Mind Mapping and ER Diagram Integration – convert Mind Map topics into ER Entities

One of Astah’s unique features is an integration of UML/DFD/ERD diagrams and Mind Maps. One example is to generate UseCase diagrams from Mind Map. Gather user requirements using a Mind Map and then convert them into Actors and UseCases. (Read this white paper for its practice or watch demo video if you are interested.)Astah_MindMap_to_UC

Check out the demo video!

And  today we received a new question regarding the conversion between Mind Map and ER Diagram.

“Can Mind Map topics be converted into ER Entities? like Parent topics as ER Entities and its child topics as its Attributes?”

Astah itself does not have its ability so we provided a way to do so using this Script Plug-in. Script Plug-in is a perfect and easiest way to add customized functionalities to Astah quickly. All you do is to write up its script and let it run in Astah. Java Script, ECMA Script and Apple Script are supported. We have some prepared Java Scripts for you such as to add Setters and Getters, stereotypes, list up all the Classes, Mind Map Topics..etc. Download Script Samples

Here is a sample of how Mind Map topics can be imported as ER Entities + Attributes.
First define the ER Entities and its attributes in Mind Map (ER Entity in the 1st level and its Attributes in the 2nd level) like the figure below.
MindMap1

Copy and paste this Script in Script Window and run.
Astah Mind Map

Then these Mind Map topics will be imported as ER Entities and its Attributes as defined.

Astah ER Diagram

To draw these ER models on the diagram, create or open an ER Diagram and just drag them onto the Diagram.

Astah ER Diagram

There are million things you can do by using this Script Plug-in. Refer to the API documents and customize your Astah to do more what you’d like to do!

PS: Thank you Eldo for requesting this feature that gave me a chance to introduce this useful Script Plug-in to more users. :)

Cheers,
SJ

Posted in ER Diagram, Kenji, Mindmap, Plug-in | Leave a comment

[TIPS] How to remove shadows from models

[Editions for: Astah Professional, Astah Community, Astah SysML and Astah GSN]

When you draw models, each model element will have shadow by default.
Astah UML Class Diagram This is how to remove the shadow.
(1) Go to [Tool] – [System Properties] and select [Diagram Editor] from the left menu
(2) Take a check off from [Add shadow on model elements] and click [Apply] – [OK].
When you do this, make sure that [Apply the project settings to the current project] option is checked.

Astah System Properties

Astah System Properties

Here’s the same diagram without shadows.
Astah, UML, Class Diagram

Cheers,
SJ

Posted in GSN, News, SysML, TIPS, UML | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thank you AgileRoots 2014

AgileRoots 2014

AgileRoots 2014 (photo by @Agileroots)

Keynote by Kenji (photo by @nawoto)

Keynote by Kenji (photo by @nawoto)

I attended Agile Roots 2014 in Salt Lake City held on June 19-20, which turned out to be a wonderful as well as very special conference to me. I was so humbled to be able to do the keynote there to share ideas and thoughts of my predecessors.

Because I’m from Japan, AND, this conference is named “Agile Roots”, I thought I should bring something very unique from Japan and also suitable for this “Roots” conference.

Japan's influence to Agile and Lean

Japan’s influence to Agile and Lean

The right map is the map (by Yasunobu Kawaguchi) of the Agile and Lean concept I showed to the audience. The particular parts I talked about in the conference are marked (1) and (2) and here are the slide decks.

  • (1) Keynote: People As the Conveyer of Knowledge: Learning from Prof. Nonaka, grandfather of Scrum

People As the Conveyor of Knowledge from Kenji Hiranabe

In 1986, Prof. Ikujiro Nonaka co-wrote a well-known paper “The New New Product Development Game” with Prof.Takeuchi and coined the word “Scrum” which is later referred to by Jeff Sutherland, Ken Schwaber, and Mike Beedle in their modern Scrum in Agile development context. In my keynote, I presented some important ideas about “how knowledge is created” and “who is the center of the knowledge creation”, discussed in the Nonaka’s Scrum concept but not yet discussed in the Agile world, also why “Design Thinking” (or empathy to the users through experience) should be inserted into the first part of the development!

