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Friday, 19 February 2016 12:00

Define a shared EA project in Microsoft Azure SQL Database Cloud services

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Microsoft AzuRE DB Cloud Services with Sparx Enterprise Architect

This article provides guidance on setting up a Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect modelling project in the Cloud, using Microsoft Azure SQL Database services.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database (formerly SQL Azure, SQL Server Data Services, SQL Services, Windows Azure SQL Database) is a cloud-based service from Microsoft offering data-storage capabilities (similar to Amazon Relational Database Service) as a part of the Azure Services Platform (Source: wikipedia).

As regards an Azure SQL Database is very similar to a Microsoft SQL Server database, supported by Sparx Enterprise Architect. A few tweaks were needed a while ago, however Sparx Systems has since released an Azure version which works well.

Context

We started a distributed project involving partners from several locations, hence working remotely. In order to set up a centralised database that can be easily accessed and maintained, we chose Microsoft Azure SQL services.

We tested the following services by increasing the DTU levels (Database Transaction Units).

  • We started with the Basic option (5 DTU): KO, too slow.
  • S0 option (10 DTU): KO, too slow for a daily use.
  • S1 option (20 DTU): OK, chosen option with the best performance/cost ratio.
  • S2 option (50 DTU): OK with a slight improvement over Q1 which did not however support the increased cost.

Requirements

Below are the requirements prior to transfer an existing Enterprise Architect project in the Microsoft database cloud-based service:

  • Create an Azure SQL Database where the modelling project data will be stored (note: a database is required for each EA project).
    • Once available, details should include a server url (e.g. abcd.database.windows.net), port (e.g. 1433), and credentials (username + password).
  • Download and install SQL Server Management Studio.
  • Download and install SQL Server ODBC drivers (if not already available).
  • Download SQL scripts provided by Sparx Systems to create the required Enterprise Architect repository tables:

Setting up the database tables

The first step involves creating the tables where the EA project data will be stored.

  •  Open the SQL Server Management Studio, and provide the Azure SQL database details.

microsoft management studio azure enterprise architect cloud

  • Open the "SQLAzure_EASchema.sql" file downloaded from Sparx Systems web site.

microsoftsql database azure enterprise architect cloud run schema script sparx

  • Execute the query against your database and wait for the Successful confirmation notification.

microsoftsql database azure enterprise architect cloud completed schema script sparx

  • Refresh the Object Explorer to view Enterprise Architect tables.

microsoft sql database azure enterprise architect cloud object explorer

Transferring your project to Microsoft Azure SQL Database

You're ready to transfer data from your existing Enterprise Architect project, whether it is stored in a local EAP file, or shared in a centralised DBMS. In the following example, a local EAP file is transferred:

  • Open Enterprise Architect, menu Project | Data Management | Project Transfer
  • Select "File to DBMS" transfer type.
  • In Source Project, select the local EAP file.
  • In Target Project, click on the [...] button to access the ODBC settings
    • Select the SQL Server driver > click Next
    • Provide the Azure SQL database details

microsoft SQL database azure enterprise architect cloud odbc

  •  Click OK; the project transfer is ready to be launched.

microsoft management studio azure enterprise architect project transfer

  • The transfer may take some time to complete (it could around 15 minutes to transfer my project). Please wait for the confimation message to be displayed.

Your Enterprise Architect project is now centralized and available to all team members who have suitable credentials. Specific guidelines to set up ODBC access are recommended to reduce the time required setting up each user's PC.

It is also recommended to enable "EA Security" feature where users can create locks to access and update models.

Read 9557 times Last modified on Sunday, 21 February 2016 22:10
Guillaume

Guillaume Finance

VISEO (Sparx EA Expert, OMG OCSMP Model User certified)
 
Modelling consultant and expert on Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect modelling tool and solution, I'm helping clients with the model-based approach using standards for a number of contexts including:
- Software analysis, design and architecture with UML.
- Systems Engineering and MBSE with SysML.
- Enterprise Architecture, IT landscape with UML or ArchiMate.
- Business processes with BPMN.
My other activities include:
- Defining and maintaining the model repository including requirements, analysis and design for software projects.
- Remote support and expertise on Sparx Enterprise Architect modelling.
- Running training sessions on UML or SysML with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.
- Installation and configuration of Prolaborate web solution for Sparx EA.
 
I publish articles and news about modelling languages and Enterprise Architect on my blog www.umlchannel.com, maintain eaUtils free addin: www.eautils.com, and I participate in the European EA User Group events www.eausergroup.com
Contact details: guillaume[at]umlchannel.com

www.umlchannel.com

2 comments

  • Comment Link Jim Budde Tuesday, 05 December 2017 23:06 posted by Jim Budde

    Phil,

    To answer your question, this is a Azure SQL Database (i.e. SQL Server as a service), *NOT* a VM with SQL installed (it may seem confusing when you are setting it up in Azure as you still need to specify a server, but you yourself are not installing SQL server on a VM).

    I just set this up last week and transferred a medium sized EA file (~50MB) to a SQL DB running in Azure with the stated S1 resources. While the transfer took much more time than I expected, it did work and I had to be patient and anytime a message popped up, I simply chose to let EA try and finish (running SQL scripts to make sure row counts were increasing helps put you at ease as well). Since the transfer took so much time, I was afraid performance in the tool would suffer, but much like this blog says, it didn't, performance in the tool is fine (even from coffee shops!)

    The one thing this blog did not touch on is the likelihood of having to configure security settings on the SQL database. When you select the SQL database in your azure portal page, at the top of the main content area, make sure to select "Set server Firewall" and enter the IP addresses or range of IP addresses clients will connect from.

    Hope that helps.

    -Jim Budde

  • Comment Link philchudley Tuesday, 19 September 2017 10:42 posted by philchudley

    Hi

    Good article, can you confirm whether you used Azure SSQL as a service, or a VM setup on Azure?

    Thanks

    Phil Chudley

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