The ORM Foundation

Get the facts!

Possibility to report to / communicate with stakeholders

Last post Tue, Jan 29 2013 18:23 by Ken Evans. 2 replies.
Page 1 of 1 (3 items)
Sort Posts: Previous Next
  • Tue, Jan 29 2013 17:05

    • jacobvos
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on Mon, Jan 21 2013
    • The Netherlands
    • Posts 39

    Possibility to report to / communicate with stakeholders

    I am glad NORMA is a tool that sticks to the theory of fact modeling. So modeling a UoD can be done well.

    But then I want to present the model to stakeholders. Nice should be an HTML-export in which diagrams are shown, and shapes on diagrams are clickable to show information about object types and fact types. Entity types are shown in a list, but only the ones displayed on a certain diagram are shown (a model might contain 10 diagrams).

    However the HTML-export doesn't show diagrams. It shows a 'simple' list of object types (for example entity types and value types near each other). It cannot be used to let a model be browsed by a business user.

    I read a post about an online diagram viewer. But that also doesn't offer a good structure for communicating.

    I also found that a diagram can be copied/pasted, but alas not be easily saved as a .png file.

    And I also didn't find (yet) a way to export all the verbalizations.

    Did I overlook reporting possibilities? Are there concrete plans to improve reporting? I'd also like to know how other modelers do their communication with business stakeholders.


  • Tue, Jan 29 2013 18:17 In reply to

    Re: Possibility to report to / communicate with stakeholders

    Hi Jacob,

    The HTML ORM viewers (follow links from, including information on displaying your own diagrams online) offer a reasonable framework for discussion, but this is obviously not a full replica of NORMA at this point.

    What's currently showing publicly is a viewer (single diagram in and all ORM diagrams in a model at http://ormsolutions/tools/ormPrint.aspx) with no additional information. What we have behind the scenes is an editor framework built on the same fact-centric framework as the viewer, verbalization snippets that work with the web browser, and integrated comment forums that allow model-centric discussions. My 'model-centric' I mean that threads are tied to specific items in the model to provide a targeted discussion. There is theoretically nothing to stop integration with other content-management systems (SharePoint, etc), I just haven't tackled that yet.

    While this is a nice start, there is a lot of work still to do to get the web tool to NORMA levels of functionality. The first issue is verbalization (model browser, search, relational diagram display, fact editor, etc. also need to be addressed). Currently, I cheat by programmatically opening the ORM file with modified snippets that work with the web viewer, then upload all verbalizations for the model to a server-side database. This is a reasonable stopgap and performs well under AJAX, but is obviously not a general solution. Verbalizations have a large amount of text and are numerous--the verbalizations for all individual selections in a model is a lot of data. So, until I have a native client-side verbalizer to go with the browser I'm not really ready to throw the doors wide open on this technology because (with all due respect to forum members) I don't want verbalizations from all of your models in my db.

    Integrating the web viewer (svg) html into the reports to show graphics for individual elements is also a possibility.


  • Tue, Jan 29 2013 18:23 In reply to

    • Ken Evans
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, Nov 18 2007
    • Stickford, UK
    • Posts 799

    Re: Possibility to report to / communicate with stakeholders

    H Jacob, 

    I don't bother using diagrams (ORM or Relational) with stakeholders because it just gives you (the modeler) the extra burden of having to explain the languages of ORM & ER. They don't need to know!  What they need to agree/disagree with are the verbalisations of the fact types and object types.

    What I recommend is that you make an initial model and then ask the stakeholders to agree or disagree with the verbalisation of the fact types and object types. Then listen to what the stakeholders say and extend the model as required.

    You can do this with a laptop and projector and show the verbalisations on the screen and then edit the model in real-time to adapt it to their requirements. (This is what I do)

    Alternatively, you can just print out the HTML report and go through the report step by step.


Page 1 of 1 (3 items)
© 2008-2020 The ORM Foundation: A UK not-for-profit organisation -------------- Terms of Service