Thursday, February 02, 2006

There's No Such Thing As Bad Publicity

The Big Picture: The Challenge of Visual Modeling

By Jonas Lamis, Vice President, Product Marketing, Troux Technologies

My company, Flashmap Systems, was contacted by Troux Technologies, asking our permission for their Vice President of Product Marketing, Jonas Lamis, to include our graphic, illustrated below, in an article he was writing for Architecture & Governance Magazine.

Click on image for Flash version of graphic that can be zoomed by right-clicking

Our response was "Go right ahead. But please be sure to include our copyright notice."

Although the article, entitled The Big Picture: The Challenge of Visual Modeling, included our graphic, our copyright was omitted. I assume that this was an oversight. The article itself made some excellent points, especially Edward Tufte's notion that Graphical Excellence:
  • is the well-designed presentation of interesting data;
  • communicates complex ideas with clarity, precision and efficiency; and
  • provides the viewer the greatest number of ideas in the shortest time, with the least ink, and in the smallest space.
Unfortunately, the article mischaracterizes my company's EA products. It implies that Flashmap's tools compete directly against Troux's Metis Enterprise software. Personally, I don't believe they do. Rather, they complement one another.

Enterprise Architecture, in my view, involves three distinctly separate components:
  • the creation of models
  • the population of content
  • the communication of content
Troux's suite of tools focus mainly on the first two bullets above, while Flashmap's products excel at accomplishing the third -- communicating architecture information to a community of untrained users. Take a look below at an example of the kind of UML-like graphic that Troux's products produce:

Obviously, the collection of Metis boxes and lines are quite different than Flashmap's "big picture" value chain-like graphic, shown near the beginning of this posting, which visually depicts goods and services flowing left-to-right while money moves in the opposite direction from right-to-left.


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