IFML – the word starts spreading

IFML and its standardization process has raised quite a lot of attention recently.
As you may know, the OMG (Object Management Group) adopted IFML as a standard in March (you can read the story here and the official standard spec here).
Now, several initiatives are pushing towards wide dissemination and adoption:

Thanos Zolotas giving a seminar on IFML at University of York, CS Dept.
Thanos Zolotas giving a seminar on IFML.

  • Gustavo Rossi (from Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina) wrote a wonderful editorial letter on IEEE Internet Computing titled: “Web Modeling Languages Strike Back“. The letter concentrates on the advantages of standardizing modeling languages and widely describes IFML.
  • Thanos Zolotas gave a seminar on IFML at University of York, CS Dept., at one of their weekly group meetings (thanks to Richard Paige for letting us know).  
  • Myself, I gave a Webinar last month on the basics of IFML (slides and video are available here) and I’m going to give another one in the next weeks, on integration of IFML with other standards like BPMN and UML.
  • I have been contacted by the European representative of OMG for working more closely on IFML and I’m also working with people at Know Gravity, a company based in Zurich, Switzerland, that developed the concept of MDEE (Model-driven Enterprise Engineering). With them we are exploring the possibility of introducing IFML in their framework (and in their book).
  • On the implementation side, the WebRatio opensource IFML editor is available for download, and the sources are on GitHub (, instructions here). Further discussions are ongoing for having IFML covered by tools like MagicDraw, Papyrus, and Modelio.
If you know about other seminars or initiatives on IFML please share the news! We will be glad to disseminate and support the events.

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Model Driven Enterprise Engineering (TM)

Model Driven Enterprise Engineering (MDEE) is a concept proposed by Know Gravity, a company based in Zurich, Switzerland, that has been active in modeling and requirement engineering since 2000.

They propose a pragmatic approach to integration of OMG and non-OMG modeling specification, so as to cover all the modeling needs of the enterprise (and not only for software).
They come up with a quadrant of 4 + 1 modeling settings, as shown in this slide:

The Model Driven Enterprise Engineering framework and the mapping to the  OMG modeling languages.

The 5 scenarios are named as:

  • Strategy Model (business – what?)
  • Operational Model (business – how?)
  • IT Support Model (IT – what?)
  • Technology Model (business – how?)
  • Management Model

The focus of the approach is mainly in the first stages of design, and especially on requirement, simulation and early prototyping.
The approach is based on integrating and relating together multiple and diverse models, through the definition of a vocabulary (SBVR-based) and integrated metamodel.
It covers project management, enterprise and system document generation, functional requirements, business rules, and many more aspects.
The idea starts from the fact that using single OMG specification doesn’t make much sense, because actually many OMG business and IT specs are complementary and sometimes overlapping. Therefore there is need of alignment on meta entity level and of designing cross-model and/or cross-profile associations.
The current way they do this is to have a profile-based comprehensive modeling tool, that lets you model the various aspects and related them to each other.
In my opinion, this is not that different to the megamodeling approaches.
The good news is that they also plan to fully support IFML (the new OMG standard called Interaction Flow Modeling Language, see also my previous post on standardization here) in the framework by 2014.

Two peculiar initiatives I deem interesting are:

  • they trademarked the concept of Model Driven Enterprise Engineering!
  • they plan to write and publish a book on the topic which will be completely automatically generated out of the models, and will be produced following software engineering processes, starting from use cases, requirements, and so on!

You can find more on this at the company Web site: Know Gravity.

To keep updated on my activities you can subscribe to the RSS feed of my blog or follow my twitter account (@MarcoBrambi).