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Messages - Glassboy

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General Board / Re: ArchiMate 3?
« on: June 15, 2016, 12:00:32 pm »
Oh god, they're tried to cope with the cloud at the technology layer.  :-[

General Board / Re: ArchiMate 3?
« on: June 15, 2016, 09:59:32 am »
Is it just me or is it kinda complex trying to download the new specification.  One thing the open group don't do is accessible web design.

General Board / Re: New Beta
« on: June 09, 2016, 07:45:53 am »
No....  Select the Start ribbon, Workspace panel and Preferences > Customize option to display the 'Customize' dialog, then select the 'Toolbars' tab and - at the end of the list - select the 'Workspace Layouts' checkbox. The toolbar should then display in the Toolbar.... um.... bar underneath the ribbons.

Or be floating off somewhere on your other monitor :-)

General Board / Re: New Beta
« on: June 07, 2016, 09:23:43 am »
Sooner or later there's probably no way around. Probably it's a bit like having the choice between eating insects and starving (though I have been told that insects can be tasty).

You eat insects all the time, you're just not aware of it.  And yes many of the bigger insects can be quite tasty.

I was initially skeptical of the ribbon when it was introduced to Office but a few years on it feels fair more logical and natural than the menus ever did.

General Board / Re: An element several times on a diagram?
« on: June 03, 2016, 07:24:30 am »
I agree with both Geert and Glassboy even they argue somehow in opposite direction.
A diagram is not the model, it is a view on model content for humans and it should be as understandable as possible.

I'd say it is because Geert is thinking of a particular diagram type and isn't considering that some diagrams have dimensions like time hidden implicitly in them.  The more important point tho', is you generate diagrams from a model to communicate with an audience.  That diagram should work for that audience, you shouldn't force the audience to have to cling to a rigid methodology.

Maybe blow up his avatar picture and stick it on something?

You don't have to get complicated.  A4 tapes nicely to your average party balloon.  It would of course be Geert Ballookens!

mic drop

General Board / Re: An element several times on a diagram?
« on: June 02, 2016, 10:05:35 am »
No, not a concrete problem, just a crutch for a problem that shouldn't exists in the first place.
If you have to use this then there's probably something wrong with the way you are modelling things.

I disagree, it's a problem where one element has a lot of connections and you don't want to display a spaghetti junction.  Showing too little on a view is as bad as showing too much.

General Board / Re: Information Architecture repository
« on: June 02, 2016, 08:04:08 am »
Relating to Data Types, I didn't mean it in the coding sense as we as simply documenting the as-is application landscape and the information flows. Perhaps types of "information flow" is the right term. We want to be able to describe the information between any two existing applications. For example a type may be "time series data". The details would then document what it is composed of. We will also have sub-types (sub-classes?) of time-series data.

I would actually start by identifying all the "nouns" and from them create semantic model which you can firstly use to make sure your team is operating on the same assumptions and then use in your wider discussions with subject matter experts.  Every industry has terms that are overloaded with different meaning.

For example

If we have a main class which describes an application structure, to create all the applications that are in the estate, would we instantiate that class into an objects for each application we have? Thats the only way I can see we would be able to document each application.

I'm not totally sure what you're meaning.  I use a component diagram to model applications and their interactions, and classes to model the associated data models and schemas.  You can add a trace relationship between the class and components but normally I don't need to as they're all sorted into well named packages.

When it comes to modelling deployed applications, I start by modelling an "archetype" and then associating nodes and the like with the archetype.  The reason is that the actual real details are in as-built documents and held by infrastructure people in spreadsheets, and they're actually outside my accountability.

We should really find a good way to share shapescripts.

I have written about 100 of them now, but they are all scattered in different profiles in different projects.
Would be nice to have one place that I can store them all, and browse them with an image and description of how they work.

Anyone have a great idea?
I've been sharing all of my code on github, but I'm not sure if that is the best way to go if we want to show an image for each shapescript as well.


I think github is fine for the code.  Nothing stopping there being a blog with pictures that points at Github.

General Board / Re: Data Landscape Diagram
« on: June 01, 2016, 11:20:12 am »
I see a new variant of the glass is half empty/full. Personally, I'd be likely to describe it as useless/unreadable/pointless. In terms of a diagram being there to convey information (to a human) the only purpose I can see in a model for such a diagram is "This is why I'm showing you many diagrams to show an overview and details of small sections."

