Our Tools for Architecture-Centric Engineering

ACES Technologies

ACES Technologies are Fraunhofer IESE’s extensions to Enterprise Architect, aimed at guiding an architect along the Fraunhofer ACES approach.

ACES Technologies includes ACES Modeling, which provides exactly the elements, diagrams, and toolboxes needed for ACES-ADF (Architecture Documentation Framework), and ACES Productivity, which automates tedious and recurring manual tasks in order to make architecture modeling with ACES and Enterprise Architect more efficient.

While Enterprise Architect is a tool for modeling software and systems based on UML and other modeling languages, it is a versatile and generic platform and does not inherently support any specific architecture approach. Fraunhofer ACES technologies extends Enterprise Architect towards a real architecture tool.

ACES Modeling

ACES Modeling restricts the vast set of UML elements to a clear focus on the most important elements for architecture modeling along the views proposed by ACES-ADF.

It provides:

  • Element Types: typical elements that are used to model software architectures, such as systems, components, modules, execution environments, deployment artifacts, etc. These directly reflect the views proposed by ACES-ADF and are made available in corresponding toolboxes.
  • Diagram Types: diagram types that guide architects along the main architectural views of ADF. The additional architecture drivers diagram allows managing the main requirements as elements within the architecture model.
  • Model Structure: An initial model structure can be generated automatically to start building uniform and easy-to-understand ACES architecture models.
  • Learning Center: documentation for modeling architectures according to ACES and for using ACES Technologies.

ACES Productivity

Modeling architecture in a readable, navigable, and consistent way is time-consuming and requires a lot of manual and recurring steps. To make architecture modeling more efficient and architects' lives easier, we continuously automate and support such manual tasks around model management and maintenance with add-ins for Enterprise Architect.

Currently, we provide the following add-ins:   

  • ACES Description Templates: Architecture Drivers and Architecture Decisions are often described with the help of a predefined template. The ACES Description Templates add-in automatically adds the templates to the notes of newly created elements, eliminating the time needed for manually copying them from one element to another.
  • ACES Navigation Diagram Generator:  Navigation diagrams guide readers through the architecture model and describe where to find which information. Creating navigation diagrams includes a significant amount of effort for creating hyperlinks between different diagrams. The ACES Navigation Diagram Generator creates navigation diagrams completely automatically.
  • ACES Maintenance Searches: There should be no duplicate elements; every model element should contain a description; and every element should be shown in a diagram. Such checks to sustain the quality of the model can be performed with the ACES Maintenance Searches. They guide the architect to problematic parts of the model, saving time that would otherwise be needed for manual searching.
  • ACES Element Relocator: To ensure a clearer and more understandable model structure, elements and decisions are grouped into corresponding folders. The ACES Element Relocator automatically creates and moves elements and decisions to their respective folders.

Download

You can download and use the ACES Technologies completely free of charge. You only need a valid license for Enterprise Architect.