Blueprint December 09 Update

Scott Francis
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Lombardi just released the December update, and it takes the previous enhancements a bit further:
  • More analysis visualization work was done to make this more intuitive.
  • Better printing options (print to PDF is actually even more useful than printing to a printer in most cases)
  • More user administration options (this will get increasingly important as the number of Blueprint users and collaborators continues to grow.  I wonder at what point it will make sense for Lombardi to look at incorporating something like Conformity into the solution.
Having used blueprint a fair amount lately with some more complicated models (not large, mind you, but more complicated), I can see a need for the process diagramming portion of Blueprint to get some help to make those diagrams more readable.  The models occasionally get to a point where they aren’t readable because of crossing lines or all the interesting points of reference being off-screen.  This is a problem in any modeling environment, but the reason it is so noticeable in Blueprint is because it has all this auto-draw functionality that does the layout for you – so when it doesn’t do what you want, you really notice it. Not sure if smarter layout algorithms or just more user-control is the answer. Also it would be nice if comments were more obvious (visually) on the map, rather than requiring clicking on an item’s Details to find out if it has any comments. Also, I recently used a brainstorming tool that a customer was using to model business entities and business entity lifecycles.  Although it is a completely different style of modeling than Blueprint, I believe it would fit in the mission of Blueprint to supply a good modeler for Business Entity Lifecycle.  Why?  Because often a process is working hand-in-hand with entities that have state, lifecycle, etc.  But BPMN and Process Maps are not good at accurately capturing what those states are (not just the states that trigger something in the process, but the whole universe of states).

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