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Displaying items by tag: prolaborate

Monday, 04 May 2020 18:52

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ea global summit

 

Published in News

It is not uncommon for Product releases to have a plethora of new features added., and as an Enterprise Architect user for the last 15 years, I was having just normal expectations when I peeked into the list of new features in the newly released Enterprise Architect 15.1. However what I saw in the list gave me an adrenalin rush, Some of the features in 15.1 nails the bulls-eye by solving some of the long reported pain points, and this prompted me to come up with this write up to share what I found

I’m trying to give a gist of the 4 features that have given me enough reasons to go to all my clients and request an update to the newer version.  

1. Freezing Visible Relationships

This one feature will be a reason enough for many teams I know to upgrade. We’ve spent a lot of time figuring out ways to suppress new relationships in other diagrams (scripting, addins, etc.) and have always found it challenging to achieve.

 Background 

EA’s capability to create a central repository and reuse elements across multiple diagrams in incredibly useful, however when a diagram is finalized for publishing, sharing or review, it is still prone to show any new connectors that might have been introduced elsewhere using the same elements. This disrupts the diagram’s look and feel and has always been a point of contention from architects.

EA 15.1’s feature to freeze visible relationships in diagrams that are finalized makes a gamut of difference, as the architects or the modellers don’t have to be nervous about some inadvertent changes in the model affecting their diagrams.

Freeze Visible Relationships2. Diagram Layers 

I ‘m equally excited to see the diagram layers feature. Creating layered views is something that we always do when creating architecture models. Diagrams could have several layers spanning across Business – Application – Information – Technology models.

An ability to selectively turn on –off layers gives architects a really useful utility to slice and dice information and understand models better.

This is useful to hide parts of the diagram, and making it consumable in parts. The added advantage is that the Connectors are also turned on and off accordingly.

Refer to some screenshots that I created by applying filters on one of my existing diagrams.

Diagram Layers All Layers visible

Diagram Layers Corproate Strategy Layer Off

Diagram Layers Corporate Communicaitons Layer

3. Model-based Business Vocabulary

Business Glossary is another feature that has always been slightly elusive, as we were only able to define terms flatly and less model-based. For a structured modelling with attention to detail, it is imperative to have a model-based vocabulary with terms and definitions defined, grouped, categorized, and reused in multiple contexts.

The new Model-based vocabulary feature allows us to do just that. This lets users Define and group their terms using elements, connectors, and packages. The traditional Project Glossary window will also show all model-based glossary terms in its listings.   

Glossary toolbox

glossary

4. Faster Model Export-import Through Cloud interface

This redefines the way we’ve worked with model backups, project transfers and baselines in EA. The following pointers have nailed it and have solved several outstanding pain points (over the years).

a. It uses native XML format for export/import, this is proving to be multi-folds faster than the traditional XMI 1.1 / 2.1.

b. This does Full transfer including complete model and all reference data.

c. Allows Project transfer through Cloud Connections (PCS), which was a showstopper previously. This eliminates the need for a direct database connection

Project Transfer Native

If you are a serious EA user and have come across any of these pain points in the past, I would suggest you take a look at https://sparxsystems.com/products/ea/15.1/index.html

(And now the shameless plug) This is Nizam, I've been working with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect for 15 years now. I'm an EA consultant and the product manager for the sharing and publishing platform Prolaborate (https://prolaborate.sparxsystems.com/)

Published in White Papers

sparx prolaborate vision

 McKinsey Survey Report:

More than 40 percent of Enterprise Architects say that the business leaders in their companies are not aware of what the EA group does.

Gartner's report on Critical Capabilities for Enterprise Architecture Tools

Enterprise Architecture tools deliver true value ONLY when the broader organization can use the information that architects and others enter collaboratively for analysis and decision support.

TOGAF Version 9.2

By communicating with stakeholders early and frequently, the architecture team can ensure that they fully understand the architecture process, and the benefits of Enterprise Architecture; this means they can support the architecture team more actively when necessary.

These snippets perfectly convey why it’s critical to be transparent at an organization level when it comes to Enterprise Architecture. A transparent architecture practice can lead the organization

  • to align business and IT leaders
  • make smarter decisions faster
  • be proactive in mitigating risks
  • be agile at times of disruption

and ultimately lead to achieving its vision.

