Tag Archives: Enterprise Architecture Chasm

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: ArchiMate “Keep Calm and 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.


Figure 2. ArchiMate Icons: 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.)


Figure 3. Microsoft Enterprise Visio Icons: 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.)


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.


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

Have IT Your Way.

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation


*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.


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

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)


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)

Parallelspace ModelMate-Web-Database Server Farms2.png

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


*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.


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

Crossing the EA Chasm: Annotating Your EA Models with RACI Roles

In the LinkedIn ArchiMate posting Difference between business/application/technology process?, Anna Aaltonen asked:

“Does someone have good examples how elements Technology process and Application process differ? Maybe comparing also to element Business process. Basically, processes are the same, no matter how those are executed. Basically moving from higher level models to detailed models is just playing with hierarchy, not changing layer. I am looking for a practical example (preferably an example using all those) as well as some hints how to guide modelers (in practice), when they ask whether they should use this or that.”

One tip I use to help clarify these type of questions is to think about the constituencies served by each layer in a traditional enterprise architecture model and add the specific list of roles beside (to the right side of) each layer. Below is an example taken from the article ARMs for Metadata-Driven LOB apps: SharePoint 2013/SharePoint 2016.


Figure 1. Enterprise Architecture Layers: Constituencies


For each of the layers, the list of pertinent roles is listed.  I choose to further organize the roles based on  RACI categories (also check out this related article):

  • Responsible (Deliverables)
  • Accountable (Approvers)
  • Consulted (Contributors)
  • Informed

Linking back to Anna’s question, this approach helps to focus everything that exists in a particular layer relative its constituency. Business Processes serve the needs to the Business architecture layer constituency; Application Processes, the needs of the Application layer constituency layer; Technology Processes, the needs of the Technology layer constituency.

Application Processes include development, testing and maintenance. For Technology Processes, deployment, operations and upgrading are simple examples.

Best regards,

Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation


1 Comment

Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Crossing the EA Charm, Enterprise Architecture

Crossing the EA Chasm: “Where does IoT [Internet of Things] fit in?”

In the article The EA Chasm: Open Repository Strategies for Enterprise Architecture, Vijay Sharma asked the question: “Where does IoT [Internet of Things] fit in?”. Vijay, you couldn’t have chosen a more perfect example or a better question.

The one-word answer is “everywhere” – no sarcasm intended.

The “1000 word” answer can be found in the following diagram based on the Progressive Enterprise Architect Map (PEAM) model (click to enlarge):

Progressive EA Model 1-0-7-PEAMS-Chasms-IoT.png

The first thing that strikes me about this diagram is: with the need to complete 15+ major, cross-functional, interdependent activities, it is completely understandable why major digital business initiatives fail or, otherwise, “wither and die on the vine” before they’re completed.  This applies to all digital business initiatives – not just IoT.

Second, what happens when an IoT (or any other enterprise) initiative starts off as a “skunkworks” project?  Placing the question in the context of the above diagram, what if IoT starts off on the far, far right (activities 12-15) as unplanned, uncoordinated activities by a group without any defined business drivers, linkage to the business strategy, or connection to the enterprise architecture?

Food for thought (and time for breakfast).

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation

p.s. Why was activity 16 (IoT Platforms and Tools) placed inside the Enterprise Architecture Chasm?

It’s mostly unrelated to the above discussion but it hints at the idea that IoT approaches can also be used in a non-traditional way to Listen to signals in the  Enterprise Assets, Systems, and Processes (performance data, usage information, planned and unplanned changes in the operational processes and systems, etc.), and then use this data to annotate the Core Enterprise Architecture. BI techniques can be used to analyse and visualize the annotated EA model to create new Designs.  The coordination of the building and  deployment of the new Designs hopefully results in Transformative Changes being applied to the Enterprise’s Strategies, Systems, Assets, and Processes to produce additional, meaningful business value.

IoT Platforms and Tools are enablers for listening and responding to the “hum” of an organization’s systems, assets and processes, and, when fully realized, can also be used to distribute Transformative Changes in a software-defined enterprise.

To read more about using IoT to create, maintain and manage an enterprise architecture, check out External IoT vs. Internal IoT: Beware of the Hype Cycle.

1 Comment

Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Crossing the EA Charm, Enterprise Architecture, ModelMate, Progressive Enterprise Architecture Map (PEAM)

Crossing the EA Chasm: Open Repository Strategies for Enterprise Architecture

[Updated October 27, 2016]

In a recent posting (Crossing the Enterprise Architecture Chasm), I offered a definition for the term Enterprise Architecture Chasm, the practical gap that will always exist between enterprise architecture and an organization’s systems, strategies, assets, and processes (and the companion Strategy Chasm that exists between an organization’s motivation and strategy and its enterprise architecture).


