Bert Dingemans

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]


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..

Utrecht, 27th and 28th of September 2018

A usergroup conference in the Netherlands for everybody working with Sparx Enterprise Architect as a modeling tool, architecture repository or requirements management tool. Two days full of interesting sessions, networking and exchange of information

  • Thursday 27th September:
    an EA training day, with a small number of in-depth sessions led by approved EA training partners.
  • Friday 28th September:
    a ‘traditional’ EAUG event day - presentations, case studies and user stories.

For this two-day event with a training day, 100+ attendees, and speakers from around the globe - of which you could be one! We will meet in the heart of the country next to Utrecht Central Railway Station, so if you want to join us. Plase note that all session will be in English!

See the EAUG Agenda for the session details

We hope to meet you in Utrecht

EAUG Utrecht


Dutch Sparx Enterprise Architect Event

Utrecht, The Netherlands

27 & 28 September 2018

Are you an Enterprise Architect, Software Designer, Business Analyst or Business Process Analyst? Do you use Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect? Are you interested in two days full of information exchange on the usage of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

For example, on subjects like:

  • Modelling languages like SysML and ArchiMate
  • Use Cases and best practices of Architectures and modelling in EA,
  • Extensions like MDGs in and for EA.
  • Various modelling techniques like real-time and data modelling,

Then you should not miss this EA Usergroup event at Utrecht on 27 and 28 September 2018. 

At this event EAUG we will offer a day with training and in-depth sessions (a session lasts more than three hours). This will be at 27 September 2018. 

The second day is 28 September 2018 with is a regular event with sessions of 45 minutes. We will offer three tracks:

  • Modelling experiences in EA
  • How-to (changing the functionality of EA or use extensions)
  • EA@ (use cases of EA in various organisations)

Register now for the Dutch EA Usergroup event via

Register before 1 August and you get an Early Bird Discount

Thursday, 21 June 2018 14:05

Integrated Data Entity Architecture in EA


IDEA is an abbreviation for Integrated Data Entity Architecture. It is a methodology and an implementation in Sparx Enterprise Architect to create an integrated architecture based on the following layers

  • Physical data modeling for a technical modeling that includes specific implementation concepts like columns and constraints
  • Logical data modeling a detailed implementation independent model for entities, attributes and assocations
  • Conceptual modeling for a business view on data and business entities including the connections to the application landscape and business processes
  • Data Management modeling for modeling data governance, ownership, privacy and security and data qualities.

Navigation screen WPP

Navigationscreen for the Web Publication Platform of the IDEA project

The IDEA website offers a number of products and solutions the most important are:

  • Viewpoints, these describe how the concepts and associations are used within one of the above mentioned layers
  • Example data model an example project of a datamodel to display the various layer concepts and the implementation
  • Example data management, displaying the concepts for modeling data management aspects
  • Scripts and Addons for Sparx, various zips with scripts and a dll, you have to register as a community member (see below)


The IDEA elements like the viewpoints and scripts etc are developed based on Open Source and a community. This means that the community is a group of organisations and people who benefit from the developed products. They can therefore do suggestions for new functionalities.

Everybody can become a passive member of the community. This means that you only have to register at this website and after that you receive an email with a link to all the downloads.

  • Active members have the possibility to define functionalities and based on their requirements and input extra material is developed. Based on there requests a sponsor pays for the development costs. Advantage for active members is that they define the functionalities but share the development costs. When you want to become an active member please contact us via the contact page.

Sample screen of the IDEA mapper

Sample screen of the IDEA Mapper 

Products of the IDEA framework

The IDEA framework is based on a number of steps and layers. These are described in viewpoints (like in ArchiMate). However one of the main aspects of the framework is that it is supported by a number of components and scripts within Sparx Enterprise Architect. Below you find the most important products available:

