EA tools (ArchiMate®) Exchange

The purpose of the exchange is to provide up-to-date information about application-to-application interconnections to ArchiMate-aware Enterprise Architecture (EA) modeling tools. The assumption is that SoaScape is the primary source of information concerning web services (APIs) and interconnections. In case applications are being registered not only in SoaScape but also in another tool (like a registry supporting Application Portfolio Management), SoaScape has to be aligned with the other registry before exporting.

Two different exchange formats are supported: CSV files (Archi) and ArchiMate Open Exchange format (versions 2 and 3). The exchange has been tested with Archi® and (rudimentary) with BiZZdesign Enterprise Studio and BlueDolphin.

Entities registered in SoaScape are one-on-one translated into ArchiMate elements. The mapping is under your control: you may configure how to represent SoaScape entities and their relationships. However, SoaScape does not provide for arbitrary choices; the representation options are constrained by assumptions regarding what would be good practice and what would not be. For example, SoaScape Applications can be represented only by the ArchiMate element “Application Component” (which is common sense).

As stated, by exporting from SoaScape we want to ensure that architecture models contain accurate information about interconnections. However, such models, in general, also have to include information that does not originate from SoaScape, which implies merging of information into a single model. Moreover, we also need the possibility to keep that merged model up to date by regularly updating it from SoaScape.
A difficulty here is that the ArchiMate exchange standard does not provide for updating – the Open Group ArchiMate Model Exchange File Format is intended only for replacing the entire model. To circumvent that limitation, SoaScape imports the entire model, augments it with the information about interconnections and then exports it to a file. Subsequently, the user of the ArchiMate tool replaces his entire model by importing that file.
This “round-trip” keeps all valid information from the original model intact as much as possible (the exceptions will be described in a later version of this document).

In essence, we have four exchange scenarios, and we will use these scenarios to further describe the exchange capabilities.

Scenario 1: Creating an ArchiMate model containing only the SoaScape information

This is the simplest case. You just need to configure how you wish to represent the SoaScape entities in ArchiMate and initiate exporting.

Scenario 2: Augmenting an ArchiMate model with the SoaScape information for the first time

This is the most likely scenario for starting repetitive exchanges: a model describing some aspects of the application landscape already exists, and you need to add information about interconnections to it.
This situation requires the ability to identify which SoaScape Application entities are represented in that model as Application Component elements. Simply put, we need to match and merge applications and, in this scenario, SoaScape does it by comparing names.
The prerequisite is thus that the names of application components (and the names of business units that own the components – if you are registering the ownership in SoaScape) can be used to consistently identify entities. This is to say that the names must be unique and that the same real-life entities need to be consistently referred to by the same name in both products.

You need first to export the model from your architecture tool and then to import it into SoaScape. On import, SoaScape tries to match all ArchiMate Application Component elements with Applications and Composite Applications (two SoaScape entity types). Elements that are not matched are left unchanged and all their relations will be preserved.
Subsequently, you have to choose how to represent the interconnections and then to export. The exported XML file will contain the merged model.

SoaScape guides you through all required steps in a friendly manner.

Scenario 3: Updating a previously merged ArchiMate model

In this scenario, SoaScape relies on tags that have been added to the model during the previous exchange. Upon import of the model file, SoaScape reads the definition of the latest export so it can directly distinguish which elements are counterparts of SoaScape entities and which are not and have to be left intact.

Scenario 4: Exporting a subset

In some situations, you may prefer to export only a subset of information available in SoaScape. For example, if you are concerned with the architecture of a solution, it is of advantage to limit the exported model only to the application components that belong to the solution and “the context” – the components your solution interacts with.

ArchiMate® is a registered trademark of The Open Group. Archi® is a registered trademark of Phillip Beauvoir.