Any #PowerDesigner newbies (in UK?) want some help for free?

If you or your friends / colleagues are new to PowerDesigner, no matter what you’re using it for, there is bound to be something that you’re not sure of the best way of doing, like including existing relationships on a diagram, or preventing the creation of graphical synonyms. Most data modelling tools don’t support graphical synonyms, so you may say “What the Heck?” to yourself when you first see them (they’re the symbols with numbers after the names – there are three symbols here for the SalesOrders table, all linking to the same definition):

Graphical Synonyms - PDM

Anyway, I’d love to know what knowledge is the most useful to PowerDesigner newbies, so here’s my offer:

  • one day of my time FOR FREE to help your newbies with their questions, as long as you don’t mind me documenting those questions

I’m based in Southern England, so there’s an obvious caveat here – I need to be able to travel to your site and back in a day.

If you’re interested, send me a message.

By the way, I’ve just updated my blog post on the topic of including existing relationships on a diagram.

 

Please vote for your favourite data modelling tool, whatever it is #PowerDesigner #ERwin #Idera #ERStudio

The people at ERwin pay a lot more attention than some other vendors do to promoting their product, including asking their users to vote for them in various polls or awards. Currently they’re asking their users to vote for ERwin in the “Readers’ Choice Awards” for Database Trends and Applications.

The following data modelling tools are listed in the poll –
PremiumSoft Navicat Data Modeler, Dell Toad Data Modeler, IDERA ER/Studio, ERwin, TimeXtender, SAP PowerDesigner.

That’s an interesting selection of tools, partly due to the absence of any tool from IBM, and also because there are two I’ve barely even heard of.

Voting closes on May 20th, so make sure to vote for your favourite modelling tool, whatever it is. My message is the same as it is to every registered voter in the UK today (lots of elections on in the UK today) – cast your vote and be heard!

Go to http://www.dbta.com/ReadersChoice/2016/Vote.aspx

April 28th Sandhill webinar – What’s new with SAP #PowerDesigner Latest Edition V16.6

Join us for a webinar on Apr 28, 2016 at 2:00 PM EDT.

Register now!

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3620953847587697409

Strategic decisions are based on data. The quality of your data will greatly effect the quality of your decisions. A well informed decision, requires a 360º view of an organisation’s information assets.

Sandhill Consultants in conjunction with SAP will be hosting a webcast on the latest features and functionality within SAP PowerDesigner R16.x, including the most recent Edition R16.6.

Sandhill Consultants will also review the different Editions (Data Architect and Enterprise Architect) and the process of upgrading to the latest editions.

Key topics discussed in this Webinar

1. Understanding the differences between Data and Enterprise Architect Editions
2. Visualize the different model types, features and functionality
3. Review of the SAP PowerDesigner Repository

Don’t miss this opportunity to see SAP PowerDesigner in action and learn how SAP PowerDesigner can help your organization achieve a 360° view of its information assets

For more information on SAP PowerDesigner click on the link below:
http://www.sandhillconsultants.com/powerdesignereditions.asp

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Possible public #PowerDesigner courses in Toronto w/c March 7th – sign up now

There is a possibility that I will be in Toronto during week commencing March 7th to run public PowerDesigner courses for Sandhill. Take a look at http://www.sandhillconsultants.com/SAPEducation.asp –  if you think you might be interested in attending any of these courses, contact me or Robert Lutton at Sandhill (robert.lutton@sandhillconsultants.com).

What we run will depend on demand, of course, so let us know as soon as you can. Thanks

When your processes or business rules aren’t up to the job, don’t blame the customer #BusinessRules

Defining and implementing processes and business rules can be a complicated task, as I know from years of experience of data and process modelling.  I’ve been on the receiving end of some incompletely-defined processes and business rules recently, and was made to feel as if it was my fault, and that’s not a good feeling.

This isn’t intended to be a rant against the supplier, though it’s very tempting to go on at length about what went wrong, the promises that were broken, and the amount of time we had to spend on the phone to get it sorted (at a cost of 5 pence per minute).

The topic is the unwritten assumptions that lie behind some process and business rules, and what happens when those assumptions prove to be false.

