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Wednesday, 03 February 2016 21:47

Introduction to the Database Builder

enterprise architect for database administrator roles banner

Enterprise Architect’s Database Builder provides interactive connectivity to a DBMS,  supporting both the initial creation of a database and the ongoing update of tables, views, triggers and procedures – all from within the design model.

 

This tutorial paper works through a simple database example (attached in .ZIP file) using the Database Builder to create tables within a new Database, then make modifications in both the model and the Database and use the compare functionality to update the Database and the model respectively.

Published in White Papers
Monday, 01 February 2016 01:04

ISO 19160-1 Addressing Standard Released

arcgis screenshotOn 15 December 2015, ISO 19160-1 was released.  This standard was developed by ISO/TC 211- a standard technical committee within the International Standards Organisation (ISO), to cover the areas of digital geographic information and geomatics.

The ISO 19160-1 standard defines a conceptual model for address information, together with the terms and definitions that describe the concepts in the model. The model was developed in Enterprise Architect and is presented in the Unified Modeling Language (UML).

For almost a decade Sparx Systems has supported the global geospatial community through provision of Enterprise Architect licences for standards development and inclusion of
Esri ArcGIS and GML profiles within Enterprise Architect.  

Additional Information:

Published in News

Sparx Systems: Authorised Enterprise Architect Training PartnerExploring Enterprise Architect through video...part 2

In this second instalment of exploring EA through video Phil is looking at the visual style and workspace configuration options in Enterprise Architect.

https://youtu.be/Bfg_1h4rews

If you can't wait to view all of our videos from this series please visit our YouTube channel ... and don't forget to subscribe!

Published in Tutorials
Thursday, 21 January 2016 01:48

The Agile Business Analyst

“It's not the technology that's scary; it's what it does to the relations between people that's scary”

- Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Everything Changing:

We are all aware that we are living in a period of unprecedented disruption where everything that we thought as being the status quo, business as usual, is changing rapidly.  Technology ‘disrupts existing markets and value networks, displacing established market leaders and alliances’.  Popular examples are Uber which is challenging the taxi industry model. Then there is AirBnB challenging the accommodation industry model and 3D printing which is challenging the manufacturing model.  

However, in a recent interview Jay Scanlan and Paul Wilmot from McKinsey, posit that unlike a pure play disrupter such as Uber, “our incumbent organizations and our incumbent clients have a broader range of concerns that they need to address. And they have a broader range of customer needs and consumer demands that they want to fulfill.”

Unlike start ups, incumbent organizations hold valuable assets like people, finance and data, etc. Scanlan and Wilmot pose the question as to how incumbents will strategically use these assets to defend themselves against aggressive competition, as digital disrupts their industry.

 

agile cycle 300pxAgile... The New Norm:

In the face of this change, the adoption of Agile approaches to project management is growing.  It is expected that in 2016 the US Federal Government General Services Administration will solicit bids for a number of major agile projects.  This follows the piloting of agile projects last year by 18F, an agile development consulting arm, within General Services Administration.

A recent survey of development and IT professionals, shows that Agile is now the norm. The majority of development teams and projects now embrace the methodology, while pure waterfall approaches are in the minority. The study conducted by HP in 2014 consisted of an online survey of 601 software developers and IT professionals  representing over 600 organisations,  where 400 + described themselves as “pure agile”.

According to Gartner “Digital business will require application leaders to explore development outside of traditional IT and to ensure fast-paced incremental releases in order to be competitive.”  Just as digital transformation is changing role of application leaders such as the CIO, so too it is impacting the role of the Business Analyst (BA) in the private and public sectors.

 

The Agile Business Analyst:

The BA has traditionally embraced the rapids of change much like a canoeist. Using the IIBA Body of Knowledge (BABOK) as both their map and compass, they engage the volatility and uncertainty of change. With an innate capability they navigate successful transits, piloting by their experience and understanding of the different currents and hazards.  

Agile presents great opportunity for the BA.  In the process of connecting people and engendering understanding, improving product quality and increasing customer satisfaction, they have the potential to play many roles, to become the consultant.

A key finding of the HP survey was that the majority of participants agreed that “the primary motivators for Agile adoption are associated with improving team collaboration and increasing software quality and customer satisfaction.”

