Saturday 26 January 2019

IET Lecture on MBSE, Coventry University, 24 Jan 2019

On Thursday night I gave a lecture on Model-based Systems Engineering for the Institute of Technology and Engineering (IET). I found it most interesting and it was great to speak to people. There were a range of industries in the audience; automotive OEM, automotive supplier, nuclear, defense/airspace and commercial. I also got a tour of the Engineering Department at Coventry University. I didn't realise it had a Harrier jump-jet inside it! (amazing)

The PDF of my Model-based Systems Engineering (MBSE) presentation is here.

Monday 14 January 2019

Rational Rhapsody Tip #51 - SysML vs UML: The RepresentParts property (Intermediate)

Despite being a software engineer adept at model-driven software development with Rhapsody (I maintained the C++ training for 4 years), in recent years I’ve been doing a lot with SysML and sometimes I get so used to the fact that a composition creates a part. I forget that this wasn’t always the case. In this video I explain the property that controls this. The property is called ObjectModelGe::Composition::RepresentParts. The video is also a reflection, in a way, of one of the differences systems modeling in the SysML and software modeling in the UML. SysML puts a strong emphasis on the hierarchical decomposition of systems using composition relations, whereas software modelers often use associations. The RepresentParts property switches Rhapsody behavior on BDDs so that composition relations = parts. This brings the bdd and ibd diagrams closer together, allowing bdds to be used to draw hierarchies of Blocks and Parts (which is why I often say that they dance in pairs). This short tips and tricks video illustrates the difference!

Friday 4 January 2019

Rational Rhapsody Tip #50 - Using Rhapsody automation to simply usage, increase consistency and ease user acceptance (Advanced)

I used to think it was sufficient to teach pure SysML/UML and tricks using Rhapsody. However, in my 50th tips and tricks video I thought I'd highlight one of the areas where I've seen the most productive MBSE value come over the last few years, particularly when deploying Rhapsody to a wider community of users. This video shows an example of tailoring using a profile and supporting plug-in. The code base itself is part of my SysML Helper (v3) profile development which has moved from being just focused on executable MBSE, to supporting a range of different methods. The key thing about automation is that experts can define how to set-up the tool. I can then utilize automation and deep IBM Rational Rhapsody product knowledge, so that end-users can focus on the engineering problems they're trying to solve rather than the tool. My latest technique is to make use of new term packages a lot more, as illustrated in this example, that shows a profile that focuses on supporting the hierarchical decomposition of a system into function blocks.

The video also shows some techniques such as creating custom diagrams like a functional block BDD, and substituting functional context diagram for a use case diagram. It is SysML. However, it's SysML tailored for a specific user community. The benefits of this kind of automation are:
  1. Speeds up modeling (so they can focus on engineering rather than model set-up).
  2. Improves consistency (which makes life easier for users), and
  3. Reduces training needs (as it can be more tailored to end-user/specific areas of interest) 

Web-based training now available

Around November I did my first trials with web-based delivery of Rhapsody training. This actually worked quite well (I then got diverted by some consultancy work hence never got around to launching it).

In general though, I'm looking to move future training to this mechanism as I can:
a) Support training in different regions easier (a lot of my requests are coming from USA and Europe).
b) Different pricing models (reduced expenses/travel/ability to deliver half-day on the job training), and
c) Deliver new training content easier, particularly related to DOORS NG, Jazz and Rhapsody usage.

I will be looking to deliver this via direct bookings and may trial some public training sessions based on areas of customer interest. If you have any interest in this then let me know.