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Monday, 06 June 2016 01:59

Excel Requirement bridge

Enterprise Architect provides many features for requirements management. It allows team to create and update requirements, trace their solution, maintain whole requirement life cycle.

We need sometimes work with requirements “outside” the Enterprise Architect. Especially when we discuss them with customers. We can of course generate documents from RTF templates as basis for meeting, which is suitable for most cases. At the level of project management, when it comes to project scope and overall state of requirements, is better to have requirement list in form of an Excel spreadsheet. Project manager can clear report requirement status to the customer and quickly change the list according to the results of the meeting. Next step is to save changed list back to Enterprise Architect.

We tried package CSV Import/Export utility but it was not suitable for us. CSV format is prone to data errors and we needed to split some data cells into more requirement properties.

 

So we decided to write our own bridge for requirement data interchange between Excel spreadsheet and Enterprise architect repository.

Solution

Our Excel requirements template has several columns. Mapping to requirement attributes is as follows:

Column

Requirement attribute

ID

Requirement code – first part of requirement name before “-“

Hierarchy

Package path to requirement in repository

Source

Tagged value “REQ: Source”

Description

Notes

Discovered

Tagged value “REQ: Date discovered”

Type

Type

Responsibility

Author

Priority

Priority

Status

Status

The bridge is implemented as Excel addin. It is written in Visual Basic and stored in Requirements.xlam file. When you add it to Excel, new tab CCA appears in ribbon. It has two commands “to Excel” for importing requirements from Enterprise architect repository to Excel spreadsheet and “to EA” for saving requirements from Excel back to EAP.

 

Importing requirements to Excel

Bridge is written for requirements template MyProjectREQ.xlsm. Copy it into new file and open this file. Press “to Excel”.

File open dialog appears, choose your project EAP file. Program then show “Enter prefix” dialog to filter imported attributes. Enter the prefix (for example “REQ”) or leave the value empty for all requirements. Program uses standard Enterprise Architect search “Requirements”.

Sheet is filled with requirements. Notice the cell D3 – it contains EAP filename. When you run command “to Excel” again, you will be not asked for EAP file name, the file in cell will be used. The same applies for saving cells back to Enterprise Architect.

Column “J” is hidden – it contains requirement GUIDs for subsequent updates.

 

Saving requirements to Enterprise Architect

After you made changes in requirement list in your spreadsheet, you can save them directly to project EAP file. Press “to EA”.

Program shows dialog with EAP package structure. Choose your requirements root package. New requirements (requirements without GIUD) will be inserted into this package.

 

Saving starts immediately after your select the package.

 

Data transformations

In our Excel template we use ID and Description for requirement code and description. In Enterprise architect we use Requirement name and notes. Enterprise architect has an alias attribute, which can store requirement code, but it is not useful, because we have to see this code in Project browser. So we have to transform

ID

Description

REQ113

Must be recoverable quickly.

In the event of software or hardware failure the system must be able to be recovered to full operating mode within the tolerances listed below. In the event of parts of the system failing the system must be able to be run in a safe mode.

to

Name

Notes

REQ113 - Must be recoverable quickly.

Must be recoverable quickly.

In the event of software or hardware failure the system must be able to be recovered to full operating mode within the tolerances listed below. In the event of parts of the system failing the system must be able to be run in a safe mode.

 

This is done using simple VBA functions. Code is delimited by “-“ character. Requirement name is derived from first sentence in description.

 

Conclusion

This article is mentioned as other example of extending Enterprise architect. It is a real life example, we use it in our company for many projects.

If it is suitable for you, use it! Any comments are welcome!

Petr Přibyl

CCA Group a.s.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in Community Resources

APG ModelFlow™ EA Trial Available for Download

ModelFlow APG ModelFlow EA v1.6.2 is now available for download! Access the trial version right now and immediately evaluate how APG ModelFlow can:

  • Effectively exploit enterprise content for architecture-based decision making
  • Seamlessly exchange architecture model content among multiple EA toolsets
  • Reliably synchronize EA content with federated enterprise data repositories
  • Confidently embrace holistic enterprise-wide perspective of business and IT data

Tutorials

The trial download includes two introductory tutorials to walk you through importing Enterprise Architecture content into EA:

  • TOGAF®-based tutorial with Capabilities, Business Functions, and Applications
  • DoDAF/UPDM™-based tutorial with Capabilities, Performers, Activities, and Systems (exported from IBM® Rational®/Unicom® System Architect®)

Features

  • Import element and connector content from any ODBC, SQL, and CSV data source
  • Align with existing and custom MDG Technologies and UML Profiles
  • Synchronize with existing elements and connectors using any property or tagged value
  • Map columns to any EA element or connector property or tagged value
  • Map columns to other element types to create related elements and explicit relationships
  • Map columns to parent elements to create nested element hierarchies
  • Map columns to packages to create nested package hierarchies
  • Map columns to create element linked document or set element fill color
  • Automatically synchronize with systems of record via command line utility using scheduling agent
  • Baseline packages prior to import using EA command line utility

» Download APG ModelFlow EA Trial

Coming soon: Diagram importing and new XML data source!