Becoming increasingly involved in Agile projects and addressing the growth in the variety of concerns of the stakeholder (the Customer) will require that the BA leverage the use of Agile tools.  This technology will enable the BA to help their clients find ways to make Agile work for them.


BABOK  3.0 Reference Model - an Agile Approach:

babok mindmap shotRecently, through a collaboration agreement between International Institute of Business Analysis (IIBA) and Sparx Systems, a BABOK 3.0 Reference Model has been developed in Enterprise Architect.

This Reference Model provides case studies covering every knowledge area, task and technique in the BABOK Guide. Each case study contains hundreds of examples utilizing diagrams, matrices, charts, documents, and a plethora of tools.  This functionality with many others is combined with the power of Enterprise Architect.

The Reference Model links the BABOK 3.0 to a rich and complete User Guide that provides help and guidance with every aspect of using Enterprise Architect.  Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is the control center supporting real time collaborative Enterprise Architecture planning, building, testing, deployment and communication across all domains and stakeholders.


Enterprise Agile Adoption:

As the constraints of the traditional enterprise architecture approach are replaced by the force of digital convergence and transformation, executives seek agile enterprise architecture approaches and technologies that are fit for purpose.  The tools deployed to manage that architecture are critical to the success of digital transformation.

Detailed descriptions in the Reference Model will teach the Business Analysts how to use the tool to complete tasks and perform techniques including process modeling and requirements management. Videos, slideshows and white papers add to the rich set of guidance that will help BA's become an Agile Business Analyst assisting organizations to become more purposeful in how they choose to adopt Agile.

Seeking customer feedback and quickly improving the product, fuels the success of many disruptive technologies.  This is the approach of Sparx Systems to the ongoing development of Enterprise Architect. As Sparx Systems CEO, Geoff Sparks notes, “Agile development provides a shared and flexible team experience through complete transparency, iterative development and constant feedback - it has been the essential design goal of Enterprise Architect for over a decade and it will remain just as valid today.”

 

Additional Information:

Published in Sparx Insights

Introduction

Straight out of the box, Sparx Enterpise Architect provides support for multiple modeling notations. Using a synergy of notations can result in a better description of business architecture. This article considers how ArchiMate, BPMN and UML can be combined into a model that is focused at a high-level of abstraction, whilst still allowing for some critical details to be explored.

Revealing layers of abstraction

As explained in Marc Lankhorst's book Enterprise Architecture at Work (third edition, p. 117), modeling notations provide a way to represent knowledge. The process of building, sharing and transforming the model can foster a new level of understanding amongst the participants. This refined knowledge is (at least) as valuable as the resulting model artifacts (the representation). Effective communication of that knowledge requires consideration for the target audience and an appropriate level of detail.

ArchiMate is good for:

  • People who have a job title like Enterprise Architect or Business Architect.
  • Presenting high-level and layered abstractions of the business itself, along with the software and technology that are used to support it.
  • Tracing and illustrating how the motivating strategy is realised by the business.
  • Planning the evolution and transformation of a business.
  • Supporting concepts that are similar to those found within TOGAF.

By design, the ArchiMate 2.1 specification does not (explicitly) provide for detailed:

  • Business process modeling
  • Data modeling

Meanwhile:

  • BPMN (Business Process Modeling and Notation) is focused on the detailed modeling of business processes; naturally enough, BPMN is increasingly used amongst the Business Analyst community.
  • UML Class diagrams may be used to detail data types, along with the relationships between data types; they are widely recognized amongst software developers, and a good alternative to using entity relationship diagrams for logical data modeling.

Coordinating multiple notations in a single model repository

UML is the native metamodel and notation of Sparx Enterprise Architect. Each additional notation (such as ArchiMate and BPMN) is provided as a MDG (Model-Driven Generator) technology within the tool. The UML specification provides for semantic extension of the UML through the mechanism of Profiles, Stereotypes and Tagged Values. Profiles are the heart of each MDG Technology, enhanced with Sparx tool specific details supporting new types of diagram notations and diagram toolboxes.

Using multiple notations within a single repository requires a disciplined approach in order maintain clarity. In brief, the best practice is to:

  • Restrict the elements of each notation to a separate root node.
  • Use the UML «Trace» dependency to provide an elegant way of relating elements belonging to different notations.

