Shared architecture repository for Microsoft Office & Visio content
Uniquely, iServer Architecture Repository contains not just re-useable modeling objects but also documents, deliverables and document components; a mandatory requirement when using TOGAF® and any other EA method. Unlike other EA tools, models and documents stored in the iServer remain in their original office format so content never needs to undergo a complicated export or conversion process to bring into or out of the iServer environment.
Building views & viewpoints
Custom-views can be created in minutes to ensure that the artifacts and deliverables satisfy the viewpoints of your stakeholders. Additional information can be built into the views to provide instructions and guidance in creation of the view or its purpose.
Flexibility to define your own modeling language
iServer is truly extensible. Any Visio stencil can be deployed instantly as a new modeling standard, whether it is a custom stencil specific to an organization, an industry specific domain specific language, a 3rd party stencil from product vendors such as Cisco, or an industry modeling standard such as ArchiMate (for EA) or BPMN (for process). Unlike many other tools, there is no complex coding or consultancy driven changes needed, just a simple upload into the iServer Repository.
Organizations can quickly and easily define their own meta-data requirements for anything in the iServer EA Repository - including folders (such as projects) models, model components such as applications or technologies, or documents such as Service Level Agreement or Vision Papers - another example of iServer's extensibility!
Most organizations need to create their own meta-model or modify an industry standard version to suit their organizational needs. iServer provides a fully extensible Meta-model environment in which object types, their relationships and the rules governing how your EA components are related can be set.
Importing data, synchronizing information & converting from other tools
Enterprise architecture data created in other modeling tools, Excel spreadsheets or mastered in other systems can be imported into or synchronized with iServer using the Data Exchange capability. This ensures the fast-start of EA initiatives with no loss of data and the guaranteed integrity of the information used in the Architecture over the longer term.
Dependency tracking & 'what if' analysis
Interdependency tracking is available within the iServer EA Repository and is used to assess plan the effect of change, not just between modeling objects (architecture building blocks), but also between models , architecture building blocks, documents and document components (Word bookmarks). This allows what-if analysis to be performed against items such requirements, objectives and goals usually held as text in Word documents.
Windows Explorer style document & model structure
As iServer's Windows Explorer style document and model structure is familiar to most users, finding and managing information is incredibly easy. Organizations can easily define a default structure within which to organize their EA work to suit their needs or can use any standard frameworks such as Zachman or the ADM phases within TOGAF®. Multiple alternate views can be created so information is accessed in the most appropriate way or targeted directly to specific stakeholders.
Managing transition architectures
Multiple Transition Architectures can be stored a single iServer Repository. Each Transition Architecture is segmented but managed within a single source so that queries and Gap Analysis comparisons can be used to understand and track variances, and dependencies established between the various architectures.
Controls can be implemented to restrict access and editing of enterprise architecture information by users of both the iServer EA Repository and the iServer Portal. Profiles can be created to allow approvers to 'lock' specific aspects of the enterprise architecture once content has reached a specific sign-off point in the EA governance cycle.
Documents, models and architecture building blocks can be tagged for review and approval as they move through the EA lifecycle. Issues, comments, change request etc. can be generated by architects and business users alike, either online or in the EA Repository editing suite. They can be assigned to users for review and resolution, with notification and comment services to help move an issue through to resolution. Full version history is provided for models, documents, and architecture building blocks with comprehensive roll-back, purge and recovery facilities.
Search & filtering
Extensive search and filtering capabilities are provided within the enterprise architecture repository which allows users to create views of the EA data for export to Excel for further analysis or publication. This facility includes the ability to use meta-data as repository filters.
Traceability to external resources
Modelers often need to refer to documents/diagrams stored in a Document Management System (such as Microsoft SharePoint) or on a wiki. Instead of having to import (duplicate) these resources in the central repository, a facility enables users to link from objects within iServer to these resources, and also navigate the links within Portal. This avoids duplication and allows faster access to external resources.
Publishing & browser access to the EA repository
iServer has two options for sharing content with the wider business. HTML Publisher creates time-based static views of enterprise architecture content with Portal providing live access to 'real-time' repository data. Both options provide business users with a simple way to navigate through the content, search for data, follow dependency threads, access reports and feedback on the quality and value of the Architecture.
Reporting & matrices
Matrices showing Process to Organization, Application Interfaces, RACI, CRUD and any other object relationship view can be generated from within iServer. Once produced, matrices can be exported to Excel for further analysis or be saved back into iServer and made available to business users via Portal or Publisher. A series of Report Packs provide for the fast production of standard EA deliverables such as Gap Analysis and Architecture Roadmaps, but the Reporting Database organizations with a facility to write their own custom reports and queries.