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OMG - Multiple tool vendors demonstrate exchange of UML models using XMI

by Nic Plum on Wednesday 13 January, 2010 - 21:43 GMT

Posted in Architecture FrameworkDODAFMODAFNewsStandardsTools

Tags: artisan studiodemonstrationibm rhapsodyinteroperabilitylockheed martinnewsno magic magicdrawomgsofteam modeliosparx systems enterprise architectsysmltoolupdmxmi

From the Object Management Group (OMG) website:

OMG Logo

OMG’s Model Interoperability Demonstration a Success
Multiple tool vendors demonstrate exchange of UML models using XMI

Needham, MA, USA - January 4, 2010 - Members of OMG’s™ Model Interchange Working Group (MIWG) held an Interoperability Demonstration on December 7, 2009 at the OMG Technical Meeting in Long Beach, California. This event demonstrated an initial capability to interchange UML® models between six tools from five different vendors. The participating vendor tools included Artisan Studio, IBM Rhapsody, IBM RSx, SOFTEAM Modelio, No Magic MagicDraw, and Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. The MIWG has posted a recording of the demonstration, as well as an introductory presentation at

During the demonstration, the test conductor provided a reference diagram to the participating vendors that they had not previously seen. Each participating vendor used their tool to create a diagram that was intended to replicate the reference diagram, and then generate and export the corresponding XMI to a shared work area. The participating vendors then used their tool to import the XMI® created in the other tools, and regenerate the diagram.

“This event not only demonstrates a level of interchange, but more importantly, it demonstrates the willingness of the vendors to work together to satisfy a critical need among the user community,” said Sanford Friedenthal, chair of the MIWG.

“I congratulate all the participants on achieving this significant milestone on the path to demonstrating complete XMI interoperability between tools supporting OMG modeling standards”, said Richard Mark Soley, Ph.D., OMG President and CEO. “Exchanging UML, OMG SysML and UPDM models with customers and suppliers helps realize the full benefits of capturing hardware and software designs and enterprise architectures using these widely-used precise modeling notations. I believe this demonstration will accelerate the adoption of model-driven engineering techniques in general, and OMG’s Model-Driven Architecture in particular, by guaranteeing the ability to combine best-of-breed modeling tools in both inter- and intra-enterprise tool chains.”

The MIWG was established in December 2008 to demonstrate and enhance the interoperability among UML-based modeling tools using XMI. The XML Metadata Interchange (XMI) format is the OMG standard for exchanging models. The group’s focus is on model interchange between UML, OMG SysML™, and Unified Profile for DoDAF and MODAF (UPDM) -capable tools. The MIWG comprises end users, tool vendors and experts in the UML and XMI standards. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is providing an XMI validation tool that forms a key part of this process. Model Driven Solutions (MDS) and Adaptive have been providing additional technical expertise and configuration management support of the modeling artifacts.

The MIWG uses an incremental testing approach to demonstrate interchange with increasing levels of interchange. To date, the MIWG has completed six test cases encompassing class models, activity models, composite structure models, and simple profiles. Issues resulting from the testing are identified and addressed. The testing results to date demonstrate a significant level of interchange capability across multiple tools. The plan is to complete interchange testing of the majority of UML functionality by the end of March 2010, and then to proceed with SysML interchange testing. Following the completion of the base level of SysML testing, the group will proceed with UPDM interchange testing, which leverages both UML and SysML. The US Department of Defense, the UK Ministry of Defence, and NATO have all emphasized the criticality of this capability, and are closely monitoring the results from this effort. Information on the MIWG, the test cases, testing approach, and plans are available on the group’s Wiki page at


The organizations currently participating are:

  • Artisan (participating tool)
  • IBM (participating tool)
  • SOFTEAM (participating tool)
  • No Magic (participating tool)
  • Sparx Systems (participating tool)
  • Adaptive (Test case construction, validation and support)
  • MDS (Test case support and version control)
  • NIST (Independent test case validation)
  • Lockheed Martin (Chair)

How to get involved

The MIWG will continue to conduct interoperability test coverage for UML, SysML and UPDM. Any organization wishing to participate in the MIWG is encouraged to join OMG. For more information on OMG membership, please contact Ken Berk, vice president, business development at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or +1-781-444-0404.