Figure 1. Progressive Enterprise Architecture Map

In this posting, I describe the “ModelMate” project – the creation of an open EA repository software solution that assists in crossing the EA Chasm. “ModelMate” is a codename for this project (also read the p.s. at the bottom of this posting). Caveat: This posting will be somewhat technical but regardless of who you  are, you’ll find the example use cases to be insightful.


ModelMate is a working implementation of a Microsoft SQL Server and Neo4j graph database-based repository for managing arbitrarily large collections of arbitrary entities, properties, relationships, views, etc.to enable analysis, visualization, and understanding using easily-available open source and COTS (commercial off the shelf) business intelligence (BI), data visualization, and machine learning (ML) platforms, tools and cloud services.


The ModelMate schema is modeled more or less after The Open Group ArchiMate Model File Exchange File Format (EFF) with several extensions; including support for multi-tenancy, 2D and 3D entities, 3D views of 2D and 3D entities, processing history, versioning, annotations (including usage and performance data), automated heat maps, replication and synchronization. Read/write access to the repository is supported using an entity-based .NET API.  Importing and exporting of EFF files is fully supported. The physical repository is a highly normalized SQL Server database. Here is what the high-level ModelMate architecture looks like.


Figure 2. Use Case 1. Cloud migration of custom .NET desktop apps, services, and web applications

ModelMate can run anywhere: on your laptop, Windows server, virtual server, data center, or in the cloud; anywhere you can use SQL Server Express, SQL Server, or Azure SQL Server.

Use Case 1: Cloud migration of custom .NET desktop apps, services, and web applications

In this scenario, a .NET Entity Discovery component scans the compiled .NET executables (.EXE files) and library assemblies (.DLL files); calling the ModelMate API to create a model in the ModelMate repository.  A separate component uses the EFF Exporter capability to read the ModelMate model and create an EFF file containing the model data.  In this specific scenario, Archi was used to read the ModelMate model and support real-time exploration of the .NET application’s architecture. At this point in the project, views are being created manually but highly facilitated by the design of the model and Archi’s Visualizer and Navigation features.  Here’s a sample of a view created from the resulting ModelMate model as well as a screenshot of what the actual dual-screen user experience looks like.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Figure 3. VetContext ModelMate Model imported into Archi

The broader use case is system analysis and assessment to support migration of on-premise custom .NET desktop, service and web applications to the cloud.

The above model is large; containing:

  • 190,000 properties and values
  • 25,000 labels
  • 16,000 relationships
  • 8,700 elements

The EFF file is 52MB in size;. the resulting Archi .archimate file, 34MB in size.

Because ModelMate models are based on the EFF file format, any EFF compatible modeler such as BiZZdesign Enterprise Studio or SPARX Enterprise Architect can also be used.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Figure 4. VetContext ModelMate Model imported into SPARX Enterprise Architect

SPARX EA’s automated layout and routing capabilities proved to be quite valuable – especially when the burden of importing extremely large numbers of elements and relationships into any of these tools is reduced to a few mouse clicks.

Use Case 2: Support for COTS (commercial-off-the-shelf) Business Intelligence tools

Because the ModelMate Repository schema is based on the EFF format (with extensions) and is realized as a SQL Server database, it is easy to produce any myriad of visualizations and perform analysis using easily-available COTS and open source tools such as Microsoft Power BI interactive data visualization tools, and the R language for statistical computing. Detailed examples with be added to this article over the next few weeks.


Figure 5. ModelMate Logical Architecture

Given the enormous user communities and large libraries of user-contributed data analysis, machine learning, and visualization components available for each of these platforms (as well as Power BI’s support for R), there are no limits to what you can do with a ModelMate model.

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation

p.s. At this point, there are no specific plans to commercialize the ModelMate project but if you think ModelMate can help make what you’re trying to accomplish a bit easier to realize, please email me at mwherman@parallelspace.net.

* ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group


Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Crossing the EA Charm, Definitions, Enterprise Architecture, ModelMate

Crossing the Enterprise Architecture Chasm


Enterprise Architecture Chasm

What is the Enterprise Architecture Chasm?  First, a quick Google search didn’t find any previous references to the term Enterprise Architecture Chasm, at least not in the context I’m using it.  So what am I talking about?  We need to recognize the difference, the practical gap, that will always exist between EA models, plans, and other artifacts and an enterprise’s actual strategies, systems, assets, and processes. There will always be a gap because of several factors:

  • Time to design
  • Time to plan
  • Time to act
  • Time to operate
  • Time to measure new outcomes

and, lastly, the completeness and faithfulness of transformative changes that are actually implemented relative what’s documented in the enterprise architecture.  Here’s a picture highlighting this gap, the Enterprise Architecture Chasm.