You might have felt that it’s important to make real-time architecture information available to the right audience at the right time while using Enterprise Architect (EA) for the following:

Sparx Enterprise Archtiect use cases

So, in this article, we bring you the top 4 highly successful ways how EA users in large organizations use Sparx Systems Prolaborate to share models online.

 4 ways to share Sparx EA models online

4 Ways to Share EA Models Online

Share to Collaborate

This is the most ideal way to share your Enterprise Architecture information with a long-term perspective. While it’s important to make live EA models readily available, it is equally important to enable collaboration.

Collaboration is crucial in making your Enterprise Architecture efforts a success and lead your organization to the future state you have envisioned. The target audience is the EA stakeholders who want to be part of the larger vision of the organization.

View short videos and case studies

Share with Different Teams or Customers

The objective here is to create simple self-service portals that make valuable information in your Enterprise Architect models available to the whole organization.

Although Share to Collaborate is the ideal way, we have seen many organizations which just want to share EA models most simply and cost-effectively.

The target audience are all users whom you want to constantly update on the progress of your Enterprise Architecture efforts; this can be different customers for whom you are working for or different teams in your organization with whom you want to share frequent updates.

View short videos and case studies

Instant Share

The goal here is make live information from your Enterprise Architect models available to anybody in the organization around the globe instantly.

The target audience can be anybody in the organization who want to get access to live information as quickly as possible.

Let’s say you are done with a business process and want to quickly share it with your team to check their thoughts. All you do is a single click and share the link with them. It’s as simple as that!

View short videos and case studies

Share in Confluence / SharePoint

In the recent past, majority of the organizations have moved away from file-based documents to online knowledge management platforms like Confluence and, SharePoint

And obviously, information from Enterprise Architect models which were being shared in files through various apps have been actively replaced by these platforms.

Whilst these platforms reduce the overheads in sharing documents, it still involves significant efforts from architects to manually update the contents in these pages.

View short videos and case studies

Further topics to explore:

 

If you have any questions on the sharing ways, trial, or Proof of Concept, feel free to submit your questions using this form or email your queries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Published in White Papers
Thursday, 14 November 2019 20:05

Sparx EA Event in Latino América (Perú, Nov 2019)

We are glad to announce that next week and the following, SPARX Argentina (#proagile), will be visiting companies in Lima - Perú to promote the power of Enterprise Architect, Pro Cloud Server and Prolaborate in Latin America. .

 

Our specialists in ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT will be conducting exclusive meetings with main local companies, to demonstrate how other companies are achieving agility and collaborative work at key areas like architecture, project administration and software specification.

 

We invite interested parties to take advantage of this opportunity and register to coordinate the visit to your organization. It is totally free.

 

More information about the event: http://www.proagile.com.ar/paises/peru/

 

------------------------------------

 

Nos complace anunciar que las semanas próximas, SPARX Argentina (#proagile), estará visitando empresas en Lima - Perú para difundir en Latinoamérica la potencia de Enterprise Architect, Pro Cloud Server y Prolaborate.

 

Vamos a estar llevando a cabo reuniones exclusivas, entre nuestros especialistas en ENTERPRISE ARCHITECT y las principales empresas locales, para dar a  conocer cómo otros están logrando agilidad y trabajo colaborativo a nivel de arquitecturas, proyectos y especificaciones de software.

 

Invitamos a los interesados a aprovechar esta oportunidad y registrarse para que podamos coordinar la visita a su empresa. Es totalmente gratuita.

 

Más información del evento en el siguiente enlace http://www.proagile.com.ar/paises/peru/

 

 

Roadshow Perú Nov 2019

Published in Events

Prolaborate 3.2

Sparx Systems has released Prolaborate 3.2 this summer with the following enhancements.