Here’s the scenario – a family have an integrated dishwasher, built-in to a line of cupboards in the kitchen. The dishwasher has a major fault, so the family decide to replace it, and order a new machine from the web site of one of the biggest electrical retailers in the country. The unusual step they take is to order a free-standing dishwasher to replace the existing integrated machine; they pay extra for the new machine to be installed, and for the old one to be removed.

Here’s the supplier’s description of the service that they paid for.

Insstalling free standing dishwashers

That’s a straightforward process – it says quite simply that they will install the new dishwasher and remove the old one. No conditions specified.

The following morning, the delivery / installation team turned up with the new dishwasher, took one look at the existing one, and refused to touch it. Apparently, removing and installing integrated dishwashers is the job of a specialist team, and it costs the customer a lot more money – 4.5 times as much for installation. The fact that they weren’t being asked to install an integrated dishwasher, just to disconnect it and take it away, was irrelevant.

The family were not impressed – the installation team promised to call the office when they had a mobile signal to arrange a visit by a suitably-qualified team, but the family left nothing to chance, and called Customer Support themselves straight away. They were promised a call back which never came, so they called again in the evening. During that call they were told about the additional cost for installing an integrated appliance, and accused of not reading the terms and conditions when they ordered the installation service. These are the terms and conditions shown above, the ones which don’t mention the assumption that the installers would be replacing like with like.

By the time the family made the evening call to Customer Support, they had discovered how to detach the integrated dishwasher – there were three screws attaching the dishwasher to the worktop, which took about a minute to remove. Now it’s no longer integrated, it’s free-standing; why didn’t the professional installers know how to do that?

If the family had ordered a new integrated appliance, here’s what the installation service would consist of.

Insstalling integrated dishwashers

Again, a straightforward process, and you can see the additional tasks necessary to remove and replace the plinth and the panel door. In the family’s case, none of these tasks were necessary, as they had already removed the plinth and didn’t want to keep the old panel door.

Anyway, as the dishwasher had been converted from ‘integrated’ to ‘free-standing’ by the family, the supplier agreed to honour the original installation agreement and send a new team of installers.

At the time of writing, the family are waiting for the installation team to arrive, with all fingers crossed.

What lessons are there in this unfortunate story, apart from making sure you become an expert in somebody else’s job before they turn up?

  • When defining business processes, document your assumptions, and work on the exceptions (use cases are a great technique for doing this)
  • Make sure that the affected parties (in this case, the customers paying for the service) are aware of the assumptions and exceptions – include them in the definition of the service, perhaps asking the customer to call Customer Support before placing an order if the assumptions aren’t true.
  • Make sure that Customer Support staff don’t blame the customer for the supplier’s own lack of information
  • Let installers use judgement –the original team could have worked out how to remove the existing machine if they’d looked at it instead of just saying “Not my job, mate”

Pls join @datachick @donnaburbank @Suzanherself and me in “What’s New in #DataModeling ” – @Dataversity webinar Oct. 22 bit.ly/1WAlfEQ

On October 22nd, I’ll join Karen Lopez (@DataChick) and others to discuss what’s new in data modelling. Please join in with your comments and questions, no matter what your experience of data modelling. The four of us have seen a lot in our time, so I have no doubt that we’ll have great things to say, but I’d like to hear from you as well. Is there a new direction that you know of, or a new approach by a tool vendor that you think is changing the game?

Register at http://www.dataversity.net/oct-22-modeling-webinar-whats-new-in-data-modeling/

Open Letter to TOG #1

Interesting thoughts here on the often-confused distinction between a model and a meta-model

Mastering ArchiMate

Dear TOG,

I hope this letter finds you well.

As the shepherd of the ArchiMate standard, you are currently working on its next iteration. As I am not part of the ArchiMate Forum, I am going to send you a few open letters with suggestions for improvement of the language and what to do an not to do. I will be voicing some stern/harsh criticisms on ArchiMate in these letters, please don’t take it personal, I’m only interested in strengthening the language which I already find useful as it is. And I apologise beforehand for my language here and there.

This is the first of such a letter.

Today, I want to write to you about the Specialisation relation in ArchiMate.

View original post 1,450 more words

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