Having been involved in modeling and architecture standards for a long long time, the problem of modeling “stovepipes” has become increasingly apparent. Even within one organization, like the Object Management Group, the modeling standards “don’t connect”. For example the new Business Process “BPMN-2” standard does not have a clean way to share processes, data and services with UML models. Despite both being defined within the “Meta Object Facility” (MOF) there is no semantic interoperability. Kenn Hussey commented on the BPMN issues in his blog post “On The Future of BPMN (Too)”.
The problem with this is that architects, developers and analysts are developing information that is closed, hard to find, hard to integrate and not providing the value it could. At a time when we must do a much better job making effective organizations, collaborating, sharing data and resources – we need this critical information.
When this capability comes on-line it will be a game changer – no longer will “business modeling” and “systems modeling” and “ontologies” and “vocabularies” be separate islands, but part of the integrated knowledge base of an enterprise, government agency or community. This will help enable collaboration, information sharing and enterprise transformation. Being able to share and relate architectures can also help acheave the open government goals.
One of the approaches we feel has a lot of promises is to utilize the “semantic web” and “linked open data” (LOD) as the foundation for the architectural ecosystem – this will enable multiple models and modeling languages to be connected in the LOF cloud, yet retain their individuality.
More information on this initiative is available here: http://www.omgwiki.org/architecture-ecosystem
Of course this is not easy – there are technical and a host of political issues, but with the work we have already done on the EKB, we know it can be done. I hope we will be able to put together a groundswell of participation to achieve the ecosystem.