Russell E Glaue

Systems Engineering Software for the Enterprise Architecture

A Masters Project in Systems Engineering with a major Computer Science application
By Russell E Glaue, April 27, 2011
Committee Chair: Dr. Mangalaraj
Committee Members: Dr. Maskarinec, Dr. Ehrlich
Western Illinois University School of Computer Sciences


Systems Engineering Risk Assessment and Planning Software Application
Programming Languages: PERL, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
Programming Methods: REST, Ajax, JSON
Server Application Platform: Linux, Apache HTTPD Server, PERL
Client Application Platform: Standard Web Browser, JavaScript, HTML, CSS
Application Principles: Systems Engineering, Information Systems Management, Computer Science


  1. Systems Engineering Handbook, A Guide For System Life Cycle Processes and Activities, International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE),
  2. INCOSE Web Site,

Topic Background

The Systems Engineering discipline requires the practitioner, among a large tier of other activities, to closely manage the Life Cycle of Systems of Interest, and Systems of Systems. In the field of Computer Science and Information Systems, these systems can be broken down into the Individual System Server, and a Group of System Servers working together to provide a service. The later, in further complexity, can be a service that is a Group comprised of several different Groups of System Servers. This leads to a complicated hierarchy the Systems Engineer must manage.

Managing the Life Cycle of both System Servers as well as the Services of Groups of Systems Servers is no easy task. Just attempting to understand how one System Server, which may participate in multiple groups, is utilized is complicated enough.

For the field of Computer Science and Information Systems, however, a simple process of managing the state of technology inventory within an enterprise can be a significant resource to aid a Systems Engineer in exercising related activities. It is the state of technology that is a basis for ongoing daily management and advanced planning. Keeping a tight understanding on the state of all technology in an Enterprise is, in my opinion, the fundamental resource for all Systems Engineering activity.


I will show that a software application that enables the System Engineer to apply engineering process and project planning activities within the scope of the enterprise technology in what ever state the technology is in can be useful. This is the state of both Systems of Interest and Systems of Systems which must be managed on a high level view within the Enterprise.

Additionally, it will be shown useful for the System Engineer to be able to apply selfprogrammed logic in the application of executing processes of the Systems Engineering discipline. In this way, a Systems Engineer can chain logic together, customize existing logic, or provide entirely new logic to achieve the needs of the systems engineering processes.

The application will utilize inventory acquired from the Enterprise, but will not duplicate any kind of inventory system. In an Enterprise, the Systems Engineer is not interested in managing inventory, but leveraging the data available in existing inventory systems. As such, the software is designed to work from an import of existing inventory systems for obtaining the data needed to assemble the technology view of an Enterprise. The significant portions of the software application are:

  1. The model of enterprise systems hierarchy, provided as Node Data Models (NDM). The hierarchy of systems within an enterprise will be maintained via parent-child interdependency. Other system elements and system artifacts will be imported, computed, or user-provided.
  2. The systems engineering logic is provided dynamically from the user via the software user interface. A JavaScript language engine is embedded in the software application which will execute user-provided programmed logic to asses areas of System Engineering, e.g. Risk Assessment.

Theory Application

The Masters Project software application will consist of managing Enterprise Systems defined as Node Data Models (NDM), and allow for executing user-defined Logic to complete Systems Engineering processes and procedures defined by the Systems Engineering discipline.

The nodes are both System of Interest and System of Systems, as identified within an Enterprise according to Systems Engineering practices, defined by the INCOSE Systems Engineering Handbook. The practices of Risk Assessment, and other possible assessments, processes, and procedures are related to Systems Engineering, Information Systems, and the greater Computer Sciences.

A Logic in the software application is a dynamic procedure that interacts with the Node Data Models (System of Interests and System of Systems models) maintained by the application. In this practice, the state of the Enterprise is maintained within these data models. The Systems Engineer practitioner writes the JavaScript functions to evaluate those models and produce results and update System attributes to aid in Systems Engineering practices.

This is particularly interesting such that a numerous number of additional functions written in JavaScript could be programmed to assess systems (NDM) or assist the Systems Engineer practitioner in Decision Making processes.

From this Masters Project, I will demonstrate one area of assessment which is considered one of the primary goals of Systems Engineering, Risk. This demonstration will also showcase the benefit of the Node Data Models maintained by the software application, the unbound possibilities of user-defined Logic.

The Primary Goal of Systems Engineering
Reducing the risk associated with new systems or modifications to complex systems.

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