What would the nirvana of “Have IT Your Way” EA actually look and feel like?

First, a bit of required pre-reading: check out Crossing the EA Chasm: Re-visioning the ArchiMate Specification.

My apologies if you haven’t already read the preceding article. It was part of an initial draft of this article until I realized the topic of ArchiMate customization needed to stand on its own.  It became the main course; leaving this article to be the dessert and, hence, much more enjoyable.

This article consists of alternate visualizations of the same underlying ModelMate enterprise architecture model and, for the most part, the same view.  The only variables are the modeling scheme and zoom factor used to render each view:

  • Colored dots
  • ArchiMate iconography
  • Microsoft Enterprise Viso Stencil
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) 2D iconography
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) 3D iconography

The first figure is an animation/slide show. It depicts a succession of views – each drawn with one of the above schemes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Figure 1. Single Open EA Repository: “Have It Your Way” Views
(Dots, ArchiMate, Microsoft Enterprise Stencil, AWS 2D Icons, AWS 3D Icons)

Zoom factor is an interesting variable. In the first 2 frames of the above animation, the transition from the large scale view using the “dots” scheme to the smaller scale view using the ArchiMate scheme is one example of how different schemes can benefit from being used together in the same view. In this example, it’s the benefit of masking the detail in large scale views while allowing the detail to be unwrapped in small scale views. The benefit is more esthetically pleasing and understandable views for each range of zoom factors.

parallelspace-modelmate-archimate-detail

Figure 2. ArchiMate Notation: View Detail
(same underlying ModelMate model)

Figure 2 renders the view using the ArchiMate scheme, primarily. In addition, the colors of the dots denote the combination of schemes that are available in this ModelMate model. The top color of each dot denotes the ArchiMate element type and the bottom color denotes the element type based on a fine-grained Microsoft enterprise schema/taxonomy. For example, the highlighted component is a SQL Server Instance (denoted by the dark gray color in the top half of the dot). The yellow-green color (aided by the icon) identify the component as an ArchiMate infrastructure service. (Click on Figure 2 to enlarge it.)

parallelspace-modelmate-microsoft-detail

Figure 3. Microsoft Enterprise Visio Stencil: View Detail
(same underlying ModelMate model)

Figure 3 is a similar view to Figure 2 but the Microsoft Enterprise Visio Stencil is used as the primary scheme. The pink color of the selected component denotes that it is an IP Subnet; the dark purple, an ArchiMate Network element. (Click on Figure 3 to enlarge it.)

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Figure 4. Amazon Web Services (AWS) 3D Icons: View Detail
(same underlying ModeMate model)

Figure 4 is virtually identical to Figure 3 except the AWS 3D set of icons is used as the primary scheme for rendering this view. (Click on Figure 4 to enlarge it.)

Each of these visualizations was rendering using the Linkurious graph visualizer running against a ModelMate model materialized in a Neo4j graph database.

Next Steps

More nirvana? Being able to see multiple schemes, side-by-side and interconnected at the same time rendered in a single view (e.g. ArchiMate for on-premise, AWS and/or Azure schemes used for the cloud, MS SharePoint stencil for the SharePoint information architecture, etc.). “More news at 11…”.

The Aperitif

Lastly and simply for your humor, I offer the following cartoon as the aperitif.

eamadeeasy

Figure 5. “Enterprise Architecture Made Easy”
Credit: Geek&Poke

Have IT Your Way.

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation

mwherman@parallelspace.net

*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

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Filed under ArchiMate, Automated Application Architecture Analysis, Automated Enterprise Architecture Modeling, Crossing the EA Charm, Enterprise Architecture, ModelMate, Progressive Enterprise Architecture Map (PEAM)

How do I model “X” using ArchiMate?

As a follow-on to a recent “How to I model X using ArchiMate” question in the LinkedIn ArchiMate group  (Modelling Blockchain technology), there are some standard questions that need to be answered before one can provide a good answer to a “How to I model X using ArchiMate” question:

  • In terms of level of detail, are you looking for a
    • Conceptual architecture view
    • Logical architecture view
    • Physical architecture view
    • Ecosystem view
  • Which architecture layers are you primarily interested in?
    • Corporate Strategy
    • Enterprise Architecture Strategy
    • Business Architecture
    • Application Architecture
    • Technology Architecture
    • Physical Architecture
    • Implementation and Migration Plan
    • …or, in the case of the Blockchain example, are you interested in a model of the entire ecosystem?

