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Tuesday, 11 June 2013 22:21

SVG Diagram Export Add-In

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Example SVG diagram export Example SVG diagram export

Enterprise Architect comes with very powerful import and export capabilities for models and diagrams. But what we have always been missing is an export format for diagrams that generates really portable vector graphics (and not just Windows-only metafiles). Nowadays, the most suitable candidate for such a graphics format is SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), and so we decided to implement our own Add-In that can export a Enterprise Architect diagram to a SVG file.

This Add-In is hereby provided for free-use to the Enterprise Architect Community.

Prerequisites

The Add-In requires an installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 4.

Install the Add-In

Exit Enterprise Architect (if it is running) and double click the provided Microsoft installer file EASVGExportSetupV102.msi.

By default, the Add-In is installed in the folder "%ProgramFiles%\Siemens\EA SVG Export", but you can change that in the first dialog.
Hit the button Next until the installation is finished.

In the control panel the Add-In can be located under the name "Enterprise Architect SVG Export" (for later removal)

Use the Add-In

Start Enterprise Architect and open any diagram, for example diagram "Implementation Model (PSM)" from the pre-installed Enterprise Architect Example Model.

Export the diagram in SVG format via menu item Extensions->Save Diagram as SVG... and in the following dialog choose a storage location for the SVG file. The name of the diagram is preset as default file name. The extensions menu item also available in the context menu of the diagram (mouse right click).

If you choose the file extension ".svgz" then a compressed (binary) SVG image is generated.

View the SVG files

Make sure you have Internet Explorer 10 or any other recent web browser (e.g. Firefox, Opera, ..) installed. Simply double click a SVG file and the diagram should be shown in a browser window.

Note: A compressed SVG image file (extension ".svgz") can not be opened via double click, unless you have an SVG editor program (e.g. Inkscape) installed that recognizes that file format.

Limitations and known issues

  • Hyperlinks are not "clickable" (show just as an image)
  • No fonts are embedded in the SVG files (like in PDF), the referenced fonts have to be installed on your system. That should not be a problem on Windows machines.
  • The export is not absolutely read-only. The advanced print option "Scale to 1 Page" of the diagram gets set during export.
  • Unfortunately, structure and grouping of the diagram contents is not preserved.
  • Color gradients are not supported
  • Not tested with Enterprise Architect versions less than 9.
  • Not tested with Windows 8

PLEASE NOTE: This Add-In is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY !!!

UPDATE 09 August 2013

We have released a new version V1.0.4 of this Add-In with the following changes:

  • Fixed some bugs that made the export crash on some diagram types (for example BPMN)
  • Optimizations to reduce the size of generated SVG files
  • Eliminations of (most) warnings during import of the SVG files in MS VISIO

With the new version all diagrams in the EAExample model should export without problems.

UPDATE February 24, 2014

Release V1.0.6 of the Add-In adds the following features:

  • We tried to embed some information (e.g. guid, note) about the diagram elements in the SVG file. The metadata is attached to <text> elements
  • (wrapped into SVG <desc> elements)
  • The SVG output can now be customized by a (optional) final XSL transformation. If a stylesheet named "SVGExport.xsl" is present in the installation folder, it is applied to the output. There are some example stylesheets pre-installed, see the file README.txt!
  • The Add-in offers a way to automate the SVG export of diagrams. There is a method provided that can be called from your C# code (see README.txt for details).
  • We now have a (quite liberal) license. If you scroll down the license terms during installation you will even find a email address for submitting feedback.

Siemens CT
Safety Team Graz

Read 24605 times Last modified on Tuesday, 25 February 2014 02:27
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Siemens Safety Team Graz

A team of firmware engineers of Siemens AG who develop embedded firmware for failsafe automation modules.

13 comments

  • Comment Link Ian Bailey Sunday, 17 November 2013 16:27 posted by Ian Bailey

    This plugin is great. Is it open-source ?

    If not, and if you're taking feature requests, I'd like to be able to add hyperlinks into the comments for each class so that the SVG elements are hyperlinked.

  • Comment Link Siemens CT Safety Team Graz Friday, 14 June 2013 21:48 posted by Siemens CT Safety Team Graz

    @Konrad: The SVG export is used for our printed documentation, which is based on XHTML, CSS and SVG (instead of RTF/EMF). We wanted the SVG to look exactly like the diagrams on the screen, this is why the latter approach was implemented.

  • Comment Link Dr. Konrad Wieland Friday, 14 June 2013 09:02 posted by Dr. Konrad Wieland

    Very cool thing! Thanks for sharing.
    I have one question: Do you parse the EA diagram information or do you generate a pdf/xps and get the information out of them?

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