MBSE and Integration | Part 6 – Syndeia Other Requirements

In this post, we will continue the example begun in Parts 4 and 5. We are evaluating the Syndeia interoperability platform from Intercax using the criteria for evaluating integration solutions (IS) laid out in the first three parts of the series. In this part, we will focus on other functional and non-functional requirements. Performance against these requirements should be considered in the context of the integrations’ objectives.

IS Evaluation Criteria – Other Requirements

Range of Tools

What tools and use cases does the IS currently support?

syndeia-supports-tools

Syndeia supports a combination of reference and model transform (link and sync) use cases, depending on the tools connected.

What tools and use cases does the IS plan to support in the future?

The upcoming 3.3 release will add Artifactory (JFrog), JIRA ATM (Adaptavist), and TestRail (Gurock).  Additional tools in each category are under development.

Does the IS provide utilities and documentation for end-users to add new tools?

No, Syndeia does not provide utilities, etc., to allow end-users to add new tool interfaces themselves.

Does the IS provider have a standard process for adding custom tool interfaces?

Yes, Intercax provides several mechanisms for customers to commission new tool interfaces and use cases.

Does the IS include interfaces to quality, manufacturing and field data?

Currently, Syndeia can create reference connections to files containing quality, manufacturing and field data, but no interfaces are available for Syndeia to access the contents of those files.

Data Governance

Does the IS support rules defining “master” copies of data?

Syndeia does not support rule-based definition of master repositories. User permissions for read/write access to those repositories may be set up for a de facto system of repository protection.

Does the IS provide a specific ECO process?

Syndeia does not mandate a specific ECO process.

Data Protection

Does the IS support shared common models?

Syndeia’s model transform capabilities support the creation of common models, typically SysML models, that can be selectively populated and updated by multiple parties. Because each party controls the connections back to their own proprietary models, the contents of these models are protected.

Does the IS assign permissions for accessing information across domain boundaries?

Syndeia Cloud requires a user account and password to access information about the connections between model elements. It does not assign permissions for access to the contents of those models, but respects the permissions set by the model repositories themselves.

Does the IS assign permissions for updating information across domain boundaries?

Syndeia does not assign permissions for updating the contents of individual domain models, but respects the read/write permissions set by the model repositories themselves.

Version Management

Does the IS version-manage system models?

No, Syndeia does not version-manage the individual domain models. It can, however, recognize when the version-managed elements in those models change.

Does the IS version-manage connections between system models?

Yes, Syndeia Cloud maintains a version-managed repository of the connections between model elements in different repositories. Earlier sets of connections can be reconstructed.

Does IS version-management support branching and merging?

No, Syndeia does not support branching and merging of the version-managed connection information.

Scaleability

For a system model of characteristic size, how long does it take to search for data?

For Syndeia projects with thousands of connections, search times are on the order of milliseconds.

For a system model of characteristic size, how long does it take to access that data?

For Syndeia projects with thousands of elements, accessing data in remote repositories is on the order of seconds. This is primarily determined by the network latency and repository API efficiency. Data queries are optimized for speed.

For a system model of characteristic size, how long does it take to update that data?

For Syndeia projects with thousands of elements, updating data in remote repositories is on the order of seconds. This is primarily determined by the network latency and repository API efficiency. Data queries are optimized for speed.

Configurability

Can the user configure the IS to recognize custom data types and relationships?

Yes, Syndeia has the ability to recognize artifact and relationship types, both standard and custom, in some external repositories: SysML, JIRA, Jama, DOORS NG and Teamcenter.

Can the user configure the IS to use custom mappings for model transforms?

Yes, Syndeia allows users to create custom mappings, including artifacts, relations and attributes, for model transforms between some external repositories: SysML to JIRA, Jama, DOORS NG and Teamcenter.

Can the user deploy these configurations easily across their enterprise?

Yes, the custom mapping, which requires a special license to create, can be saved to a special mappings file and distributed to other users in the organization.

Standards-Based

Does the IS support standard modeling languages?

Syndeia is not a modeling tool itself, but it recognizes model elements of SysML and related architectural modeling languages.

Does the IS support standard APIs?

Syndeia Cloud has an open REST API, which can be used to search, query and visualize the connection information by external applications, e.g. Jupyter notebooks, OpenMBEE. Syndeia uses REST and OSLC interfaces of the connected tools, where available, to access their contents.

Does the IS support standard data import/export formats?

Syndeia supports a number of standard formats, include JSON for export.

Figure 1 Syndeia scoring against Other Requirements

Figure 1 Syndeia scoring against Other Requirements

The summary of Syndeia’s evaluation in terms of other requirements, shown in Figure 1, can be summarized in several short statements:

  • It covers a wide range of tools and use cases, but new interfaces require vendor participation.
  • It does not enforce data governance rules directly, but respects permissions set for individual repositories
  • It supports data protection through shared models.
  • It version-manages connections, but not models.
  • It is highly scaleable and configurable.
  • It uses and supports a variety of standards, but is not limited by those standards in its functionality.

This completes our evaluation of Syndeia as an integration solution. We acknowledge our bias as the developers of Syndeia, but hope that the questions, at least, will be helpful to practitioners who have reached this stage in deploying MBSE in their organizations. Those questions are downloadable in MS Word format from the link below. The bottom line is that no single IS is the best; each must be evaluated in terms of the user’s objectives and development environment.

Download:

Questions for Evaluation Criteria

Related Posts:

Dirk Zwemer

Dirk Zwemer

Dr. Dirk Zwemer (dirk.zwemer@intercax.com) is President of Intercax LLC (Atlanta, GA), a supplier of MBE engineering software platforms like Syndeia and ParaMagic. He is an active teacher and consultant in the field and holds Level 4 Model Builder-Advanced certification as an OMG System Modeling Professional.