  • Charts
    • ** Architecture Landscape: new chart dedicated for your Enterprise Architecture data.
    • Chart Designer: build your graphs with this step by step design tool (SQL queries can be used as an alternative to address complex issues).
  • ** Relationships Matrices created in Enterprise Architect can be used with your web browser. 
  • ** Excel-like spreadsheet interface: Bulk import and edit EA elements online + CSV download and upload.
  • Integration
    • Ms Azure DevOps is now supported to create end to end links between items in EA and Azure DevOps (similar to the existing JIRA integration).
    • Public APIs introduced for custom Integration with Prolaborate.
  • Multiple Active Directory domains supported for SSO

** Features detailed in this article.

Architecture Landscape charts

Architecture Landscape is a new chart available in Prolaborate. It provides a way to render any kind of architectural views on a single page.

In the example below, ArchiMate Business Actors are displayed under each assigned Business Role (roles are listed by type i.e. internal or external).

01 Architecture Landscape Archimate Prolaborate 3.2 Sparx

With this chart view, a single element can be rendered several times e.g. the "Distribution Department" actor is visible under "Delivery Driver" and "Logistic operator" roles, compared with the matching view in Enterprise Architect.

Archimate_roles_and_actors_Prolaborate

This chart has been created using the Chart Designer:

  • The Business Roles package (model) must be selected.

 03 select package Architecture Landscape Archimate Prolaborate 3.2 Sparx

  • With the following setup, ArchiMate Business Roles are grouped by Alias value (Internal/External), and the elements names are shown (alternatives: tagged values, etc.).

04 group definition business roles Architecture Landscape Archimate Prolaborate 3.2 Sparx

  • In the next group, the graph is looking for the actors assigned to each business role.

05 group definition business roles Architecture Landscape Archimate Prolaborate 3.2 Sparx

The resulting graph is dynamic i.e. a role can be selected to get the assigned actors within a report e.g. Retailer role -> Customer. Selecting an actor from this report provides access to its properties as per the Attributes zone illustrated below.

06 view chart with sub report Architecture Landscape Archimate Prolaborate 3.2 Sparx

I tried a different scenario using my Prolaborate ArchiMate demo EA project with the aim to list all data flows between applications. In the following example, ArchiMate flows have been defined between application components, and ArchiMate Data Objects (e.g. Data1, Data2) have been associated as "conveyed items".

07 application data flows architecture Archimate Prolaborate 3.2 Sparx

The required details from EA require to define the chart using custom SQL queries instead of the Chart Designer.

08 application data flows graphique architecture Archimate Prolaborate 3.2 Sparx

Relationships matrix

Relationships matrix is a very useful Enterprise Architect feature to visualize, understand and update relations between elements. The following matrix illustrates business actor assignments with roles.

sparxsystems_enterprise_architect_relationships_matrix

EA matrix profiles are now available in Prolaborate to be opened with your browser (note: matrices can also be created in Prolaborate).

web_prolaborate_sparxsystems_enterprise_architect_relationships_matrix

Result:

11 web prolaborate sparxsystems enterprise architect relationships matrix 

Bulk import and edit of EA elements via Prolaborate Excel-like interface 

Creating or updating model information in bulk can be relevant using CSV or Excel spreadsheets. Available in Enterprise Architect, this is now available with Prolaborate: you can create or update packages and elements in your Enterprise Architect models using an intuitive spreadsheet interface.

Once permissions are granted, a user can create an import profile as illustrated here with ArchiMate application components.

prolaborate import en masse applications archimate modele csv tableur

Notes: 

  • The element and parent element unique EA identifiers (GUID) makes it possible to respectively update an existing element, and/or set the target element.
  • Data Flow definition will be imported within a tagged value, itself used in EA using a custom script to generate data flows between applications.

Details can be entered directly within the displayed worksheet. Otherwise a CSV file can be generated (Download as CSV), populated, and imported into Enterprise Architect (Import CSV File).

prolaborate_sparxsystems_import_data_elements_form_excel

I found that Prolaborate lets you copy and paste data a matching Excel file, very useful!

32 prolaborate sparxsystems copy informations from excel

Once the details are provided, the import can be carried globally or row by row. 

prolaborate_sparxsystems_copy_informations_from_excel

 

Published in News
Thursday, 05 September 2019 21:17

Enterprise Architecture using Prolaborate

Sign up for the upcoming Sparx Sytems webinar!

