Announcing Simunication Enterprise Simulator

Discussions

News: Announcing Simunication Enterprise Simulator

  1. Simunication is a new company that recently unveiled it's rapid prototyping tool, Enterprise Simulator. ES is used to build working simulations of webapps for the purposes of getting stakeholder sign-off of project requirements, during the requirements gathering phase. ES is web-based WYSIWYG environment that appropriately forces the user to take a use-case driven design approach, where each use case has associated UI elements, scripts (based on Beanshell), business logic and data logic (shared across use cases).

    Initial customers have used ES to prototype functional applications in the face of poorly defined requirements, than iteratively refine the protoype (or simulation, as Simunaction calls them) with feedback from various stake holders (including end users), until a final working simulation (final requirements definition) was agreed upon.

    Since the generated simulation actually functionally works, the tool is a useful alternative to weeks or months of swapping HTML mockups and hundred page requirements documents back and forth.

    When a simulation is signed off, the other project artifacts such as testing, user documentation and training can begi before any Java gets written.

    Threaded Messages (17)

  2. pricing[ Go to top ]

    I hate companies that don't publish their pricing. This practice is an automatic disqualifier for their product.
  3. Sounds interesting...[ Go to top ]

    Pricing was there on product page:

    Pricing: $US 4,995 floating user license
     $US 1,995 named license

     *Volume discounts available (No server cost)




    This type of product has long interested me, though I have no experience with such a product. There's a company called http://www.irise.com that offers a similar, and very expensive, product.

    It seems like a tool like this might be quite useful. Especially if it could be integrated with a RM tool like Requisite Pro or Telelogic DOORS to give you full traceability (eg. 'what requirement brought about this particular field on the screen?' - and clicking a hyperlink would to take you there).

    Mike
  4. Sounds interesting...[ Go to top ]

    Yes thats our goal, we are currently in integration discussions with RM vendors to achieve this.
    Pricing was there on product page:Pricing: $US 4,995 floating user license  $US 1,995 named license  *Volume discounts available (No server cost) This type of product has long interested me, though I have no experience with such a product. There's a company called http://www.irise.com that offers a similar, and very expensive, product.It seems like a tool like this might be quite useful. Especially if it could be integrated with a RM tool like Requisite Pro or Telelogic DOORS to give you full traceability (eg. 'what requirement brought about this particular field on the screen?' - and clicking a hyperlink would to take you there).Mike
  5. re:pricing[ Go to top ]

    Fair comment. We are in the middle of updating our web site with more information including pricing. It will be available shortly.
  6. Re: footer copyright notice[ Go to top ]

    I hate companies that don't update their footer copyright notices that still say Year 2004. Isn't this the Year 2005? This practice is an automatic disqualifier for their product.

    I have no clue what's wrong with all these cranky people like that Neenee girl before and now this cunning Bunny Ben.
  7. The body of the announcement seemed quite interesting. However the website seems quite sparse in offering information about the product. There are no downloads, screenshots, whitepapers, sample demos which could allow me to get even a high level feel of the product. Its kind of difficult to evaluate a product for purchase or even figuring out one's level of interest.
  8. Again, fair comment. This information will be provided shortly. Until then, we offer anyone intereted a one on one web conference to demonstrate the product, build simulations and answer your questions. After the demo, we give you an account on a trial server to work with. Hope that works for people for now.
    The body of the announcement seemed quite interesting. However the website seems quite sparse in offering information about the product. There are no downloads, screenshots, whitepapers, sample demos which could allow me to get even a high level feel of the product. Its kind of difficult to evaluate a product for purchase or even figuring out one's level of interest.
  9. Until then, we offer anyone intereted a one on one web conference to demonstrate the product, build simulations and answer your questions.


    Don't you know how you should advertise your product and then perform customer lock-in w/ verbal commitments through one-on-ones? Trick: Get to know your potential customer base first, and then offer free downloads on the web.
    After the demo, we give you an account on a trial server to work with. Hope that works for people for now.