  • Viewpoints model, implemented in an EAP file and available for download as a zip file but also in the WPP version of the IDEA framework via a viewpoint webpage
  • Sample layered data model baded on the four layers of the model. It is implemented in a repository for download and in the WPP version of the IDEA framework via a sample model webpage
  • Script module, repository for download with numerous scripts for generating layers in the model, modifying diagrams, creating mappings and helper scripts to make the work of a data modeller in a layered approach more easy. Sample scripts caan be downloaded after registration as community member
  • IDEA AddOn based on a DLL with numerous routines, forms and classes for generating layers in the model, modifying diagrams, creating mappings and helper routines to make the work of a data modeller in a layered approach more easy. Sample scripts caan be downloaded after registration as community member
  • IDEA MDG with the notations of the four layers implemented in toolboxes, diagrams, search routines and a modelview the work of a data modeller in a layered approach more easy. The MDG can be downloaded after registration as community member
  • Webvideo with an introduction to the modelling functionality in the IDEA framework. The video is available via the EAxpertise channel in Youtube

More information is available via the other startpages and via 

Overview of mappings


EAUG2018 in Utrecht

As proficient Enterprise Architect user we like to contact you about the Enterprise Architect User Conferences in Utrecht on the 27th and 28th of September 2018. This two days event will be a training day (Thursday 27 september) where in depth sessions of three and a half hour are offered.

The Friday (28 september) will be a regular conference with sessions of 45 minutes in the tracks EA@, modelling and HowTo.

Currently we are collecting the session abstracts and speaker bios since the event is direct after summer holidays so early action for a full and interesting agenda is required.

We would like to invite you to do your proposal via the following url: When you fill in your email address in the first step you can fill in your bio and photo (the first time) and add one or more session abstracts. Of course you can also send your information to the email address below.

We would be happy to hear from you, for questions and remarks please contact by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone (Bert) at +31.6.36431652. 

More information about this two day event can be found at: 

We hope to welcome you in Utrecht at 27 or 28 september!

In September there will be a user group conference in the Netherlands. It will be a two day conference:

  • 27th of september will be a meeting with a limited number of in depth sessions (three hours per session) given by recognized Sparx trainers and specialists
  • 28th of september a "tradional" user group with three tracks of sessions about use cases, experiences on modeling, reporting and repository usage. This day will have two keynotes of generic Sparx related subjects.

The conference will take place close to the central raiway station of Utrecht in the Netherlands so it is very well reachable by train and car.

More details about speakers, sessions and other participant relevant subjects will be published via the regular communication channels and via a specific landing page (which is currently developed and will be avialable via ).

We hope to meet you in september in Utrecht!

The Open source Web Publication Platform has a new release, there are a number of new and updated features:


    • New an responsive layout of the application so the website can be viewed with tablets and mobile devices
    • Improved Matrix view
    • Navigation in diagrams with navigation cells
    • Improved form factory explorer.
    • Adapted discussion and response module
    • Version for MS-SQL repositories and Form Factory database platform.

In the image below you get an idea of the new layout


The product is again available as Open Source Platform and can be downloaded by registered users of the Web Publication Platform. Registration is easy by introducing your name and email address. Also the service and cooperation model is adapted to support the community in contributing and collecting new requirements and functionalities.

When you want to take a look at the online demo version please visit Interested in downloading the material (sample project) please visit the registration and download page


Currently I am involved in a number of projects where Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is introduced as a central repository for large architectural teams. EA is a great tool for that and supports a team approach very well with various functionalities. Especially the Project Browser, the Search functions (see for example and the Toolbox setup are well suitable in large projects. 

Occasionally, large teams that are not using a formal methodology may introduce duplicate elements, with a corresponding risk for introducing an inconsistent model within the repository. For one of my customers, this was the reason to look for a new approach that reduces the risks of duplicates at the start and not by deduplicating the elements (see )

Process steps

This approach has the following steps:

  • Open an existing diagram or a new diagram for one of the ArchiMate viewpoints
  • Select which (ArchiMate) element type you want to select
  • Search in the repository for the presence of this element
  • If so add the element to the diagram and extend the model in your diagram
  • If not add a new element to the diagram and fill in the element details via the Dialog windows

A relatively simple process but due to the various screens in EA supporting these steps architects are often not willing to take all the steps and add a new element from the toolbox right away.


Because of this we decided to extend the already available Deduplication AddOn with an ArchiMAID window. This window makes it possible to do all the above mentioned process steps in a simple (wizard like) process supporting screen. The window has the following steps:


This screen gives an overview of all the aspects views of ArchiMate (mostly an architect knows from which aspect he or she wants to add an element). Based on the selection in this first step the second step is displayed in which you can select one or more ArchiMate concepts to do a search on (or display them all in the search result screen). See the picture below.

When you find one or more elements in the search result grid a the bottom of the screen you can select these elements and then press the Add 2 Diagram button. The selected elements are then displayed in the active diagram. When the architect can not find any element relevant for the diagram he or she can then add an element to the repository . This is available in the last tab of the screen and has the following visual representation.

The name of the new element, the stereotype and the notes are filled in and the Create on Diagram button is pressed. This creates the element in the repository and on the diagram. For the initial implementation of ArchiMate elements these attributes are sufficient.

More information and download

This extension of the functionality is availabe in the open source extension for EA that is available via the the link where this add on is described in detail. Go therefore to the download page of TEA.

Please feel free to use this function in your own situation, when you want extensions on this you can contact us via the eaxpertise website. When you make extensions by yourself we encourage you to share this with us.

See also

Saturday, 25 November 2017 06:00

ArchiMate Search helper in EA


One of the challenges of a teambased architecture repository based on the ArchiMate language is to reduce the number of duplicate entities. With duplicates I mean an Archimate concept with the same name and stereotype that has two or more instances in the repository.

Especially in large repositories with a complex project browser configuration and a large number of modellers the changes of duplicates are substantial. Therefore mostly a procedure is introduced based on the steps that a modeller has to do a repository search before he or she can actually add an element from the toolbox and modify it


For searching for elements in the repository there is a search dialog availabe that opens by default in a simple common search that searches for a text in all the items. This works fine but has a number of limitations for an ArchiMate modeller:

  • The search is relatively slow
  • The modeller is not interested in the full content but only in ArchiMate elements of a specific type.

Luckily we can define our own searches in EA and an example of a ArchiMate specific search is shown bin the image below:

In this image you see that we can search for application components only and the list is by default sorted by objectname. This will help us in a later stage in user friendliness. The SQL statement is given below.


SELECT t_object.ea_guid AS CLASSGUID, as ObjectName, t_object.Stereotype, ParentPkg.Name as ParentName, t_object.ModifiedDate, t_object.Author, t_object.[Version], t_object.[Alias], t_object.Object_Type as CLASSTYPE,t_object.Note as Notes FROM t_object, t_package as ParentPkg WHERE ( LIKE '#WC#[Search Term]#WC#' OR '[Search Term]'='') AND t_object.stereotype IN('ArchiMate_ApplicationComponent') AND t_object.Package_ID = ParentPkg.Package_ID ORDER BY t_object.Name

The trick is in two parts of the select statement:

  • The first one is that we filter on the stereotype of the element so we only see a limited number of elements based on that stereotype
  • The second is that we do a trick with the search term. We combine a search term search with a full search so you can see all the elements when the search term is empty

Model view


This helps us a lot in finding the relevant elements relatively fast however the search screen has a number of limitations in which selecting all the time the right query is relatively user unfriendly. However luckily Enterprise Architect has another screen for implementing this user friendly approach in a convenient way: the model view.

In the modelview you can define your own search view and link these views to a search in the search component of EA. See the picture below

In this screen you see a sample of a number of ArchiMate specific searches based on their stereotype. When you expand one of these searches you get the list of elements based on this stereotype. Since we have a combination of a keyword search and a full search (on the stereotype) the modeller can select the approach that best fits his needs. In the view you can select an element by typing in the first characters another option is to open the conext menu and go to the search function in EA and now we open the richt search immediately.


For download of this solution or for downloading other scripts or add ons please visit the eaxpertise website.

Would you like to contribute to a worthwhile day of sharing knowledge and techniques around the use of Sparx Enterprise Architect?
Whether you wish to talk about user experiences tools, methodologies and/or your experiences in this field, you are welcome to present your (non commercial) ideas on June 10th at the Dutch Enterprise Architect User Group event.
At this event EAUG we will offer three tracks:
• Modelling experiences in EA
• Howto (changing the functionality of EA or use extensions)
• EA@ (use cases of EA in various organisations)

Do you want more information please contact us via: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the Enterprise Architect User Group website for more details.

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