8.5    On Technological Support of Tema

In the above discussions of Tema components, several services based on an Intranet infrastructure have been proposed to play central roles. The current section will outline a possible suite of software that match the envisioned functionality.

Tema is not tool-oriented in the sense that sophisticated software is required to use the approach. Hence, the purpose of the current section is to illustrate that there are off-the-shelf solutions available that meet the tool requirements of Tema.

The discussion is divided in two: Basic Intranet infrastructure comprising the communication services of Tema, and stand-alone tools supporting individual tasks.

8.5.1    Basic Intranet infrastructure

By basic Intranet infrastructure is meant the technological platform that enables and provides communication services both to the project group and the enterprise audience. There are several off-the-shelf alternatives, including Lotus Notes with Domino (Lotus, 1997), Microsoft NT Server with Internet Information Server (Microsoft, 1997a) and Netscape SuiteSpot (Netscape, 1997b). They are not compared here in any way, rather one of them is chosen and a brief sketch is given of how that product suite could be used to provide the required functionality. Based on personal experience, Netscape SuiteSpot is discussed in more detail.

Netscape SuiteSpot includes server software for a host of different services. The ones most interesting to Tema are a mail server for handling email, a news server for administration of discussion groups, and a Web server (the Enterprise server) for managing Web services.

Netscape Navigator is the client software developed to take full advantage of the server software, although running clients and server from different vendors would not impose problems for the limited functionality required by Tema. The Netscape Navigator 3.0 edition integrates client software for email, news and Web, being able to access all types of information directly within the same interface.

In addition, the Navigator architecture offers a number of plug-ins, offering extended functionality according to a host of proprietary document formats (Netscape, 1997c). Exploiting these may provide the exposed enterprise models with extended functionality as compared to standard HTML (e.g., added animation, sound, video).

The Navigator also offers editor functionality, making it a candidate for development and publishing of Web documents (in the development phase). Editors for inline plug-ins are available from third-party vendors (ibid.).

8.5.2    Stand-alone tools for individual tasks

By individual tasks is meant both the techniques that comprise the pool and activities that not necessarily has to do with enterprise modeling. Even if the techniques being included in the pool are mostly paper-and-pencil techniques, they may benefit from software support for improving layout both in between meetings and in the exposed versions.

Enterprise models can be drawn using ordinary drawing tools like the ABC Flowcharter (MicroGrafx, 1997), depending on the preferred modeling language. Characterizations, explanations, narratives, metaphors, and lists of categories and concepts are most easily created using an ordinary word processor like Microsoft Word for Windows (Microsoft, 1997b). Dependency diagrams can be created using ABC Flowcharter. Boland et al. (1993) have also developed a dedicated tool called Spider for this purpose. QFD matrices can be formatted using QFD/Capture from ITI (ITI, 1993).

For presentations in the dissemination phase, Microsoft Powerpoint (Microsoft, 1997c) is an alternative, either for creating foils or for direct use in the presentation. Powerpoint presentations can also be incorporated directly into a Web document (if using a Netscape Navigator plug-in).

However, these products are not integrated. But that is neither the problem. The problem is to create the contents, not the layout. When creating the versions intended for dissemination, competence in HTML is required. Hence, this is best left to personnel with expertise in design of Web documents (recalling that utilization of the digital medium requires a mode of writing that differs from writing for paper, assertion 24).

The drawing of physical infrastructure in the North Sea used in TEK-S (M4) was originally sketched by an actor with a good general knowledge of gas business. However, final layout and drawing was performed by a skilled illustrator using sophisticated software. Hence, the representation and manifestation acts of modeling were divided between an actor with domain knowledge and an actor with manifestation competence.