Add root node to your Sparx Enterprise Architect repository

You might not have realised that the File|New Project… menu option is something of a misnomer. Both EAP and FEAP files are actually self-contained model repositories, and can therefore contain multiple root nodes (just like a RDBMS hosted shared repository, whether accessed through an ODBC or Cloud connection). As a reminder, you can add a new root node into a repository by performing the following steps:

  1. If necessary, click View|Project Browser to open the Project Browser window.
  2. Right-click inside the blank (white) area of the Project Browser window and then click Add|Add Root Node….
  3. The Create New Model (root node) window is displayed. Type MyCorporation (ArchiMate) into the Model Name field.
  4. In a similar way, create root nodes for:
    • MyCorporation (BPMN)
    • MyCorporation (UML)

Create a «Trace» dependency between elements belonging to different notations

As stated in the Unified Modeling Language 2.5 specification (p246):

"Models can have Abstraction Dependencies between them: refinement (stereotyped by «Refine» from the Standard Profile) or mapping (for example stereotyped by «Trace» from the Standard Profile). These are typically represented in more detail by Dependencies between the elements contained in the Models. Relationships between elements in different Models generally have no direct impact on the contents of the Models because each Model is meant to be complete. However, they are useful for tracing refinements and for keeping track of cross-references between models."

ArchiMate for an architectural understanding

For example, an ArchiMate Business Process Viewpoint diagram for Purchase Item might look as follows:

 

business-process-viewpoint-purchase-items.jpg

This provides a high-level overview of a core business process, with enough detail to inform stakeholders and decision making at a whole-enterprise level of abstraction.

BPMN for detailing business processes

BPMN can be used to detail the ArchiMate Business Process concept, as follows:

 

bpmn-purchase-items.jpg

UML for detailing the data entites

UML Classes can be used to detail the ArchiMate Business Object concept, as follows:

 

logical-data-modeling.jpg

Usually, diagrams should only contain a single notation. In the examples above, multiple notations are deliberately used to visualise «Trace» dependencies between the ArchiMate, BPMN and UML elements.

How-to add «Trace» dependencies between elements model elements

Best practice for adding «Trace» dependencies using a diagram is to:

  1. Temporarily add the required elements of the foreign notation to a diagram.
  2. Draw the «Trace» depencies between elements.
  3. Remove the foreign notation elements from the diagrams, whilst retaining the traceablity links within the model repository. (So, delete the foreign elements from the diagram, but NOT the repository).

Alternatively, you could use the Relationship Matrix functionality of Sparx Enterprise Architect (click Tools|Relationship Matrix to get started).

Summary

The UML specified «Trace» dependency (relationship) is an elegant way of tracing between different modeling notations. Sparx Enterprise Architect provides a wide coverage of modeling notations, by leveraging the UML Profiles mechanism, and enhancing it with MDG technologies. In practice, this enables a synergy of the ArchiMate, BPMN and UML notations. Models can be constructed as layered abstractions, moving from one notation to another to suit the level of detail required by the user and intended audience.

Published in Tutorials

 

Hippo Software has extended Enterprise Architect and BPMN training materials to add Conversation and Choreography diagrams to existing Business Process and Collaboration diagrams providing complete coverage of the BPMN 2.0 standard.

 

More information is available at http://www.hippo-software.co.uk/pages/BPMN.htm

Published in News
Thursday, 14 January 2016 09:39

Enterprise Architect - Exploring the tool

Sparx Systems: Authorised Enterprise Architect Training PartnerExploring Enterprise Architect through video

I have had the pleasure of working with Phil Chudley over the last 8+ years at Dunstan Thomas Consulting & last year we were working very closely on the online training project. While putting together the various materials that make up our online content we recorded a series of helpful video clips to supplement the materials and we thought we would now share these with the wider EA community.

In these videos Phil Chudley, Principal Consultant & OMG Certified UML Professional at DT Consulting, will be walking us through the Sparx Systems modelling tool, Enterprise Architect.  This series of videos will talk us through the basics from the portals screen right up to some of the more specialised modelling functionality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iZuGbsHPvs  

If you can't wait to view all of our videos from this series please visit our YouTube channel ... and don't forget to subscribe!

