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Business Scenarios

Business Scenarios are a powerful technique for deriving an understanding of the significant business needs, which can then be used to determine the important requirements and ensure solutions meet the overall business needs. They help to make sure that the architectures are developed holistically, that the problem and concomitantly the solution do not become fragmented, and that architects do not lose sight of the overall business problem or opportunity being solved.

There is a wide range of tools available for creating and managing Business Scenarios in Enterprise Architect. Probably the most compelling tool is the Document Artifact, which allows a full textual description to be written defining the Business Scenario in detail. A template can be created and stored in the repository and can be reused whenever a new Scenario is created. When a more model based representation is preferred a Requirements diagram can be used to models the Business Scenarios and a Scenario can be related to Principles and Constraints, Actors, Processes and Components. A combination of the text and model based approaches also produces convincing results.

This section lists the main tools available in Enterprise Architect that can be used to develop Business Scenarios. There is also a wide range of additional tools that a modeler might find suitable when applying the technique in a particular context. The complete list of tools is available from the topics Meet the Enterprise Architecture Tools and Additional Enterprise Architecture Tools.

Specification Manager

The Specification Manager is the central tool for working with Business Scenarios and provides a Word Processor or Spreadsheet like interface for entering, maintaining and viewing Requirements. Architecture requirements can be viewed as a catalog and detailed descriptions and a range of properties can be added directly through the interface. Changing requirements in the Specification Manager will change them in all other places in the repository such as diagrams and windows. The Specification Manager can be used with any set of model elements such as business drivers, applications where viewing the elements in a list is preferred, but it is particularly useful for creating and managing Architectural Requirements.

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Deployment Diagram

A Deployment diagram can be used to describe infrastructure elements and services that support the problem or opportunity that has been identified in the higher level architectures. The diagram can describe virtual, logical or physical infrastructure elements and their relationships, including Nodes (such as servers and storage area networks), Devices (such as routers and switches) and Execution Environments (such as operating systems and database management systems).

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Document Artifact

A Document Artifact can be used to document a Business Scenario, conveniently storing the document inside the repository. A template could be specified for the document, which could be reused for other Business Scenarios within this and other initiatives. This provides a convenient way to reference a Business Scenario as the element can be dropped from the Project Browser onto a diagram and other elements such as derived requirements and infrastructure servers and devices or applications supporting the current architecture could be related to the Document Artifact.

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Requirements Diagram

The Requirements diagram can be used to create a visual representation of the relationship between a Business Scenario and requirements and other business architecture elements in the model, including Principles, Business Drivers, Constraints, Business Rules, Design Components and more. For architects who are accustomed to working with requirements in a text-based tool it will provide a powerful and expressive visual representation, allowing the requirements and other elements to be visually related to the Business Scenario.

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Enterprise Architect has a powerful and flexible documentation generator that can produce Docx and RTF Word Processor files, PDF and HTML reports. Business Scenarios stored in the repository can be conveniently generated and included in documentation. The formatting in an element's Notes and diagrams can also be carried through to the documentation. A sophisticated template facility exists that provides a range of built-in templates and also allows the user to create their own templates, defining styles, cover pages, tables of contents, images and a wide range of other formatting options.

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Traceability Window

The Traceability Window displays a dynamic hierarchical view of a model element's relationships to other elements in the model. An architect will find the tool indispensable for examining how requirements trace to items higher up in the architecture such as Business Scenarios and lower level items such as designs and solution options.

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The Baseline Tool can capture a snapshot of the Business Scenarios at a point in time and a comparison can be made between this or any other snapshot and the model at a later point in time. The comparison tool will enable an architect to visualize what has changed and if necessary revert back to content contained in the baseline. Any Package in the Business Scenarios hierarchy can be baselined and any number of baselines can be created.

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Showing results of a baseline comparison in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

Component Diagram

A Component diagram can be used to describe any number of the Applications, Application Services or Interfaces that make up the Technical Reference Model. Expressive diagrams can be created and viewed that show the relationships between Components such as Interfaces and Ports that describe the services the application offers to its environment including other applications. Any number of diagrams can be created showing groups of applications that collaborate to provide a service that is ultimately required to meet a business service or capability. An enterprise of any appreciable size will typically have hundreds if not thousands of applications and their relationships will be complex and varied. It is possible to create a large diagram that shows all these applications in one view but it is more common to divide the portfolio up into a number of groups of applications. Both logical and physical application components can be described.

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