I also wanted to share the “missing links” between his original Scrum thought and the current implementation of Scrum in the Agile world.

My Scrum Book co-authored by Prof. Nonaka

My Scrum Book co-authored by Prof. Nonaka

This topic is also written in a newly published Japanese book “Agile and Scrum: Collaborative Software Development and the Leadership That Connects Customers, Engineers and Management”, co-authored by Ikujiro Nonaka and me, which will be translated into English – hopefully. :)

Here’s Mary Poppendieck’s comment on my presentation.

I really enjoyed your keynote at Agile Roots in Utah.  I particularly like the idea of establishing empathy, and the example of the bread machine.  This is a good example of why empathy is more important than data in deciding how to build great products.

  • (2) Drink Lean From The Source
Drink Lean from the Source -- mind map

Drink Lean from the Source — mind map

I shared the roots of Lean concepts including Kaizen (Continuous Improvement), Gemba (Go See), Muda-Dori (Waste Elimination), WIP limitation, Pull production system, and “People” as the center of the process via a Japanese video.

I’m not sure our cultural differences were well communicated by my translation, but the audience looked they were enjoying. (Did you ?)

I also enjoyed…

Lastly, I’ll share this funniest video I took while Willem Larsen’s “Language Hunting”.  Here is how “Japanese” is hunted (See funny Aaron!).

It was a fun conference!

Thank you Kay/Zhon Johansen, Aaron Sanders, Woody/Andrea Zuill(nice talk and artworks), Diana/Willem Larsen(you guys are always energetic), Mary/Tom Poppendieck, Jeff Patton, Israel Gadd(we finally met in person!), Nawoto Nishimura, Ushio Tsuyoshi, Kiro Harada, Tsuda-san, Kenrink, Rob Myers, Timothy Collinson, Andy Mohlman, Jennifer Stone, Margot Dear, Todd Little(Mr. Roots of Lean), Lisa Crispin(Congrats to your new book!), Steve McGee(come to Japan!), Llewellyn Falco(Coolest lightning talks on Math/Quantamn), …. and many more…

Thank you Kay Johansen (@utahkay) again for inviting me to such a great conference in  such a heart-warming way! I heard the conference is ran by voluntary organizers, thank you very very much for this wonderful opportunity!

PS: I also had booklets to hand-out of my white paper “Modeling in the Agile Age – What to Keep Next to Code to Scale Agile Teams”. If you couldn’t get one, you can read it online (“Modeling in the Agile Age” under [PDF] down below on our website or InfoQ)
Agile

-Kenji

Posted in Agile, Event, Kenji | 2 Comments

Kenji Keynotes at AgileRoots

agileroots2014-speaker-badge2On June 19 in Salt Lake City, I’ll take part in Agile Roots 2014 and it is quite a honor for me to do the opening keynote. I was asked to come by Kay Johansen (@utahkay), who has been a friend of mine since the Agile Development Conference 2004 in Salt Lake City. (Wow it is 10 years!)

Japan's influence to Agile and Lean

Japan’s influence to Agile and Lean

I’m preparing very unique sessions from Japan for this “Roots” conference.

  1. People As the Conveyer of Knowledge:
    Lessons Learned from Prof. Nonaka, grandfather of Scrum
  2. Drink Lean From The Source

The first one is about the origin of Scrum, and the second is about the origin of Lean, both strongly related to Japanese culture and industry.

The first one is the keynote. I’m so humbled to speak about the origin and grandfather of Scrum…

  • People As the Conveyer of Knowledge: Lessons Learned from Prof. Nonaka, grandfather of Scrum

In 1986, Prof. Ikujiro Nonaka co-wrote with Prof.Takeuchi a well-known paper “The New New Product Development Game”, and coined the word “Scrum” which is later referred to by Jeff Sutherland in his modern Scrum in Agile development context. Here I’ll present some important ideas about “how knowledge is created” and “who is the center of the knowledge creation”, discussed in the Nonaka’s Scrum concept but not yet discussed in the Agile world.

