Shaun Mccran

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Archimate Architecting and Modelling tools – Built on Eclipse

If you've ever wanted to design the flow of an application before launching into the code base or front end CSS then Archimate is for you.

It is an open source platform that allows you to use an "independent Enterprise Architecture modelling language that supports the description, analysis and visualization of architecture within and across business domains." Roughly translated it allows you to draw different shaped boxes with connectors to show the layout and flow of your applications.

Despite some of the ridiculous language used on the Archimate site (http://archi.cetis.ac.uk/) (Why do Architects love confusion through inappropriately convoluted descriptions) the tool itself is very good. It allows you to quickly and easily plan the flow and logic of applications using a common language and toolset.

So if you don't fancy using high cost, high learning curve design applications then give Archimate a try. I've found it very helpful.

My next test is to see if I can combine it with an SVN plugin as then I'll be able to create revisions within the designs.

Being a fan of Eclipse I was happy to hear that Archimate is Eclipse based, but I don't seem to be able to locate a plugin for it, only a full installation. It would be much easier if I could simply integrate it into my existing Eclipse code base.

An Archimate screenshot

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# Posted By Jonesy | 18/04/12 09:17
Shaun McCran's Gravatar Hi Jonesy,

You are absolutely right, Archimate is *not* just for preliminary research before a coding phase, it does a lot more than that as well. What I will point out is that a lot of developers are using it for exactly that purpose.

I have seen it being used effectively as a white boarding tool in many locations, to allow Architects to convey flows and process's to stakeholders. These flows are then being converted into project plans and form the basis of the entire project scope.

I can appreciate that it was developed as a purer more architectural tool for a specific architectural process (soon to be the official TOGAF architectural application I believe) but that does not discount it from being relevant in other areas of the project life cycle.

Thanks for commenting though.
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