How To Do An Architecture Project - the first basic steps

Your task: to setup a project that works with Visual Enterprise Architecture

On the Dragon1 platform you can do many things. But before that you might want to take the first basic steps to setup a basic architecture project that contains all the important parts.

After doing the steps in this tutorial you are familiar with a couple of features in the four core web applications: Resource Center, Architecture Repository, Visual Designer and the Content Viewer.

This will give you a sound foundation to find your way around Dragon 1 for further exploration.

Example Projects List

Example Architecture Project

Below you see an example screenshot of a project that works with architecture, that could be the result of this exercise.


The Context of this Tutorial

Your first project will be to setup a project to standardize the application landscape of an organization working with enterprise architecture.

Every organization has business processes and software applications. And it is common these days to share a lot of data between processes.

So what you want to prevent is that you store these same data in every process in different databases. You want to reuse things.

By creating a process-application landscape you can see what data (or information objects) is shared and not shared between processes and what you can improve.

Also you could see what type of data (like personal or sensitive data) is handled by which processes and applications and is stored in what databases.

With these overviews you can create a design or a plan on what applications to deduplicate and on what interfaces to standardize, so that the organization benefits more from better exchanged data.

But you still need to make sure that the architecture documents you create are in fact used by the project executing the change.

On the Dragon1 platform you will setup an architecture project with visual products that can be used by anyone in the project.

Introducing Dragon1

Dragon1 is a SaaS platform for co-creating and managing enterprise architecture for performance improvement of the entire enterprise.

It is a suite of web applications that can be used for creating interactive content and products like: Enterprise Architecture, Business Models, Processes, Landscapes, Blueprints and Roadmaps. In this tutorial you will be using four web applications: Architecture Repository, Visual Designer, Content Viewer and Resource Center.

You can access each of these web applications by clicking on the corresponding label on the buttonbar above.

Architecture Repository

Create folder structures and enter data manually, enrich data or import data from files. Choose from 400+ entity classes.

Visual Designer

Create meta models, models, views and visualizations. Use templates and shape libraries. Create and reuse patterns.

Content Viewer

Watch content create by you or others. Comment the visualizations, search, compare, trace and filter visualizations.

Resource Center

Create your own resource center or intranet. Publish your input documents, strategy docs, policy docs. architectures, open standards, reference models.

Step 1. - Creating a Project

First you create a project

To create a project:

  • Go to the Collaboration menu item at the left and expand it
  • Click on the Projects menu item at the left
  • Now you see a list of demo project on screen or you have an empty screen (Note that you can hide the demo data via your settings)
  • Click on Add a project in the projects list
  • Fill in your project details and click on save
  • After doing this your project is added to the list and added as entity in the repository.

Step 2. - Add Activities to the Project

A project consists of activities you do together with others.

To add activities to the project:

  • Click on a project on the list

Step 3. - Add Documents to the Project

In the activities you will use input documents and the activities will produce new documents.

To add documents to the project:

  • Click on a project on the list
  • Click Add Document
  • Fill in the details

Step 4. - Create Content Pages In the Resource Center

On Dragon1 you often create the following seven resource center pages for projects:

  • Business Strategy
  • Business Model
  • Business Case
  • Program of Requirements
  • Process Landscape
  • Application Landscape
  • Solution Architecture Model
  • Solution Design
  • Architecture Principles, Patterns and Standards (Interfacing)
  • Project Plan
  • Roadmap

To create a content page on the resource center:

  • Go to the Resource Center
  • Click on Add First Page or on the menu on the right
  • Enter a name for the page
  • Enter content for the page
  • Note that later on you will be publishing models, views and visualizations you created with the other web applications

As the project executes standardizing the application landscape, you as architect and the stakeholders in and around the project can use the insights and overviews to monitor and ensure progress.

Step 5. - Create a Visualization

Now you create a clickable visualization that will be published in the Content Viewer to act as starting page for your communication.

To create a visualization:

  • Go to the Visual Designer
  • Open your Tutorials cabinet
  • Select a folder
  • Insert a visualization
  • Insert the start page template or create it yourself:
    • Insert a background picture
    • Insert 4 to 8 rectangles
    • Make the transparent
  • Create clickable links from the rectangles to the resource center pages.

