Controlling Data Flow across the Digital Thread

When we build a Digital Thread by sharing information between federated models, the question regularly arises, how do we determine which is the master repository for each type of data?

Syndeia, the MBSE interoperability platform from Intercax, does not pre-define this. Syndeia is a flexible set of services for connecting, accessing and sharing models between different software tools. How these services are used is up to each enterprise.

As a practical matter, Syndeia approaches this issue as, who has access to each model and what does that access allow them to do? The answer has three parts.

Domain Tools

Syndeia is not an omnipotent, omniscient agent with access to all data in the Digital Thread. Generally, each repository has its own access controls, which Syndeia respects. The administrator of a repository manages users, who each have permissions to create, read, update or delete data in that repository and restrictions on what models or projects can be accessed. For each user, Syndeia acts as his or her proxy, using the user’s account credentials, held permanently in encrypted form or entered on each use, to read or write data in a particular tool or model (Figure 1). The administrator of a requirements repository, for example, can effectively make it the master repository by limiting the number of users who can create or edit its contents, while allowing them, or Syndeia on their behalf, to copy and update part of its contents.


Figure 1 Syndeia accessing Domain Tools

Syndeia Cloud

Syndeia itself has two parts, a client on the user’s local machine and Syndeia Cloud (Figure 2).  The local client may be a SysML tool plugin, a standalone client, or, in the near future, a web browser, and it communicates with Syndeia Cloud through its REST API. Syndeia Cloud has its own user management controls. The Syndeia Cloud admin assigns user names and passwords which determine which Syndeia projects the user can view and what permissions they have to create, view and update connections within that project.

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Figure 2 Syndeia Cloud user management and access control

For both Syndeia Cloud and the federated domain models, Syndeia supports several user authentication protocols such as OAuth and LDAP. Contact us to learn more.

Defining the Workflow

Syndeia does not mandate a workflow or methodology for developing systems or building the Digital Thread. It is a set of services. The Syndeia dashboard user interface we supply with the local clients gives access to pretty much all of them.

But enterprises can create their own interfaces to the Syndeia services through the Syndeia Cloud REST API and restrict which services the user can invoke and what workflow the user must follow. For example, a custom user interface may allow the system engineer to update the SysML model from a CAD model, but not the reverse. The user interface can also automate certain tasks, for example, run a comparison across a specific set of connections every morning at 6 am to alert an engineer to potential changes and conflicts at the start of each day.

Contact us to learn about the forthcoming release of version 3.3 and get started creating your own Digital Thread.

Dirk Zwemer

Dr. Dirk Zwemer ( is President of Intercax LLC (Atlanta, GA), a supplier of MBE engineering software platforms like Syndeia and ParaMagic. He is an active teacher and consultant in the field and holds Level 4 Model Builder-Advanced certification as an OMG System Modeling Professional.