Getting Started

How Does Essential Work?

Facts about your organisation are captured into Essential's central, enterprise architecture focused repository, allowing data that is often silo'd by organisation or type of data to be joined up. The Essential Viewer then presents this information to you through a series of beautiful, interactive views, allowing you to analyse and make decisions based on a complete understanding of your organisation.

  • Anyone in the organisation can help create the enterprise architecture – Essential enables people to capture data without having to understand the business model
  • You capture the facts about the organisation and their inter-relationships; Essential generates views to provide clarity and enable analysis for decision-making
  • Skilled enterprise architects can focus their energies on value add activities
  • You don’t draw pictures with Essential, you let Essential create the visualisations
  • Essential uses advanced algorithms to work out where there are potential issues, opportunities and risks

'Essential'

## The Essential Architecture Manager

Essential Architecture Manager allows you to Capture data, Publish to the viewer and Import data from external sources.

Essential Cloud

Log in to Essential Cloud and from the home page you can see the three repositories and three supporting viewers, for Production, Pre-Production and Sandbox (you can re-name these if you wish). You can also purchase additional repositories and viewers if required.

Essential Open Source

Gives you access to either a standalone or multi-user version of Essential, depending on what you have implemented. You can duplicate the viewer if required. Click here to see how to Access Essential Open Source.

  • Capture

Both Essential Cloud and Essential Open Source give you access to:

  • Class Browser - the class hierarchy of the Essential Meta Model which is used to navigate around the repository. For example, if you want to add/change a Business Process you navigate through EA Class/Business Layer/Business Logical to find the Buisness Process class. You can use the search to find the class you require.

  • Instance Browser - contains your instances that exist in the repository for the selected class. For example, if you navigated to the Business Process class you would see your Organisations Business Processes that you have added. You can Add, Copy amd Delete your instances.
    Note: Do not use the Deep Copy, as this copies all related instances as well as the instance you have selected.

  • Instance Editor - the form for editing the selected instance. For example, if you select a Business Process you will see all the details you have entered about that business process.
    The forms allows information about your instance to be added via:

    • Free Format Fields - allow you to enter free form text such as name or description
    • ADD/NEW Fields - creates a relationship to another class – allows you to select an existing instance or create a new one

    'Tip' If you are creating a Relationship Class, rather than a direct relationship, always create a New one

    • Edit/Remove/Delete - where a relationship to an instance exists you can:
    • Edit - allows you to make changes to that instance – note this will be reflected in all classes with a relationship to that instance
    • Remove - allows you to remove the relationship to that instance – will not effect anything else in the repository
    • Delete – allows you to delete the instance from the repository – the instance will be removed from all other relationships also

    'Tip' Be very wary of Deleting from within another class - you are deleting the instance completely NOT just removing its relationship to this class.

    • Essential Cloud has some additional features in the Instance Editor:

      • Tabs – allow you jump to a specific place in the form
      • Journey History - provides a list of all the instances that you have visited and allows you to jump between those instances for easy navigation

      Click here to see videos of how to use Essential Cloud

      Click here to view how to use Essential Open Source

Publish Your Model

Essential Cloud

The Repository you are about to Publish is shown in the bottom left corner of the screen, make sure you are in the correct repository.

'Tip' We recommend pairing Production with Viewer 1, Pre-productiom with Viewer 2 and Sandbox with Viewer 3, but this is not enforced.

Select the Viewer you want to publish to, click publish and then click on the link for that viewer once you see the 'Success!' message.

Essential Open Source

  • From the Essential Architecture Reporting tab complete the following fields:-

    • Report Service URL - Specify the URL where the Essential Viewer reporting environment is running. You can use:
    • The default URL (which tries to contact Essential Viewer on your local workstation)

    • A previously used URL chosen from the drop-down menu. Whenever you successfully publish to a new Essential Viewer environment, its URL is added to this history list

    • A new URL that you type into the URL field

    • User / Password - If the selected reporting environment has been secured, enter your username and password

    • Publish Repository - Push the 'Publish Repository' button to take a snapshot of the current repository and send it to the selected reporting environment.

  • The architecture model can be published to multiple reporting environments, e.g. a "play-pen" instance of Essential Viewer where ad-hoc publishing is appropriate and a "public" instance of Essential Viewer with tighter policies on publishing as this is the public face of the architecture.

  • You can create as many instances of Essential Viewer as you require - simply deploy them as separate web applications in the application server or deploy them to an alternative physical server. Use the Reporting Service URL in the Essential Architecture Reporting Tab to control which Essential Viewer instance you are publishing to.

View Your Model

Essential Viewer is a web application designed to provide a suite of views and analysis reports about an Enterprise Architecture.

  • At the homepage, Essential Viewer presents the views grouped together into related areas, Enterprise, Business, Information and Data, Application and Technology.
  • A ‘Jump to’ prompt allows you to jump to the section you require.
  • The Catalogues are listed on the right of the screen
  • Essential has been designed to ensure reports and views are easy to create to meet each stakeholders specific needs, rather than relying on OOTB views.
  • You can create your own portal page and manage which views are displayed in the repository - see the instructions here

Import Data from External Sources

Essential Cloud and gives you access to three options for importing data into Essential:

  • Protégé Import – used to import an existing Protégé project into Essential Cloud (useful of you are migrating from Open Source)
    • Ensure you are in the correct repository, shown in the bottom left hand corner
    • Select the project you want to import, it needs to be the zip file of pprj, pins and pons files
    • Templates carry information about the repository, for example form layouts. You can choose to bring these in with the repository
    • You can choose to bring the template from an existing Cloud repository or chose a pre-defined template and whether you want to use the labels from the template or the protégé project
  • APIs - leverage the APIs we have for getting data into (and out of) Essential. You can leverage this for integrating with other systems. Cloud Subscribers can contact us for the documentation
  • Import Utility – used to import excel spreadsheets into Essential Cloud
    • Select the Import Utility, you will be logged in automatically
    • The import utility allows you to use pre-defined Essential spreadsheets and imports specifications or create your own import
  • XML Import - used to send data into Essential via the XML service, again you can leverage this for integrations with other systems
  • Data Import – used to apply a data update pack (DUP), usually produced via the Import Utility
    • Ensure you are in the correct repository, shown in the bottom left hand corner
    • Select the DUP you want to import and click apply.
    • The updates will be added directly to the repository so it is advisable to test this first in one of the repositories that is not your production version and take a snapshot prior to applying the updates

Essential Open Source and gives you access to two options for importing data into Essential:

  • Import Utility – used to import excel spreadsheets into Essential Open Source
    • Sign in to your Import Utility
    • The import utility allows you to use pre-defined Essential spreadsheets and imports specifications or create your own import
  • XML Import - used to send data into Essential via the XML service, you can leverage this for integrations with other systems
  • Data Import – used to apply a data update pack (DUP), usually produced via the Import Utility
    • Select the Essential Update tab
    • Select the DUP you want to import and click apply.
    • The updates will be added directly to the repository so it is advisable to test this first

Full instructions on using the Import Utility for Essential Cloud and Essential Open Source can be found here