Tuesday 26 June 2018

Rhapsody 8.3.1 was made Generally Available (GA) on 15 Jun 18

Rhapsody 8.3.1 was released on 15th June 2018. Key things for me are:

1. Improvements related to Rhapsody Model Manager 6.0.6 (the RTC file-based replacement to Design Manager's client-server based architecture). RMM supports OSLC with increased scalability and ability to work over WAN and in software-centric workflows (like RTC). P.s. Although I mention software-centric, there is equally important thing for systems engineers especially in shared environments where you're exchanging models. Don't forget, RMM is licensed with Design Manager Jazz licenses. Existing users with Designer and Developer licenses under maintenance therefore have entitlement to use it.

2. More little usability tweaks. The intersection bridges and stamp mode improvements are ones I've already covered in tips and tricks videos, but there are others (e.g. diagram views allow you to persist query-based views of diagrams and enables some new 'interesting' possibilities, particularly around filtering diagrams, e.g., for variants or SIL level views).

3. Visual Studio 2017. Important for software users that Rhapsody is keeping up with the every changing software world.

4. An option to display name of operation for Call Operation in activity diagram. This is a small but important enhancement for me as it opens up the possibility to use call operations better to re-use actions across activity diagrams. My SysMLHelper toolkit already supports improved call operation usage workflows hence this will help join the dots for those interested in that workflow. Importantly you can now write the operation description in the call operation's compartment on the diagram.

5. Webify in 64 bit. Hallelujah! Does this mean I no longer have to recommend sticking with the 32 bit for system simulations? The promised land is close.

6. Lots of AUTOSAR stuff (if that's your bag). Did you know AUTOSAR profile is created using MDA techniques, i.e. model-to-model transformations? I think it's rather clever how they keep up to date with the standard. Even, if you're not using AUTOSAR, Rhapsody is big in automotive usage.

This is the list of all the Rhapsody releases.

Sunday 24 June 2018

V7 of Mastering MBSE with SysML and Rational Rhapsody

I have just completed the version 7 update of my 4-day Rational Rhapsody SysML training material. As with the v6 material it's still based on Rhapsody v8.3. However, I've added an improvements particularly in the ports and interfaces area including new theory slides and a full new lab (covering standard vs proxy ports).  If any previous training attendees want the new slides then email me.

My next open training course is 3-4, 5-6 July in conjunction with HORIBA-MIRA academy. It's not only automotive focused but I imagine the topics of how SysML and Rhapsody can be used in 26262 and A-SPICE projects will be on the radar. Course is confirmed but there's still time to register if you're fast. There are options for 2-day Foundation in SysML, essentials 3-day or advanced 4-day training on SysML with Rhapsody. The material is up-to-date and developed with a license agreement with IBM.

Friday 22 June 2018

Looking at a Pizza chain system from 4 different perspectives - MBSE Interest Group Mtg - 22 Jun 18

Following on from a practical session I tried another team exercise at the INCOSE UK MBSE Interest Group yesterday (at Thales in Reading) using white boards. This came from positive feedback to the idea of the last practical session I did (on ports). The topic this time was around the confusion that is often caused if you don't understand or stakeholders misinterpret the system context. 

The room was split into 4 different teams and each team was given 10 minutes to come up with the use cases for a Pizza restaurant chain that makes Pizza, from a different perspective: The organisation, a restaurant, the kitchen and the chef were the 4 levels. These were the results:

Each team then presented back and we explored the idea of looking at a system-of-systems like this with use cases at different levels, how actors and goals might be different at different levels of abstraction and how the higher levels allow you to make bigger decisions with more impact.

Personally I think there's a lot of value of doing recursive use cases system models, and ensuring that all use case models are created in team workshops rather than individually. Also, I think it was good also as it gets people talking and learning each others view points. I enjoyed the meeting and learnt a lot from the feedback. Importantly, rapport is often key in a team and getting each others views really helps this. I might use the idea in my next training!

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Rhapsody Tip #36 - Stamp Mode including double-click in 8.3.1 (Simple)

Stamp Mode has been in the IBM Rational Rhapsody drawing toolbar for a long while. This short 1 min info video shows how it works and what it's for and also highlights an improvement to it in Rhapsody v8.3.1 (2018). If you double rather than single click a tool then essentially stamp mode will become enabled. This reduces the effort required to enable it by making it easier to turn.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

Rhapsody Tip #35 - Nested ports in SysML 1.3 (Intermediate)

Rhapsody supports the SysML concept of nested ports. However, it's not always easy to remember how to enable these. This short video illustrates how to do nested ports with SysML proxy ports and their associated InterfaceBlock. Nested ports are enabled via a right-click menu on the SysML port. Interestingly when you add a nested port to a port, then it is added to the Block or InterfaceBlock that is typing the port. This video shows a proxy port example with an InterfaceBlock. Rhapsody also supports the same capability with FullPorts. As such you could use similar steps to model physical interfaces with Full Ports typed by Blocks.

