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Displaying items by tag: generate documentation

Thursday, 02 March 2017 14:25

RepoDoc, a call for testing

Try RepoDoc, a new way of documenting your repository.

It’s easy to use, powerful and we offer it for free to anyone willing to test or help.

 

What is RepoDoc?

A document generator add-in for Enterprise Architect.

 

What makes it special?

  • uses Liquid templates that are easy to create, modify and maintain,
  • offers flexible repository filtering capabilities,
  • makes non-linear document generation possible,
  • supports a wide range of document formats including, but not limited to, HTML, LaTeX, PDF, Markdown, AsciiDoc, CSV, XML or JSON files, SVG, source codes in different languages,
  • contains a built-in post processor.

 

How can you help?

  • try it out and submit your wishes for a must/nice to have functionality,
  • write a new interesting template or let us know what kind of template would you need.

 

What you can achieve?

Here are few examples of documents, generated with RepoDoc. Find more at repodoc.archimetes.com.

 

UML model overview (HTML)

htmldocument

 

Requirements catalogue (LaTeX)

latexdocument

 

Dependency graphs (DOT/Graphviz)

Dependencies between UML elements.

svgdocument

Dependencies between Archimate elements.

svgdocument

 

Class diagram overview (AsciiDoc)

generatedpdfdocument

 

Package list (JSON)

generatedjsondocument

 

Published in Community Resources

About

RepoDoc is a document generator for Enterprise Architect able to produce a variety of document formats using templates written in any text editor.

 

How it works

RepoDoc takes a document template and a starting package as input. It outputs a plain text document together with repository artifacts specified in the template and taken from the repository. An optional profile may be specified to instruct RepoDoc to post-process the document with a third party software (like Asciidoctor or Pandoc).

repodoc how it works
RepoDoc uses plain text templates and an easy to learn Liquid template language. This allows to output a broad range of different plain text formats like CSV, XML or JSON, but also to post-process the result in various third party backends to produce an office document like DOCX. It also offers new possibilities when iterating repository like multiple iterations, custom loops, conditional expressions and more.

 

How to use

  1. Download and install latest RepoDoc bundle.
  2. Start Enterprise Architect and open your project.
  3. Select RepoDoc from the Specialize ribbon and open its control panel.
  4. Click Generate.
  5. Click View.

repodocuserguide_formdocumentgenerator.png

 

Features

✅ Markup languages

Use your favorite markup language like Markdown or AsciiDoc to prepare your document then convert the output to a HTML or DOCX with a single click.

repodocfeatures_outputexample.png

✅ Conditional expressions

Document only elements you need and when you need them. Write logical conditions based on name, type or number of child elements. No more empty sections or tables in the output document.

{%- for element in package.elements -%}
  {%- if element.type == "Actor" -%}
    Documenting actor name {{ element.name }}
    and actor notes {% if element.notes != "" %}{{ element.notes }}{% endif %}
    (but only if non empty).
  {%- endif -%}
{%- endfor -%}

✅ Multiple iterations

Iterate and document your repository items multiple times. Create requirements section first and then add a use case section. Everything aligned in a single document.

Now I'm documenting only actors.
{%- for element in package.elements -%}
  {%- if element.type == "Actor" -%}
    ...
  {%- endif -%}
{%- endfor -%}
And now I'm documenting only use cases.
{%- for element in package.elements -%}
  {%- if element.type == "UseCase" -%}
    ...
  {%- endif -%}
{%- endfor -%}

✅ Output redirection

Output images or artifacts to individual files. Export data in different formats to multiple files.

✅ Relationships & analysis

Walk through the connections for elements and diagram objects and document important ones. Analyze and document impacts with recursive templates.

repodocfeatures_impact.png

✅ Version control

RepoDoc uses plain text Liquid templates that are ideal for version control system. Track changes in your templates and tag them easily.

 

Want more?

Select another template or write quickly your own with an easy to learn language. Find out more about RepoDoc at repodoc.archimetes.com.

Published in Community Resources

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect version 11 is very close to being released (I am currently using Release Candidate 2), and promises a host of new and improved functionality. It’s a good time to revisit the built-in reporting, and reflect on how the stepwise improvements during the Enterprise Architect 10 release series have been rolled-up into a streamlined user experience…

Improving the dialogue

You can right-click on a model root in the Project Browser and view the improved Generate Documentation dialog window. In particular, you will see that the Generate tab contains some additional fields to enable the easy selection of:         

  • Table of Contents
  • Stylesheet
  •  Cover Page
  • Diagram Theme

 

Figure 1: Generate documentation dialog

 

Previous versions of Sparx Enterprise Architect already provided a skilled operator with the ability to create all of these things. However, the dialogue changes (along with some other enhancements in the report template editor) are aimed at making things easier and more obvious for operators with beginning and intermediate levels of skill.

 

Generate documentation, not just RTF

If you click Generate Documentation | Generate | Output Format then you will see that you have options to generate Microsoft Document Format (DOCX), alongside the previously available Portable Document Format (PDF) and Rich Text Format (RTF).

Figure 2: Selecting an output format

 

You might not be aware that Microsoft has discontinued making enhancements its proprietary RTF specification, and that some new features in Word 2010 and later versions will not save properly into the RTF format. The new format will enable Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect to continue inter-operating with the Microsoft proprietary world.

Your model’s structure can be orthogonal to your project documents

Did you know that your model’s structure need not be dictated by the project reports that you want to generate? You can use Documentation Diagrams, containing Master Document elements, to coordinate Document Model elements and/or Template Fragments into producing production ready project documentation.

 

Figure 3: Overview of documentation elements

Model Documents can act as drag-and-drop targets for packages from the Project Browser, or get populated by user defined element searches, to create individually formatted sections for your documents. Fine grained control over document subsections can achieved through using Fragments, which can use custom templates, scripts (either JavaScript, JScript or VBScript), or SQL queries. Each Model Document can be formatted using a custom template, if required.

 

Exploring the rich report generation functionality of Sparx Enterprise Architect version 11 can take some time, and creating advanced custom templates can be quite a specialized task. However, it is important to remember that only a few people in your organization might need to develop the skills to create custom templates, whilst everyone else just needs to click through the Generate Documentation dialog, or a pre-prepared Documentation Diagram.

Ideally, you will be able to create a Documentation Diagram containing a Master Document for each of the project documents you need to create. Each document can then be right-clicked and produced on demand.

Figure 4: Example project documentation

 

Of course, power users of Sparx Enterprise Architect can create a script to produce documentation for the entire project, on demand, with a single mouse click!

 

Published in Tutorials