He originally discussed Nonaka’s SECI-model in his book “Knowledge Creating Company“, and now I’ll put it in the context of Agile. How tacit and explicit knowledge transform each other into innovation, and why “Design Thinking” (or empathy to the users through experience) should be inserted to the first part of the development (or Ideation phase).

I want to share the “missing links” between his original Scrum thought and the current implementation of Scrum in the Agile world. Also this talk includes a concrete example on how intensive user involvement worked in the real industry.

And this is also written as a newly published Japanese book “Agile and Scrum: Collaborative Software Development and the Leadership That Connects Customers, Engineers and Management”, co-authored by Ikujiro Nonaka and me, which will be translated into English – hopefully :).

Other speakers are Mary Poppendieck, Israel Gat, Diana and Willem Larsen, Lisa Crispin, … I’m so excited to the reunion with them!

See you in Salt Lake City :-) (The registration seems still open!)

-Kenji

Posted in Kenji | Leave a comment

Astah GSN Beta Released!

We are pleased to announce that Astah GSN Beta version was released today.
Astah_GSN_Sample

GSN_University_of_YorkGSN (Goal Structuring Notation) is a graphical notation developed at the University of York for specifying safety cases for safety critical systems. Several standards such as ISO26262 (Automotive E/E systems) and IEC62278 (Railway) mandate the use of safety cases and GSN supports their argumentation structures and its relation to evidences in a comprehensible yet compelling form.

Astah GSN is a simple and intuitive tool to model this GSN.
Astah_GSN_DownloadFor about 5 months since its alpha release, we received some feedback and kept changing its abilities and usabilities to make it a better fit to our users. (Many thanks to Kobayashi-san and all the other users who took time to write us the detailed feedback.)

Here are the main changes made in this beta version:

(1) Ability to set “undeveloped” for multiple models at once
Now you can set “Undeveloped” to multiple models once from the Pop-up menu.
Astah GSN New Features

 

 

 

 

 

 

(2) Ability to add a Note and Note Anchor
Now you can enter free text and attach it to the target models.Astah_GSN_Note

 

 

 

(3) Moved the focus to “statement” when a model is created for efficiency
At a time a new model is created, the focus used to be on its ID, but we moved it to the “statement” to let you enter the most important information as soon as a model is created.
Astah_GSN_Focus

 

(4) Module will no longer have its diagram as a hyperlink
Module will no longer have its diagram as a hyperlink. In previous version, hyperlink icon was added to the Module when it was created in a diagram, but it wasn’t when it was added in the Structure view (see bottom figure), so this change was to make it all consistent. Now double-clicking the Module directly in the diagram will open its diagram.

Astah_GSN_Module_Diagram

Astah_GSN_Structure_Diagram

When Diagram was added to a Module in the Structure Tree

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Download Astah GSN Beta from the link below and try & see how much better it works for you now.
Astah_GSN_Download We look forward to hearing your your feedback.

PS: Astah GSN product release is planned at the end of next month!

Cheers,
SJ

Posted in GSN, News | Leave a comment

[TIPS] How to create the delegation connectors in Composite Structure Diagram in Astah

We receive many questions about how to create the delegation connectors. So here’s how to do so:

Delegate_Connector_in_Astah

(1) Create a Class, and add a Port to it.
(2) To add a lollipop or socket, right-click the Port and select [Add Required Interface (Socket)] or [Add Provided Interface (Lollipop)]
Astah_Interface

 

 

 

 

 

 

(3) Now  create a Part inside the Class and add a Port to it
(4) Copy the Interface (Lollipop or Socket) by using shortcut key (Ctrl+C) or [Copy] from its Pop-up menu
(5) Paste the Interface (Lollipop or Socket) on the diagram by using shortcut key (Ctrl+V)  or [Paste] from its Pop-up menu
(6) Drag and drop the pasted Interface within a Class
(7)

[For Lollipop]
Select [Realization] from the tool bar and then draw it from Part’s Port to the Lollipop within the class.
Astah_UML_Realization3

 

 

 

 

[For Socket]
Select [Usage Dependency] from the tool bar and then draw it from Part’s Port to the Socket within the class.
Astah_UML_Usage

 

 

 

(8) At last, select [Connector] and connects two Ports
Astah_UML_Connector

 

 

 

 

Hope this helps. There are are several ways to depict this delegation connector but this is the fastest way to do so in the Composite Structure Diagram.

