Monday, 07 January 2019 18:59

Migrating from BizzDesign to Enterprise Architect

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This article outlines how customers can migrate from BizzDesign to Enterprise Architect.  Many EAxpertise customers mentioned licence costs and additional factors have made them consider migration.

The functionality offered by both tools overlap to a great extend and especially in data modelling Sparx has more functionality than BizzDesign. For one of our customers, we undertook research on the migration options.  There are three models in the enterprise architecture:

  • Enterprise Architecture modelled in ArchiMate 3 models. This can be migrateusing the Model Exchange Format standard in the ArchiMate 3 definition.
  • Business processes modelled in BPMN models This can be migrated with the BPMN exchange format. 
  • Data  Models modelled in the Enterprise Data Model. For this part of the model there is no exchange format so we had to develop a solution for this.

For the last part of the enterprise model we had to develop an extension, whiuch is described below:

Migration extension

We first tried to develop a solution based on a script, but we needed a simple user interface to control the steps so we decided to extend the IDEA DLL with this functionality. The image below provides an overview of the functionality.

In the screenshot you see the following functionalities:

  • Options to load the data from an excel file. BizzDesign has the possibility to define excel files for the entities that can not be exported by the stanrd XML formats like MEF and BPMN. This applies to the EDM entities
  • Migrating the Entities data from the excel file to the repository in Enterprise Architect
  • Migrating the Associations from the excel file to the repository in Enterprise Architect
  • The transfer of the Attributes to Enterprise Architect
  • The last option needs a little explanation. BizzDesign has the option, just like Enterprise Architect, to add hyperlinks in the notes that link to other elements in the repository. However they use a different internal format for these hyperlinks. This functionality transforms the format of the hyperlinks to the Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect format.

An extra remark is needed for the counter under the load data button. This is used for loading the worksheet with that ordinal position in the workbook file.

Open Source AddOn

This converter from BizzDesign to Enterprise Architect is added to the IDEA AddOn. This AddOn has a number of functionalities that form a logical extension:

  • ArchimAID helper screen to combine searching in diagrams with toolbox functionality
  • Scripts for creating Conceptual, Logical and Physical Data Models and integrate them
  • Mapper functionality between data entities
  • EA Assistant functions for deduplication, HTML generating and more.

When interested please go the IDEA AddON page on the EAxpertise website. When you want support on using the AddOn, please feel free to contact me via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Read 4956 times Last modified on Thursday, 10 January 2019 22:09
Bert Dingemans

I am an independent (data) architect and EA consultant working often with enterprise architect mostly for UML class diagrams and ArchiMate 2.0. I am using enterprise architect for  generating documentation, XSD files and modelling enterprise architectures with ArchiMate 2.0. I have developed an Open Source Web Publication Platform for EA.  I also participate in You can reach me at [email protected]


  • Comment Link Bert Dingemans Wednesday, 16 January 2019 07:47 posted by Bert Dingemans

    Hi Guillaume,

    Thank you for your reply! One of my customers is working with ARIS and it might be relevant to exchange information between EA and ARIS. If so I will extend this AddOn with that functionality.
    Currently I am not planning to create a GitHub project, this approach works at the moment fine for me;-)

    Best regards

  • Comment Link Guillaume Tuesday, 15 January 2019 13:05 posted by Guillaume

    Hi Bert,
    It looks very interesting and useful for this kind of scenario, thanks!
    2 quick questions:
    1- Have you identified other tool candidates like ARIS to support + feasibility?
    2- I found a zip file to download the source code but no public repo like Github. Do you plan on setting one up?

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