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3/12/2007
01:58 PM
David Linthicum
David Linthicum
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Enterprise Architecture Modeling... On Demand?

I'm seeing a number of software products "SaaSifying" as software as a service becomes more accepted in enterprises. One of the most innovative is the EA WebModeler from Agilense. As explained by Steve Hunter, CTO, "EA WebModeler helps organizations understand, cost, plan, and execute enterprise change by enabling organizations to build an actionable model and plans of a future landscape."

I'm seeing a number of software products "SaaSifying" as software as a service becomes an interesting way to deliver software and is more accepted in enterprises. One of the most innovative is the EA WebModeler from Agilense. You can find it at this site.

As explained by Steve Hunter, Agilense CTO:

"EA WebModeler is a business transformation enabling product. EA WebModeler helps organizations understand, cost, plan, and execute enterprise change by enabling organizations to build an actionable picture (model) of their current business and IT landscape, and develop models and plans of a future landscape."What's unique about this is not just the fact that they are providing a high-end design tool as a service. There are other potential upsides here as you move this technology to the Web. It's not that you get better interfaces (you don't), or better performance (you don't), but the core benefit of cost savings and collaboration will provide the key value here.

Clearly, the use of enterprise architecture modeling tools is something that can benefit from the built-in sharing capabilities of the SaaS model. For instance, you can search a share repository of models, locating a model that may best represent the patterns of architecture you're finding in your enterprise. Thus, you don't need to start from scratch. What's more, you use the same collaboration infrastructure to share models with your vendors, partners, contractors, or anyone else that can help you with your project, but is not located within your firewall.

To this end, EA WebModeler is an enterprise architecture artifact repository exposed via a web API. Using this web API, HTML and XML formatted into architecture views and models. The tool itself includes many user interfaces which present the HTML and XML format in ways which are useful for understanding and leveraging architecture information, but external portals and applications can also use and format the content. The graphical modeler is a concurrent, multi-user, web-deployed tool for drawing models.

I think we will see more and more of these types of applications and tools move to a SaaS platform, for the reasons stated above. However, the uptake is going to be a bit slower than with the traditional business applications, such as CRM. Many may consider their enterprise architecture models as very proprietary, and thus not allowed outside the firewall. However, I've never seen an enterprise architecture model that has much unique value, or be something anyone would want to steal.

Going from here, we have some other interesting opportunities. Beside collaboration using a shared repository, we also have the opportunity with over-the-Internet integration with any number of SOA or traditional development tools. In other words, you create your model, and use that model as a jumping off point for a SOA delivery platform design environment, and then to development, deployment, testing, and governance, all delivered as a service. Now, that would be cool.

Application integration and service oriented architecture expert David Linthicum heads the product development, implementation and strategy consulting firm The Linthicum Group. Write him at david@linthicumgroup.com.I'm seeing a number of software products "SaaSifying" as software as a service becomes more accepted in enterprises. One of the most innovative is the EA WebModeler from Agilense. As explained by Steve Hunter, CTO, "EA WebModeler helps organizations understand, cost, plan, and execute enterprise change by enabling organizations to build an actionable model and plans of a future landscape."

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