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Messages - Rich Anderson

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Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Technopedia and EA
« on: November 02, 2017, 04:43:20 am »
Hi Guys, Thanks for all the replies, but what I'm interested in is just being able to access their database from EA in order to automatically collect vendor-supplied information about packaged applications, system software, and hardware.   ABACUS already has an integration to Technopedia,, for this purpose, so I'm trying to find out whether something similar has been done with EA.

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Technopedia and EA
« on: October 31, 2017, 07:08:56 am »
Hi There,  Has anyone on this forum ever used Technopedia with EA?   I'm particularly interested if anyone has built an API to Technopedia so that EA can be updated with its metadata on various software and hardware components.  I'm thinking this might be pretty useful for doing IT baseline architectures in complex organisations.   

I use Visual Studio Community Edition (free) to drive EA from the outside using VB.  You could use C# if you prefer that.  I find it very good, particularly for getting things in and out of EA through Excel.   You just need to include the reference to EA from within Visual Studio and then create a simple Windows forms application to do the work.   

I know you don't want to install a tool, but I use Visual Studio Community Edition to access and automate EA with VB.  It works very well and makes it easy to automate exchange of data between EA and other MS Office tools (mostly Excel) with code.  I suppose you could always create a console application with VS that you could run from the command line.

That was it!   Thank you both!

General Board / Archimate 3 Composition - Now behaving differently
« on: July 14, 2017, 10:20:32 pm »
I'm working on an Archimate 3 model and have been using the Composition relation without any issues.  However, just today, when I draw a composition relation between two objects, the aggregation property on the one end get set to "none" (so the line is just plain with no filled in diamond) and the stereotype is now "ArchiMate3::ArchiMate_Composition" rather than just "ArchiMate_Composition" as it used to be. I can fix this by manually changing the aggregation property and stereotype property manually, but this is a pain.   By the way, the Aggregation relation and all the others are working fine. It's only this one that has gone wonky.   I've tried including and excluding the MDG and a few other things, but cannot get it back to the way it was before.   The only fix I have used before was to create a new EAP and basically export my entire model to it, but I don't want to do that now because the model is rather large.   Any ideas how to fix this?  Is this something that can be patched in my current EAP?

Hi everyone,   If you have the time, would you please have a look at this short video where IBM RSA is forward and reverse engineering API specs.   

I've seen some posts indicating there might be some tools or add-ons for EA to do something similar, but these have not panned out. If there were some sort of MDG/Addon that does it like this, I have a client who be interested.

Thank you, Geert.  I will send you a message now.

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / MDG for Value Stream Mapping
« on: March 24, 2017, 02:25:40 pm »
Is anyone aware of any MDG available or in development for Lean Value Stream Mapping (  It has a generally accepted notation and is pretty popular in the Lean community for helping to remove waste, undertake Kaizen improvements, and other improvements.  I would consider it a variation of process modeling such as you might find in Archimate or BPMN.      If someone does have such a thing, I would be quite interested and I have a client that might be willing to pay for an MDG (and I stress MIGHT) if some MDG expert on this board is interested.   I am most emphatically NOT an MDG expert.   

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: EA Repository As A Service?
« on: October 03, 2016, 10:12:29 am »
HI Guys,  I've been otherwise engaged over the past few days, but this whole thread I seem to have started is getting pretty interesting. 

First, in response to Simon, this video (which I referenced in the first post) is just a set of loose instructions on how to set this up yourself.  Since I have a need to support a client in the USA and I'm in New Zealand, I went ahead and followed these  instructions (filling in quite a few blanks) and did manage to set up an AWS-based EA system as described in this video.  I'm pretty much a noob to AWS, so I had a bit of learning curve to climb, but after about a day and half of fumbling around and installing lots of software on an AWS-hosted Windows 2012 server, I finally managed to get it work, convert the EAP to a database and get my client in the USA to connect to it.   While doing that, I learned a few things about some of the challenges in setting up a proper service (such as how do you auto-provision new database schemas on demand), but these seem quite solvable to me by someone with good AWS skills or maybe orchestration/containerization software like Docker or Chef.

As to the problem of putting commercially sensitive data like this on the cloud, I can only say that this problem has been solved by others.  Here is a good example of a company that is providing an as-a-service strategy execution service on the cloud (hosted on AWS).  This data is easily as sensitive as anything found in an EA model (maybe more)  There a quite a few consulting firms using this now to develop and execute highly sensitive strategy engagements with Global 500 clients.  I'm sure there are other examples.  I've evaluated this on behalf of a few consulting firms, and spoken to the principals of the company several times.   I'll just say that they understand the issue well and have managed to get many firms to use the service on the cloud.   (I would avoid any on-premise versions if possible)

I love the idea of having a gallery/exchange of starting point reference models.  Here is an example of one using (much smaller) business model canvases   There are also quite a few public sources of business architecture reference models, and I have worked on migrating a few of these to EA for my client.  They are generally pretty friendly to people finding new ways to leverage these models.  Most of them are non-profit .ORGs such as APQC, Acord (Insurance), AARTS (Retail), Telecommunications Forum,etc.

Geert, I'll sign for your private group, as I am interested in pursuing this, but don't know how much time can be dedicated given all my other commitments.


Sorry, man. I'm not going there.  I used to spend a lot of time in Wellington on business.  Nice place, but I usually froze my ass off.

I'm in Auckland.   If you are up this way...

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: EA Repository As A Service?
« on: September 24, 2016, 03:48:37 am »
Thanks for all your thoughtful replies.  It seems very do-able to me, particularly on AWS, which is a fully encrypted and very secure environment when set up properly.  (I used to be responsible for IT security in a bank, and I'll tell you that AWS is miles ahead of most banks).    I would have no hesitation in putting a commercially sensitive EA repository on AWS as many organizations are putting much more sensitive data than that on AWS.  If you had such a service that would auto-provision a new EA instance, it seems to me that it could run more hands-off than hands-on.   

I wish I had the time...

Touche, Glassboy.   Although I think architects could sometimes learn from salesmen.  I see you are in NZ and so am I.  We should have a beer.

I used to be a big fan of ABACUS from Avolution because its really great at letting me extend or come up with my own custom metamodel.  So, I spent a lot of time as head of Architecture at a bank doing just that.   Then I started to realize what a waste of time it all was because all we did was argue about semantics while the actual work was left to languish.   Now, I just follow the standards and live within their definitions,even if I don't always like or totally understand them.  Usually I find, after a while, that the metamodels hammered out by standards bodies are better formed than anything I could have come up with on my own.  I'm much happier that way!

Now, there is a small minority of EAs who are perfectly qualified to mess about with metamodels, and I'm sure many of them lurk on this forum!  However, my experience is that most so-called "enterprise architects" are really posers who really don't understand the discipline very well at all. (These are often spotted in the wild as "PowerPoint Architects")  Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to stop them from opining about the ideal metamodel that would only be so perfect if we just made that. one. last. tweak!   (Sigh)

It's a bit like a novice musician trying to argue the fine points of musical notation. (Sorry, dude, but Mozart you aint!)  Fortunately, the music guys sorted this out a few centuries ago, but we, as a group, are probably not that advanced!

... I feel better now, thank you...

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