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Formation ISE - Intelligent Systems Engineering Platform Overview
 Introduction  Principles
 Methods  Provided Platform
 Benefits  Resources
Platform Technology  

Formation ISE™ (Intelligent Systems Engineering) Introduction

A 21st Century Enterprise requires intelligent systems, high quality information. It expects to have accurate and complete information for decisions, governance, accountability and all manner of accurate and intelligent operational functions. Complete data and systems portfolio integration and alignment is required. 

Formation ISE™ is a strategic business platform and foundation for formation and management of intelligent systems and high quality information. The primary purpose is to maximize the value of investments in information and information systems capability. The value created is enterprise business centric, not IT project based. It provides an “Architecture for your Enterprise Architecture”: business, data, process, protocols, applications, information. The architecture and design is ‘one-enterprise’, meaning that all the parts fit and function together.

The platform is independent of tools and technologies of the day. It is not for those organizations strategically committed to packages, middleware interfaces, disparate data translation (ETL), and applications with their own disparate data, functions, databases and designs. 

The platform components are designed to deliver qualifying enterprise architecture and standards consistently to all system components with ‘design-time’ governance. The component designs support adaptability to business change. The platform enables the IT organization to deliver a fundamentally different enterprise level capability and interoperability.   Intelligent services and reusability are realized; adding greater responsiveness, functionality and reliability. Lower cost of both business and IT with less risk will be realized. The outcome enables the business to reliably use information for enterprise management, analysis and decision making. 



Formation ISE™ (Intelligent Systems Engineering) is based on these principles:


·        The Enterprise is a single entity and therefore each one of its systems and collective enterprise data must be aligned and integrated to function effectively.


·        Data/Information is the essential enabler in all enterprise activity and results, and is potentially the greatest productivity differentiator, but only when architected for the enterprise.


·        Intelligent decisions must be enabled with accurate data and relevant protocols dependent upon situations.  Intelligent systems must be enabled with situation elements and protocols to their process steps.


·        Formation ISE™ offers an improved investment option:  IT expenditure can be invested in engineered assets with multiple long term benefits or a liability with multiple long term expenses.

·        Quality Information Engineering must include holistic and aligned semantic engineering, meta-data architecture, process modeling, representation, and physical constructs in order to be sufficient.

·        Smart and effective (intelligent) engineering designs benefit from data quality, patterns and building blocks to efficiently build more powerful systems. 





The principles are the reason for having developed a unique package of engineering methods for defining information, systems and rules services.  The methods are not new but are rarely used and more rarely used in a holistic manner.  The methods were applied to develop a number of standard constructs (formations) into a platform.  The platform contains already engineered constructs so that most of the design methods do not have to be learned.  The focus shifts to procedures for leveraging the platform.


Provided Platform

As in the construction industry, there are structural design elements that are very functional regardless of what building they are used in.  They enable the building architecture to be supported and free architects to create the overall form, fit and function of the buildings knowing they will be supported.

A holistic Enterprise Meta-data Architecture establishes the foundation platform.  The meta-models provide for enterprise integration and alignment right out of the gate.  Patterned meta-models and a set of complementary building blocks with their standard patterns are applied to forming enterprise-specific Information (data), Function, and Rules for adaptive, intelligent systems.  A high level of standardization and consistency results, thereby providing opportunity for enterprise quality levels of: integration, alignment, adaptability, reusability and responsiveness.  The platform contains more than one dimension and building blocks at more than one level.  Enterprise specific customization of the platform occurs with adding enterprise semantic content to this platform and modeling within frameworks. Formation ISE’s platform and pre-formed components enable your organization to efficiently build and maintain more powerful systems.    The building process is repeatable, the components are standardized and reusable, there is a foundation master plan for the enterprise, and the engineering is leveraged through standardized building blocks and patterns of assembly.

Formation ISE™ methodology is holistic.  It focuses on the whole enterprise as a single entity, with a complete set of methods, standards, and constructs.  Business requirements and vision are managed at the enterprise executive level with a clear line of sight to the supporting design and implementation.  It is “enterprise architecture” and engineering-centric, elevating the level of engineering to achieve greater leverage.  It includes methods for enterprise-level semantic control and engineering, necessary for effective analytical and reporting capabilities in strategic analysis and decisions, in day-to-day operations, or solutions to complex business requirements.  Data, functional and situation rules structures are standardized and reusable, from concepts to physical implementations.

With Formation ISE™ the opportunities to standardize and reuse code are much greater.  A service oriented architecture (SOA) has been designed for use with these patterned objects and functions.  The level of standardization with patterns pushes the level of reusability, responsiveness, reliability; and it greatly reduces overall system complexity.  As a result, functionality is clear, intelligent, and adaptive.



The problem is that Enterprise IT has been creating hundreds of times more data stores and code than are necessary.  This creates a bog for enterprise strategic initiatives, and business change costs hundreds of times more and takes far longer at higher risk.  Information quality is not available or achievable so everything is complicated and harder than it should be.  Projects are never measured on enterprise value created and real enterprise costs are ignored; simply was “it” done on time, on budget?

This platform and the methodology provide the opportunity for controlled cost and maximum effect.  Each new enterprise information system leverages these assets, sharing data and data services.  Our platform supports a learning curve where each successive information system is easier to develop.  Functionality and value rise at a much higher rate than cost.

Formation ISE™ enables your enterprise to continuously optimize and respond to changes in circumstances and/or growth opportunities. Each business system is adaptive through configuration of function, rules, and data.  Technical effort is largely focused on developing reusable assets, then assembling systems.  Systems are situation-aware and intelligent, dynamically adapting to different requirements at execution time.

Formation ISE™ provides the benefits of SOA (service oriented architecture), MDM (master data management), IQ (information/data quality), BPM (business process modeling), EA/DA (enterprise architecture and data architecture), MDA (meta-data architecture), Situation Rules, and DI (data integration)—with a multiplier effect.  Formation ISE™ greatly improves the value of BI (business intelligence) by increasing information quality and functional integration while greatly reducing cost.  Governance is implicitly enabled and explicitly supported in the platform components.

With Formation ISE™, your IT investment will provide enriched business capability, while simultaneously reducing the complexity and problems of disparate data and systems and the long-term cost of IT systems development and maintenance.  Adaptability and flexibility are built into the engineering, which will substantially reduce the costs of adapting systems to inevitable business change.  Formation ISE supports “doing data right,” avoiding the substantial costs and limited effect of data cleansing and de-duplication for the data warehouse.



Building a systems foundation using Formation ISE™ requires a small, dedicated enterprise-level team capable of holistic engineering.  The team will use standardized meta-data patterns to form basic building blocks.  The team will focus on producing “services” and capabilities that bring the building blocks to life as enterprise-level reusable assets.  Impact and velocity grows from leveraging foundation assets to create each successive enterprise information system.  Business needs and capability requirements are handled systemically and with specific patterns, avoiding gaps and overlaps.  Modifying requirements and design is easy, fast, and inexpensive, with easy alignment and integration of functions and data.  Building interfaces is not required within the portfolio of systems.  BI systems will readily see the effects of change and produce the relevant metrics without added ETL work.

Formation ISE™ moves your organization through and beyond creating enterprise architecture to creating valuable impact in an organized, systemic way.  Data Governance has new standards and principles and procedures to consider.  Enterprise management will see enterprise information systems and data as an enabler in a strategic and different light.


Platform Technology

The platform design is technology independent.  The platform purpose is to establish enterprise wide systems and data as one integrated formation.  It can be supported in a DBMS of choice, and a programming language of choice.

The basic premise for ISE is that the form and standards for every construct that we will require to build all enterprise information systems and the integrated enterprise database will be established first.  The second premise is that components (building blocks) can be systemically built from pre-defined forms.  The third premise is that both content and assembly can be customized while using standard forms of constructs.  The fourth premise is that systems can be formed by assembly of standardized form components.   None of this is too difficult to understand, but it is a great departure from past practice.

A unique package of engineering methods has been applied to produce meta-models and a database design that holds the meta-data and the pre-defined constructs and patterns.  This includes for data, pre-defined physical structures for operational databases, reference data, situation protocol data.  Data quality services for operational data sit on top of these data structures.  Conceptual object patterns are applied to form the enterprise masters.  After requisite semantic engineering of object names, meanings and purpose, the inventory of business objects is mapped to a pre-defined object in the enterprise architecture and assigned a semantic key.  Each business object inherits the reusable pattern of elements, the standards, the data quality services, and key and audit trail services from the platform enterprise object.

A results based methodology is used to identify the work results targeted by the enterprise, and then define the process and capabilities that would deliver the result.  The work system is mapped to a framework, and the description of its components is developed within a pattern.  Semantic engineering methods are applied to define the work systems and they are mapped to a pre-defined platform framework.  Mapping of data to work systems and vice versa occurs at the framework level.

Enterprise Information System definition enables and represents a work system.  Definition of the information system includes definition of the work system activity in part of the platform database.  Functional services that will be provided in the information systems have a pre-defined structure that is consistent for any system.  The structure enables and promotes reusability with appropriate balance of independence and binding.  The structure also promotes adaptability.  Repeated use of the same engineering designs promotes the highest level of standardization and consistency possible.  Flexibility is provided for a high level of enterprise customization in data, function and rules with the use of the standard form building blocks.  Scalability comes through providing consistency for all data and all systems rather than creating unique structures and models for every specialization of function and data.