Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The OMG has formally adopted SysML, which is an extension of UML 2.0 for complex systems engineering.

(Interestingly, OMG SysML describes itself as a general-purpose modelling language, whereas the SysML Forum and Wikipedia describe it as a domain-specific modelling language. Is this a difference of opinion or a difference in terminology?)

I have always regarded SOA as a systems engineering challenge rather than a software engineering challenge. (This was why, in January 2005, I suggested that RUP/SE was a significant improvement over RUP.) SOA is essentially a system-of-systems (SoS) rather than a single system, and systems engineering has the constructs to handle SoS.

SysML contains a requirements diagram as well as something called a parametric diagram. Most of the published examples of these diagrams are fairly technical, but I am currently evaluating these diagrams for business modelling purposes. It would be useful to have a standard notation (and therefore better tool support) for those aspects of the business that cannot be adequately represented in standard UML or BPMN.

There is a list of tool vendors involved in the SysML initiative, including Artisan, EmbeddedPlus, Gentleware, IBM, I-Logix, Mentor Graphics, PivotPointTechnology, Sparx Systems, Telelogic and Vitech Corp.

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