DT Consulting Newsletter; Issue 9

This newsletter looks at the MDG Extensions for Enterprise Architect & provides a summary of their use. Future Newsletters will focus on each of these technologies in turn.


In the last newsletter the topic of Model Driven Generation (MDG) was introduced as a means to “cloning” sections of an Enterprise Architect project. Sparx Systems use MDG as a mechanism to extend the functionality of Enterprise Architect beyond UML. In this newsletter these extensions are highlighted. It is not the intention to describe each technology in detail, rather to introduce their capabilities and use for modelling software systems.

The MDG Extentions

The list below shows each MDG extension to Enterprise Architect and summarises their use. Most of the technologies are centred on the concept of a “Framework” or “Metamodel”. These extensions are all constructed from UML profiles which provide toolsets for specific modelling tasks, generic approaches to modelling projects or for modelling specific implementations strategies.

Archimate: Archimate is an open-standard enterprise architecture language from The Open Group, based on the IEEE 1471 standard. It offers a common language for describing the construction and operation of business processes, organizational structures, information flows, IT systems and technical infrastructure, enabling Enterprise Architects to describe, analyse and visualize the relationships among business domains in an unambiguous way.

BPMN & BPEL: The Business Process Modelling Notation (BPMN) is a standardized graphical notation for drawing business processes in a workflow. BPMN was developed by Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI), and is now being maintained by the Object Management Group since the two organizations merged in 2005.

Business Process Execution Language (BPEL), short for Web Services Business Process Execution Language (WS-BPEL), is an executable language for specifying interactions with Web Services. Processes in Business Process Execution Language export and import information by using Web Service interfaces exclusively.

SPEM: The Software and Systems Process Engineering Meta-model (SPEM) is a process engineering meta-model as well as conceptual framework, which can provide the necessary concepts for modelling, documenting, presenting, managing, interchanging, and enacting development methods and processes. An implementation of this meta-model would be targeted at process engineers, project leads, project and program managers who are responsible for maintaining and implementing processes for their development organizations or individual projects.

Business Rule Modelling: Allows the creation of a Business Rule Model to enable the capturing of the business rules and their relation to the entities and specific tasks within the organization or system.

Consists of a Facts Model, Business Rules and Rule Flow.

Web Modelling: Enterprise Architect supports a number of stereotypes for web page modelling, the graphical elements for which display with a graphical icon instead of the usual «stereotype» format. These stereotypes are only supported for Class elements.

Strategic Modelling: Provides the modeller with all the tools for Strategic Modelling, including; Strategy Maps, Balanced Score Cards, Value Chains, Flow Charts, Decision Trees and Organization Charts.

SysML: The OMG Systems Modelling Language (OMG SysML™) is a general-purpose graphical modelling language for specifying, analysing, designing, and verifying complex systems that may include hardware, software, information, personnel, procedures, and facilities. The language provides graphical representations with a semantic foundation for modelling system requirements, behaviour, structure, and parametrics, which is used to integrate with other engineering analysis models.

SysML was developed in response to requirements developed jointly by the OMG and the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) by the diverse group of tool vendors, end users, academia, and government representatives.

SoaML: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a way of organizing and understanding representations of organizations, communities and systems to maximize agility, scale and interoperability. The SOA approach is simple – people, organizations and systems provide services to each other. These services allow us to get something done without doing it ourselves or even without knowing how to do it – enabling us to be more efficient and agile. Services also enable us to offer our capabilities to others in exchange for some value – thus establishing a community, process, or marketplace. The SOA paradigm works equally well for integrating existing capabilities as for creating and integrating new capabilities. SoaML … provides a standard way to architect and model SOA solutions using the Unified Modelling Language (UML). The profile uses the built-in extension mechanisms of UML to define SOA concepts in terms of existing UML concepts.

SOMF: The Service-Oriented Modelling Framework (SOMF) has been proposed as a service-oriented modelling language for software development that employs disciplines and a universal language to provide tactical and strategic solutions to enterprise problem.

The service-oriented modelling framework (SOMF) is a service-oriented development life cycle methodology. It offers a number of modelling practices and disciplines that contribute to a successful service-oriented life cycle management.

It illustrates the major elements that identify the “what to do” aspects of a service development scheme. These are the modelling pillars that will enable practitioners to craft an effective project plan and to identify the milestones of a service-oriented initiative—either a small or large-scale business or a technological venture.

DDS: Allows the modeller to create complex data-centric, publish-subscribe services for real-time and embedded applications.

NOTE available as an Add-In.

TOGAF: The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) is one of the most widely accepted methods for developing enterprise architecture. TOGAF is an open framework providing a practical, definitive and proven step-by-step method for developing and maintaining enterprise architecture.

The key to TOGAF remains a reliable, practical method – the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) – for defining business needs and developing an architecture that meets those needs, applying the elements of TOGAF and other architectural assets available to the organization.

TOGAF embodies the concept of the Enterprise Continuum to reflect different levels of abstraction in an architecture development process. In this way TOGAF facilitates understanding and co-operation between actors at different levels. It provides a context for the use of multiple frameworks, models, and architecture assets in conjunction with the TOGAF ADM. By means of the Enterprise Continuum, architects are encouraged to leverage all other relevant architectural resources and assets, in addition to the TOGAF Foundation Architecture, in developing an organization-specific IT architecture.

NOTE available as an Add-In.

DoDAF-MODAF: DoDAF is the abbreviation of Department of Defence Architecture Framework (USA); MODAF is the abbreviation of Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework (UK). The UML profiles provide a standard approach for modelling systems and enterprise architectures in support of the DoDAF and MODAF. They improve interoperability of architecture data among architecture modelling tools, enhance reuse of architecture data, and improve communication among DoDAF and MODAF stakeholders.

NOTE available as an Add-In.

Zachman: The Zachman Framework is a widely used approach for engineering Enterprise Architecture. The Framework is a simple logical structure that helps in organizing the information infrastructure of the Enterprise.

The Zachman Framework, while conceptually simple, provides many benefits in helping align technology with business needs. It has become a popular approach in defining Enterprise Architecture because it:
· Is platform neutral.
· Is a powerful planning device.
· Is both comprehensive and readily understood by non-technical people.
· Assists in problem solving.
· Helps in documenting enterprise-wide information system architecture.

Under the Zachman Framework, an Enterprise is modelled by answering six questions: What? How? Where? Who? When? Why? With respect to six role perspectives: the Planner, Owner, Designer, Builder, Subcontractor and Functioning Enterprise.

NOTE available as an Add-In


In this newsletter we have outlined the MDG technologies that are available for Enterprise Architect together with their use. Most are intended to work in conjunction with and to enhance existing UML models. Others, offer refined and customized UML tailored for specific modelling requirements (SysML is an excellent example of this)

Future Newsletters will explore these MDG technologies in more detail, beginning with TOGAF.

Previous Next
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments