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Metis Native XML Visual Modeling Tool

Computas Announces Major Enhancements to Its Metis Modeling Toolset for Building Enterprise Architecture Models in Federal Agencies

New Metis Version 3.3 Software Provides Web-enabled Modeling Solution for federal CIOs, Strategic Planners, and Systems Integrators Implementing e-Government Mandates

Seattle, WA, USA. February 05, 2003.

Computas North America, Inc. today announced major usability enhancements for its Metis Enterprise visual modeling toolset, which is increasingly being adopted by federal agencies as their preferred solution for complying with government mandates to build and maintain enterprise architectures. Metis, which is the only native XML visual modeling tool on the market, enables federal agencies to quickly implement enterprise architecture models that provide a comprehensive view of their business processes and Information Technology operations, and to use these models in their IT planning and management processes. This capability is essential for meeting key requirements of the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 as well as recent Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directives for agencies to align their strategic agendas with their IT investments in order to receive funding for IT projects.

The new Version 3.3 of the Metis software provides state-of-the-art modeling technology for federal CIOs, strategic planners, and systems integrators charged with implementing e-government initiatives that improve operations within agencies; expand information sharing and collaboration across agencies; consolidate IT systems that support similar business operations throughout government; and increase accessibility and accountability to the general public. With Metis enterprise architecture models published in the Metis repository, agency managements and staffs can easily and securely explore the structure and functioning of their organizations. At every level, authorized users can 'go deeper' just by clicking on and opening up a pictured entity that is a container for yet another picture or document.

"Federal agency managers can use Metis to create highly intuitive visual models of their entire enterprise architecture, generate an unlimited range of model views on the fly, and dynamically query the models to gain precise information and new insights for decision-making," said Bill Wright, President of Computas NA.

Powerful Model Browser Enables Scale-Up of Extremely Large Enterprise Architecture Models

For decision-makers, enterprise architects and other end users, Metis 3.3 provides powerful Web-enablement capabilities in its Model Browser facility, an easy-to-use tool for visualizing, navigating and querying enterprise architecture models published on an agency intranet. The Model Browser in Metis 3.3 utilizes state-of-the-art data compression and web-graphics technologies to support extremely large models - more than 100,000 graphical objects depicting the structures, processes, systems, data, personnel, etc., at all levels in an organization. This makes it possible for users in any government agency, regardless of size, to efficiently visualize and work with the agency's enterprise architecture models.

Team Server Provides Important Data Security Capabilities

Metis 3.3 supports the rigorous security requirements of U.S. government agencies by providing powerful control features for user access, model versioning, and develop-review-publish cycles in its server-based repository, the Metis Team Server. In particular, a unique data integrity capability in the Team Server ensures that users cannot make unauthorized changes to models. Users updating or modifying models work only with a copy of the model residing in the repository - typically either an approved model or the latest in-progress model - or the subset of the model they are authorized to access. (By contrast, users of database-centric modeling tools that make changes directly to the database create a data integrity risk.) Once the changes are made to the copy of the Metis model, it is added to the repository as a new version (from which, if warranted, it can be submitted to an agency-specific approval process), and the original data is retained unchanged. Because a Metis model's full version history is stored in the repository, it is possible to determine at any time what changes have been made, who made them, and when, and easily rollback to a prior version.

Model Annotator Drives Collaboration

Metis 3.3 also includes a new browser-based Model Annotator tool that enables users to dynamically browse in a graphical mode and easily incorporate their comments into enterprise architecture models. The comments are collected and organized by the Metis repository for review and analysis by the model developers. This capability significantly increases the value of models for information sharing and collaboration, and facilitates the work of developers by making it easy for users to provide feedback on models-in-progress.

Metamodel-Driven XML Support for e-Government Initiatives

As a native XML modeling tool, Metis uniquely leverages object-oriented technology to allow the creation of models that may be interfaced with applications that can support XML data exchanges. All Metis model elements are XML-tagged objects with globally unique IDs, allowing them to be referenced in other XML models. "Metis supersedes other modeling tools that are fundamentally legacy database applications which try to achieve XML compliance using add-ons to map to their proprietary data structures," Wright said. "Unlike the legacy EA tools based on relational database technology, Metis is built from the ground up on the latest XML metamodel-driven object-oriented technology. As such, Metis is optimal for data exchange with XML applications - and soon for access to XML functionality in applications as well - over the Internet and agency intranets. As a result, Metis ensures that federal agencies can always take advantage of new opportunities for e-Government offered by ever-evolving Internet technology."

Framework Independent

Metis is an integrated set of client and server tools that utilize Internet technology for creating, visualizing, changing, sharing, and managing enterprise architecture and other knowledge models. Utilizing a Web-enabled metamodel-driven architecture, Metis can quickly adapt to the array of underlying government standard formats for enterprise architectures - including Zachman, DoDAF/C4ISR, TEAF, FEAF, FEA and TOGAF. Computas has received orders for Metis from the Treasury Department, Defense Department, Bureau of the Census, Environmental Protection Agency, and others. At the Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Metis enabled the IT staff to build a viable enterprise architecture within one year.

According to Susan Warshaw, the bureau's chief IT architect, the Metis toolset provided a short learning curve as well as an integrated repository, good access to external data, and support for the parent agency's Treasury Enterprise Architecture Framework. Said Warshaw, "Our return on investment is that the enterprise architecture 'knowledge' within our organization is now reusable, and accelerates better decision making. Once you can share accurate data, decisions move faster."


Metis 3.3 is available in March 2003 for Microsoft Windows platforms. Architects and users can obtain a free evaluation copy of the Metis Model Browser product by downloading it from the Computas website ( or by contacting a sales representative at or +1-425-391-2000.

Computas North America

Computas NA, Inc., headquartered in Sammamish, Wash., is a subsidiary of Norway's Computas. Computas was established in 1985, and has grown to become the leading knowledge engineering company in Scandinavia. The company's core skills include knowledge management, intelligent systems for work support, and knowledge processes in the networked economy. Current customers include large industrial enterprises, government agencies and international organizations. Computas is on the web at


Bill Wright
Computas NA, Inc.
Tel: +1-425-391-2000

Julie Squires
Softscribe Inc.
Tel: +1-404-256-5512

Prepared by Robin Cover for The XML Cover Pages archive.

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