    Yeah!! You track on your servers our usage of your product, collect cheap information in order to make your product better in future. Oh yeah, that works, Baby!! Nothing wrong though.
  10. This Neenee girl/guy sounds so cranky in her comments. Doesn't she understand what the word patience means? Offer her a tissue to wipe off her tearful eyes! It's a new company.
    The body of the announcement seemed quite interesting. However the website seems quite sparse in offering information about the product. There are no downloads, screenshots, whitepapers, sample demos which could allow me to get even a high level feel of the product. Its kind of difficult to evaluate a product for purchase or even figuring out one's level of interest.
  11. That's quite interesting...

    One thing comes to mind : what happens when the prototype meets client requirements ?
    Can you send it all to trash and start writing actual code ?
    The web site does not mention anything about this. Have I missed something ?

    You probably see where I want to come to...

    I also think constant prototyping and short iterations are key factors to a successful project, that's why I can see advantages in the "Simulator".
    But as a matter of fact the best would just to be able to *code* the application through iterative prototypes. You know, the "prototype -> working software" transition should not even exist actually... If you already did it then why doing it again ?
    I mean, Requirements capture allow to define the conceptual models.
    Designers have to use tools to define and validate these models, and then use other tools to do the same work a different way...

    What about XP, agile programming etc ?
    If I got some of it, it was mainly about short iterations, client interaction and working protos...
    What about MDA too ? If I'm able to design "business objects" through the simulator, wouldn't it be possible to generate the models (or part of it) from this tool ? And then generate the application (or part of it) ?

    Have fun,

    Remi
  12. Remi, you bring up some interesting points.

    Firstly, when the prototype (simulation) meets customer requirements, simulation assets can be reused in development. Generally the higher the fidelity simulation developed, the more the reuse.

    With respect to generating the end application, we believe there is real potential to export the simulation model (use cases, business objects, data, etc.) to third party dev tools, including MDA, to jumpstart the development and end application generation.

    Therefore, the simulation role in the SDLC will be to focus on easy and fast simulation development to define concise requirements and get customer sign off. Because the simulation underneath is a fully functioning application, the simulation becomes a "first stab" of the model of the application for export to dev tools for further analysis, testing, refinement, etc. ...tech staff will virtually get two cracks at building the application.

    Integration with RM and Dev Tools must keep the simulation in sync to enable agile, incremental prototyping with reuse. This approach will give added value to the simulation as a reference point to understanding deployed applications in the field and their histories with links to RM and Dev for more details. (great for new employees)

    Simulation in the SDLC is in its infancy but we believe it will be a critical component of successful software development in the future.

    I hope this answered your questions Remi, thanks for the feedback.
    That's quite interesting...One thing comes to mind : what happens when the prototype meets client requirements ?Can you send it all to trash and start writing actual code ?The web site does not mention anything about this. Have I missed something ?You probably see where I want to come to...I also think constant prototyping and short iterations are key factors to a successful project, that's why I can see advantages in the "Simulator". But as a matter of fact the best would just to be able to *code* the application through iterative prototypes. You know, the "prototype -> working software" transition should not even exist actually... If you already did it then why doing it again ?I mean, Requirements capture allow to define the conceptual models.Designers have to use tools to define and validate these models, and then use other tools to do the same work a different way...What about XP, agile programming etc ?If I got some of it, it was mainly about short iterations, client interaction and working protos...What about MDA too ? If I'm able to design "business objects" through the simulator, wouldn't it be possible to generate the models (or part of it) from this tool ? And then generate the application (or part of it) ?Have fun,Remi
  13. Hi Bryan,
    Firstly, when the prototype (simulation) meets customer requirements, simulation assets can be reused in development.

    Under which form ?
    BOs ? UI "templates" ?
    Is this limited to webapps ?
    Have you got any docs about this ?
    With respect to generating the end application, we believe there is real potential to export the simulation model (use cases, business objects, data, etc.) to third party dev tools, including MDA, to jumpstart the development and end application generation.

