Turning Grey Matter into RapidMatter

Today I spotted something on Twitter that caught my eye, and I clicked through the link because of a couple of reasons. First, I have done work with Rene Van Den Bedem (aka @VCDX133) though Virtual Design Master plus other community based activities, and secondly, because I love to geek out about Enterprise Architecture:


Even before I read what Rene is proposing, I had a feeling that it was the start of something very cool. Rene did up a great post that talked about the project and the background to why it is important.

Please take some time to look over the post, and I encourage you to think of anything that you see as being important to this type of a tool. I use the word tool lightly, because I really see the potential here for this to become not only a phenomenal tool, but a platform that can help everyone in the IT community.

Dynamic Reference Architectures Generated with Openness and Neutrality (DRAGON)

Recently I had an idea to create a way to help folks to pool together their ideas and provide a way to share what they are doing in their environment, along the lines of what is done using the RefStack and vOpenData concepts.

The next step beyond this is to be able to create dynamic reference architectures from these pooled designs that can show real-life deployments and highlight the differences and we could then feed those reasons with detail from seasoned architects from the industry to help illustrate the “why?” of the design decisions.

The name I had chosen for my little idea, that I’d gladly turn over to Rene’s Rapid Matter project, is DRAGON: Dynamic Reference Architecture Generated with Openness and Neutrality.

What is Openness and Neutrality

The reason that I highlight openness and neutrality is that we need to embrace these qualities. There will be proprietary vendor content contained in the library of architectures, but the openness and neutrality comes with having as much data available to make the decision, and also that any vendor can contribute their designs and data into the system.

Making this an open system means that as a consumer of the service, that you have access to as much information as possible. It will really encourage vendors to share their data, any API information, design criteria and more. By feeding more information into the system, they open the doors to make better information come out through the designs and architecture.

I would even think that this could move further up the stack and be done at the application tier also, but let’s start with infrastructure because it really is an open field right now. This is our opportunity as architects to bring all the expertise and experience we have accumulated, and contribute to a share system which will benefit the greater community.

How to Contribute

As Rene mentioned on his blog it is easy to contribute by contacting Rene by email, and most importantly, we can all fork the project and contribute to the Github repository.


I’ve submitted a pull request with some quick ideas, and hope to be a part of helping this really exciting project to grow. Remember that this is only as good as we choose to make it, and personally, I want to make it awesome!

Thank you to Rene for getting this started, and I hope to see lots of you submitting your contributions via Github and making Rapid Matter a platform that we can all enjoy together.

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