Should Business Architects use the Business Model Canvas at the Program level?

In the Open Group conference at Newport Beach, I listened to a series of presentations on business architecture.  In one of them, the presenter described his practice of using Osterwalder’s Business Model Canvas to create a model of his program’s environment after a business program (aka business initiative) is started.  He felt that the canvas…

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The bizarre assumption of functional decomposition

I ran into a friend today and, as friends often do, we let our conversation wander over the different "broken things" in IT in general (and a few in Microsoft in specific).  One thing that I’d like to share from that conversation: a truly bizarre assumption that we teach, over and over, to new programmers……

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As-Is versus To-Be… what to model first

I have always taken the advice at face value: the "to be" model matters much more than the "as is" model does.  Implicit in that: spend as little time on the "as is" model as you can.  Perhaps, even, do the "to be" model first. Of course, I wouldn’t be blogging this point if I…

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Killing the Command message: should we use Events or Documents?

If we want to decouple a SOA system, we must get away from the notion of the remote procedure call.  In other words, our services need to have as few “command” messages as we can get away with.  This is a design philosophy but it is easier said than done. According to Hohpe and Wolfe, there…

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Microsoft, BPEL and Open Standards

We are frequently criticized for not supporting enough open standards.  Honestly, I think it’s negative hype.  MS supports a long list of open standards, some of which we created, some of which we didn’t.  This one is cool: BPEL. When business analysts write down business processes, they use diagram tools.  In the Microsoft stack, we’ve…

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Perhaps it is time to declare victory in the battle of Rules Engines vs. Dependency Injection

I watched on the sidelines, not long ago, as a team of architects carefully inspected and examined different technologies for managing a rules engine.  I found it interesting, but not terribly pertinent, because…well… to be honest… rules engines tend to create more problems than they solve. So let’s look at the problem we are trying…

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Managing the bindings from systems to EAI infrastructure

Every system is responsible for publishing its own events.  I hold that as a core requirement of participating in an Enterprise Application Integration Infrastructure (EAI-I).  What does that mean: The system, as part of it’s ownership, it’s code, it’s configuration, is responsible for describing how it meets corporate canonical event requirements.  That belongs with the…

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Is there value in consistency?

Do all of your project managers deliver the same information to their team and management?  Do all of your developers use common tools and techniques?  Do all of your testers follow the same patterns for creating test cases? Process improvement is an interesting, and sometimes overwrought term.  We can all benefit from ‘excellent practices’ but…

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What SHOULD a sequence diagram show?

For most folks, a UML sequence diagram is something that is either (a) unnecessary, (b) clearly required and essential.  There is rarely a middle ground.  So when you create a diagram (whether by force or by choice) I’d like you to consider the audience, first and foremost.  What do you want to say to them?…

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Why a workflow model is not code

It is no secret that I am not fond of using EAI systems like Biztalk for Human Collaborative Workflow.  I believe, instinctively, that it is a bad idea.  However, I have to be more than instinctive in this analytical world (and company).  I need to be prescriptive at best, and constructive at worst.  So I…

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