After many years of following a common, document-centric software development process, Mitrais recently adopted a model-centric approach for an internal software product development project.
Using Sparx Systems’ Enterprise Architect solution, the switchover initially involved the use of reverse engineering to document the system “as is” and then filling in the requirements and use cases as development continued on the various modules.
The new practice provides better project documentation management, which in turn improves aspects like traceability from release to release.
This began to work so well that Mitrais then decided to change its software development process to mandate the use of Enterprise Architect in all internal software development and encourage Mitrais clients to use the tool in their software development projects.
“Enterprise Architect is simply the most function per dollar spent of any of the tools we have reviewed or used in the past,” says Mitrais CTO Ken McClellan, “Even our administration staff are using it to define internal business processes at Mitrais using BPMN.” Mitrais joined the Sparx Global Partner Program in November 2012 in order to better serve its client base and has licensed Enterprise Architect for all of its developers.
Mitrais Software Development Newsletter App for the iPhone
Having decided to develop an iPhone version of the Mitrais Quarterly Software Development Newsletter, Enterprise Architect took center stage. Even though this was a relatively small project, Enterprise Architect was used for all the software requirements and design management and this was the first time it was used by the Mitrais Mobile developers.
When asked what he thought about the use of model versus document centric approach, Mitrais Project Manager Agus Winarta said, “The use of Enterprise Architect’s modeling approach was much more useful improving productivity based on our experience in this project.”
The team found that the developer could more easily understand the behavior of the application by reading the diagrams as well as the layering of the application and the relationship between classes when implementing the required functionality or use cases. This helped them improve their productivity by allowing the developer to focus on implementing the code.
During the requirement and design they also found that they could create an element only once and then it can be used by other models or diagrams as necessary for example use-case models, class diagrams, sequence diagrams. This make it easier to track the element as it used the various diagrams.
Even the user interface and navigation was modeled as is usual in larger projects.
Traceability was established from requirements to use cases to actual software design to complete the application model. Traceability was even established to high fidelity screen design images stored in a source code repository.
The result is a well-defined application, available in iTunes that anyone can download to keep up with what is happening at Mitrais. Other outcomes are that Mitrais has a model that may be useful if our clients require a newsletter iPhone app and that Mitrais now has more trained Enterprise Architect modeling resources. The Mitrais Newsletter is also available for the Android platform as well as Apples’ iPad.
Mitrais continues in its journey with Sparx
Currently, a series of fast track projects are being run (and metrics gathered) so that Mitrais can evaluate the use of Use Case Point estimation and get a measure of the efficiencies of Enterprise Architect. Mitrais Lead Enterprise Architect Implementer and MMS Architect Gama Ogi Prayogo says that the thing he appreciates most about Enterprise Architect is that “We are forced to do things the right way.”
Mitrais is continuing to demonstrate Enterprise Architect tool to its customers and is receiving positive feedback. In one recent demonstration a client asked the demonstrator, “I wonder why my architect has not mentioned this tool to me? It is exactly the way we should be going!” Another client says that it is now an integral part of their software assets. Enterprise Architect has also become an integral part of the Mitrais Software Development Process even for projects as small and simple as mobile applications.