System Architect (software)

System Architect (software)


caption = System Architect with BPMN and Network Diagrams Open and Browsed
name = System Architect
developer = Telelogic, An IBM Company
latest_release_version = Version 11.1 with SP1
latest_release_date = Released Sept 25 2008
operating_system = Microsoft Windows
website = []

System Architect is an enterprise architecture tool that is used by the business and IT departments of major commercial corporations, government civilian agencies, and government military agencies to build models of all aspects of their business operations and the systems, applications, and databases that support them. System Architect is used to build DoDAF architectures. The Architecture Developmentand Analysis Survey, conducted by MITRE Corporation for the US Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks & Information Integration (OASD NII) and revealed at the CISA worldwide conference on December 1 2005, reported that out of 96 programs building DoDAF architectures responding to the survey, 77% used System Architect, either by itself (48%) or in conjunction with another modeling tool (29%). [The US Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (NII) Architecture Development and Analysis Survey, conducted by MITRE Corporation, and presented at the CISA worldwide conference on December 1 2005.]

In building an enterprise architecture, users use System Architect to build diagrammatic and textual models of all aspects of their organization, including the who, what, where, when, why, and how things are done. The users building the models are typically enterprise architects, business architects, business analysts, data architects, software architects, and so forth. This information can be viewed by all stakeholders of the organization — including its workers, management, and outside vendors (depending on the level of access they've been granted to the information), through generation of the information to a static website, or enabling direct web-access to the information in the repository. The stakeholders can use this information to get answers to questions about the organization's architecture in the form of visual diagrams and reports that produce textual information, pie charts, and other dashboards.

System Architect has been referenced in textbooks written in the field of enterprise architecture, UML, and data modeling, and was also used to build some or all of the models that appear in some of these books. [cite book
title=Enterprise Architectures: Planning, Design, and Assessment
first=Dr. Ambrose, PhD
] [cite book
title=Systems Analysis and Design Methods
first=Jeffrey L.
coauthors=Lonnie D. Bentley, Kevin C. Dittman.
] [cite book
title=UML for Dummies
first=Michael Jesse
coauthors=James A. Schardt
] [cite book
title=UML Bible
] [cite book
title=Object-Oriented Systems Development: Using the Unified Modeling Language
] [cite book
title=UML Crash Course


System Architect was initially created and developed by Popkin Software, under the auspices of Jan Popkin, a pioneer in the development of Windows-based tools. Because of this history, many users know the tool as the Popkin tool or the Popkins tool. System Architect was one of the first Windows-based computer-aided software engineering (CASE) toolsFact|date=May 2008. It evolved through the years to become one of the first in a new breed of enterprise architecture modeling tools — tools that enable the end user to use a wide breadth of notations and methods to capture and model all aspects of their organization in a repository, and disseminate this information to a large audience. System Architect is now developed by Telelogic, an IBM company.


System Architect includes support for:
* Enterprise Architecture Frameworks and Reference Models
**DoDAF 1.5
**Federal Enterprise Architecture via iRMA add-on option
**Zachman framework
* Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN)
** Simulation of BPMN models through SA/Simulator add-on
** BPEL Generation
* Service oriented architecture
* Balanced Scorecard
* OMG Business Motivation Model (BMM) via Enterprise Direction diagram
* Cause-Effect Analysis through Explorer diagram
* Functional decomposition
* Organizational chart
* Network architecture modeling
* Application Portfolio Management and Service oriented architecture (SOA) development through SOA add-on
** Application code round-trip engineering of the following languages: C++, Java, Visual Basic 6, and Visual Basic .NET
* Relational Data Modeling - Logical Entity-relationship model and Physical diagramming
** Schema Generation and Reverse Engineering of: Oracle 10G, SQL Server 2005, IBM DB2 UDB V8, Sybase, and Teradata 2.6
* Object-relational mapping
* Data flow diagramming
* Analytics
* Cross-Reference Matrices
* Underlying Repository in SQL Server 2005, Oracle 10G, or SQL Server 2005 Express
* Multi-user network environment
* SQL-based query reporting language
* Role-based access control
* Native Requirements management
* Interface to DOORS for Requirements management
* Extensibility through:
** Customizable Metamodeling
** Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) for extending functionality
* Model-to-model transformations
* Website generation via:
** HTML Generator
** Report-based website generation via SA/Publisher add-on
** Live web read/write access to repository via SA/XT product

Technical overview

Graphic models and their underlying information are created and stored in a relational database in either SQL Server 2005, Oracle 10G, or SQL Server 2005 Express. For SQL Server, the information is stored in a database on the server; this database is considered a repository of information and in System Architect parlance is called an encyclopedia. For Oracle, the repository, or ‘encyclopedia’, is a schema on the Oracle database server.

Users build the models working together in teams on the network. In this multi-user environment, as one user opens a model artifact to edit it, other users get a read-only version of this artifact. Options exist to enable users to check out multiple artifacts so that they can work on sections of the architecture without anyone else modifying it while they work on it, and administrators to freeze artifacts so that they are ‘set in stone’. Users may also work in a stand-alone configuration using SQL Server 2005 Express on their laptop or workstation.

A SQL-based query reporting language enables users to build and run reports to answer questions about the information they have modeled, such as what business processes are related to what organizational goals, what applications are used to perform what business processes, what business processes operate on what data entities, what user has modified what information on what date, and so forth.

The information captured in the repository is done so against a metamodel that acts as a template for information to capture and how it is all related. Users may customize this metamodel, to change or add to the template of information they wish to capture and how things are interrelated.

Models are typically published to a website so that they can be viewed by a wide audience. An add-on tool called SA/Publisher is used to publish websites based on SQL-based queries of the repository using System Architect’s reporting language.

ystem Architect DoDAF and MODAF

System Architect provides support for the diagrams, matrices, and work products required to be captured for the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF). There are two options to System Architect that are used by the DoDAF community – System Architect DoDAF and System Architect DoDAF ABM. The System Architect DoDAF ABM version has specific metamodel changes and utilities geared toward supporting the Activity Based Method (ABM) for building DoDAF artifacts, as specified by MITRE, who created the method.

Another variant of System Architect is the System Architect MODAF offering, which provides specific metamodel, diagrammatic, and byproduct (matrices and reports) support for the UK Ministry of Defence Architecture Framework (MODAF). Yet another variant of System Architect is the System Architect NAF product, which provides support for the NATO Architecture Framework.


A sister tool to System Architect, called System Architect/XT (where XT denotes eXtended Team) provides a web interface to read and write access to the repository. SA/XT enables remote users with a web browser to browse the repository, run reports against it to ask it questions, and add information into it.


External links

* [ Official Website]
* [,1759,1646237,00.asp eWeek Review — System Architect Turns Ten] , by Peter Coffee
* [ Data Administration Newsletter Review — System Architect] , by Terry Moriarty
* [ DM Review Magazine Article on System Architect being used for Enterprise Architecture] , by Tom Finneran
* [ Q&A with Jan Popkin]
* [ Enterprise Architecture and System Architect]
* [ The Open Group's showcase of TOGAF-certified tools]
* [ Data modeling resource site offers data models built in System Architect]

ee also

*Service-Oriented Modeling Framework (SOMF)

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