Often what I do is more akin to forensic technical archaeology and the facts I need to display on my crime scene diagram can number in the 10s to the 1000s and the audience is people who use only PowerPoint and Outlook (and both badly).

General Board / Re: Information Architecture repository
« on: June 01, 2016, 09:31:52 am »
Have you taken one of the schemas and looked at how much of it is data that has an interested audience?
All the data that goes to the outside world is market sensitive and very important to our customers.

I wasn't talking about an external audience.  For the sake of argument lets take the role "user".  There's a pretty good chance that the master for User is Microsoft's Active Directory.  The user object currently has over 400 attributes, not counting auxiliary classes or any schema extensions you've made.  Within the Corporate space AD most likely replicates with your phone system (VoIP) and follow-me printing.  Hopefully it's getting a feed from the master for Employee your HRIS.

So we have four distinct schemas that we want to map between.  You could get someone to sit down and populate a class element with all of the attributes (potentially Geert's add-in thingy would do it faster) but there's only a sub-set of the attributes that any one actually cares about.  Your Finance people are going to care about cost centre information so they can apportion phone calls and printing costs to the right cost centres and the HR people care about role and position information.  In addition your IT people may care about some extension or workstation attributes as they are the glue that makes the magic work.  Once you understand the audience and the attributes you're likely to find that there are no more than thirty attributes that you need to model.

Then you reach out a bit further and find that there's a log on script that creates email signatures, and the super sekret LoB system uses the ManagedBy attribute to check a user's role in the system.

Then you can sit down and create a class for each user object from each system and map between just the relevant attributes to show how they replicate between each system.  Which obviously takes far less time than creating the entire schema and mapping the related attributes in each object.

This is pretty powerful and allows you to answer questions quickly, which is obviously the point of modelling (apart from Archimate :-} ).  for example if HR comes and long and tells you they're fun and zany guys and they're thinking of letting everyone choose their own job descriptions internally to create a fun and friendly atmosphere.  You can then say well that's going to be visible on our external email signatures and will effect our brand, and will flow into the cost accounting and the bean counters will struggle to determine if people's usage is appropriate to their job role.

But you probably don't want to record the details of the email signature script on this class diagram as you'll over load it (that can be recorded on the component information flow view).

Your original question asked a number of things about data types.  Unless we're speaking about different things, your class diagram has captured the data type for each attribute with sufficient detail for your average code monkey.  If you need to go into greater detail you can use EA's standard data models you capture the system details (you need to change the logical diagram to a class diagram).

Would I customize  anything?  No I wouldn't.  I'd try to stay as vanilla as possible, and I'd give  the data analysts the freedom to play in their own sand pit to a certain extent.

I've rambled a bit but hopefully that helps.

General Board / Re: Information Architecture repository
« on: June 01, 2016, 07:39:47 am »
Some questions.

Do you have a stock take of applications within your organisation?
Have the applications been ranked in the order of importance for analysis?
Have you checked which applications have published schemas and which don't?
Have you taken one of the schemas and looked at how much of it is data that has an interested audience?

Nice shapescript.

General Board / Re: ArchiMate 3?
« on: June 01, 2016, 07:09:13 am »
ArchiMate v2.1 is reasonably good for Enterprise Architecture level work to show how things hang together. ArchiMate V3.0 seems like it will be better. BPMN is good for detailed processes and UML good for Solution Design and detailed software design. The trick is to know when to use which and how to blend them together.

You're welcome to surprise me, but I'm yet to see anything that has a hope in hell of passing the look back in five years time and still have meaning test.

From some of the discussion I saw on linked in it appeared that they are talking about dropping application collaboration and interactions; which is ironically the area I'd like to see strengthened to hopefully offer a better way of explaining integration.

General Board / Re: Data Landscape Diagram
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:51:08 am »
The context is really making sure all our data and its flow is documented in one place so its easier to apply governance and improve the quality. By having a single diagram, the idea is to be able to easily home in on the flow of a particular type of data and see where its mastered and which applications down stream are its touch points.

I can't do that on any paper size that I can print, but what I can do is show slices of it, starting with the core systems.

What I'm struggling with now is whether I restrict each Information flow to only one Information Item so I can slice through and show how a concept moves across domains.  Which is helpful for bludgeoning people into seeing their "bounded context" is a big ball of mud.

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