Product Name: Digital Platform for Enterprise Architecture

Product Provider: Dragon1 Inc., http://www.dragon1.com,   PO Box 239, 6700 AE WAGENINGEN, The Netherlands

 Product Category: Information Technology & Services; Enterprise Architecture visualisation

Product Purpose: digital visual platform for Enterprise Architecture

Product Overview

The Digital Platform for Enterprise Architecture is an evolutionary version  of the Dragon1 open EA Method (or Dragon1). It is an Enterprise Architecture Framework that intensively uses visualisation as a fundamental way of communication among Architects and Architecture Stakeholders and Architecture Consumers.   The Dragon1 open EA Method is suitable for many different architectural practices   including Enterprise Architecture, Business Architecture, Business Informational Architecture, Technology Architecture, Solution Architecture as well as possible reference architecture design.

The Dragon1 Platform publicly provides its semantic Glossary of the used terms and concepts that have certain scientific aspects. For example, it defines that “an architecture of a structure is a total concept of a structure, containing a coherent set of constructional concepts, operative concepts and decorative concepts.” The Architects who like to dig into the essence of things, can conduct own researches on: whether any structure has it architecture, do all structure’s element adhere to a “total concept of a structure” and how a structure contrasts a system, can a structure include other structures or parts of different structures that are under different ownerships and constructional concepts,  how a change of a structure impacts its ‘architecture’ if the latter exists, are operative concepts a part of an architecture or rather they are the elements of architecture implementation (can we have the same operational concepts implementing different architectures and how enterprise business creates Target Operating Models having no idea about any architectures), what is the difference between a decoration and an architecture style. So far, a common opinion is that a structure may be an architecture implementation or have no architecture of its own until opposite is proved.

As a result, the Dragon1 Enterprise Architecture Framework offers some categories of architectural elements, which are questionable while some consumers use them. For example: security, governance, “human capital” and processes are rather different aspects of architecture implementation. Thus, the Dragon1 Enterprise Architecture Framework is not prescriptive and, therefore does not promote any particular best practices.

The Dragon1 is called an open method because its documentation is published freely with no restrictions, the method can be used by anyone, no big consultancy firm or Standards Body owns it (in contrast to TOGAF, ArchiMate, or UML), and the method is continuously improved based on the  input from real-world practice (from 110 countries).

The Dragon1 Platform contains a set of concepts, principles, internal standards, roles, rules, icon notations, meta-models, model templates, reference products, visual designer, visualiser, shared and integrated Architectural Repository.  The Dragon1 Platform makes exceptional focus on visualisation that, as believed, is more effective than textual documents in the support of decision making and other stakeholders.

Since Dragon1 open method is not a commercial product, but a scientific product, the strategic goal of Dragon1 to be improved every year and, at a certain point, replace TOGAF and ArchiMate. At the moment, The Dragon1 Platform supports TOGAF, ArchiMate, UML and BPMN in addition to its own design notations.

The Digital Platform for Enterprise Architecture is delivered as SaaS . It is available world around.

Dragon1 open EA Method may be characterised as:

  • A complete method (Way of Thinking, Way of Working, Way of Representing, Way of Supporting) to create architecture products (The Open Group)
  • Usable as add on to other enterprise architecture frameworks and modelling standards
  • Promoting architecture as total concept design discipline
  • Focussing architects on producing visual architecture products
  • Using visualisations for the collection of stakeholder requirements
  • Suited for guiding fundamental strategic enterprise transformations
  • Recognised by ISO – mentioned in its list of existing frameworks
  • A recognised architecture method in The Open Group’s IT Architecture Certification program (ITAC).

While the Dragon1 Platform’s is highly customisable, there are 21 internal standards that have to be adopted by the consumer of the Platform to get the most of its value. The standards cover Architecture Principles, Visual Language( & Symbols), Architecture Quality Management( & Control), Architecture Stakeholder Management, Communication, Implementation, Architecture Application, Architecture Documentation, Architecture Maturity, Requirements Management, Solution Architecture Design, Architecture Governance & Management, and others.

The Dragon1 Platform includes following

  • Applications:
    • Digital Workplace
    • Collaboration
    • Assets Catalogue
    • Resource Centre
    • Architecture Repository
    • Visual Designer
    • Content Viewer
    • Business Analyser
    • Architecture Checker
    • Management Dashboard
    • Enterprise Search
    • Settings
  • Guides
    • Step by Step Guide
    • Enterprise Architecture Guide
    • Business Process Modelling Guide
  • Extra
    • Index
    • What’s New
    • Support
    • FAQ
  • Tutorials
    • Subject of continuous changes

Major Product’s Components and Abilities

  • Architecture Repository

The Architecture Repository is a Web Application to administer entities used in architectural design and to collect data for the design. It is possible to relate the data entities to each other so they fin preferred way and form a model. These models will be used to create views (filters) on and link to visualisations or templates in the Visual Designer. The data in the Architecture Repository is logically organised in cabinets, dossiers and folders.

