For those who want ot know more about DM and where it is going, I though I'd interview Alan Yeung, Senior Development Manager for Design Manager, to find out more about the realities of Design Manager, and what it brings new to modeling. As you will read, semantic modeling is more real than I suggested.
VCH : Concerning DM genesis, what were the motivations for developing DM in the first place ? Customers requests, research, industry transformations, others (…) ?
AYE: Customers today are using design tools to simplify application and system complexity; to analyze software and systems for defects, potential reuse and to understand the ripple effects when changes are made in their system, i.e., perform impact analysis; they also use these tools to document their designs to share with their stakeholders. DM plans to tackle these challenges in a number of phases. In 2011, our first release, we tackled some of these challenges by offering the following:
- making it easier to share designs and get feedback from stakeholders
- support linking of lifecycle artifacts (e.g. linking DM design aritifacts to requirements (RM), workitems (RTC) and (QM) test cases and test plans) and to thus enable traceability across these domains and the ability understand the impact of changes across these lifecycle artifacts.
- making it easier to find information via a powerful yet simple to use search engine
- making it possible to create reports that span designs and lifecycle artifacts
VCH: DM enables users to publish their RSA or Rhapsody models into a Jazz repository, to provide read (web and docs with BIRT/RPE), comments, review, traceability capabilities for models.. What types of models are supported for RSA ?
AYE: For RSA, UML2, BPMN & DP&A models are supported.
VCH: What changes are made to the persistence format to persist a model in a Jazz repository ?
AYE: For RSA models, the DM importer will refactor the models into smaller fragments, convert them from EMF to RDF and post them to the server.
VCH: Models are imported from RSA/Rhapsody to DM. Can they also be imported from DM to RSA/Rhapsody ?
AYE: No, since you cannot edit the model in DM 3.0 there isn't a need for this yet.
VCH: Can DM be installed on the same JTS as CLM 3.0 ? Which one should be installed first ?
AYE: No for DM 3.0 but it is something we intend to support in 3.5
VCH: The current DM beta introduces Domain Modeling. Are these domains defined using ontology-like approach ?
AYE: Yes. The DM 3.5 milestones provides a DM meta-model that is based on RDFS and OWL but also includes additional meta-data for DM. E.g. tooling domain data (query), delete cascade (if you delete A, then delete B). Using MOF terminology, the DM MM would correspond to a M3 model where as the domain models would be M2.
VCH: How our these domains used ?
AYE: A domain architect can use DM to model a domain of interest to them. E.g. a telecom provider could use DM to model a telecom domain consisting of base stations, network controllers, customers and other such entities with the appropriate properties and relations. Once a domain is defined, DM will generate the web tools necessary to create and edit instances of the domains. In addition, all the existing DM capabilities such as review, comment, OSLC linking, search, reporting etc. would be available as well.
VCH: Can domains be shared between users and projects via DM server ?
AYE Yes. Domains are stored in a pre-defined project called "domains". To create instances of a domain in DM, create a project and simply reference the domain. The act of making a reference to a domain(s) in the domains project enables the tools that allow you to create and edit instances of the referenced domain. Multiple projects can use the same domain.
VCH: Now about the future of DM. Will RSA and/or Rhapsody ever persist models directly into DM, rather than having to import/export models ?
AYE: Yes, this functionality is available in our DM 3.5 milestones available on jazz.net.
VCH: Will DM ever enable users to create and edit UML/SoaML/BPMN/Topologies in full web mode ?
AYE: In the 3.5, we intend to support web editing of the above domains using forms (generated by the domain editor).
VCH: Will DM allow for full OWL support ?
AYE: The DM MM is based on OWL and RDFS but includes additional classes and properties. If you are asking can DM import a OWL ontology and convert it into a DM domain it certainly is possible. We did have it on our plans at one point but have put it on hold until we get customer requests.
VCH: Do you envisage moving some modeling formalisms (UML, SoaML,...) to ontology-based meta-models ?
AYE: Yes. We intend to support UML/BMPN/DP&A meta-models that following the DM MM formalism in our next milestone.
VCH: What others modeling tools are coming to DM ?
AYE: There are plans to support other modeling tools. However for legal reasons I can't mention them.