    I also see it as the next generation software engineering. I mean, coding should just not be necessary in most of the steps of application development nowadays.
    Because the simulation underneath is a fully functioning application, the simulation becomes a "first stab" of the model of the application for export to dev tools for further analysis, testing, refinement, etc. ...tech staff will virtually get two cracks at building the application.

    I'm not sure I got this (sorry for my poor english).
    You mean ideas are clear enough so that you don't loose time when coding time has come ?
    Integration with RM and Dev Tools must keep the simulation in sync to enable agile, incremental prototyping with reuse.

    Yep. And I can understand that's quite a challenge !
    "Here's my working app : please simulate this new feature so that we know what it's all about"
    :-)
    Simulation in the SDLC is in its infancy but we believe it will be a critical component of successful software development in the future.

    Well I think it already is. Once again I see no big difference in simulations and real applications. I mean, incrementally deliver the app to the customer, adding new features in each iteration. The proto *is* the application actually.
    My only concern is doing it faster :-)

    Of course, requirements capture is very tough and determines a lot in a project. BTW, this is why we try to have short iterations...
    Simulations must be helpful there, for sure. But once again, I could do it without any "simulation" tool, just by mocking-up screend almost directly (could it be HTML in a WYSIWYG, Windows-like forms through an UI designer for swing components, or anything else).
    Second option would probably take more time than simulations... but it would be fully reusable : I would already have my beans and panels, etc.

    So what's the best way to do ?
    Which one's the most effective ?

    I'm going the "hack it and show it" way actually, cause I have no choice. Short iterations and validation of almost working software.
    Of course, MDA and code generators help a lot, but still I have no toy that my customers can play with to express their requirements better (they're not IT persons). Or at least, it has no relationship with the design and development process (MSVisio and PPT are not that sexy :-/).

    That's why I'm so curious about your Simulator. Man, I dream of a tool where I would put widgets on the screen "à la Delphi" and connect them together, provide additional informations, and click on a "generate application" button (this one would have several options also, e.g. "generate swing app", "generate thin HTML client", "generate user documentation"...).
    And I've been thinking about this since year 2K btw, so it's not even new stuff !
    But as far as I know, nobody does this at the moment. Oh yes, you have big UML tools like Artisan that are impressive, they can generate most of your app from the models, but so expensive and heavy you know... And most of all, my clients can't use them and I can't use them to show things to my clients (they don't speak UML).

    Once again, if you've got infos about all this and how you plan to work on it, I'm interested !
    :-)

