Author Topic: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes  (Read 3668 times)

aldr1c

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All,
 As you will be aware, 5th November 2019 saw the release of the Archimate 3.1 Standard.  There are a couple of relationship changes and the introduction of a new element in the Strategy Layer -the View Point.  All well and good.  Bearing in mind that most of the MDG plugins are bundled into the same installer now, I have a couple of questions:

  • Why is the new Archimate plugin not available yet for EA?  It has been HOURS for crying out loud :)
  • What is the process for getting it in the future - a download of the plugin to replace what is already in the install path, a full download of a new EA version/release, etc?
  • Who is responsible for creating the new version of this or any other addin that is shipped with the install binaries?

Of course I realise that this will take some time to address - there are other things happening, the correct team/supplier has to be engaged, do the work, deliver, pass QA, be scheduled for integration, etc etc.  Is there a commonly deployed pattern to deal with this sort of activity, as I am sure it comes up a fair amount, with the number of standards that EA conforms or complies with?

p.s.  If it does require a new EA release, please, please, please try to resist the attraction of changing the menus again!  Nothing more embarrassing when trying to extol the virtues of the application to new users in a new environment when I cant find the commands because it is a newer or older installation.  You guys are crazy :D
« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 06:38:56 pm by aldr1c »

Geert Bellekens

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2019, 07:30:05 pm »
I believe ArchiMate is (like most) maintained by Sparx Systems itself.
They will, update the MDG at their own pace, and I've never seen them make any predictions when it comes to releases. (it will be released when it's released)

New stuff has always been release in a new full release.
If the difference between ArchiMate 3.1 and ArchiMate 3.0 is small enough, they might decide to simply update ArchiMate 3.0 to 3.1, but if there are many changes, they will most likely add a completely new MDG for ArchiMate 3.1.

In the first case there is a small chance they will update the MDG in a minor release (15.0.1514 for example)
In the second case you will probably have to wait for a new major release (15.5 or 16.0), and in that case they will probably shuffle the menus around again. (they have been doing that consistently since v13, so why stop now?)

Geert

aldr1c

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2019, 08:47:50 pm »
Geert,

  I expected much of what you say, however the point I am getting at is that the change is not on the actual EA client, but rather on one of the MDG plugins.  If the new installer is the only vehicle for these plugins to be updated (when they are largely separate [admittedly they have to be assured to work]) then the cadence of delivery and close adherence to standards (which is a great point in Sparx favour) is diminished.

Sadly I don't know the internal structures and working practices of Sparx, so I don't know if the MDG work is carried on in parallel, feeds into the main EA deployment streams etc.  Hence the question.

While I am immediately interested in the Archimate case, the general approach is of wider interest I think for the whole community.

Apologies if I have missed any previous post outlining this.

kind regards.


Geert Bellekens

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2019, 09:17:51 pm »
We don't get any insights in the development practices from Sparx, we can only observe what they have done in the past.

From that observation we can see that Sparx only ships updates to MDG's together with a new version of the main application.

Geert

Glassboy

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2019, 07:43:03 am »
  • What is the process for getting it in the future - a download of the plugin to replace what is already in the install path, a full download of a new EA version/release, etc?

Imagine if EA could load MDGs from Github repos.  Community maintained ArchiMate MDGs.  mmmmmm

qwerty

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 08:17:54 am »
The dreamer channel: menus not changing between versions, updates from github, finally bug fixes for elder EA versions???

q.

Glassboy

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2019, 09:05:40 am »
The dreamer channel: menus not changing between versions, updates from github, finally bug fixes for elder EA versions???

Well what would be nice is MDGs in %APPDATA% and an auto update feature.  It would be a fairly normal Windows app architecture.

Eve

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2019, 09:38:36 am »
I've just downloaded and briefly looked at the spec. (Mainly E.2 Changes from Version 3.0.1 to 3.1)

I'm giving your my opinions, in a relatively raw state.

From that information I would expect us to upgrade the existing ArchiMate3 technology. (Which would mean that you should see 3.1 on your existing models)

I would expect the Value Stream element to be easy to add.

Adding direction to associations could be complicated. I don't know if existing associations are set as directed (with the direction not rendered) or undirected. We may also need to look at how easy it is to create a specialized version of the association as shown in their blog.

The big difference is once again the rules for valid relationships. And it's not going to be easy. The relationship tables go over 10 pages, those are going to need to be manually reviewed and compared to our existing ones. (Manually because to my disgust they are presented as bitmap images. There's no computer readable format provided)

My expectation is that we could get that done for a point release. I wouldn't want to release it separate from EA, better to go with our existing test/release cycles. Once we do that, it's highly likely that the technology if taken from the new install and put into an EA15 install directory would work.
Eve

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qwerty

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2019, 09:44:13 am »

Well what would be nice is MDGs in %APPDATA% and an auto update feature.  It would be a fairly normal Windows app architecture.

