Issue No 8:
PRODUCTS AND STRATEGIES FOR ENTERPRISE ARCHITECTURE AND ENTERPRISE PORTALS
New Products and Services
Enterprise Architecture and
Enterprise Portal Projects
Products and Strategies for Enterprise Architecture
and Enterprise Portals
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – December 17, 1999:
We have discussed
the important role of Enterprise Portals (Corporate Portals) as a central gateway to the
enterprise, and the importance of Enterprise Architecture in
building Enterprise Portals in previous issues of TEN (see TEN#7).
This issue continues the theme. It discusses strategies, products and services
that you can use to develop an
Enterprise Architecture. It describes some of the products and services that
are becoming available to support XML and Enterprise Portals. And it points you to
further information on these products and services.
TEN - The Enterprise Newsletter
Back to Contents.
Products and Strategies
In TEN#7 we discussed the Zachman Framework for Enterprise Architecture.
We saw that
Data Warehouses address the Data column of the Zachman Framework –
focusing on “what” information is required. XML applications, in
contrast, use metadata from the Data column to focus also on the
Process (“how”) column, and the Time (“when”) and People
(“who”) columns of the six-column Zachman Framework. But when
Data Warehouses evolve to Enterprise Portals using XML, most cells
of the Zachman Framework are addressed.
We considered the effect of today's rapid pace of change and the competitive
impact of the Internet. Today, enterprises must be
designed to change, and to change often. And systems must be built so that
they can easily and rapidly change when the enterprise changes.
An ability to change depends on architecture.
Yet most enterprises have not been designed and built
based on Enterprise Architecture.
There is a ray of light; a glimmer of hope. John Zachman has defined
an architecture for enterprises and their systems that (when
implemented) bring with it the stability, control and flexibility
that is missing from most organizations. But this is not a silver
bullet. It is difficult to achieve. It requires work, it takes time
and it costs money.
To help you communicate to your management the need
for Enterprise Architecture and the productivity benefits that follow, John
Zachman and Clive Finkelstein present a two-day joint inhouse seminar titled "Enterprise
Architecture and Enterprise Portals". This seminar alerts senior
business and IT managers and their staff to the dangers of the
competitive minefield ahead. It shows how enterprises can negotiate
the minefield unscathed. Details of this seminar are available from
the Inhouse Courses or Home page links of the IES
Online Store (see below).
New products have recently been released to help you
define an Enterprise Architecture for your organization. They are briefly
Advantage - Enterprise Architecture Edition (Visible Systems
Corporation): This is a powerful modeling tool which supports Forward
Engineering, Reverse Engineering and Business Reengineering. It provides full
support for strategic planning, activity modeling, activity based costing, data
modeling, process modeling, object modeling, database design and generation. It
supports large enterprise-wide projects to help you to develop models
(artifacts) for most cells of the Zachman Framework.
2000 and Structure for the Net 2000 (Framework Software,
Inc): Once developed, these models can be accessed using the Zachman Framework
as an interface. Two products are available to achieve this: Structure 2000
(for LAN or single-user operation) and Structure for the Net 2000 (for
Intranet / Internet operation). These products use the Zachman Framework as an
interface to access any of these models directly (see later this issue).
Details about each of these products, as well as
evaluation versions for free download or for demonstration, are available from
Online Store at http://svc004.bne009i.server-web.com/catalogue/visible/default.shtml.
A number of inhouse workshops are also available on
Enterprise Architecture. These include:
Enterprise Architecture Overview Workshop:
This workshop provides some skills-transfer training in the Enterprise
Architecture methods. It also includes hands-on lab sessions in the use of
Visible Advantage to develop an Enterprise Architecture, and Structure 2000 for
Enterprise Architecture Project Workshops:
These are inhouse workshops that are tailored to each Enterprise Architecture
project, based on the results of the Overview Workshop above. They enable
models, databases and/or systems for priority cells of the Enterprise
Architecture to be delivered early.
