Enterprise Architect version 15.2

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Displaying items by tag: enterprise architect

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
Thursday, 17 December 2015 01:11

Enterprise Architect Rated #1 by IT Central Station

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

Prominent Business/IT publication CIO Review Magazine has identified Sparx Systems as one of the '20 Most Promising Productivity Tools Solution Providers' for 2015.

cio review productivity tools logo nov 2015 sparx systems

Published in the November issue of CIO Review, Editor-in-Chief Pradeep Shankar described Sparx Systems as "A vendor of a productivity platform for the planning, design, and construction of software intensive systems based on the Unified Modeling Language (UML)."

 

The selection committee of prominent CEO's, CIO's and analysts, including the CIO Review's editorial board was responsible for deciding the final list from hundreds of potential solution providers. The selection process involved evaluating potential vendor's ability 'to fulfill the need for cost-effective and flexible solutions that add value to the Productivity Tools landscape.

 

Sparx Systems Founder and CEO, Geoffrey Sparks, spoke candidly with CIO Review, "As a tool vendor we are focused on on providing high precision modeling tools that match the needs of consultants, trainers, and industry in general..."

 

Read the full inteview, 'Agile Modeling Patform for Seamless Enterprise Operations', by clicking on the link above (450Kb PDF download).

 

 

 

 

Published in News

AI logoSparx Systems Founder and CEO, Geoffery Sparks, spoke with Acquisition International Magazine last month about the Sparx Systems business model, the early days and the power of the Sparx Systems Global Partners Network.

 

Geoff was featured in the magazine's CEO of the Month section and offered a unique insight into how Sparx Systems began, first releasing Enterprise Architect in 2000.  With 15 years of continious development and growth, the Enterprise Architect platform has a strong feature set "... that would be expected in an industrial strength modelling solution, in a single, highly functional, low cost package." stated Geoff.

 

The company founder also highlighted the importance of the Global Network Partners to the growth of Sparx Systems. "We have reached out to experts in reselling, training and consultancy services and created a global partner network to support client companies."

 

Read Geoff's full interview with Acquisition International Magazine on ISSUU here

Published in News
Friday, 27 November 2015 04:20

Reader's Choice Award for Enterprise Architect

2015vsm RCA medal bronze 200x263Enterprise Architect has recently been given the Bronze award in the Visual Studio Magazine 2015 Reader's Choice Awards.

The Sparx Systems design and build platform was recognised as an outstanding solution in the 'Software Design, Frameworks, and Modeling Tools' category.

In a recent Press Release (attached), Editor in Chief of Visual Studio Magazine stated that "The Visual Studio Magazine Reader’s Choice Awards offers a chance for readers to participate in giving public praise to those companies deserving of the recognition.”

More than 400 products across 31 categories were included in an online ballot run by Visual Studio Magazine, with hundreds of magazine subscribers responding over a 3 week period in late September.

Published in News
Find Real Orphans

Enterprise Architect comes standard with an Find Orphans search, which is supposed to give you a list of all elements that are no longer used in the model, and thus better be removed from the model altogether.

Find Orphans

The problem with this search is that it will only report elements that are not shown on a diagram; which should not be the only criterion to determine if an element is an orphan or not. Not being on a diagram is just fine. I have lots of elements in my model that are not on a diagram, that doesn’t mean they are not used anymore.

If you are going to delete all elements reported in the standard orphans search you might do serious damage to your model.

So in order to aid with the maintenance of a large model I wrote the following SQL Search.

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select distinct o.ea_guid as CLASSGUID,o.Object_Type as CLASSTYPE,o.Name as Name, o.Stereotype,
package.name as PackageName ,package_p1.name as PackageLevel1,package_p2.name as PackageLevel2 ,package_p3.name as PackageLevel3
from ((((((((((((((((( t_object o
left join t_diagramobjects dob on dob.[Object_ID] = o.[Object_ID])
left join t_object inst on inst.[Classifier] = o.[Object_ID])
left join t_objectproperties otv on otv.VALUE = o.[ea_guid])
left join t_connectortag ctv on ctv.VALUE = o.[ea_guid])
left join t_attributetag atv on atv.VALUE = o.[ea_guid])
left join t_operationtag optv on optv.VALUE = o.[ea_guid])
left join t_object u on u.Pdata1 = o.ea_guid)
left join t_connector cs on cs.Start_Object_ID = o.Object_ID)
left join t_connector ce on ce.End_Object_ID = o.Object_ID)
left join t_attribute att on att.Classifier like o.Object_ID)
left join t_operation op on op.Classifier like o.Object_ID)
left join t_operationparams opp on opp.Classifier like o.Object_ID)
left join t_object owned on owned.ParentID = o.Object_ID)
inner join t_package package on o.package_id = package.package_id)
left join t_package package_p1 on package_p1.package_id = package.parent_id)
left join t_package package_p2 on package_p2.package_id = package_p1.parent_id)
left join t_package package_p3 on package_p3.package_id = package_p2.parent_id)
where
o.Package_ID in (#Branch#)
and (o.name is null or o.Name like '#WC#<Search Term>#WC#')
and o.Object_Type not in ('Package')
and (o.Stereotype is null or o.Stereotype not in ('model document'))
and dob.Object_ID is null
and inst.Object_ID is null
and otv.VALUE is null
and ctv.Value is null
and atv.Value is null
and optv.Value is null
and u.Object_ID is null
and cs.Start_Object_ID is null
and ce.End_Object_ID is null
and att.Classifier is null
and op.Classifier is null
and opp.Classifier is null
and owned.Object_ID is null

This search will look for all elements that

  • Are located in the currently selected package branch
  • Are not a package or a model document  (section in a virtual document)
  • Are not used on a diagram
  • Are not used as the Classifier of an instance
  • Are not referenced by any tagged value
  • Are not used as the source or target of any relation
  • Are not used as the type of an attribute
  • Are not used as the return type of an operation
  • Are not used as the type of a parameter
  • Do not own any other elements

Elements that show up in this search are most probably real orphans that clutter your model and can be safely deleted.

Of course, before you delete anything from the model, make sure you have a backup!

Find Real OrphansIn order to use this search create a new search of type SQL and paste the above query into the query builder field.

If you find anything that should be added to this search please let me know.

Related

Published in Community Resources
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