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      What is the Point of this Site?

      by Nic Plum on Saturday 31 October, 2009 - 13:00 GMT

      Posted in Site

      Tags: collaborationdodafgeneologyhistoryintroductionmodafmodelling stylenafpurposesitetooltrakutility

      Indeed, what is the point of this site? Why go to the trouble and suffer the frustrations in creating it? Why not simply “get a life”?


      It started with TRAK (very nearly a Hot Chocolate hit there!) - The Rail Architecture Framework - which I’ve been developing over the last year for London Underground Limited. This is based on the MODAF, the MoD Architecture Framework which is important to the rationale for the site. At the beginning it was thought that a framework would need to contain rail-specific constructs and views but in the end we realised that we’d created something that was domain or industry-free. It should have been obvious from a system-thinker’s perspective, but the journey to this point is just as important as the realisation.

      Of course in developing and trying out the views, the UML profile and the plugin for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect modelling tool similar questions arose. It was also valuable because it meant that the development was led by the pragmatic, down to earth needs and problems faced by architects delivering views and models to meet deadlines.

      In reality the experience in TRAK is building upon the experience over many years first at the MoD at Abbey Wood and then at the Architectures Lab at Malvern. Most of the support and help was provided by the group itself. It had to be this way because we were modelling in the days before MODAF and discovering and making rules based on practical experience. Like most things in life you need to experience failings and problems to properly appreciate the wisdom of others!


      Since DODAF first appeared many other related enterprise architecture frameworks have appeared. They all continue to borrow ideas from each other as they evolve.

      Enterprise Architecture Frameworks Related to DODAF

      Many Enterprise Architecture Frameworks are Related to DODAF

      The Perceived Need - Support

      The sorts of areas where help, advice and support is needed for enterprise architecture include

      • frameworks
        • definition - what must appear
        • advice - what should appear
        • what a framework can represent, what it can’t represent
        • when something else is best used to represent
      • modelling style
        • how to represent particular configurations, functionality
        • modelling patterns or conventions often encountered
        • types of model
      • utility or usefulness
        • best views for a purpose
        • fitness for purpose
        • when to use a model / when not to
        • dealing with stakeholders
        • applicability of views to common development scenarios / lifecycle e.g. design review points, activities
      • collaboration
        • preparing for sharing models
        • working with remote colleagues
        • keeping in sync - models & understanding & consistency
        • dealing with privacy
      • communication - the primary objective as we need to be able to communicate findings, analysis, implications (as interesting as it might be it’s not for our own benefit!)
        • detail, scope - what to include / leave out
        • adjusting for stakeholders - maintaining the model & avoiding the simple powerpoint/visio syndrome (“just a diagram”)
        • organisation of views / model - navigability - “telling a story” / the user-interface of the model presented
        • documenting the model, findings
      • tools for modelling
        • limitations
        • features
        • compatibiity/interoperability with other tools
        • model / repository organisation
        • model/repository consistency

      Apart from the very obvious framework-specific part many of these areas overlap and face common problems. Solved once the solution ought to be able to help others even if the framework being used is different.

      Then there’s the people side. Many of us who work with one framework have and will work with others so why create silos? As with the models produced it makes sense to try and reuse, adapt and extend wherever possible. The centre of gravity ought to reside with the users and user-generated content not with the standards themselves - it has to be of use and pragmatic.

      It therefore seemed if a means of enabling support were provided, to recognise this overlap between all the DODAF-related frameworks.

      The Purpose

      In short

      The purpose of the site is to provide a means for users and practioners of DODAF/MODAF-related architecture frameworks

      • to get practical advice and help
      • to give advice and help

      to help create, share and build-upon (extend) existing architecture models.

      The watchwords are - useful, practical, understandable

      The Belief

      It might be that everything is already covered - there’s enough “how to”, FAQ, examples, advice when faced with typical project situations. It might be that as a bunch we like best to keep quiet and keep it all to ourselves or that we believe that knowledge is power. I’d rather believe that we like helping others (and in doing so we often help ourselves).

      If you’re in the latter category then please sign up and please contribute - whether comments on entries, discussions in forums, examples of architectural views or adding to the wiki. You never know when it might prove useful. It’s also self-help and therapeutic to share!


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