In this Archi Spotlight, Peter Gee talks about how he introduced ArchiMate and Archi to the government of New Brunswick in Canada.
Peter, tell us a little about yourself and how this initiative came about.
Several years ago, the Office of the CIO for New Brunswick embarked on an Enterprise Architecture (EA) program. I was brought in as a consultant to help build a Business Architecture framework, which was considered to be an important foundational piece of the EA landscape. While working with them, I introduced ArchiMate as the recommended modeling notation. Since they had no “official” tool in place I also introduced them to Archi as a means to learn the language and start on the development of some Business Architecture models.
How do you find working with Archi?
Archi is very easy to install and much quicker to learn than most of the commercial tools I have worked with. It also had “just enough” functionality to support our modelling needs at the time. Archi’s CSV import/export functionality allowed us to quickly import model content from external sources as well as utilize an export-update-import approach to manage bulk updates to the model. Its support for the Open Group’s ArchiMate Model Exchange File format further guarantees the portability of model files and mitigates the risk of vendor lock-in. Its sole limitation is that it does not support external image files in a diagram.
What is the nature of the project?
The key deliverables for the project included a Business Capability Map which was developed as a hierarchical, nested diagram based on a set of ArchiMate “business function” elements. Since ArchiMate 2.1 does not include a “capability” element, we followed the prevailing practise of using the “business function” element for this purpose. We also used the Jasper Reports module included with Archi to generate a supporting Business Capability Reference document which contained the capability descriptions, as well as other supporting information.
New Brunswick is officially bilingual (English/French) so we were required to publish these deliverables in both official languages. You can view the resulting deliverables in the following links:
(the Business Capability Map and Reference Model are accessible via the “Quick Links” section on each page)
What techniques were used to produce these artifacts?
This is a summary of some of the techniques:
- The Capability Map was created as an ArchiMate view and then the diagram was exported as a PDF file.
- Pages that include graphics were created using blank Business Canvas pages.
- The Provincial logo was added to the PDF using the open-source Inkscape graphics editor – https://inkscape.org
- The Reference document was 100% generated from Archi using a customized set of Jasper control files.
- The Jasper report was generated in MS Word format in order to fine tune page breaks and add headers and footers.
- User-defined properties for “French:name” and “French:documentation” were added to the French versions.
- The model was exported to CSV files, using some Excel tricks to swap the French and English values, and re-imported to Archi before repeating the above steps
Many thanks to Peter Gee for providing us with an insight into how he uses Archi and ArchiMate. It’s interesting to see from the summary of techniques used a specific work-flow emerging when using Archi. This work-flow is valuable in determining possible features in future versions of Archi.
If you’d like to share your story about how you use Archi and ArchiMate and you’d like to be featured in this “Archi Spotlight” series please contact us.