Enterprise Architecture using Prolaborate

A Case study driven illustration of Enterprise Architecture Capabilities in Prolaborate

The CEO of a leading utility firm intends to leverage an EA tool, to help them with the planning and decision-making required for his digital transformation strategy.

The organization identified three use cases as its primary needs for an EA tool, this article will give an high level overview of how Prolaborate helps them realize the use cases.

Use Case 1 – Smarter Decision Making

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect tool is populated by architects, analysts and other users across the organization. The information represents the length and breadth of the architecture landscape using industry standards as TOGAF or ArchiMate or Zachman framework.

However for maximizing the real value of Architecture practice is possible only when the broader organization) can use the information collaboratively on a regular basis for analysis and decision support that real value is realized.

Value Capabilities Application Treemap

L1 Capabilities Bubble Chart

 

Project Roadmap 1

Use Case 2 –innovation Through Collaboration

Ability to innovate is key for successful digital transformation. To enable innovation the teams must evaluate the current state and emerging technologies.  Prolaborate enables innovation with a structured yet flexible and iterative collaboration and review capability.

Prolaborate enables a state-of-art platform to enable seamless collaboration between the Architecture team, strategy team, innovation team, product team, and infrastructure team.

Collaboration

 

Use Case 3 – Application Portfolio Management

The CEO was also recommended that there are several duplications of IT assets as a result of several mergers and acquisitions.  To enable a lean, agile organization, the CEO has set his priority to clean up duplicate IT assets.

Prolaborate lets architects create views that will allow the organization to gain the ability to make more conscious investment choices for application landscape to reduce complexity. The Prolaborate views would allow applications with overlapping functionalities to be visible, outdated applications identified, strategic importance assessed, to foster teams to manage applications seamlessly.

Application By Lifecycle

 

Applicatoin By Vendor

Explore the incredible advancements in Enterprise Architecture views in Prolaborate, visualize an organizations IT landscape from Strategy to Implementation. Check out the New and improved capabilities of Prolaborate to perform Value chain analysis, Capability alignment, Application Portfolio Management, Process Optimization to facilitate rapid decisions, quickly.

In this webinar, we'll show you how to:

  • Effective Enterprise Architecture using Prolaborate – creating views ranging from Vision and Objectives tracking down to Applications and Servers.
  • Learn new utilities to simplify analysis – Relationship Matrix, Spreadsheet interface, Landscape Diagrams.
  • Enhanced Charts and Reporting - Heatmaps, Treemaps, Burst charts, Bubble charts etc to efficiently leverage Architecture Data.

For more information and registration please visit https://sparxsystems.com/resources/webinar/sparxservices/prolaborate1909/index.html/index.html

Or Click Register Now. To know more about Prolaborate or request a demo please visit https://prolaborate.sparxsystems.com 

Published in White Papers
Monday, 15 July 2019 09:09

Images Assets and Custom Diagrams in EA 15

Images Assets and Custom Diagrams in EA 15

Using images to add relevance to any architecture diagram is a very common practice. Enterprise Architect has always supported modellers to set ‘Alternate Image’ or ‘Default Image’ for elements to create such diagrams.  However the users have always sought for an ability to manage a set of image assets in a catalogue and reuse it across multiple diagrams.

The New approach in EA 15 to manage and reuse images in diagrams is a significant enhancement. The ‘Image Asset’ element lets users create a model item to store an image. These items can then be used to apply overlays on other model elements.

Image Assets

The Image Asset images can be used as alternative images in place of the standard UML notation for elements on diagrams. They can also be used in documentation by inserting hyperlinks to the Image Asset element. When a report is generated, the hyperlinked Image Asset element is rendered using its 'owned image'

To create an image asset, Select the 'Artifacts' section in toolbox | select 'Image Asset' | click on the diagram, or Drag an 'Image Asset' Artifact from the toolbox onto a diagram.

 

Image Asset Diagram

Figure 1 Image Assets Catalogue

 

Custom Diagram

The new ‘Custom Diagram’ option in EA 15 allows users to create a highly customizable, graphic-rich diagram that is on-par with any modern drawing tools.  Custom Diagram enables the most options to use the Image Assets.

