Sometimes engineering methods fail because they are not understood or too hard to try and integrate into established habits. In my experience, Model Based Engineering approaches sometimes never take off because of these types of ‘barrier to entry’ problems. In this post I want to share how IBM’s Doors Next Generation may be onto something with their integrated support for ‘diagrams.’
A scenario I have experienced multiple times is a team or group already has their established tool chain, and there is little time, room, expertise or interest in adding yet another tool to the mix.
Now, if one of these tools already supports a Model Based Engineering approach, then you are done. Start modeling.
Which leaves you with two typical routes:
- Use another tool for modeling, or
- Use another tool for diagraming (e.g. Visio, PowerPoint)
And the majority of my experiences involve an optional, diagraming approach.
Doors Next Generation & Diagrams
So why not just bring the diagram into the Lifecycle Management web client? Aside: And I am using Lifecycle Management to represent Product Lifecycle, Collaboration Lifecycle or Application Lifecycle Management.
This is what IBM Rational DOORS Next Generation (DNG) did. Take a look.
A colleague recently gave me a DNG demo, which showed the diagramming approach has aspects of the UML notation and may support having a model library of sorts. But I suspect this is more of a ‘diagram’ than a ‘model.’
But, does it matter? If many times people turn to an additional hoop to jump through only to model something that is disconnected from the rest of the Lifecycle Management, why not work with a diagram that is integrated with the Lifecycle Management tool chain?
As I understand it, IBM has an offering to those who want to take a Model-Based-Engineering or Model-Driven-Engineering approach. So in some ways DNG with Diagrams can be a stepping stone towards a true model based approach.
I have yet to get some hands on with the tool chain, but IBM Rational Software Architect is the UML based modeling solution. And there is a way for this to integrate with DNG.
Implication: Start with IBM’s RTC Platform
Basically this means you are using at least IBM’s DNG offering. Just wanted to be clear, there is no real magic.
The potentially naturally is that you could (1) transition to the suite of offerings from IBM or (2) take an OSLC based approach and link or sync your Lifecycle Management tool with IBM’s via its jazz.net OSLC compliant framework.
Concept: From Microsoft Office to IBM Rationale
What came to mind is exactly what IBM uses to advertise & advocate for DNG being superior to office applications for Lifecycle Management and Requirements Management.
A primer to IBM’s Lifecycle Management offerings of a lightweight and integrated diagramming approach and its heavier weight modeling offering.
Tried any of these? What are your experiences?