The escalating development of Information Technology enables utilities to reorganize or migrate from their existing disparate software systems towards an integrated Enterprise Software System Infrastructure (ESSI) that embraces the total organization. Integration of software systems is expected to increase competitiveness and to cut costs. However, since utilities' present ESSI is heterogeneous as to type and technical platform, overlapping with regard to both data and functionality, and relying on ad-hoc low-level middleware, integration and management of ESSIs often turn out to be hazardous.This paper presents a comparative analysis of the architectural modeling capabilities of established notations widely used by object-oriented, information engineering and structured methods, applied to typical problems found in utilities' ESSI. Architectural descriptions may be used to visualize technical risks and opportunities in a utility's current and future ESSI, as well as to improve communication between different groups within the utility, e.g. management and technical staff, and between the utility and its vendors of software systems.
2000. Vol. 4