Course descriptions for each of these Enterprise
Architecture workshops are available from the
IES web site. These descriptions can be used as the basis for further
discussion by email. An Enterprise Architecture project structure and schedule
that is tailored to the unique needs of your organization will be developed for
you - together with a cost-effective quotation.
Enterprise Architecture will be imperative for success and survival
in the Information Age. But time is running out. Enterprises and the
IT industry no longer have any other alternatives. This task has
been delayed in most organizations for too long. It cannot be
deferred any longer. The technologies are available. The methods
have been developed. The products and courses are now here.
Back to Contents.
Portal Products and
Framework for Enterprise Architecture provides the blueprint; the Internet,
Intranets and Extranets, together with XML, provide some of the technologies.
Enterprise Portals provide an effective deployment capability for these
technologies. Together, they remove many constraints and limitations of the
past. Enterprise Portals evolve from Data Warehouses. With XML they provide
ready access to structured and unstructured data and information within, and
outside, the enterprise.
Applications in an Enterprise Portal are web-enabled. The user
interface is simplified. It is a common point-and-click browser
interface, with online forms for data input. Tables, reports and
other results are dynamically generated. These replace the different
interfaces used by legacy systems, relational databases, client /
server products and offline reference documents. Instead of a
multitude of input formats and user instructions, with significant
operator training overheads, we see a simple, well-understood
interface that can be used with any application. Staff are easier to
train. People can provide input related to their job, often as a
normal part of that job.
The difficulty of providing ready access to unstructured data in
text documents and reports, with graphics and images, is resolved by
using XML. Resources that exist as unstructured data in Word, PDF or
other document formats can be seamlessly integrated by XML with
structured data in databases to support reengineered processes.
Audio and video resources can also be easily included, accessible
from a browser at the click of a mouse.
Process and change constraints that were difficult to overcome
earlier using Business Process Reengineering can be eased with XML. Rather than
requiring complete redevelopment of legacy applications and systems to
implement reengineered processes, instead systems and process
transformations can be achieved by using XML applications and
legacy system transformation. By using XML,
legacy systems may continue to be used in part or in whole
without their complete replacement - which was the only solution prior to the
availability of XML.
New products have recently been released to support the development
of XML applications and XML databases for use via Enterprise
Portals. One outstanding product is described below:
eXcelon (Object Design, Inc): eXcelon
is one of the first XML database products to be released. It offers a full -
function XML application development environment, with high - performance and
highly scalable XML database and XML data server support. The latest version of
eXcelon (V2.0) includes eXcelon Explorer and eXcelon Studio. These support high
productivity drag-and-drop development of XML databases and applications.
eXcelon Stylus uses XSL to transform XML documents and databases to HTML, for
access via web browsers.
During operation, eXcelon supports very high
performance web applications with XML cache databases. This is achieved
using eXcelon Manager, with automatic load balancing across multiple XML data
servers running on Windows NT.
Enterprise Portal Overview Workshop:
This workshop provides basic XML and Enterprise Portal training, and metadata
definition using Visible Advantage for XML database generation. It includes
hands-on lab sessions in the use of Visible Advantage to generate XML Document
Type Definition (DTD) files and eXcelon Document Content Description (DCD)
files. It illustrates how eXcelon is used for XML application development.
Enterprise Portal Project Workshops:
These are inhouse workshops that are tailored to each Enterprise Portal project,
based on the results of the Overview Workshop above. The workshops enable metadata, XML
databases and workflow - based or transaction - based XML application systems to
be developed and delivered early.
Course descriptions for each of these Enterprise
Portal workshops are available from the Inhouse Courses or Home
page links of the IES Web Site. These descriptions can be used as the basis for further
discussion by email. An Enterprise Portal project structure and schedule that is
tailored to the unique needs of your organization will be developed for you -
together with a cost-effective quotation.
Back to Contents.