  • Visual Designer

The Visual Designer is a modelling, presentation and diagramming application to support an architect in the core activities such as creating and generating the draft and final version of architecture products. This component competes with ArchiMate-based designers, EA Sparx and analogous. The major features of Visual Designer are:

  • Enter and Update Data
  • Manually Draw Models
  • Setup Views
  • Create Visualisations
  • Build Landscapes and Blueprints
  • Create report views and visualisations of the architecture models
  • Create Composed Architecture Layouts on a single canvas
  • Create Playable Scenarios
  • Create different versions or alternatives to try out what is the best one  
  • Publish a Visualisation in the Content Viewer or other channels or PDF
  • Create a Presentation
  • Content Viewer

The Content Viewer is the Web Application that is used by anybody permitted to view visualisations of specifically published architectural diagrams.

  • Dynamic Views

Dynamic Views are selectors on top of the data in a model or folder in in the Architecture Repository. In order the selector to work, data has to be preliminary explicitly (attributed) or implicitly (by type) flagged for particular pre-defined categories types, e.g. ‘application’, ‘portfolio’ or ‘server’, etc.  The moment the data changes in the repository, the visualisation or diagram is automatically updated. The categorisation comprises a few manual steps:

  1. Enter typed data
    1. Create a relationship model of the
    2. Create a script for the view using or modifying provided template of creating your own one, including all desirable maps between entities and categories
    3. Link the view to the visualisation template
  2. Interactivity

Interactivity comprises Popup Dialogs and surf through atlases of visualisations

  • Working With Profiles

A profile is a set of identifying data and information for a person or organization.

  • General Abilities

Particularly, it is possible for several users on the same account to work independently having different data stores for each of them

  • Deployment

All versions are deployed on Cloud: SaaS/Public Cloud and On Premise/Private Cloud

  • Support

Provided SLA states that incidents and bugs are tended to be solve within 3 business working days

Major Product Features

  1. Viewer of .dragon1 file in JSON
  2. Architecture Repository in line with TOGAF
  3. Linked to ArchiMate and BPMN for visual design in single environment
  4. Provides a dozen and half pre-defined reports and allows creation of User (custom) Reports
  5. Import of CSV file
  6. Provides consistent and non-controversial Help Glossary
  7. Each view/diagram is specified in HTML or JavaScript library
  8. Out-of-box features:
    1. Import Data
    2. Enter Data
    3. Create a Model
    4. Create a Relationship
    5. Create a View
    6. Create a Visualisation
    7. Publish a Visualisation
    8. Working With a Repository
    9. Working With Models
    10. Dynamic Views
    11. Visual Items
    12. Visualisation Templates
    13. Atlases
    14. Interactivity
    15. Animation
    16. Dragon1 Page
    17. Incidents Monitor
  9. Basic views/diagrams:
    1. Strategy
      • Stakeholder Onion Diagram
      • Business Goals Overview
      • Strategy Map
      • Business Requirements
      • Customer Journey Map
      • Amazon’s Business Model Canvas
    2. Architecture
      • Enterprise Architecture Framework
      • Business Capability Map
      • Enterprise Landscape
      • Process Applications Landscape
      • Concepts Overview
      • High Level Process Map
      • Detailed Process Landscape
      • Applications Map
      • Server Landscape #1
      • Server Landscape #2
      • Project Portfolio
      • IT Landscape
      • Architecture Principles Overview
      • Standards Catalogue
      • Capabilities Standards Roadmap
      • Enterprise Model
  • Business Analyser
    • Basic table-reports, report templates, user defined queries, customization of reports; with graphs and without graphs
    • Export to .rtf and .pdf file formats
    • The Architecture Checker is a new reporting tool that is like a SEO tool diving into the architecture data
    • Reference Architecture
      • Reference IT Landscape
      • NORA Dutch eGovernment Reference Architecture

Product Pros

  1. A very rich spectrum of practice (rather than theory) specific materials in both diagrams and templates/views.
  2. Has clear orientation on the architectural and design audience
  3. Supports established standards like TOGAF, ArchiMate, UML and BPMN
  4. Supports pre-defined and customised architectural reports, can export into commonly accepted document formats
  5. Programmatic integration between the Visual Designer and Viewer based on shared code-base and Architecture Repository.
  6. If the data changes in the shared model, related the diagrams sketches or view may be updated automatically, if desired.
  7. The Platform can be integrated via Restful API, JSON API and XML/CSV file import/export
  8. Can import BPMN and ArchiMate diagram data and export Dragon1 .dragon1 data file
  9. Special views can be generated from the same common model for particular type of user, e.g. for financial, operational clerk or manager.
  10. The Platform is well documented
  11. Programming events and user operations are logged; audit logging is protected and separated from other logs
  12. Can be used to create presentations similar to PowerPoint
  13. User’s comment can be added to the diagrams in Visual Designer
  14. Support design workflow for collaborative work in a team
  15. Provides a rich Help online support, including Interactive Help
  16. The Platform offers  SLAs for different categories of support customers
  17. Provides Tutorials and Consultancy
  18. Noticed in Industry:
    • Ovum:  Dragon1 is an innovative EA Solution in the Ovum Market Radar, 2019
    • Gartner:  Dragon1 is honourably mentioned in the Magic Quadrant EA Tool Report 2019
    • Forrester: mentioned Dragon1 as Strong Performer in the Forrester Wave EAMS 2017.