For example, at the highest level, are you interested in an ArchiMate representation of an entire ecosystem? …the Blockchain ecosystem, in this example.

firstpartner-blockchain-market-map_evaluation-v1-0-30-11-15-page-001

Figure 1. Blockchain Ecosystem (2016)

…or the following? …a conceptual ArchiMate model of the Blockchain protocol (which is the key technical essence or differentiator that Blockchain represents).

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Figure 2. Blockchain Protocol: Conceptual Architecture

…or something in between like the following process model (if represented in ArchiMate)? For example, the following diagram is a standard diagram used in a large number of Blockchain presentations.

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Figure 3. “How Blockchain Works” Process Model

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation
mwherman@parallelspace.net

*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

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Crossing the EA Chasm: Automating Enterprise Architecture Modeling #2

[Updated November 6, 2016: Added Database/Web Services Farm Example #2]

In the previous article Crossing the EA Chasm: Automating Enterprise Architecture Modeling, I included a simple example of how a current state enterprise architecture model can be created and maintained automatically.

The same ModelMate enterprise architecture model has now been extended to include a total of 832,789 ArchiMate entities connected by 828,859 relationships (with several million property values) and was created automatically from scratch in about 15 minutes.

Database/Web Services Farm Example #1 (Single Subnet)

Below is a simple example of an automatically generated view depicting the database services and web services configured on the 38 servers connected to a particular IP subnet.  There’s a total of 355 nodes in this accurate and up-to-date current state view. (Click the image to enlarge it)

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Figure 1. Database/Web Services Farm Example #1 (Single Subnet)

Pretty cool. The green dots are database services (SQL Server instances to be exact – almost every possibly product edition can be found in this subnet: SQL Server Express, Developer, Enterprise, Datacenter, etc.) modeled as Infrastructure Services; the blue dots, servers (Windows physical and virtual servers) modeled as Infrastructure Nodes; and, the purple dots, web servers (IIS virtual directory applications to be exact) modeled as Infrastructure Functions.

The small orange dots represent the network adapter configurations of the network adapters configured into each server.  The most central dot is the IP gateway (network router) for this subnet.

Database/Web Services Farm Example #2 (All Subnets/All Farms)

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Figure 2. Database/Web Services Farm Example #2 (All Subnets/All Farms)

The red dots are IP subnets (32 in this ModelMate view) connecting 208 server Nodes that host either a SQL Server Instance (376 Infrastructure Service elements) and/or an IIS Virtual Directory Application (1597 Infrastructure Function elements).  The small orange dots are network adapter configurations. (Click the image to enlarge it)

Microsoft Exchange Server Farm Example

Here’s one more example of an auto-generated view from the same ModelMate model: a Microsoft Exchange email, collaboration, and unified communications services farm. In this view, the blue dots are the Windows Services running on each of these 3 Windows Servers in this view (out of a total of 5 servers in the complete farm). The orange dot highlighted in gray near the top of the server on the right side, for example, is an IIS virtual directory application that is hosting an Outlook Web Access (OWA) web service. (Click the image to enlarge it)

Parallelspace ModelMate-Exchange Server Farm.png

Figure 3. Microsoft Exchange Server Farm Example

The larger red entity contains all of the descriptive information (metadata) for each server’s processor; the smaller red dot, the memory configuration for the server.

The Neo4j  graph database from Neo Technologies was used as a key component of the ModelMate platform. A special ModelMate tool was created for automatically uploading any SQL Server database into a graph database (including all tables, columns, primary keys, primary key constraints, composite keys, foreign keys, foreign key relationships, implied entity relationships, NULL value processing, DateTime data type handling, etc.).

Have a great weekend,

Michael Herman (Toronto)

Parallelspace Corporation

mwherman@parallelspace.net

*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

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Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Automated Enterprise Architecture Modeling, Crossing the EA Charm, Data Science, Enterprise Architecture, ModelMate