Using Image Assets

The Image Assets from the repository can be used to perform the following actions

  • Set as Icon – As an icon of an Existing Element
  • Set as Alternate Image – As an alternate Image on an existing element
  • Add as element with Icon
  • Add as element with Image
  • Add as link

Image Asset Options

Figure 2 Options to Use Image Assets

Set As Icon

Use Image Asset to  set it as an icon for an existing element or a new element (This is my favourite!).  In the previous versions, users must rely on shapescripts to achieve such visualization.

Image asset Set As Icon

Figure 3 Set Image as Icon

Set as Alternate Image

You can also use the Image Asset to set it as an alternate image for an existing element or create a new element with the image as alternate image.

Image asset Set As Alternate Image

Figure 4 Set Image as Alternate Image

Updating Image Asset

There are two key benefits in using the ‘Image Assets’

  1. Ability to drag and drop from project browser to apply image as an icon or alternate image
  2. Ability to update the image asset and also cascade the change across all diagrams where the image asset is used

You can ascertain the impact of modifying a Image Asset by using ‘Find In All Diagrams’ (Element Usage, similar to any other element usage)

Image Asset Usage

Figure 5 Image Asset – Usage

Summary

Using the new enhanced ‘Custom Diagram’ and ‘Image Asset’ of EA 15, I’ve created a deployment diagram (below) which was in-par with a graphic rich diagram created using any drawing tool, at the same time retaining the benefits of a modelling repository.

Prolaborate Architecture Diagram

Figure 6 Prolaborate Architecture Diagram created using EA 15 Image Assets

Published in Tutorials

As of today, Sparx Systems will be offering Prolaborate as a core component of The Pro Cloud Server. Prolaborate leverages the model data in Enterprise Architect to allow the wider user community to analyze, interact and make key decisions.

 

 ProlaborateAccess

For more information, please read the official press release on the Joint Venture between Sparx Systems and Sixth Force.

 

 

Published in News

5 reasons why web based sharing and collaboration is imperative for modeling teams.

Enterprise Architect offers a wide spectrum of modeling solutions that lets users capture all
facets of an IT landscape. The models are rich, comprehensive and greatly helps in articulating key
answers to business queries. This article shows 5 key reasons why web based sharing and
collaboration maximizes the value of these models.

Acceptance from the business community - Models in Enterprise Architect convey pivotal information
to business users. Sharing a selected view of the model with focused information lets business users
conveniently view the live information. This maximizes acceptance of models as the key source
for due diligence. See how a business user can view models by clicking a link
View Live Diagram

Minimize Learning Curve - Viewing simplified views of models over web browsers and iPads greatly
reduces the learning curve in getting accustomed to a new modeling tool. The business users gets to
see what is relevant for them. Simple, modern web interfaces allows quick understanding and
fosters engagement significantly. A targeted set of diagrams can be shown in a
Thumbnail View a
customized
User Dashboards to let the business users quickly navigate their way around.

Simple and Focused - Models are comprehensive, which also makes it overloaded with information.
Simplifying an end users view is highly imperative to convey the right details. Prolaborate, is a web
sharing software for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, allowing the creation of simplified portals for users.

This can be used to define highly curated views on any part of the model. See how a process diagram and its details are
simplified
Process Diagram

Instant Feedback and Updates - Enterprise Architect diagrams are created to answer key user queries or demands.
Such finished diagrams are usually printed in Word documents and the review comments are
gathered in Excel. A live sharing platform like Prolaborate lets modelers and end-users to view live
Enterprise Architect diagrams, share Feedback on live diagrams, and also get the changes updated instantly. This
greatly reduces the turnaround time and improves agility.
Participate in Review


Keep them Notified - Another significant challenge in keeping the users notified of new discussions,
model changes, review comments, approvals, rejections etc is also addressed by the web sharing
solutions. Social media like discussion portals, instant notifications, email notifications, daily
summary and much more lets users to be always informed of key events from the team.
Learn more
on Notifications


Prolaborate, powered by Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server, is a sharing and collaboration software for Enterprise Architect that allows these models to be conveniently shared to non-modeling community.

To know more on how you can enable collaborative modeling please visit www.prolaborate.com or
write to
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Published in White Papers