Product Cons

  1. Architectural Principles are expressed in the form of marketing statements, not guidance for actions. For instance, “Agile Practice delivers outcomes quality”. This style can send an inaccurate message to consumers – an Agile practice does not necessarily delivers quality of outcomes. Manual customisation of Principles allows the consumer to promote not the Best Industry Practice in the company and/or deviate from the Principles established in the Corporate Governance
  2. Adoption of the platform, including installation and special Dragon1 meta-language, requires professional help from Dragon1The diagrams with full relationship maps may be not easy to read The diagrams with full relationship maps may be not easy to read
  3. The diagrams with full relationship maps may be not easy to read
  4. While Visual Designer and Viewer share the data model, it is possible to perform manual modifications in the Viewer configuration file (.dragon1), e.g.  in the mapping between entities from different categories in the view, and break  an information integrity with the diagram in the Visual Designer
  5. While the platform has an access control for its users and realised as SaaS (certain Web security), the security protection  is described only to the buyer while in the publicly accessible Web sourced is  presented as a commitment to providing secure services in Security Practices, Privacy Policy, and Terms and Conditions
  6. The public Web Site has a few incomplete areas
  7. Has some product limitations on IE browser
  8. Adopting or modifying the .dragon1 files, written in HTML of JavaScript, requires certain professional maturity
  9. In .dragon1 file, each element – “class”– of the diagrams and views is defined with two validity attributes: “startdate” and “enddate”. A relationship module also has these attributes. However, in both cases, these attributes are optional and decoupled. This can lead to erroneous situations: 1) an entity does not set the validity attributes while the relationship module does; 2) over the time, the relationship between the source “sourceclass” and target “targetclass” can disappear becoming invalid; 3)  in the opposite case, the entity can become invalid and its relationship will lead to nowhere; 4) also, in the opposite case, the relationship can start from nowhere, though will be not displayed; 5) finally the specified validity periods can mismatch leading to floating relationships and visualisation (displayed / not displayed) –to be checked for particular version of the Platform
  10. Provided SLAs state that incidents and bugs are tended to be solved             within a few business working days. For the cases of software crashes, it is recommended to back-up the system and database frequently. It is unclear how a case of just a bug differs from a case of system crash caused by the bug
  11. When designing in Visual Designer, inter-element relationships, e.g. relationships between elements from ‘AS-IS’ to ‘TO-BE’ model, are checked during the build according to the templates, but the user of the tool can manually override / extend it in the output .dragon1 file and then present it in the Viewer.
  12. Validation of JSON consistency in the .dragon1 file in BETA now.
  13. List of valid entity’s attributes and their valid values is absent (cannot be found in Help)
  14. No architectural information about projects/solutions – assumptions, dependencies, risks, debts, issues – is supported
  15. The relationships between elements being ruled in Dragon1 are still not enforced in the Visual Designer


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Overall Score:  4.5

How to buy

The licenses can be bought online with no limitations  (via credit card), via telephone +31 (0)317 411 341 (in The Netherlands) or by contacting Sales Agent by e-mail: sales@dragon1.com

License Model

  1. Free license – common applications and related demo/templates.

Common applications include the following Dragon1 web applications: Digital Workplace, Online Collaboration, Architecture Repository (optional), Visual Designer, Enterprise Search, Content Viewer, Import, Resource Center, Business Analyzer, Assets Catalog, eLearning, ePortfolio, Pages and Channels.
For all editions: €500 per extra visualisation template. 

Dragon1 ENTERPRISE only version: €500 per extra editor user. €100 per contributor user. €30 per extra viewer user.

  • Several levels of paid licenses:
Dragon1 PRO (Basic)Dragon1 PRO (Standard)Dragon1 BUSINESS (SaaS Platform)Dragon1 ENTERPRISE
~ €2,400~ €3,900~ €40,000negotiable
1 editor user licenseDragon1 Charts & Maps 1 visualisation template + tutorialCustomer’s own Architecture Repository An intelligent Visual DesignerSupports ArchiMate, BPMN, UML, TOGAFPublishing interactive content A Business Analyser for Reporting An application to catalogue assetsEnterprise Search featuresNo contributor-userBasis version, with: 3 visualisation templates + 3 tutorials Roadmap ToolCanvas Sketch ToolNo contributor-userStandard version, with: 15 editor user licensesVisualisation Templates + 10 Tutorials A Management Dashboard Extra analytic featuresScenario modellingExtra workflow features50 contributor usersBusiness version, with: 50 editor users100 contributor users200 viewer users20 visualisation templatesCheckerChatbot SearchGraph Search

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