Service Oriented Architecture with QualiWare

Integration of Data, expansion of the SOA Knowledge Base and easier generation of relevant documentation

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When Ementor, one of Denmark’s major IT consultancy service providers, recently bid for and won an ambitious SOA project with the Danish Food Industry Agency (“DFFE”), Ementor decided to place a bid using the QualiWare Enterprise Architecture Suite as a central component of its bid.

The Danish Food Industry Agency (DFFE), part of The Danish Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, administers the common market organization for agricultural products, fruit, horticultural crops and fishery products. The Agency performs tasks in connection with trade promotion and structural change and development in the Danish food sector. Administering federal farm subsidies is one of the Agency’s primary tasks, involving the processing of about 70,000 applications and payments of approximately 10 billion kroner in subsidies annually.

QualiWare Enterprise Architecture Framework

Standardization ensures easier exchange of information

In 2005, completely new rules for the payment of farm subsidies went into effect in areas administered as part of the European Union’s ongoing agricultural policy reforms. The new rules—designated the “Common Agricultural Policy” (CAP)—involve a comprehensive overhaul of the agricultural protocol and its administration. At the same time, the Danish food sector established a Sector Standardization Board in order to comprehensively standardize information exchange between organizations such as the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, The Danish Ministry of the Environment, The Danish Ministry of Family and Consumer Affairs, SKAT (Danish Tax Administration), and the Danish Municipalities and Regions. Since 2005, the Sector Standardization Board has successfully taken up its work and developed a series of conceptual models and matching data standards for various identifiable areas of concern. The purpose of this standardization is to ensure easier definition and more consistent exchange of concepts and information, with the ultimate aim of ensuring more efficient and digital management of Board casework.

Procedure: new subsidies administration system required

As a result of the measures it decided to undertake, the DFFE developed an entirely new subsidy administration system to be called the “DFFE CAP.” DFFE procured for a solution based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), specifically to acquire a solution able to foster efficient cooperation with existing systems in the food sector while fully complying with guidelines set forth by the Sector Standardization Board.

The DFFE procured the new CAP system in December, 2005. The initial bid included an option for an Enterprise Architecture (EA) tool to be used for developing and maintaining systems specifications and also for maintaining future systems specifications in other parts of The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. Ementor decided to submit its bid to DFFE with QualiWare EA Suite as its preferred EA tool. In Ementor’s deliberations, the following factors weighed in heavily for the selection of QualiWare:

  • QualiWare EA Suite is successfully used for similar purposes in several comparably large organizations, such as ATP (Denmark’s largest administrator of pensions & labor agreements), COOP (Denmark’s leading consumer goods retailer), IBM, Statoil Hydro Polymers, DnB NOR (Norway’s largest financial services group), Volvo Aero Corporation, Vattenfall and others. 
  • The conceptual model of the Danish Federal food sector had already been developed and is currently maintained in the QualiWare EA tool. 
  • Ementor was satisfied that QualiWare would be able to provide The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries with effective local support now and in future. 
  • QualiWare EA Suite satisfies DFFE’s business needs and technical requirements and is attractively priced when compared to similar, competing applications. 
  • QualiWare offers broad support for several languages, an important consideration for Ementor since the CAP system will be developed partly in India.

Everything considered, QualiWare EA Suite satisfies Ementor’s business needs and technical requirements for modeling and model publishing. Ementor also values QualiWare’s attractive and intuitive user interface which has helped process owners gain quick business value from the moment the software is implemented.

DFFE awarded a contract with Ementor in June, 2006 and picked up the QualiWare EA Suite as a tool option in August, 2006.

Activities: the product is adapted and implemented

In June 2006, Ementor started to prepare original DFFE tender documents. Ementor later used these documents as the basis for preparing extensive DFFE systems specifications.

QualiWare assisted by training Ementor’s IT architects in the QualiWare EA Suite, tailoring the out-of-the-box product to fit Ementor’s specific requirements and implementing previously-defined company specs.

The DFFE CAP repository includes:

  • Use Cases concretizing demands on the CAP DFFE system and specifying how they will be fulfilled. 
  • Conceptual and domain models specifying what information is used by people working with various Use Cases and also specifying the use of relevant OIO (Architecture for Digital Administration) data standards, including implied advantages for The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. 
  • A process model containing operational workflows. 
  • A catalogue regarding the technical services and operations required to realize service orientations. 
  • A tailored and tailorable version of the QualiWare EA Suite, including company-specific models (UML etc.) and report options (HTML and documents) meeting the communication requirements agreed upon by Ementor and DFFE.

Results: improved consistency and easier updates

Ementor has identified the following benefits which derive from using the QualiWare EA Suite:

  • Integration of Data: QualiWare EA Suite ensures enterprise-wide specification and data consistency where the use of traditional office applications would result in unaligned, siloed data. 
  • Easier generation of relevant documentation: Using QualiWare EA Suite, Ementor was easily and quickly able to update and generate documentation regarding the company’s current systems specifications. Usually work associated with the updating of earlier deliveries consumes valuable employee time and energy. 
  • Expansion of the SOA Knowledge Base: Ementor has now achieved expertise in achieving and planning for future SOA projects by using QualiWare EA Suite. This expertise will help current Ementor clients and also increase the company’s competitive profile in the marketplace.

The system specification was approved by the DFFE on February 28, 2007.

Ementor says:

"The DFFE CAP project is one of the largest SOA projects ever undertaken in Denmark. Because the Danish Food Industry Agency (DFFE) considered selection of an EA tool to be an essential part of its proposed systems specification work, Ementor had to evaluate and select an EA tool with great care. QualiWare Enterprise Suite turned out to be an excellent choice for both Ementor and the DFFE, combining exceptional tool capability, great functionality, and user-defined tailorability. QualiWare’s ongoing technical support and willingness to go the extra mile in company-critical situations sealed the deal for Ementor and its end user, the DFFE."