Simple IT-Architecture Modeling

    Adapt txture's data model to your information demand

    Use txture's textual editor to quickly document your IT

    Flexibly visualize your architecture with its web-app

    Automate your IT-documentation with simple scripts


Install and Try Now

What is txture?

Txture is a tool for textual IT-Architecture documentation and analysis. It consists of a multi-user Eclipse-based textual modeling tool and a web-app to flexibly visualize the architecture for different stakeholders in your organization.

Tool Features

Organization-specific Documentation

Txture comes with a useable default meta-model, however you can adapt it to your organization-specific needs ... more

Quick Textual Architecture Modeling

Txture's editor provides productivity features such as code completion and error-highlighting to speed up modelling ... more

Flexible Web-based Visualizations

Txture allows you to configure architecture visualizations based on stakeholders' information demand and navigate between these views ... more

Extendable with additional Architectural Aspects

Each organization is different. Therefore, txture allows you to easily add new languages for additional architectural aspects such as security or decision- and requirement traceability ... more

Automation of Documentation

The text-based nature of txture makes it extremely easy to integrate information from other sources such as Excel files ... more

Easy Installation

Quick and easy installation as an Eclipse plug-in via the Eclipse Update Manager ... more

Our product preview

Organization Specific Meta-modeling

Today's organizations have complex and everchanging IT-architectures. The IT-infrastructure as well as the information demand of the stakeholders differ from organization to organization. Therefore, txture provides an easy mechanism to customize its underlying meta-model to adapt to changing documentation requirements. A textual meta-modeling language based on Xtext enables the modeling and corresponding code generation.

Textual Modeling Features

Txture comes with out of the box text-highlighting, code completion, outline, refactoring support and syntactial error detection. All these features help you to quickly and correctly author IT-architecture documentation. In the image to the right you can see text editor in action with a code completion menu opened and a highlighted error.

Our poroduct preview
Our poroduct preview

Web-based Architecture Visualization

The most important aspect of any IT-documentation is to make it available in a format that is understandable for different involved stakeholder groups. This is why txture provides a web-app that supports interactively navigable and configurable visualizations. Currently three different types of visualizations are supported: zoomable trees, graphs and filtered lists. On the left you see a graph visualization of communication paths between servers. By right-click on the server node one can navigate to specific views of this server.

Extensible with Architectural Aspects

Each organization has specific architectural aspects such as security requirements or architectural decisions that need to be documented. Once the main architecture language is developed, it is still easily possible to extend the language with additional languages and corresponding navigable visualizations. On the right you see an instance of an editor for the documentation of architectural decisions and their relation to the architecture.

Our poroduct preview
Our poroduct preview

Simple Automated Data Collection

The simplicity of txture's textual persistence in a versioning systems make automated architecture documentation a comparatively simple task. For example, simple scripts can transform seperately maintained Excel sheets into txture text files that can referenced from the model. On the left you can see a simple Visual Basic export script, that integrates SLAs managed in a spreadsheet with txture.

Installation

Txture is based on Eclipse-technology, Xtext and standard web technologies like HTML and JavaScript. In order to try out txture's IT-landscape modeling and visualization capabilities you have to install Eclipse together with the Xtext modeling environment, but this is easy.

Quick Instructions  (if you already have Eclipse)

  • Install latest Xtext plugins from Update Site.
  • Get txture plugins from our Update Site.
  • Import example project into Eclipse workspace.
  • Look at the local visualizations by clicking Local ViewsDataCenterDemo.

For detailed instructions click here!

Detailed Instructions

  Installing Eclipse with Xtext

Goto the Xtext download page and download a Full Eclipse for the operating system you are using.

In case you already have Eclipse installed, but not Xtext, you can install it by pointing Eclipse to the Xtext Update Site.

  Get the txture plugins for Eclipse

Start your local Eclipse installation and open the dialog allowing you to install new software, which you will find in Help → Install New Software...

At the top of the dialog insert the URL http://www.txture.org/update (e.g., simply copy & paste). This URL directly points to an Eclipse update site that contains all you need to get an installation of txture or update to new releases in the future.

  Download the demo txture project (optional)

You have two options: Either you start out with a new IT-landscape documentation project in txture or you can download a small example project here!

The project contains a set of IT-landscape entities, related to each other for demonstration purposes. Feel free to modify the content in any way!

The dowloaded archive is a self-contained txture project. Simply copy the contained folder to your local Eclipse workspace and import the project from within Eclipse, or import the archive itself as a project directly.
Both types of imports can be accessed in File → Import... via General → Existing Projects into Workspace.

After you have imported the project you can look at the local web-based views by clicking ViewsDataCenterDemo.

Eclipse installation

Success Story

The ARZ (Allgemeines Rechenzentrum GmbH) is an Austrian IT-service provider mainly active in the financial sector with several data centers distributed across the country. Their current IT-landscape is managed by a distributed team of IT-architects which have a technical but also business-oriented background. Documentation of the IT-landscape was previously performed with diagrams, Word documents and spreadsheets. Because of the inherent complexity and criticality of the running systems, a better and more integrated understanding of how the different IT-architecture components interact was desired. Also, a more transparent relation of architecture components with the business side was needed. Due to the technical skills of the involved architects, textual modeling was a compelling choice. These requirements led to the development of txture.

We started with interviewing different architecture stakeholder groups to elicit their requirements for graphical views on the architecture. From there we developed the according textual modelling language and web-based views on the architecture. The navigable views range from data center rack visualization as trees, over software deployment views to views showing the relationships of business services to software components. In addition, we developed a language that allows to document architectural decisions and created visualization for the relationships between architecture components and related decisions.

Iteratively developing a meta-model tightly together with our clients has proven to be very beneficial for the quality of the resulting views and language. Such meta-models are highly aligned with the actual IT-architecture at our industry partner and it helped to create a shared understanding of the architecture within the organization. With our tool and the applied meta-model development process we supported the ARZ to better document their IT-landscape and to understand its structure in detail. The users of the tool perceived the textual modeling as light-weight and intuitive. Also, the maintainance of the textual models has been reported to be very convenient, even allowing for documentation automation via simple automation scripts.

About us

 We built txture to bring back
simplicity to IT-documentation.
We are two PhD students at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. Our research focuses on Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM), Security & Access Control and Model-driven Software Development (MDSD). Txture is the result of our experience in research and project consulting in these fields. In our latest project for QE LaB Business Services we were asked to build a custom, light-weight IT-documentation tool that reduces the efforts of IT-documentation. Txture was born and is built to to bring back simplicity to IT-documentation. Our client was very happy with the results and encouraged us to further develop txture as an open-source project. Txture's development is ongoing and we will soon make it available on GitHub.

Contact

Want to know more about txture and how it can help you document and analyze your IT-landscape?
Contact us!





QE LaB Business Services GmbH
Technikerstra├če 21a
6020 Innsbruck, Austria

+43 680 123 80 38
info@txture.org