Models in the Cloud – Accessible from Everywhere

 

In many domains there is a tendency these days to use cloud services more and more: music, messaging, slideshows, videos, meeting coordination, content management, customer relationship management to name just a few. For code generation as a service there is Virtual Developer and a few other similar providers (in the broadest sense). In a future blog post we will have a closer look at those. But what about modeling in the cloud? In this post we’d like to point you to two pretty new services that open up a totally new way of working with models: smartfacts and GenMyModel.

 

MID GmbH, a leading provider of modeling tools for business processes, data and IT architectures with headquarters in Nuremberg (Germany), enters the market with an unprecedented tool: smartfacts. smartfacts integrates models of differnet tools in a cloud based model repository. In smartfacts you can import models that have been created with different modeling tools (Sparx Enterprise Architect, Visio, MID Innovator, ARIS, …). By using a google-like web interface you can search the whole repository for model elements and diagrams, display diagrams and detailed model information. In addition to this, smartfacts lets you add comments and notifies users about changes. Due to the web interface, models can be accessed from everywhere: Desktop, Tablet, Smartphone. For bigger companies, with their zoo of different modeling tools, this is a big step forward. Even different versions of the same model can be hosted by smartfacts.

smartfacts opens another big door, which originally maybe wasn’t the driving force for its development: A code generator now can easily access models over the internet/intranet by means of smartfacts‘ REST API. A generator on the Virtual Developer Platform provides options to configure the access to the REST API and to select the models to be used as the input for the code generation. Nothing else is needed. Modeling and code generation by means of cloud technologies – what else do you need?!

 

smartfacts is a model repository. It doesn’t let you model in the cloud (at least not yet). There exists another service that provides exactly this: GenMyModel. GenMyModel is a service to create UML models that are stored in the cloud. At this moment they support class, activity, use case and object diagrams. You have real-time collaboration features and you can choose a modeling project to be either public or private. If you want to have private modeling projects, you will have to pay for the service (this is announced to commence as of 27th of September). GenMyModel is pretty new and out of beta since September. Unfortunately, they do not yet provide a REST API to access models remotely. This is planned, though. As soon as this will be available, a code generator on the Virtual Developer Platform could access a model the same way as it was outlined with smartfacts.