Application List
Figure 1 Application Listing in Excel

 

ModelFlow Configuration
Figure 2 APG ModelFlow Configuration

 

Imported EA Content
Figure 3 Imported Content with Relationships and Tagged Values
Published in News

Re-Using Elements

In this latest instalment in the series Phil Chudley will be looking at how to re-use Elements from your repository in Enterprise Architect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_DIs2ROV8fM 

As always all of our videos are available right now via our YouTube channel ... and don't forget to subscribe!

Published in Tutorials

Thistle Logo

Hippo Software has announced the Event Schedule for the first Enterprise Architect User Group being held in Scotland, the long standing Sparx Systems Global Partner will be hosting the event on the 8th of June.

 

Time: Subject
9:30am - 9:50am Registration, tea and coffee
9.50am– 10am Welcome and introductions
10am– 10.45am

User presentation: 'Journey to a More Collaborative Future?'

Darren Campbell, Senior Solution Designer, ACCA

Q&A session

10.45am– 11am Morning break for refreshments
11am– 11.45am

User presentation: Transforming Scottish Local Government Services
Gordon Hunter, Digital Business Architect, Fife Council and
Lee Brown, Business Analyst, Improvement Service
Q&A session

11.45am– 12.30pm

Interactive ‘Grumbles’ Session facilitated by Hippo Software

12.30pm– 1.30pm Lunch
1.30pm– 2.15pm

User presentation: Effective Collaboration with Use Cases and BPMN
Ian Freeman, Business Systems Architect, Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution
Q&A session

2.15pm– 3pm

Presentation: An Overview of Features Planned for the Next Version of Enterprise Architect
Tom O'Reilly, Chief Operations Officer, Sparx Systems
Q&A session

3pm– 3.15pm Afternoon break for refreshments
3.15pm– 4pm Interactive ‘Highlights’ Session facilitated by Hippo Software

 

When: Wednesday 8th June 2016 9.30am - 4pm

Location: Mercure Livingston, Almondview, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6QB

Details and Registration: Visit the Hippo Software website

Published in Events

nl eauc 100616

 

16 quality presentations across 3 topic streams, including keynotes from IATA, Schiphol Group, The Future Group, with a preview presentation on Enterprise Architect 13 Beta from Sparx Systems COO Tom O'Reilly.

 

Calling all Enterprise Architects, Software Designers, Business Analysts and Business Process Analysts! Attend the Dutch EA User Conference event at Schiphol on June 10th 2016 for a day full of information exchange on the usage of Sparx Enterprise Architect.

 

The full event program has just been finalised (see attached PDF above), with various keynotes and presentations from international speakers like Geert Bellekens, Ian Mitchell and Rodrigo Nascimento but also Dutch speakers who have successfully applied EA solutions from such organisations as Enexis, NS, VZVZ or UMCG.

 

Download the attached event schedule (PDF Link above) and visit the event page at www.eausergroup.com for more information and to reserve your space.

Published in Events

acrisSparx Systems will be attending an Airports Council International (ACI) technical meeting at Munich in June.

Aviation Community Recommended Information Services (ACRIS) Working Group meeting will be held at Munich Airport on 7-8-9 June 2016.

The ACRIS Working Group provides the industry standards necessary to improve information exchanges in passenger and baggage end-to-end processes. Sparx Systems will join representatives from the industry’s most progressive airports and aviation organisations to discuss how technology can be leveraged for positive change.

For more details regaing ACI and ACRIS, please visit: http://www.aci.aero/About-ACI/Priorities/Airport-IT/ACRIS

Published in Events

iiba jp logo

IIBA Japan, in conjunction with a number of organisations, will be hosting the 'C3' Business Analysis conference during early June located at Fukurashia Shinagawa Crystal Square

 

'C3' aims to encapsulate 'Change by Creative Collaboration' by creating a forum for attendees to share ideas with a 'fusion of knowledge' based on change management.

Sparx Systems Japan will be an exhibitor and also conducting a 45 minute presentation at the event - additional details will be available in the future.

 

Dates: June 10 and 11

Venue: Fukurashia Shinagawa Crystal Square

 

For more details please visit the event website (in Japanese): http://www.iiba-japan.org/news/topics/c3-change-by-creative-collaboration.html

Published in Events

Managing Connectors

In this latest instalment in the series Phil Chudley will be looking at managing your connectors in Enterprise Architect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhTsvUDrgDU

As always all of our videos are available right now via our YouTube channel ... and don't forget to subscribe!

Published in Tutorials

 

gartner-london-banner.png
At this year's Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit in London, Sparx Systems will be a speaker and a premium sponsor of the event.

In its presentation "Agile Architecture for the Digital Business," Sparx Systems will be addressing attendees regarding the challenges in this age of disruptive innovation. We will introduce representatives from successful enterprises to share their stories and help attendees leverage planning platforms to support better business outcomes.

We invite all those attending the summit to both attend Sparx Systems' presentation - which should provide practical insights - as well as the Sparx Systems booth where our friendly representatives will be chatting with visitors to the show floor.

 

For more informatio, please visit:

http://www.gartner.com/events/emea/enterprise-architecture#!section_exhibitors

Published in Events

Creating Composite Elements

In this latest instalment in the series Phil Chudley will be looking at creating composite elements in Enterprise Architect.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbWwYAc1ijM

As always all of our videos are available right now via our YouTube channel ... and don't forget to subscribe!

Published in Tutorials