The video uses 8.3 although this capability was fist introduced in 8.1.3. This is all part of a SysML language that can weave many different types of tapestries. If you want to know which is the best tapestry to weave then that's a different question ;-)

Wednesday 6 June 2018

MBSE with OMG SysML (and Rhapsody) Open Training 3-4 5-6th July near Nuneaton, UK

I'm pleased to announce plans to run an Open/Public training for OMG SysML at HORIBA-MIRA near Nuneaton 3-6th July 2018.

If you just want tool-neutral SysML awareness there's an option to just do the first 2 days. Training will be 4 days for those wanting deep-Rhapsody learning (3 days if you just want Rhapsody essentials). Plenty of options, therefore, but if you have specific needs then feel free to discuss. Training would be with latest Rhapsody release, 8.3 (although I could cover some 8.3.1 preview bits on day 4, if needed).


Tuesday 5 June 2018

Rhapsody Tip #34 - Diagrams: Bridges for line intersections - new in 8.3.1 (Simple)

With 8.3.1 in the release pipeline, this video gives taster of one of the customer-requested usability enhancements in the RC1 open beta. Of-course, Visio does this kind of thing but it's nice to see that the team are polishing IBM Rational Rhapsody's diagramming capabilities and this is one of my favorites. The feature works when the line is rectilinear_arrows or rounded_rectilinear_arrows. Two  properties can be used to control it.

General::Graphics::RectilinearBridgeDrawing turns it on and off,
General::Graphics:::RectilinearBridgeShape can be set to Rounded, Rectangle, Triangle, or Space.

There's few notable things in the release so stay tuned for more 8.3.1 videos.

Next INCOSE UK MBSE Meeting - 21 Jun 18

FYI: The next INCOSE UK MBSE interest group meeting is Thursday, 21st of June, 2018 in Reading RG2 6GF. These tend to be really well attended with a  mix of different industries/companies/tool users. At the last meeting in March I did a session on the different port types in SysML that seemed to be well received as it was quite interactive.

Time: 10:00 to 16:00 (Provisional dependent on agenda)

For those that don't know WG exists:

Attendance would require you to be on the list though.

Monday 4 June 2018

Systems-of-Systems and Use Cases: An Insulin Pump System Example (9 min video with captions)

I tend think use cases are great before they force you to think about your system boundary. That said, I've been in plenty of meetings where everybody is agreeing on the use case, but participants actually have completely different perceptions of the system context. Like the statement "controlling the speed has nothing to do with my system, it's done by this other system" is an interesting one when talking about Cruise Control. Clearly if your system is a vehicle then the system will be controlling the speed. If your system is a sub-set of the vehicle, then it will depend on which bit you own.

In this video I walk through an example of an insulin pump system, or more precisely, two systems that relate to an insulin management system to show how each level can have use cases, but that the use cases differ in the level of abstraction. The key is that the concept of abstraction allows us to deal with complexity at the system-of-system level by focusing on essential detail only. It's also abstraction that enables us to keep things valid and current as the detail is fleshed out. My view is that one should create different use cases at each level and give ownership to the teams. Like when a sky-diver jumps out of an airplane, the first thing they look for is not the gate in the field. The same thing applies with models. This video illustrates using an Insulin Pump Management System to illustrate the value of abstraction. It shows shows an example of how to use Rhapsody's Allocation Wizard to allocate system functions to parts of a system.

Friday 1 June 2018

Rhapsody 8.3.1 Open Beta

Rhapsody released tend to be aligned with Jazz platform cycles (6 monthly). This means that the time for 8.3.1 is approaching.

There is actually an open beta version you can download (obviously needed if you're testing Rhapsody Model Manager backend, like me).

The Rhapsody 8.3.1 beta link is on Jazz.net, all downloads tab:

Scroll to the bottom to find the Rhapsody Open Beta link. You might need to fiddle around a bit to get the IBM ID login to come up but it should allow you to download the zip.

Remember, although multiple Editions of Rhapsody can be installed, you need to be careful that the DLLs are registered correctly if you're using some of the add-ins (or you uninstall one of them hoping to use another).

Check out the bridges!