Published in Tutorials
Sunday, 17 January 2016 16:42

Script move/delete items from Search Result

Delete or move elements to package which are found by Searches (SQL, Query Builder, Standard Searches). These vbscripts allow you to easily handle found elements and to develop your own vbscripts to manipulate found things. In effect these scripts use bookmarked or elements copied to clipboard. It's an extension fo Geert Bellekens VBScripting Library.  

Abstract:

  • Use SQL Searches to move or delete found elements, diagrams or packages copied to Clipboard
  • Use Bookmarked elements from e.g. Standard / QueryBuilder Searches to move or delete elements
  • Handle bookmarked or result of SQL searches with your individual script

These scripts are using Geert Bellekens Script Framework (powerful!, Open Source)

  • See also there for updates, folder ho

 

Standard Search / Bookmark:

  • Set bookmarks
    • e.g. by Standard Search
  • If move: Select target package in ProjectBrowser 
  • Run Script:
    • hoModelSearch, DeleteBookmarkedItems or
    • hoProjectBrowser, MoveBookmarkedToSelectedPackage

 

Standard Search / Clipboard:

  • Run SQL Search 
    • each row shall contain GUID of the items to handle
  • Copy wanted rows to clipboard (eg: CTRL+A, CTRL+C)
  • If move: Select target package in ProjectBrowser 
  • Run Script:
    • hoModelSearch, DeleteClipmarkedItems or
    • hoProjectBrowser, MoveClipmarkedToSelectedPackage

 

In Action: Delete item found by SQL Search or Query Builder Search

  • Run SQL Search with element GUID as result / Run Query Builder Search
  • Copy to Clipboard (SQL Search / Bookmark (Query Builder Search)
  • Run Delete ClipboardedItems /  Delete BookmarkedItems

Delete clipboarded items from a SQL search

 

Move items found by SQL Search to package

  • Copy found elements to Clipboard
  • Select Package, Right Click, Scripts,...

 

Move bookmarked items
(
bookmarked in eg. Diagram or found by Standard Search / Query Builder Search) to selected package)

 

  • Run Standard Search or Query Builder Search
  • Bookmark wanted elements
  • Select Package, Right Click, Scripts,...
  • It works 

Install

  • Project DataManagement, Import ReferenceData, Select File (Script.xml)
  • Select 'Automation Scripts'
  • Import
  • See the scripts for details:
    • ho (reusable groups to extend functionality according to your needs)
    • hoModelSearch Group of type ModelSearch
      • DeleteBookmarkedItems
      • DeleteClipboardedItems
    • hoProjectBrowser Group of type ProjectBrowser
      • DeleteBookmarkedItems
      • DeleteClipboardedItems

 

Bookmarks (see also EA help):

  • Search Window: Query Builder Results,  Right Click, Bookmark Element,
  • Diagram: Select elements, Shift + Space
  • Diagram: Select elements, Edit, Bookmark selected,
Published in Community Resources
Tuesday, 22 December 2015 03:15

Sparx Systems has an Updated Forum

The Sparx Systems forum has undergone a much-requested update, giving it a fresh appearance and improved indexing - making it easier and faster to connect with relevant information and knowledge than ever before.

new forum screenshot

Since way back when in 2001 and Enterprise Architect version 3, the Sparx Systems Forum has performed an integral service, bringing together most enquiring and resourceful members of the user community. Since that time the forum has grown to include over 115,000 posts, covering a plethora of topics including methodologies and add-ins to usage issues and feature requests.

We encourage you to visit the forum and let us know what you think.

Published in News

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect has been ranked #1 by the user community at IT Central Station - the dynamic community site providing unbiased user based critiques  and comparisons of software products.

 

it central station ranks sparx systems number 1Enterprise Architect has been identified as a 'stand-out' solution in the areas of Architecture Management and also Business Process Design; registered members of IT Central Station can download a free detailed report.

 

The highly positive result is based on a number of factors, including the rating reviewers have given to products, as well as the number of reviews and interest displayed by visiting members.

 

IT Central Station is an online 'Community Built on Trust' with a strong focus on enterprise professional members being 'validated' and a 'zero-tolerance' for fake reviews; community managers actively monitor the site to ensure credibility of the brand.

 

We would like to take the opportunity to thank our User Community for their feedback and ongoing interest in Enterprise Architect.  

Published in News