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WIKI Disclaimer: As with most other things on the Internet, the content on this wiki is not supported. It was contributed by me and is published “as is”. It has worked for me, and might work for you.
Also note that any view or statement expressed anywhere on this site are strictly mine and not the opinions or views of my employer.


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2019/11/18 13:52 1 Comment

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bluedolphin

BlueDolphin for Infrastructure

As an infrastructure specialist, bluedolphin is for me a highly valuable tool to create order and structure in my infra landscape. It's obviously capable of doing more, but this article concentrates on it's capability to use the archimate standard to represent a computer network. Traditionally done in tools like Visio or online with https://app.diagrams.net/ (originally known as draw.io) bluedolphin has the benefit of re-using objects as these are added to a database. Which, conveniently, is right away your CMDB.

The biggest downside of the application… well… it's not free. There is no way to fiddle around with it if you don't work at a company that has it. There is one exception, if you are a freelancer you can contact them to join their ZZP/freelancer community, in which case you get access to your own free environment and as a bonus a free training (at least when I joined).

Getting Started

If you've just logged in and want to get started, the best way forward is to start the BlueDolphin Tour. Go to the User profile in the right top corner, and click BlueDolphin Tour.

Objects

Objects are subject to the archimate 3 conventions, so my advice is to get acquinted with archimate and to adhere to the standard as much as possible. Archimate has the following layers:

Before we can start adding objects we need to know what types of objects to add, or just go along and add something when we need it. BlueDolphin has a high number of object types, so randomly adding all object types will make it unclear very soon.

As we will be adding different types of servers and services, a little convention goes a long way.

My own object library

SHORT NAME EXAMPLES ARCHIMATE DESCRIPTION REMARK
Technology Layer
Node Virtual servers; Containers A node represents a computational or physical resource that hosts, manipulates, or interacts with other computational or physical resources
Communication Network VLAN; Internet connection; VPN Connection A communication network represents a set of structures that connects nodes for transmission, routing, and reception of data
System Software OS; IIS; SQL Server; Oracle DB; LOB Software; System software represents software that provides or contributes to an environment for storing, executing, and using software or data deployed within it OS can also be a property of the node
Technology Interface API; Web API; A technology interface represents a point of access where technology services offered by a node can be accessed
Technology Service DFS  Technology service represents an explicitly defined exposed technology behavior
Application Layer
Application component LoB modules; An application component represents an encapsulation of application functionality aligned to implementation structure, which is modular and replaceable This is a part or a System Software
Application Interface CRMs XRMService; TOPdesk API; CRM Frontend An application interface represents a point of access where application services are made available to a user, another application component, or a node
Application Service Biztalk interfacing; FDT Interfacing  An application service represents an explicitly defined exposed application behavior

Adding an Object Type

An object type is added for users to use in a series of steps:

  • First download the object type definition in the library:
    • Go to Admin, make sure Templates is selected under Configuration and click the library icon (the three books above the list of objecttypes)
    • Check if the collection that holds the required objecttype is available, and if not select the collection and click the download button
    • Then go to the “Object definitions” tab. Locate and download your required definitions.
    • Close the library when you're done
  • Enable the object type
    • Under configuration, go to Objects, and verify that the object type is available under Archimate or BPMN, depending on the type of object.
    • If not, scroll down to the disabled section, and enable your required object type.
  • Add it to the view
    • Each user can add it to his view by going to your avatar and selecting personal settings.
    • Under display, add the object definitions to your view

Adding a custom Object Type

I case you need to, you can also create a custom object type. This is an example based on creating a custom object based on a node:

  • In Admin, Objects, click Add Object Definition
  • Name: Server
  • Based on: Device / Node
  • Add to personal view: Keep default
Note: You also need to add relationship types!

Modifying en existing object type

If needed you can rename an object type as well. This is an example to rename the Application Component object to just Application:

  • In Admin, Objects, go to the object type you want to modify
  • Application Component
  • Set name to Application

Allow Object Combinations

If you need to add relation ship types between different kind of objects you can do so as well:

  • For the Node object:
  • Go to Admin → Configuration → Objects
  • Go to object combinations
  • Expand the Object combinations tab
  • Go to the disabled section and Enable the combinations that you want
Note: You can use the Add button at the top to add combination types.

Questionnaire

You can use a questionnaire to add information to an object type.

Create questionnaire:

  • In admin, go to Configuration → Questionnaires
  • Click the + to add a new questionnaire. You can name it and add required fields to the questionnaire. Note that the name will be used as a tab name in the objectviewer of the object, so keep that in mind while naming it.
  • Once finished with the questionnaire, click Save  (the floppy disk icon) in the upper right corner to save your changes
  • Still in the admin view, go to Configuration → Objects
  • Select the objecttype to which you want to add the questionnaire, and click “Add questionnaire”
  • Choose the questionnaire you created from the dropdown box and click ok
  • Click Save (the floppy disk icon) in the upper right corner to save your changes

Now go to a view with objects that have the new questionnaire and select an object. In the objectviewer a new tab is visible with the name of the questionnaire. You can fill in the values.

Questionnaire Status

When editing the questionnaire you can set a status:

  • Waiting: Default status when initially assigned
  • In Progress
  • Validated
  • On Hold
  • Expired

Note that you can't report on this status. If you want that you must create your own Dropdown as part of the questionnaire so you can report on it.

If you need somebody else to fill in the questionnaire, you can send them a guest link, using the three dots in the right upper corner when in the object view.

See https://valueblue.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/202907791-Guest-links for more information.

Create Report on Objects with Questionnaire

  • Go to reports
  • Click +
  • Expand objects
  • Add the Title and Archimate type to the report by dragging them into the main area
  • Drag the “Questionnaire Name” into the main area
  • Right click on Archimate type and click Create Filter
  • In the filters pane, set the archimate type to equal “artifact” and click apply
  • Optionally, below from measures you can add the completeness.
  • Set a title for the report
  • Save Ad Hoc view as → expand the “SjoerdHooft <tenant name>” folder to reports, assign a name and click save
  • Now you can export the view as pdf, excel, etc by opening the view and clicking the export icon.

Examples

This is an example I created of an application, with two Blue Dolphin Views. One with just the application, and the other including the interfaces:

Application:

Application with interfaces:

And this would then be the CMDB:

Discussion

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bluedolphin.txt · Last modified: 2021/09/02 11:42 by sjoerd