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Using Confluence and Visual Paradigm / Tooltips

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Using Confluence and Visual Paradigm / Tooltips Visual Paradigm und Confluence

You can download the White Paper here or you read it here directly. Comments are welcome. Please be aware of the copyright note.


Visual Paradigm and Collaboration

Visual Paradigm is one of the leading modeling tools. It features a variety of supported visualizations - from formal standard notations such as UML, BPMN, CMMN, SysML, SOAML, and others to informal forms such as process maps, mind maps, org charts, web diagrams, wireframes, and others.

In addition to the forms of presentation, Visual Paradigm supports many techniques and techniques (Scrum, Storyboards, TOGAF ™, PMBOK, others).

BPMN Palette

Components of Visual Paradigm provide Collaboration (PostMania component), Task Manager (Tasifier), and output to various formats (HTML, Word, PDF) (Component Publisher and DocComposer).

Confluence and Visual Paradigm

While users appreciate the power of Visual Paradigm to represent content, they use other tools (such as Confluence) to organize team collaboration for a variety of reasons (history, company prescriptions, use in projects outside Visual Paradigm).

Then there's the question of how Visual Paradigm and Confluence can be shared.

In Confluence, "everything" (meeting notes, agendas, project plans, marketing plans, ... but possibly also models and artifacts from Visual Paradigm are stored in "spaces." Spaces consist of "pages." Pages can come in many formats: files, various files with various content, blog posts, links to the intranet / internet or a blank page.

So we can also integrate content from Visual Paradigm.

If we generate reports with DocComposer, they will integrate them into Confluence. If we use the publisher of Visual Paradigm, the output can also be integrated. In both cases, content from Visual Paradigm is incorporated into Confluence. The feedback possibilities of the team are limited.

The use of the PostMania component by Visual Paradigm is more elegant. In contrast to the integration of a link to the published page or a document created with DocComposer, here is a link to PostMania.

 Visual Paradigm - PostMania

By using the link, the user has the possibility to view the models (in their current form), while PostMania also offers the chance to comment on the model contents.

ConfluenceLinks1

ConfluenceLink 2

 PostManiaCommentinVP

The modeler can "see" and edit these comments directly in Visual Paradigm. 

PostManiaCommentinVP

In addition to PostMania, Visual Paradigm offers further options for querying links to elements and saving them in Confluence:

  • Direct links to Visual Paradigm elements
  • (HTML) links to published content 

DirectLinkInVP

VPLinkProject

 VPLinkPage

As already stated, the variant using PostMania seems to me the best solution, because the elements can also be commented on by the user. Direct links require access to Visual Paradigm (If the links are used, the Visual Paradigm client should already be started) and the particular project. The interaction between the modelers is limited. When using the published content, we do not have the possibility of interaction/collaboration with the modeler.

No matter which method we choose, there are some questions to answer:

  • How do we structure the spaces in Confluence?
  • How do we structure the repository in Visual Paradigm?
  •  What content do we describe (textually) in Confluence, what content do we describe (textually or through formal models) in Visual Paradigm?

These questions are typically answered in a modeling style guide for the tools we use.

The Modeling Process

The modeling process includes the following phases in general:

ModelDevelopmentPhases

In each phase, the weighting of tools, forms of presentation, and working techniques differ. At the beginning of the process, textual descriptions predominate. These can be created in Confluence as well as in Visual Paradigm. A formal description is created afterwards (in Visual Paradigm), as textual descriptions are difficult to maintain. In addition, testing and exchange with other tools are easier then.

Manage the Media Break

Designing our modeling process, we need to make sure that one of the systems is up-to-date and the leading system for the different forms of representation (single source of truth). Otherwise, maintaining the media break is difficult and time-consuming.

Summary

Visual Paradigm addresses various tasks in the project (modeling, collaboration, project management). Although Visual Paradigm's various components (PostMania, Tasifier) cover similar tasks as Confluence, several customers prefer to use Confluence for these tasks. Reasons can be historical in nature, may be in company policies or otherwise.
As explained in paragraph 4 (Manage the Media Break) the media break between the tools must be managed (style guide, modeling policy).
The statements made here apply similarly when using other modeling or architectural tools (such as Qualiware, MagicDraw / Cameo).

 

6 Literature

Caldwell, Terrence; Austin, Jamey: Confluence 101: Getting started in Confluence, Atlassian, PDF, https://www.atlassian.com/dam/jcr:438a8cda-b614-4af8-a6c5-2a3fc949b4a6/confluence-101-getting-started-in-confluence.pdf, accessed 30.03.2018

Visual Paradigm User Guides, https://www.visual-paradigm.com/support/documents/, accessed 30.03.2019

Copyright

This material may be used freely on an in-house, non-commercial basis. Commercial re-use or re-transmission of any portion of this material is prohibited without written permission of Dr. Juergen Pitschke, BCS - Dr. Juergen Pitschke. Contact BCS - Dr. Juergen Pitschke for licensing and re-use arrangements. Please include this notice in all reproduction.

 

Tags: Tools, VisualParadigm, Confluence