With BlueDolphin 2.0 you have the ability to capture all the information about your business objects (assets) and define the interrelationships between these business objects. In this way, an entire enterprise architecture can be mapped. To be able to work within BlueDolphin with an enterprise architecture, it has been decided to use the independent modelling language ArchiMate.
ArchiMate was developed in the Netherlands by a project team in cooperation with several Dutch partners from government, large ICT companies and academia. It is nowadays a technical open standard from The Open Group ® that has been adopted worldwide.
ArchiMate offers a common language for describing the construction and operation of business processes, organizational structures, information flows, IT systems, and technical infrastructure. Users of the language can interpret the information in the same way which can be seen as an advantage. This makes it possible to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. For example, a third party can use the architecture information during processes in which they are involved in by the organization.
BlueDolphin and ArchiMate
BlueDophin 2.0 offers ArchiMate as the standard modelling language, but does allow you to change this. This gives you the freedom to choose for another modelling language if it makes the overall communication within your company easier.
ArchiMate makes use of ‘concepts” and ‘relationships’. The concepts are representations of business objects, such as company processes, company products, employees, applications, services and servers. The relations are the link between the different concepts and receive a definition, such as: “used by”, “composed of”, and “receives information of”.
This makes it possible to visualize the business architecture. Suppose you noticed the following: “the business process procurement makes use of the ICT service ERP, which is realized by the Microsoft Dynamics application”. If this is only a written description, it sounds complex which makes it difficult to communicate this. ArchiMate creates the following image:
The created image is much easier to understand for everyone. However, people will have to make themselves somewhat familiar with types of concepts and relationships used by ArchiMate. Each concept has an icon that indicates the type of ArchiMate concept. Thus, every relationship has a depiction that matches the ArchiMate definition. However, the process to learn this language is very short. An explanation of the language is sufficient to understand and interpret diagrams.
In addition, BlueDolphin 2.0 offers the possibility to add additional information to concepts and relations, from which the modelling could be explained. Such that, just like in the example, a short text can be given to a relation. This allows you to specify the type of relationship or specifies the type of information that is transferred between two concepts. Other information can be added to the concepts. This information cannot be displayed in a sheet, but will be registered in questions per concept that are defined by the user. This information will further contribute to the understanding of enterprise architecture.
All the information that BlueDolphin 2.0 contains is available for analyses and reports in various forms. Besides the standard visualizations of ArchiMate, the software uses JasperSoft for reporting in various forms and shapes. JasperSoft makes use of the defined concepts and connections in order to create visual reports, so that information can be subtracted from BlueDolphin.