Tag Archives: cio

Crossing the EA Chasm: Reflections on the Current State of ArchiMate

COPYRIGHT © 2016-2017 by Michael Herman, Toronto Canada. All rights reserved.

HBR: Great CEOs See the Importance of Being Understood

It is very interesting to read the above HBR article and then reflect on the current state of the ArchiMate language for Enterprise Architecture. Here are a few quotes from the article (as well as a few homework questions).

Best wishes for the New Year (modeled as a Principal, Driver, Goal, or Constraint? :-))

Here are 5 quotes from the HBR article:

  • “Perfecting and polishing a message matters less than how it’s reflected and refined by the intended audiences.”

Does ArchiMate support reflection and refinement in the minds of stakeholders? What needs to be changed/improved? What are the useful qualities needed for a language to support reflection and refinement in the minds of stakeholders (reflection and refinement by the stakeholders themselves)?

  • “One of the greatest obstacles in promoting more proactive, pro-user initiatives, she quickly discovered, was that her people were prisoners of their existing vocabulary. They interpreted her calls for customer obsessiveness by intensifying existing efforts rather than discussing or describing new ways to add new value.”

Is this also a description of ArchiMate’s current state? Are we stuck in a deepening “hole of hieroglyphics”? [link]  Are we prisoners of ArchiMate’s existing vocabulary?

  • “Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, for example, has been linguistically maneuvering from a proprietary Windows/Office software legacy to cloud computing, platform, and open systems contexts. Machine learning, for example, is now as integral to Microsoft’s new value vocabulary…”

Is Machine Learning part of the ArchiMate vocabulary? …maybe …early stage at best. Does ArchiMate resemble an open technology environment for fostering innovation in enterprise architecture?

  • “Entrepreneurial founders, of course, have both semantic and rhetorical advantages over their successors in this regard. A company’s creator disproportionately owns and influences its vocabulary.”

This quote has 2 edges represented by each of these 2 sentences. Food for thought.

  • “Understanding the importance of being understood is what makes great CEOs great communicators.”

This also applies to CIOs and enterprise architects. How does ArchiMate help CIOs and enterprise architects become great communicators? …or does it hinder them? How can this situation be improved?

For more thoughts on this topic, check out:

Best wishes for the New Year (modeled as a Principal),

Michael Herman
Parallelspace Corporation

*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.


Filed under ArchiMate, Automated Enterprise Architecture Modeling, Crossing the EA Charm, Enterprise Architecture, ModelMate

Crossing the EA Chasm: Enterprise Architecture Diagrams Your Grandmother (and CIO) Will Love

[Updated October 13, 2016]

This particular page is 1 of my top 5 most viewed pages (ever) and I’d like to understand why. Thank you!

Let’s face it – not everyone is in love with the traditional enterprise architecture diagrams that are based on the ArchiMate* standard. Here, more or less, is a typical ArchiMate view.


Figure 1. A Traditional ArchiMate View: VetContext ModelMate Model

What if there was a way to create literally any type of visualization you wanted – from a common, central, “single version of the truth” repository?  Something your grandmother (and CIO) will love?

The first step is to unlock your enterprise architecture data.

In the recent article Crossing the EA Chasm: Open Repository Strategies for Enterprise Architecture, I described an open data access strategy for providing easy access to EA data from virtually any open source or COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) modeling, data visualization, machine learning, or business intelligence platform.

The ModelMate project is a realization of this open repository strategy for EA data.  ModelMate supports access to a central EA repository using the following protocols:

  • The Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format (EFF) import and export
  • OASIS OData interoperability REST web API
  • .NET API for C# and VB.NET developers
  • Direct access to the underlying SQL Server repository using T-SQL stored procedures

The latest version of the ModelMate architecture is depicted below (October 12, 2016).


Figure 2. The Model Mate Project: Logical Architecture

What sorts of visualizations does an open repository strategy like ModelMate enable? Check out the following ModelMate Graph rendered as an interactive EA exploration tool using Microsoft Power BI, the free desktop edition. This is just one rendering – the number of possibilities is limitless.


Figure 3. VetContext ModelMate Graph rendered using Microsoft Power BI (desktop)

From Power BI Desktop, it takes a couple clicks to publish a live, interactive, web version of the model to the cloud – the same ModelMate model that was used to create Figure 1.


Figure 4. VetContext ModelMate Graph rendered using Microsoft Power BI (cloud)

Click here to check it out for yourself: ModelMate Graphs running in the cloud.

The above “spaghetti” visual is just one of the dozens of custom visuals available for Power PI.  Here’s a sampling….

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Figure 4. Microsoft Power BI Custom Visual Gallery

TIP: To use Data Science platforms like Power BI and R to get the most out of your EA data, consider looking into the Microsoft Professional Degree Program in Data Science.

Please email me if you have any questions or additional comments at mwherman@parallelspace.net.

Best regards,

Michael Herman (Toronto)

Parallelspace Corporation

p.s. Don’t forget to email a copy of the link to your grandmother (or your CIO).  Please add your feedback in the Comments section below.

p.p.s. Here’s an updated view of the same VetContext ModelMate model using the latest version of SPARX Enterprise Architect version 13 that was released earlier this week. The layout was created using the Digraph automated layout feature.  When you have a powerful and easy way to scan and ingest arbitrary sized datasets, features like automated layout and routing become critically important.


Figure 5. VetContext ModelMate Model in SPARX Enterprise Architect 13

* ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group


Filed under Crossing the EA Charm, Enterprise Architecture, Microsoft Azure, ModelMate, Power BI, The Open Group