The first steps in DEMO

One of the first lessons of my training master of informatics was in DEMO. It started with a story of dwarfs with red, green and blue hats. These hats represent the different levels in an enterprise (business, information, data).

The bleu hated dwarfs where good in remembering thing, such as data. There are also dwarfs that can interpret data these wear an green hat, after they interpret the data, the data is information. With information one can take an decision this will be done by the red dwarfs. These layers should sound familiar these are used in many EA frameworks such as IAF. In these frameworks you see some technology layers because EA is mainly a discipline that comes for the IT department, so IT stuff is important to place in a framework..

DEMO is based on the ontology of an company, and that’s the thing what is the most stabile in a company.

Ontology (from the Greek
ν, genitive ντος: of being <neuter participle of εναι: to be> and -λογία: science, study, theory) is the philosophical study of the nature of being, existence or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations. Traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics, ontology deals with questions concerning what entities exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped, related within a hierarchy, and subdivided according to similarities and differences.

Table 1: Source Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology

DEMO is a way to model and think about ontology, it helps to get a clear sight of what happens and why it happens. It also has a strong binding with Object modeling so the needed information can be derived from the business (trans)actions, and the data can be derived from the information needs. So you get a kind of formal requirements analysis (everything comes from the business actions).

An other cool thing about DEMO is that it’s quite simple to determine the RASCI assignments.
DEMO combines the 3 layers with communication actions. In the example below you see someone who wants to be a member, he asks if he can be a member (request) de member administrator allows him to be a member (promise), so het is responsible. After the promise the member administrator makes performs actions the make the member, he can use others to perform tasks those others will be supportive. The member administrator he tells the person that he is a member (state) and de person accepts it (accept).

demo_communictive_act

If you place this in a rasci table it will look like this.

Who Responsible accountable supportive consulted informed
person   x      
member administrator x        

if you have a more complicated process the other RASCI aspects can be filled according to the model.

A week ago i gave a presentation of DEMO to my colleges at the architecture interest group of my unit. Below you see the presentation, it’s in Dutch (sorry for that).

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