Free the Models

Free the Models

The engineering of the future is digital and collaborative. It’s time to get our models out of the cages of the various tools.

Technically, it doesn’t take that much at all. The key is openness and simplicity. For example, a REST API already enables an unimagined variety of possibilities.

The SysML v2 API will have a REST implementation and you can already try it out in the pilot implementation. Since I started playing around with it, I become more and more aware of how much such technology will change engineering.

With Christian Muggeo I showed a small demo last fall at the TdSE conference of the German INCOSE chapter, where we imported information from a SysML v2 model via the API into an Excel, modified it there and wrote it back again.

Yesterday I got a spontaneous idea and within an hour I developed a very preliminary prototype to let data from a SysML v2 model appear as cards on a Miro board. Changing the content in Miro and writing it back would be possible as well.

Finally, the opportunity arises for us to create a truly engineering infrastructure. A kind of operating system of engineering on which we work. There are experts who can do it in detail and create detailed SysML v2 models precisely, for example. Others simply use parts of the model as cards on a Miro board in workshops, for calculations in Excel, or simply as elements in presentations. But all are based on models, freed from their cages and usable independently of special tools and expensive licenses. Of course, such tools are still needed, but they are no longer the cage of the models.

I would be very happy to develop small showcases with motivated small teams with the appropriate skills to demonstrate the potential. This would be a nice task for the MBSE community.



10 Responses

  1. TJ Borromeo says:

    Hey Tim,
    Is there a way you can send this software and setup/install instructions to me? I’d like to see if I can’t use this at work and experiment with it there using postman rest api explorers.


  2. Habib says:

    Hi Tim,

    A. Would you suggest to take a SysML path or an Arcadia/Capella path for ‘free models’ ?
    B. Would you suggest to take a SysML path or an Arcadia/Capella path for ‘for sale models’ ?

    Capella is open source MBSE based on Arcadia. I am not sure about an equivalent open source tool for SysML (v1 or v2) if you know please tell me.

    • Hi Habib!

      Regarding “free the models” you can take both paths. Arcadia/Capella models are openly accessible and SysML models could be openly accessible depending on the tool. The SysML v2 API is a good enabler for this.

      What do you mean by “sale models”?

      Papyrus is an open source tool for SysML (and UML):

      Kind regards,

  3. Nic Plum says:

    Given that this site claims the ‘Model Based Systems Engineering’ headline rather than the ‘UML- ‘or ‘SysML Model Based Systems Engineering’ are there any plans to include content about anything other than solely SysML or UML? If there isn’t then the site title/content is misleading and dcoesn’t properly represent a much larger body of work that has been done within systems engineering over the past few decades. There are many other sorts of models and many other sorts of modelling languages/notations that form part of MBSE. This is OK but iif this is the case / intention the site should declare boldly that it is solely concerned with one part of MBSE, not MBSE as a whole so that the limitations are clear.

    • Tim Weilkiens says:

      The focus is on MBSE and its associated concepts and methods. SysML is only one language in which it can be implemented concretely. Other modeling languages belong to it as well.
      Specifically, this blog post “Free the Models” is about connecting models in general. SysML is just one example here.

      SysML is currently in focus as an international standard and the current high attention of the community regarding SysML v2 development. So I agree with you that SysML is currently dominant in this blog. However, the intent is still common MBSE.

  4. Maneesh Battula says:

    Hi Tim,
    I am new to SysML and started learning about it. Even though reading the documentation provided and watching your podcasts I am feeling a bit difficult on understanding how to utilize the API’s which are provided. Could you please let me know how to use them to read data from a sysml model or .syml file(textual notation) and can you help me with – how you imported information from a SysML v2 model via the API into an Excel.

    Thanks Maneesh

  5. Randall Hudson says:

    Did you use OSLC for your prototype? And what future do you think OSLC has in our industry?

  6. Tim Weilkiens says:

    I did not use OSLC, but the REST implementation of the SysML v2 API.

    I think OSLC provides conceptually exactly what is needed by the industry. However, I observe that it is rarely used or projects have trouble with it. I’m not deep enough in the OSLC topic to be able to judge the exact cause. How do you see the future of OSLC?

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