Figure 1. Total Enterprise Architecture Model (TEAM): Enterprise Architecture Chasm

This iterative 4-step management cycle is called the Continuous Transformation Framework. At a given time, there isn’t just 1 Continuous Transformation cycle at work in an organization but there can be several, even hundreds, dependent on the size and complexity of your enterprise.

Homework Question: Which dimensions or metrics can be used to characterize or benchmark the size of the Enterprise Chasm in an organization?

Strategy Chasm

Is the EA Chasm the only chasm?  No.  In most organizations, there is most likely a Strategy Chasm as well – the gap between the organization’s motivations and strategies and what is represented and planned for in the enterprise architecture.  Same set of issues.  They just occur earlier in the process.  Here’s an example of the Strategy Chasm. (Click to enlarge this diagram.)


Figure 2. Team Enterprise Architecture Model (TEAM): Strategy Chasm and Enterprise Architecture Chasm

In the Fall of 2016, two webinars were presented that looked how to extend traditional enterprise architecture methods (e.g. TOGAF) to be more complete/fill in some gaps.  The first talk, 7 Reasons Why IT4IT™ is Good for Architects presented by Dan Warfield and Sven van Dijk, looked to The Open Group’s IT4IT for answers on how to cross the enterprise architecture chasm. The second talk, BIZBOK® Guide and TOGAF® Standard: Business Architecture Value Proposition presented by Chris Armstrong  and Wally McLaughlin, looked at a related set of problems from a Business Architecture and BIZBOK perspective.

To what extent are your EA methods, repositories, and tools helping your organization cross the Strategy Chasm and the EA Chasm?

Will IT4IT and BIZBOK and other methods (e.g. ITIL) help cross or close the gap?

“Time will tell…”

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)
Parallelspace Corporation

p.s. These diagrams on based on the Progressive Enterprise Architecture Model described here.


Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, continuous transformation, Crossing the EA Charm, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Architecture, Enterprise Architecture Chasm, IoT, ModelMate

Crossing the Chasm: Progressive​ Enterprise Architecture Model (PEAM)

[Updated October 5, 2016]

Inspired by Gerben Wierda’s thoughtful discussion about how the full framework is depicted in the new ArchiMate* 3.0 specification (An AchiMate 3 Map (Layers? What Layers! — 1)), I’m going to suggest there’s another level of improvement that can be made to the specification’s “peanut butter and jelly sandwich” diagram. [Please excuse the visual metaphor but that’s what it looks like – with PB&J leaking out on all sides.]


Figure 1. ArchiMate 3 Layers and Aspects

In his posting, Gerben suggests a succession of improvements (depicted below).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Figure 2. Gerben Wierda’s Suggested Improvements

But they still left my question unanswered: Why were Strategy, Motivation, Implementation & Migration left as disconnected layers on opposite sides of the enterprise architecture map? [I don’t accept Motivation being classed as an Aspect but that’s a topic for another article.]

What happened to the architectural principles of simplicity and elegance?

Aren’t the following series of enterprise architecture maps more informative and more understandable?  …more pragmatically useful?  I refer to the version below as the Progressive Enterprise Architecture Map.

Progressive EA Model 1-0-2-Base-Slide

Progressive EA Model 1-0-2-Layers-Slide

Progressive EA Model 1-0-2-Aspects-Slide

Progressive EA Model 1-0-2-Both-Slide

Figure 3. Progressive Enterprise Architecture Model: Progressive Enterprise Architecture Map

Check them out for yourself and please add your feedback in the Comments section below. Click on any diagram to see a larger version.

Best regards,
Michael Herman (Toronto)

p.s. If the arrows make the enterprise architecture map too prescriptive from a pure ArchiMate specification perspective, what do you think of this version?

Progressive EA Model 1-0-3-NoArrows-Slide

p.p.s. In October 2016, in the article Crossing the Enterprise Architecture Chasm, I extended PEAMs to include:

  • Continuous Transformations
  • Strategy Chasm
  • Enterprise Architecture Chasm

Here’s an example (click to enlarge):


*ArchiMate is a registered trademark of The Open Group.


Filed under ArchiMate, Architecture Reference Models, Automated Application Architecture Analysis, Crossing the EA Charm, Enterprise Architecture, Progressive Enterprise Architecture Map (PEAM), The Open Group