Wednesday Oct 03, 2012

Where's my MD.070?

In a previous Blog entry titled “Where’s My MD.050” I discussed how the OUM Analysis Specification is the “new-and-improved” version of the more traditional Functional Design Document (or MD.050 for Oracle AIM stalwarts).

In a similar way, the OUM Design Specification is an evolution of what we used to call the Technical Design Document (or MD.070).

Let’s dig a little deeper……

In a traditional software development process, the “Design Task” would include all the time and resources required to design the software component(s), AND to create the final Technical Design Document.

However, in OUM, we have created distinct Tasks for pure design work, along with an optional Task for pulling all of that work together into a Design Specification.


Some of the Design Tasks shown above will result in their own Work Products (i.e. an Architecture Description), whilst other Tasks would act as “placeholders” for a specific work effort.

In any event, the DS.140 Design Specification can include a combination of unique content, along with links to other Work Products, together which enable a complete technical description of the component, or solution, being designed.

So next time someone asks “where’s my MD.070” the short answer would be to tell them to read the OUM Task description for DS.140 – Design Specification!


Tuesday Jun 26, 2012

Where’s my MD.050?

A question that I’m sometimes asked is “where’s my MD.050 in OUM?” For those not familiar with an MD.050, it serves the purpose of being a Functional Design Document (FDD) in one of Oracle’s legacy Methods.

Functional Design Documents have existed for many years with their primary purpose being to describe the functional aspects of one or more components of an IT system, typically, a Custom Extension of some sort.

So why don’t we have a direct replacement for the MD.050/FDD in OUM? In simple terms, the disadvantage of the MD.050/FDD approach is that it tends to lead practitioners into “Design mode” too early in the process. Whereas OUM encourages more emphasis on gathering, and describing the functional requirements of a system ahead of the formal Analysis and Design process.

So that just means more work up front for the Business Analyst or Functional Consultants right?

Well no…..the design of a solution, particularly when it involves a complex custom extension, does not necessarily take longer just because you put more thought into the functional requirements. In fact, one could argue the complete opposite, in that by putting more emphasis on clearly understanding the nuances of functionality requirements early in the process, then the overall time and cost incurred during the Analysis to Design process should be less.

In short, as your understanding of requirements matures over time, it is far easier (and more cost effective) to update a document or a diagram, than to change lines of code.

So how does that translate into Tasks and Work Products in OUM?

Let us assume you have reached a point on a project where a Custom Extension is needed. One of the first things you should consider doing is creating a Use Case, and remember, a Use Case could be as simple as a few lines of text reflecting a “User Story”, or it could be what Cockburn1 describes as a “fully dressed Use Case”.

It is worth mentioned at this point the highly scalable nature of OUM in the sense that “documents” should not be produced just because that is the way we have always done things. Some projects may well be predicated upon a base of electronic documents, whilst other projects may take a much more Agile approach to describing functional requirements; through “User Stories” perhaps.

In any event, it is quite common for a Custom Extension to involve the creation of several “components”, i.e. some new screens, an interface, a report etc. Therefore several Use Cases might be required, which in turn can then be assembled into a Use Case Package.

Once you have the Use Cases attributed to an appropriate (fit-for-purpose) level of detail, and assembled into a Package, you can now create an Analysis Model for the Package. An Analysis Model is conceptual in nature, and depending on the solution being developing, would involve the creation of one or more diagrams (i.e. Sequence Diagrams, Collaboration Diagrams etc.) which collectively describe the Data, Behavior and Use Interface requirements of the solution. If required, the various elements of the Analysis Model may be indexed via an Analysis Specification.

For Custom Extension projects that follow a pure Object Orientated approach, then the Analysis Model will naturally support the development of the Design Model without any further artifacts. However, for projects that are transitioning to this approach, then the various elements of the Analysis Model may be represented within the Analysis Specification.

If we now return to the original question of “Where’s my MD.050”. The full answer would be:


  • Capture the functional requirements within a Use Case
  • Group related Use Cases into a Package
  • Create an Analysis Model for each Package
  • Consider creating an Analysis Specification (AN.100) as a index to each Analysis Model artifact


An alternative answer for a relatively simple Custom Extension would be:


  • Capture the functional requirements within a Use Case
  • Optionally, group related Use Cases into a Package
  • Create an Analysis Specification (AN.100) for each package


1 Cockburn, A, 2000, Writing Effective Use Case, Addison-Wesley Professional; Edition 1

Wednesday Feb 16, 2011

Oracle AIM, Oracle ABF, and Siebel Results Roadmap Officially Retired as of January 31, 2011

It seems somehow appropriate that the first entry of the Oracle® Unified Method (OUM) blog is about the retirement of several of our legacy methods, most notably AIM Foundation. You can click here to read the official Partner announcement.

If you're reading this, you're probably aware that Oracle has been developing OUM to support the entire Enterprise IT lifecycle, including support for the successful implementation of every Oracle product. As Oracle has continued to acquire new companies and technologies, it has become essential that we also create a single, unified language and approach for implementation - across the Oracle ecosystem.

With the release of OUM 5.1 in 2009, OUM provided full support for all enterprise application implementation projects including Oracle E-Business Suite R12, Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne projects. In 2010, we released OUM training that supports the use of OUM on these types of projects.

That support represented a major milestone in the evolution of OUM and enabled implementers to transition to OUM. Consequently, we announced a staggered retirement schedule for Oracle's legacy methods. On January 31, 2011 we announced the retirement of:

  • Oracle Application Implementation Method (AIM)
  • Oracle AIM for Business Flows (ABF)
  • Siebel Results Roadmap

Later this year, we will announce the retirement of Compass - the legacy PeopleSoft method - and Data Warehouse Method Fast Track.

OUM is available free of charge to Oracle Gold, Platinum, and Diamond partners through the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) [OUM on OPN]. The OUM Customer Program allows customers to obtain copies of the method for their internal use by contracting with Oracle for an engagement of two weeks or longer meeting some additional minimum criteria.

There be more retirement announcements in the coming months. For now it's "Adios AIM." Thanks for the memories...

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