Managing Enterprise Architecture using Semantic Wiki

The basic idea is to use Semantic Web technologies to support the Enterprise Architecture practice in the organisation. Semantic Web offers a set of capabilities that makes it ideal for this purpose.

What is available?

  • Semantic MediaWiki
    The current version (at the time of writing: 1.8.x) is a sufficiently mature implementation of semantic features on top of MediaWiki. There are a suite of extensions – most of them are part of the Semantic Bundle – available to extend the basic feature set.
  • Enterprise Architecture ontology
    The basis for enabling SMW to be used as an Enterprise Architecture (EA) tool is the EA ontology (call it meta-model, or schema). It defines a set of concepts and their relationships that will help to organise and structure the information gathered about the enterprise. One of these ontologies can be easily derived from the ArchiMate (V2) meta-model.
  • Triple storage for semantic inferencing and querying (SPARQL)
    Triple stores are a bit tricky in the current version of SMW. The main reason for using them is to take advantage of features like: symmetric properties and inverse properties, offering a lot of value when querying.

What else is needed?

  • Semantic Annotation
    Currently the weakest part of MediaWiki (not specific to SMW) at the moment is the editing, which is not helped by the additional markups for semantic annotation. DataWiki (formerly SMW+) a reasonable job with allowing semantic annotation on the wiki page in WYSIWYG mode. A decent annotation tool (perhaps porting DataWiki’s implementation) is needed to do this job better than the plain wiki markup in SMW.
    Note that most people solve this issue and prefer to use Semantic Forms to enter data. It is a good solution, but carries the danger of  constraining information capture and limiting use (virtually turning SMW into SharePoint or an Access Database).
    This will require new development and/or porting of existing code.
  • Spreadsheet integration
    The reality is that most organisations still use and prefer Excel as the de-facto standard for gathering “somewhat” structured information. It is still the most effective way to request records of data (for example: application names, descriptions, owners, etc) and review of data in many organisations.
    This will require new development.
  • Visualisation tool
    Most people prefer visual representation of landscape, design, etc. and the preferred tool in most places is Visio.This will require new development.

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