Step 6. - Publish a Visualization

You can not only create architecture models on Dragon1, you also use the platform to communicate it to stakeholders. And stakeholders can comment the visual products you publish.

To publish a visualization:

  • Go to the Visual Designer
  • Select
  • ...

Step 7. - Co-creating the visual architecture products

Now we end this tutorial by pointing you towards the other tutorials where you are guided to start co-creating the products you defined in the Resource Center.

Click on the tutorials link in the menu bar above to proceed.

Step 1. - Setting up a folder structure in the Architecture Repository

We need to create a folder structure in the repository where we can place our data. We can reuse and change that folder structure at any time.

To setup your folder structure:

  • First start up the Architecture Repository
  • Add a new cabinet by clicking on the button
  • Add a new dossier by clicking on the button
  • Add a new folder by clicking on the button
  • Create the following folders: Data, Models, Views, Visualizations, Visual items
  • Create the following Data subfolders: Strategy, Architecture, Transformation
  • Create the following Models subfolders: Enterprise, Business, Information and Technology
  • Create the following View subfolders: Management Overview, Processes View and Applications View

Now you have finished your first step.

Step 2. - Entering Data in the Repository

To enter data in your folders:

  • Start up the Architecture Repository
  • Open your cabinet and select a folder
  • Insert a couple of business domain entities
  • Insert a couple of business process entities
  • Insert a couple of software application entities
  • Insert a couple of information object entities
  • Insert a couple of database entities
  • Be sure to provide a name, title, description, bitmap image and a lifecycle date (date implemented, etc...) for every entity. We will use all of these entities in the view.

Step 3. - Creating a Model with the Data

To create a model using the data:

  • Start up the Visual Designer
  • Open your cabinet and select a folder
  • Open your cabinet and select a folder
  • Insert a Model. Give it a name like Enterprise-Model
  • Drag the entities you created onto the canvas
  • Draw relationships between the entities
  • Make sure that you model the processes, applications, objects and databases per business domain.
  • Save the model

Step 4. - Creating a View on top of the Model

To create a view on top of the model:

  • Start up the Visual Designer
  • Open your cabinet and select a folder
  • Insert a View. Give it a name like Overview-BusinessDomain1
  • Make sure the view is selected. Now click the Edit button
  • In the dialog, select the model to link to your view
  • In the dialog, enter the following view rule:
    • Rule Event: onload
    • Rule Condition: entityclass=*;isrelatedto=businessdomain1
    • Rule Action: showall
  • This rule will filter out all entityclasses that are not part of businessdomain1
  • Save the view

Step 5. - Linking a Visualization Template to the View

To link a visualization template to the view:

  • Start up the Visual Designer
  • Open your cabinet and select a folder
  • Insert a Visualization. Give it a name like Process-Application-Landscape
  • Make sure the visualization is selected. Now click the Edit button
  • In the dialog, select the view to link to your visualization
  • In the dialog, enter the following visualization rules:
    • Rule 1 Event: onload
    • Rule 1 Condition: entityclass=process;
    • Rule 1 Action: useshapeimage(tree)
    • Rule 2 Event: onload
    • Rule 2 Condition: entityclass=object;hasattributevalue=type,personal
    • Rule 2 Action: colorshape(blue)
    • Rule 3 Event: onload
    • Rule 3 Condition: entityclass=object;hasconnectiontypes=association,application,>2
    • Rule 3 Action: colorshape(red), colorconnection(red)

Step 6. - Publishing, Printing and Reporting the Visualization

To publish, print and report a visualization:

  • Start up the Visual Designer
  • Open your cabinet and select a folder
  • Make sure the visualization is selected. Now click the Share button
  • Fill in the share details and click the Share button in the dialog
  • Startup the Content Viewer and look up your visualization.
  • Use the menu to print the visualization
  • If you like you can place your visualization in the Resource Center or you can embed the visualization on a webpage of another website.
  • To create a report startup the Business Analyzer
  • Select Manual Report
  • Select the preconfigured report: activities
  • Select in the report the Cabinet you created and click generate
  • Now you will have a report on what you did
  • Select the preconfigured report: rules
  • Select in the report the Visualization you created and click generate
  • Now you will have a list of entities that comply and/or not comply to the rules in the visualization