The BCS kindly invited us to present a session on Open Source Enterprise Architecture Toolkits, covering their effect on the market place, at their meeting on Tuesday. Alex Mayall led the presentation, which focussed on the two major open source offerings, Essential and Iteraplan, as well as touching on a few others. The feedback from the audience was extremely positive, and the slides can be downloaded from the BCS website if anyone is interested.
There were a couple of questions from the audience on the use of Essential and I thought I would cover them here in case they are issues that are encountered often. Firstly, one member advised that they had successfully downloaded Essential and were able to add data using the forms, but that they had a lot of data in excel spreadsheets and they had trouble finding the relevant documentation on the site to enable them to successfully run the import, limiting their use of the tool. We have had a number of queries regarding this issue on the forum also and so we have recently added a tutorial – How to Write Integration Transforms – which is found in the Getting Started Tutorials. If you have experienced problems in this area it may be worth a look.
Another member reported making constructive use of Essential, but finding creating new reports quite taxing. There is a tutorial on this also – Creating New Reports – in the Reporting and Analysing Tutorials, however, it is fairly complex and we are considering writing a training module in this subject. It would be good to gauge interest in this, so if you think you would be interested in attending such a course please let us know by commenting on this blog. If you are having trouble in this area, it might be worth checking the forums to see if anyone esle has posted about a similar problem, or posting a question yourself.