Cheers,
SJ

Posted in TIPS, UML | Tagged | Leave a comment

What we care the most during development of Astah SysML

Astah_SysMLWe released Astah SysML 1.2 last friday. SysML is the International Standard to support MBSE (Model-Based Systems Engineering) and Astah SysML is proudly the only tool for it made in Japan.

Kenji (CEO of Change Vision) had a short interview with Astah SysML’s product owner Yi after its release.

Kenji&Yi_Astah

Kenji and Yi

Version 1.2 Release!

Kenji(K): Yi-san, congrats on the 1.2’s release!
Yi (Y) : Thank you. I am happy and relieved at the same time that we were able to deliver ver1.2 today as planned and I hope that many more people will use our tool.
K: What is the most important policy when you develop Astah SysML?
Y: Keeping its usability is the most important focus. There are many modeling tools out there for UML and SysML and etc, and our “Astah” series has high reputations for its intuitive usability. So keeping its level to the top is one thing. And the second is to listen to the users. Since Astah SysML’s initial release, we’ve received many feedback.. really A LOT and that made me determine that I want to enhance Astah SysML with many of the users who send us their feedback.

Difficulties during version 1.2 development?

K: So this was a version-up from 1.1 to 1.2. Were there any difficulties?
Y: Yes, the most difficult part was to determine what functionalities we should implement in such a short term.
K: I see. How did you manage to decide?
Y: I knew there was a big room to improve Astah SysML’s functionalities in ver1.1 and we had so many feature requests after ver1.1’s release, so it was very difficult for me to choose what to implement. And this time we chose “Team Development Support” based on the amount of requests for it and its necessarily. We often heard that “I’m currently using Astah SysML by myself solo but want to use it with my whole team eventually”. So we added an ability to copy and paste models via files and made improvements such as an alignment of Ports and easier setting for Port’s flow direction, these may be small but all dynamically becomes useful when used in a team base.

Applying User’s feedback

K: I see. Who are using Astah SysML now?
Y: Automobile and robotics in Japan and some army organizations and academic outside of Japan. To hear their feedback directly, I talk with them via Skype or go visit them. Especially AIST (Advanced Industrial Science and Technology) has been helping us giving their opinions since its first release and we much appreciate their contribution. Astah_NestedParts
One of the new features “Nested Parts”(Right figure) was a request from Mr. Geoff Biggs from AIST and “Copy and Paste models” was from another user who is also a long time user.
K: What levels are the Astah SysML’s users at?
Y: Many of them are still learning SysML. In Japan the usage of MBSE and SysML seems to be growing bigger. So they are adopting SysML and learning it at the same time. So I’m trying to make Astah SysML to be a tool anyone can use it easily even at their first time. So that they can focus on learning SysML without learning the tool itself. Multi-platform is also important too, number of developers with Mac is increasing so we’ve made it run on Windows, Mac and Linux and file exchanging possible without any OS-specific issues.

Future vision of Astah SysML

K: What is the vision for Astah SysML in the future?
Y: I want Astah SysML to be able to support the communication among engineers in various fields, mechanic, electronic, software and hardware with using the standard common notations. Also we’ll continue to attend OMG’s technical meetings and comply with the latest specification of SysML. This is the basic and core vision of how Astah SysML will be in the future and we want to grow it better by hearing actual users’ feedback.

We want to hear from you!

K: Ok, then last message to the readers?
Y: I repeat this, we want to develop Astah SysML with you. We want Astah SysML to be the easiest possible to use for all the users especially at their first try. Anyone can try out the full features of Astah SysML for 50 days for free, so please download it, use it and send us your feedback. We read any comments you make via Facebook, Twitter or Community Site where ever easier for you to post.
Thank you very much!

Astah SysML Overview: http://astah.net/editions/sysml
Astah SysML Trial Download: http://astah.net/editions/sysml/download

Yi and Kenji

Yi and Kenji

Posted in Interview, Kenji, News, SysML | Tagged | Leave a comment