Using Rhapsody in vacation time…


Hi! And sorry for the low BLOG frequency. It’s vacation time. Not that I am on vacation, that would actually mean I have more time to write… No, I am busy at the moment, other are on vacation which leads to more work and I have a lot to do  privately: I’m building a new house.
That is… I have other people build me a house… As I always say: I have two right hands but unfortunately I am left-handed… (BTW: Today August 13 is international left-hander day!!)
So I do not build but that does not mean my work is done… there is a lot to do besides physically building.
So we did not planned a holiday because the house should have been finished around this time….
“Should have been”?? Yep. It’s not.

When software projects go rogue and take longer than planned, one of the things people (non-involved people…) say is: “These software projects… always late… they should learn how to plan just like the people who build houses.”
Well…. That is just sooo not true.. building projects also go rogue. Mine does but others do as well.
Builders plan but the same way software people plan. So plenty of space for mistakes and “unknown”
In my case the architect designed my house with a CAD tool. Not a very advanced one, I am still waiting on a 3D view…, but that is how he did it. The guy is an artist and he draws beautiful houses. We were very enthusiastic about it and we even got the permission to build it from our community (Yes that is needed in the Netherlands)

There were a lot of prerequisites that we had to comply with, it had to fit in a certain part of our (own!!!) ground and it had to have a straw roof (To make it look like the other farms in the neighbourhood)
I did not want that, I wanted Tesla Tiles that create power, but hey…
So the architect draw the straw roof. The drawings of the architect then have to be enhanced by a constructor that knows how you build a house. Then the builder starts organising sub contractors to deliver parts.
It turned out when he ordered the roof that the angle was not steep enough. So the roofer would do it but with our guarantee.
So back to the drawing board and half a year delay (New permit, new calculations…)
So don’t tell me building houses goes better than building software…

So I asked myself: Would modelling have helped here?
I think so. The fact that a straw roof needs an angle of more than 45º is basic knowledge that should have been a design rule in the CAD program.
Moreover, I have not seen anybody work with a tool like Doors or Polarion to fix the house requirements. It is more advanced than the last time I built a house (1986) but it is with Mail, WhatsApp and Word that the house is built.

Back to Rhapsody

Vacation time is a good time to work on improving your Rhapsody models!
Sometimes customers ask me to do a review on a Rhapsody model. What do I do in a review?
It depends of course but for totally new models I do a couple of steps which I want to share with you:

  1. Check how old the model is. You cannot see it all but you can ask (..) and check if the model has CGCompatibilityPreX.Y Settings. They tell you the conversion already performed on the model (And the fact that the creators did not know what to do with it)
  2. Do a Check Model ( “Tools”, “Check Model”, “<name>” ) This should give you a lot of information about the model. Most common warnings are: “Default Names” and “Empty Description” but there are many more.
    The more warnings, the less precise the model is built
  3. Use Metrics to determine the number of elements in the model. Check for requirements, sequence diagrams and classes. There should be a fair number of requirements and a lot of sequence diagrams. unfortunately IBM stopped using the Metrics in 8.2. There is a more complicated system to still do it.
  4. Use the built-in document creator ( “Tools” “Report on model”, then select only “Include Overridden Properties” ) to look at the overridden properties. This should be limited to profiles.
  5. Do a general check.
    1. How do the names look? Consistent?
    2. How many packages compared to classes?
    3. Are there requirements used?
    4. Are there any Sequence Diagrams?
    5. Little number of properties is OK but not much
    6. What is the number of elements on diagrams. Yes that can be more than the “normal” 7+-2 but they should be understandable
    7. Are comments used?
    8. How is the diagram navigation?
    9. How many level of state-chart are there? One level or at most one sub-state-chart is OK. Everything else must be documented and proved necessary.
    10. Are model elements described in comment?

This is something that you can check yourself…. Do it sometimes.

Happy Modeling with Rhapsody

Greetings from Motown!

Walter van der Heiden (

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