    Have fun,

    Remi
  14. Hi Remi
    Under which form ?BOs ? UI "templates" ?Is this limited to webapps ?Have you got any docs about this ?
    Currently, users manually export assets out of the simulation and plug into end development. If a high fidelity simulation was developed, assets could include the screens, CSS, templates, business objects and data objects. Web apps gain the most reuse, for thick clients, the exportable assets would be the BO's, data objects and user interface would conceptually be ported since the web app simulation would have presented a "very close" illustration of the screens that flushed out the forms, page flows, etc.
    Well I think it already is. Once again I see no big difference in simulations and real applications. I mean, incrementally deliver the app to the customer, adding new features in each iteration. The proto *is* the application actually.My only concern is doing it faster :-)Of course, requirements capture is very tough and determines a lot in a project. BTW, this is why we try to have short iterations...Simulations must be helpful there, for sure. But once again, I could do it without any "simulation" tool, just by mocking-up screend almost directly (could it be HTML in a WYSIWYG, Windows-like forms through an UI designer for swing components, or anything else). Second option would probably take more time than simulations... but it would be fully reusable : I would already have my beans and panels, etc.So what's the best way to do ? Which one's the most effective ?I'm going the "hack it and show it" way actually, cause I have no choice. Short iterations and validation of almost working software.Of course, MDA and code generators help a lot, but still I have no toy that my customers can play with to express their requirements better (they're not IT persons). Or at least, it has no relationship with the design and development process (MSVisio and PPT are not that sexy :-/). That's why I'm so curious about your Simulator. Man, I dream of a tool where I would put widgets on the screen "à la Delphi" and connect them together, provide additional informations, and click on a "generate application" button (this one would have several options also, e.g. "generate swing app", "generate thin HTML client", "generate user documentation"...).And I've been thinking about this since year 2K btw, so it's not even new stuff !But as far as I know, nobody does this at the moment. Oh yes, you have big UML tools like Artisan that are impressive, they can generate most of your app from the models, but so expensive and heavy you know... And most of all, my clients can't use them and I can't use them to show things to my clients (they don't speak UML).Once again, if you've got infos about all this and how you plan to work on it, I'm interested !:-)Have fun,Remi
    I see what you mean and I think we have similar visions for simulations. We see our simulations as language agnostic applications, built easy and fast to give something to customers that they understand. They can give meaningful feedback as well so requirements are defined and validated early in the cycle therefore addressing a big problem in the industry. Now with a signed off simulation, we are working with users as to what to output to help in generating the end application. Feedback so far is the simulation output must support the current best practices tools such as for revision control, code manipulation, debugging, testing, etc. and these tools in turn must keep the simulation in sync. In the big picture, to me this sounds similar to your vision. Thanks again Remi, and I'd welcome the opportunity to discuss further over a webinar, please contact me at bmaclean at simunication dot com.
  15. Out of curiousity, what vendors are in this space? As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm aware of a company called Irise, but have heard of no others. It's one of those areas that its hard to believe the bigger vendors haven't tried to tackle.

    I've also been interested in they synergy between RM tools, Simulation, and MDA - there obviously is one in my opinion.

    I'm a developer by background but a few years back I started doing alot of RM type work for my client. I've used DOORS heavily for quite some time and have a little exposure to Requisite PRO. RM tools are great - I'm definetly a believer they can help enforce better management of requirements and ongoing traceability of requirements then, say, the traditional approach where analysts simply throw this information into Word/Excel then try to manage it. Requirements are a very important asset and they should be captured in a structured way. Having said all of this, I know that RM tools are not a cure-all (as the vendors would have you believe). You can mess things up just as easily with those tools. They are...just tools. They help, but a process still needs to be formalized and followed.

    But back to the synergy between these different types of tools - I would think ideally you would start with requirements capture in an RM tool of some kind. After this, or possibly coinciding with this step, is where you would develop the accompanying UML. I think UML can be valuable - but I personally feel a textual representation is more appropriate to express requirements, use cases, etc. Everyone can understand it. Then, somewhere between requirements capture and simulation, MDA would be involved. Like a previous poster mentioned, I would think that an MDA tool is what generates the simulation. The simulation would be a workable model and a good start for the real app. However, the real benefit of a simulation would not just be a UI that would recieve events and post back dummy data. It would certainly include that, but also things like the ability to create different views for different consumers (with one or more of these views displaying links to requirements which you could follow to dig deeper). Also, I would think a simulation tool would give you the ability to create presentations ala Powerpoint. Analysts could record these presentations and provide them to the users.

    Interesting stuff to say the least. I'd be interested to seem some screen shots.

    Mike
  16. Out of curiousity, what vendors are in this space? As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm aware of a company called Irise, but have heard of no others. It's one of those areas that its hard to believe the bigger vendors haven't tried to tackle.
    Hi Mike, Irise is the main competitive product and we have different approaches to the solution.
    Interesting stuff to say the least. I'd be interested to seem some screen shots.Mike
    Please contact me at bmaclean at simunication dot com for more info.

    Thanks,
    Bryan
  17. Vendors in "Simulation" space[ Go to top ]

    There are:

    Sofea, iRise, Axure, Serena ProcessView (ex Aptero), and Simunication.
  18. All good questions, Remi[ Go to top ]

    "Simulation" should be model-based. Otherwise it's "prototyping".