Tools Enable Data Sharing
Popkins newest System Architect tool kit, Version 9.2, released last week, offers visualization, analysis and Web publishing capabilities. The idea with the latest tool set is to provide the functionality that enables users to draw architecture-related data from a central repository, then tailor the information for different users such as executives, line managers and business analysts.
A new Information Publisher tool allows end users to publish architecture information on the Web for internal use. Reports can also be generated with XML, which is especially useful for government-sector enterprises looking to comply with regulatory requirements such as the federal Office of Management and Budgets IT architecture mandate. That regulation requires government agencies to detail where IT dollars are spent.
"[Enterprise architecture] is getting a blueprint of how businesses and IT systems interplay to serve the goal of the business or agency," said Jan Popkin, the companys CEO, in New York.
New components of SA 9.2 include FEA Reference Model Support, which offers federal agencies the ability to automate their OMB business-case reporting. An Enterprise Explorer Diagram tool automatically discovers relationships among business processes and provides a visual display of results.
Shawn Wilson, vice president of the Architecture Analysis Group at Defense Energy Space Environment Inc., is using Popkins software to help model customer business processes. Primarily a defense contractor, DESE does business process analysis for clients and builds an enterprise architecture to manage change and plan ahead. Wilson uses Popkins Enterprise Architecture as an analysis mechanism.
In the beta cycle with Version 9.2, Wilson said the No. 1 benefit with the upgrade is the ability to conduct analysis natively. "Popkin has been really good to us in being able to graphically depict different portions of the enterprise architecture," said Wilson, in Huntsville, Ala. "But in order to do analysis, weve had to bring in our own tools."
At the same time, an Information Publisher enables users to create a Web site, then organize, link and disseminate architecture information through the site. The information can be tailored to end users skill levels. Role-based access control helps IT architecture managers keep end users in check.
A Depiction Manager tool lets users change views of a diagram for a streamlined editing process, while an Enterprise Direction Diagram tool brings a graphical representation of such things as a companys mission, goals and strategies into the business planning process and relates that to the rest of the company, officials said.
SA 9.2 will be available in April.