Actually you can place them there (using the Advanced path of the MDG dialog). The problem I have is that EA ships with MDGs fixed in the program folder where all users get stuff they never need. Getting an admin to make custom installs is impossible in certain companies. Further: EA has MDGs in its guts and by no means (except dirtiest hacking) you can get rid of those. Any drama is fun compared to this.

q.

Glassboy

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2019, 12:12:23 pm »

Well what would be nice is MDGs in %APPDATA% and an auto update feature.  It would be a fairly normal Windows app architecture.

Actually you can place them there (using the Advanced path of the MDG dialog). The problem I have is that EA ships with MDGs fixed in the program folder where all users get stuff they never need. Getting an admin to make custom installs is impossible in certain companies. Further: EA has MDGs in its guts and by no means (except dirtiest hacking) you can get rid of those. Any drama is fun compared to this.

Yeah, exactly the reason for my comment.  Working in large govt. agencies and corporates means always having old versions of EA and old versions of MDGs.

Sunshine

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2019, 06:37:47 am »
Yeah, exactly the reason for my comment.  Working in large govt. agencies and corporates means always having old versions of EA and old versions of MDGs.
Yep some Govt Agencies think an N-1 Policy is a good idea. A bunch of Luddites came up with that one.
Happy to help
:)

Sunshine

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2019, 07:14:30 am »
I guess the answer is to create your own ArchiMate MDG so you can manage the ArchiMate updates yourself. This is the approach I've taken for just such a reason. The other reason is that I needed tagged values added to various elements such as "commissioned date" and "retirement date" to components and others to help manage data on these.
Note that creating your own MDG is not for the faint hearted as it requires quite a bit of effort and isn't the easiest thing to do. The mechanisms for creating MDGs is rather convoluted and could be easier. The relationship rules can be a real pain so much so that I've abandoned them and just allowed anything to connect to anything as I wasted far too much time trying to get them right. Another recent pain point is moving from V14 to V15 where tag values are presented differently in Sparx EA. For example the custom tag values need to be grouped as there are quite a few. I used separate classes in the MDG model to group these tag values which used to work a treat. However now in V15 they don't group any more so I had to use a different mechanism where you re-type all the tag names in yet another attribute which made it real easy to get wrong due to typing errors.
Hope that sheds some light on an alternative for you but beware it can be a difficult path to follow.

 
Happy to help
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Glassboy

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2019, 09:34:49 am »
Yeah, exactly the reason for my comment.  Working in large govt. agencies and corporates means always having old versions of EA and old versions of MDGs.
Yep some Govt Agencies think an N-1 Policy is a good idea. A bunch of Luddites came up with that one.

Well the EA licence model also seems to confuse most NZ Govt. IT departments.  Especially if they have automated software approval workflows.

Mats Gejnevall

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2019, 02:10:35 am »
I've just downloaded and briefly looked at the spec. (Mainly E.2 Changes from Version 3.0.1 to 3.1)

I'm giving your my opinions, in a relatively raw state.

From that information I would expect us to upgrade the existing ArchiMate3 technology. (Which would mean that you should see 3.1 on your existing models)

I would expect the Value Stream element to be easy to add.

Adding direction to associations could be complicated. I don't know if existing associations are set as directed (with the direction not rendered) or undirected. We may also need to look at how easy it is to create a specialized version of the association as shown in their blog.

The big difference is once again the rules for valid relationships. And it's not going to be easy. The relationship tables go over 10 pages, those are going to need to be manually reviewed and compared to our existing ones. (Manually because to my disgust they are presented as bitmap images. There's no computer readable format provided)

My expectation is that we could get that done for a point release. I wouldn't want to release it separate from EA, better to go with our existing test/release cycles. Once we do that, it's highly likely that the technology if taken from the new install and put into an EA15 install directory would work.

Great news Eve, will you also fix that you cannot use compartments and relatedElements with Archimate? We use them a lot (with associated shape scripts) and we cannot use Archimate because of this. We had to base our MDG on UML instead of Archimate, which we wanted and create the graphical decorations ourselves.
Thanks
Mats

Modesto Vega

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Re: New Archimate Standard (3.1) published and Generally MDG Update Processes
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2019, 05:14:30 am »
[SNIP]
Great news Eve, will you also fix that you cannot use compartments and relatedElements with Archimate? We use them a lot (with associated shape scripts) and we cannot use Archimate because of this. We had to base our MDG on UML instead of Archimate, which we wanted and create the graphical decorations ourselves.
Thanks
Mats
There is nothing to fix. ArchiMate is featureless, the standard does not support attribute and operation compartments. I hope Sparx Systems doesn’t fix this as there are already enough nuances about how Sparx Systems has implemented the UML and ArchiMate standards.