[Updated October 13, 2016]
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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….
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Herman (Toronto)
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