Thursday, 29 November 2007

Eclipse Process Framework

So, the other week, I'm beavering away at work, and we're talking about how nice it would be to be able to document our SOA methodology in a way that allows newbies and old hands alike to learn it, implement it and most importantly, feed back and refine it, because anyone who tells you their process is perfect is missing the point.

Someone (rather helpfully, as it turns out) pointed out the Eclipse Process Framework. They'd dabbled with it in the past, and found it to be a rather clever piece of kit. You'll have to forgive any slip-ups in terminology or accuracy; I'm the new boy in EPF's playground. As I understand it, EPF allows you to:

  • Document activities and work flows in an extensible way.
  • Document the roles involved in your process (Project Manager, Tester, Tea-boy), and what they are responsible for.
  • Document the purpose, structure for artefacts, as well as managing their templates.
  • Document the concepts and general purpose content to help people who are just starting out with your process.

All of this content is packaged up into re-usable 'process libraries' that allow you to combine different processes together (so, for example, you could create an OpenUP and SCRUM version of your SOA methodology, simply by pulling together the 'SOA', 'OpenUP', and 'SCRUM' libraries into two different processes.

Once you've done all of this, EPF lets you create publishing configurations to define how your process is published for others to read (either in a static web site, or as a .war file for deployment to your favorite Servlet Spinner). Interestingly, EPF also apparently allows you to publish your content to a Wiki, allowing the poor buggers who actually have to work with your process to feed back and tweak the content as they learn.

As if to prove the point, the EPF boys have document two popular methodologies for your reading pleasure:

Take a look, see what you think. I'd be interested to hear your comments...

No comments: