Enterprise Architect version 14.0

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Tuesday, 18 September 2018 11:16

EA User Group London 2018 feedback

EA User Group London 2018

This year’s London EA User Group took place at the Skills Matters Code Node venue. It has been enjoyable and useful to discuss and share experiences with users via this unique dedicated SparxSystems Enterprise Architect event.

This article shares some feedback on the following presentations:

  • Keynote on Enterprise Architect 14 by Peter Lieber.
  • Model Driven Enterprise Knowledge with Gemalto GMOD platform by David Faus.
  • My presentation on scripting with Enterprise Architect.

Keynote: Sparx Enterprise Architect 14

The keynote was an opportunity to discover some of the new features available in Enterprise Architect 14. Having started evaluating version 14 since its beta release, this presentation saved me time as I received an overview of the relevant enhancements.

A new checklist artifact is available from the common toolbox.

01 sparx enterprise architect 14 checklist artefact

Once created, items can be added alongside their Boolean status (checked: true or false).

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 create checklist artefact

Result:

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 checklist result

Other rendering options are available:

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 checklist result

EA 14 has introduced the EAPX file extension, as an alternative to local EAP files, matching a Jet4 engine database. Jet4 EA projects can be created in previous EA versions within an EAP file. EAPX are useful since it is explicitly tied with Jet4 engine (this format provides enhancements on the database capacities). Note that EAPX files can be opened with earlier EA versions.

A new Cloud tab is available in the CONFIGURE > Options menu (note: the following options are available in EA 13.5).

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 cloud options

The above Data Cache option can be enabled to create images of each diagram in the EA project database when saved in EA. These images can be used and rendered in external solutions via SparxSystems Pro Cloud Server. A create batch feature is available to generate all diagrams images.

Perspectives in EA 14 can be used to enable only the notations or languages that are relevant to the current use and context. The built-in Systems Engineering\SysML perspective can be enabled for instance so users only work with SysML 1.5 elements and diagrams, and will never come across other SysML versions, or UML, BPMN, ArchiMate and so son. Custom perspectives can be defined to select a range of technologies e.g. UML and BPMN. Note: I find perspectives very useful to scale down EA features to the ones that are needed by users through a built-in feature (instead of custom XML or registry updates by the company IT services). The Model Wizard has been redesigned in EA14; in EA 13.5 and earlier versions, it was mainly used to generate Model Patterns.

EA 14 Model Wizard runs in a view (not a popup) with redesigned model patterns. First of all, the available patterns are displayed for the selected perspective, e.g. UML, Business with BPMN, Systems Engineering with SysML, Enterprise Architecture with ArchiMate, etc.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 model pattern

Where the previous patterns generated a full structure with samples in each model e.g. class, use case, and so on, the logic here is to individually select and add model patterns to the local project. Patterns may include several packages, elements and diagrams.
For each pattern, a nicely illustrated explanation on the purpose is available, enhancing the usability and value delivered by Model Patterns.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 model pattern

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 model pattern

EA 14 Model Patterns also include a new Process Guidance tab as an addition to EA Help. It creates a step by step process via an activity diagram e.g. to create a central database EA repository in MySQL as illustrated below.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 process guidance

The element properties have been integrated within views to replace the pop-up properties window. For elements, additional views provide access to the attributes, operations, etc.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 element properties

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 features properties

Also available as a view, the diagram properties now display the Diagram GUID which can be useful:

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 diagram properties

The Compartments tab provides access to the elements visibility properties. Note: I would expect in the future to have all diagram properties in this view e.g. Features, Connectors properties.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 diagram properties

The Diagram properties include new MetaModel options, linked with MetaModel Views, both introduced in EA 14. This Views system is aimed at restricting the available elements and connections from the diagram toolbox. MetaModel Views are either built-in or user defined (note: user defined views can be useful to combine stereotyped elements and built-in elements such as a UML class, use case and actor).

When creating a diagram, a list of built-in views is available under the diagram type, for instance a UML Class diagram illustrated below:

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 new diagram metamodel

The resulting toolbox is different from the default UML class diagram.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 new toolbox metamodel

This selection sets the “Applied to Metamodel” diagram option.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 applied to metamodel

In addition to the toolbox content, the Filter to Metamodel diagram property is now available: when set, this option will grey out all elements that are not in the current Metamodel as illustrated below.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 filter to metamodel

Another new option is the Display Lock Element Status: when enabled, locked elements will be visible accordingly on the diagram.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 diagram properties display lock element status

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14 diagram properties display lock element status

smart placement feature is now available to dynamically visualize the selected element’s alignment.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 14smart placement

Model Driven Enterprise Knowledge

Note: the following summary has been written by its author and speaker, David Faus (Gemalto).

Our goal was to build enterprise knowledge repositories based on models in several business units in Gemalto. The following diagram shows our strategy coming from the well-known Nonanaka and Takeuchi knowledge management theory:

gmod uc method gemalto sparx enterprise architect

We successfully used SPARX to build our model based KM platform called GMOD (Gemalto MODeling).

To deploy our “GMOD” adaptation of the Nonaka and Takeuchi approach, we used:

  • The EA MDG to implement the “UC” method which I have been building during the last 25 years. This method is quite innovative because it is based on several domains (graphical user interface specification methods, functional analysis and also Object Oriented Programming), and is customer oriented: that means everyone is able, in few minutes of explanation, to understand a UC model.
  • The EA client server architecture to allow all team members to produce UC models in parallel, what is finally relevant when building a huge model oriented knowledge base. The first big success we had was the delivery of the GBPR (Gemalto Business Process Repository): All Gemalto corporate business processes are now published and maintained thru GMOD.
  • The EA java API to implement the Gemalto “SPARX Companion Tool”. This tool is complementing SPARX EA functionalities by adding reporting features, UC model integrity check, one click deployment web service…
  • The Gemalto FAST & Easy knowledge management platform. This platform is based on the concept of patrimonial archiving. It is used to index any important UC diagrams produced thru GMOD. This is possible because the “SPARX Companion Tool” generates static URLs for diagrams.

As a conclusion, we are now able to retrieve model oriented knowledge by simply using a Google like search engine. Our next goal is to focus on the support functions and provide some knowledge base composed by hundreds of comprehensible use cases helpful at any level and anywhere in the company. 

Extending EA with custom scripts to cater for specific needs and user requests

It was my pleasure to be selected for the third time this year as a speaker. I offered to share my experience on defining scripts in EA over the past years to extend the tool’s features e.g. via custom Excel import/exports, save users' time in avoiding repetitive or time consuming tasks, etc.

The full presentation content is available from SlideShare.

Below is a summary with selected slides to illustrate the topics:

  • Enterprise Architect can be greatly customized to cater for a client or project, and it includes creating features using the API from scripts, add-ins, Excel macros, etc.
  • Where EA already provides numerous features, there is still a need to create additional ones as illustrated below.

sparxsystems enterprise architect scripting api excel

  • The choice of using Scripting was supported by the need to frequently update and deploy new versions to a large group of users.

 sparxsystems enterprise architect api options script addin macros

  •  Having introduced the different types of scripts (project browser, diagram, normal), I discussed the need to apply naming conventions so users can clearly find the appropriate script to run.

sparxsystems enterprise architect script naming conventions vb

  • The usual way to use EA API is to call methods from the Object Model, e.g. get an element’s parent package element with the following VBScript method call: set parentPkg = Repository.GetPackageByID(curElement.PackageID).

sparxsystems enterprise architect api method object model

  • Alternatively SQL queries can be used …
    • To run complex queries.
    • To select specific elements, preventing time consuming loops.
    • To address performance issues related. Replacing a method call with SQL update reduced the execution time for ~1000 attributes from 120 minutes down to 4 minutes.
  •  SQL queries can be used on the Repository object methods:
    • Repository.GetElementSet(query,2) : returns a collection of EA elements according to the SQL query
    • Repository.SQLQuery(query) : returns an XML formatted string value (SELECT queries only)
    • Repository.Execute(query) : runs a query (UPDATE/DELETE/INSERT)
  • Care should be taken when running UPDATE/DELETE/INSERT queries as it can delete or break the model.
  • Moving on Scripts helpers, I shared ways to address issues both from the developer and user perspective.
  • Below is the publication process that has been defined (illustrated via the first demo on EA).

sparxsystems enterprise architect script publication helper

  • With some scripts requiring to select a source or target folder to process or generate files, a common script feature made it possible to suggest the previously selected folder. Other users’ script helpers are illustrated below and were demonstrated in EA.

enterprise architect scripting helper

  • Geert Bellekens’ free EA-Matic add-in has been used to automatically trigger scripts based on configured events e.g. before creating a connector.

enterprise architect scripting tip helpers

  • Having shared a few hints, I completed the presentation with a demonstration of custom scripts defined for a number of clients.

enterprise architect scripting excel export mapping migrate

Note: this article is available in French here.

Published in Events

Building Smart Cities on Standards

 
Sparx Systems Supports Development of the Building Information Model (BIM)
 
BIM promises significant benefits to the building and construction industry and heralds the rise of Smart Cities. It is industry disruption and innovation writ large.
 
BIM captures the full integrated lifecycle of the built environment, with the people and the services it delivers. Future built spaces will be digital, tracking how and the extent to which buildings and other infrastructure are used, while improving asset performance, optimising operation and reducing cost.
 
“Data and communication flow between BIM and GIS systems is fundamental to the successful convergence of the two domains, which will require a mechanism to link them. To this effect, the conceptual mapping standard B2GM is currently being standardised by ISO TC/211 as ISO 19166”, said Knut Jetlund, a standardisation expert and Chair of the Harmonised Model Management Group (HMMG). 
 
At its 26th Plenary Meeting held at Copenhagen in May 2008, the ISO/TC 211 Technical Committee decided to maintain its geospatial reference models using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect – an industry leading visual modeling platform. More than a decade later Sparx Systems support for the HMMG continues. Today, Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server enables cloud collaboration, opening the entire standards development community to the modeling effort, with  secure access for discussion and review.
 
 "Enterprise Architect is a very powerful tool to make the digital model in the standard. With this tool, you can design model views of various perspectives and effectively communicate with stakeholders related to use cases. Without Enterprise Architect, it would be difficult to have the sufficient level of information model required by ISO" said Dr. Tae-wook, Kang, a BIM subject matter expert, researcher and author at the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology and who is leading the ISO 19166 development project. 
Dr.Kang is also Director in Object-Oriented Design/Analysis and CAD Engineering Software Development with extensive experience in the full life cycle of the research and software process.
 
“As the range of stakeholder interest in the development of standards widens and increases the  requirements challenge for the standards developer, it is both best practice and practically essential to use the best visual modeling platforms available”, noted Ken Harkin, Head of Strategic Relations at Sparx Systems.
He added that “Standards being developed today must be flexible and able to withstand and adapt to fast changing market technologies and associated processes. Through every day use by standards development teams in many industries that are converging and continuous user feedback from a diverse global market, standards developers can be assured of the current and evolving industrial strength of  Enterprise Architect.”
 
 
 
About Sparx Systems:
Sparx Systems is a global software company specializing in high performance, visual modeling platforms for planning, designing and constructing software-intensive systems. Sparx platforms are used by systems designers, corporate planners, business analysts, enterprise architects, standards developers and software engineers. Sparx modeling software is widely used in finance, defense, government, aerospace, automotive engineering, geospatial, entertainment, health, smart grid, aviation, retail and telecommunications.
Sparx Systems' flagship modeling platform, Enterprise Architect, provides robust support for team-wide collaboration, and can scale up from single-user deployment to teams with hundreds of local and remote collaborators. With more than 750,000 effective users globally and 80% of Fortune 100 firms owning licenses, Enterprise Architect is an essential platform for the most complex of projects.
 
Recipient of multiple industry awards, Sparx Systems is highly regarded in the industry for the delivery of scalable, robust and affordable digital transformation software solutions. Sparx software is price competitive even when deployed across the entire development team. First developed in 1998, the Sparx Systems' Enterprise Architect modeling platform was commercially released in 2000, and has enjoyed more than 15 years of continuous development and growth.
 
For media enquiries, please contact:
 
Scott Hebbard, 
Communcations Manager
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
All trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
 

Please read the attached PDF to learn more.

Published in News

Sparx Systems has released Enterprise Architect 14. Sparx Systems have added various new features in this version.

It is high time for Enterprise Architect users to upgrade from Enterprise Architect 13.5 to Enterprise Architect 14. We thought a guide with list of menus, frequently used by EA practitioners would be very helpful. This ultimate guide focuses highly up on how to access those frequently used options from menu bars along with some shortcuts. Since there are many changes in menus for frequently used options like Package Baseline, Export/Import of XMI, Linked Documents and others. Below table shows comparison between Enterprise Architect 13.5 and Enterprise Architect 14. 

Enterprise Architect Features

Version

Enterprise Architect 13.5

Enterprise Architect 14

Start

Project Browser (Alt + 0)

Start | Browser

Start | Browse | Project Browser

Preferences / Settings (Ctrl + F9)

Start | Preferences

Start | Preferences

Menu Customize

Start | Preferences | Customize

Start | Visual Style | Customize

Summary

Start | Summary

Start | Properties | Summary

Resources (Alt +6)

Start | Resources

Start | Browse | Resources

Notes (Ctrl + Shift + 1)

Start | Notes

Start | Properties | Notes

Tagged Values (Ctrl + Shift + 6)

Start | Tagged Values

Start | Properties | Tagged Values

Element Browser (Alt + 9)

Start | Element Browser

Start | Browse | Element Browser

Relationships (Ctrl + Shift + 2)

Start | Relationships

Start | Trace | Relationships

Element Properties (Alt + 1)

Start | Properties

Start | Properties

Find in Project (Ctrl + f)

Start | Search | Search In Model

Start | Search |Model

Workspace

Start | Perspectives

Start | Workspace

Visual Style

Start | Visual Style

Start | Visual Style

Perspective

Start | Perspectives

Start | Perspective

Design

Traceability (Ctrl + Shift + 4)

Design | Traceability

Start | Trace | Traceability

Relationship Matrix

Design | Matrix

Start | Trace | Relationship Matrix

Gap Analysis Matrix

Design | Gap Analysis

Start | Trace | Gap Analysis Matrix

Toolbox (Alt + 5)

Design | Toolbox

Design | Toolbox

Change Diagram Type

Design | Diagram | Manage | Change Type

Design | Diagram | Edit | Change Type

Specification View

Design | Specification View

Design | Specification

List View

Design | List View

Design | List

Gantt View

Design | Gantt View

Design | Gantt

Change Element Type

Design | Element | Manage | Change Type

Design | Element | Edit | Change Type

Layout

Diagram Layout

Layout | Diagram Layout

Layout | Diagram Layout

Pan and Zoom

Layout | Pan and Zoom

Layout | Pan and Zoom

Diagram Filter

Layout | Diagram Filters

Layout | Diagram Filters

Publish

Glossary (Alt + 2)

Publish | Glossary

Publish | Glossary

Import MDG Technology

Publish | Technology | Publish | Import MDG Technology

Specialize | Technologies | Publish | Import MDG Technology

Generate MDG Technology

Publish | Technology | Publish | Generate MDG Technology

Specialize | Technologies | Publish | Generate MDG Technology

Configure

Project Options

Configure | Options

Configure | Options

UML Types (Stereotypes / Tagged Values / Cardinality Values)

Configure | UML Types

Configure | UML Types

Project Types

Configure | Project Types

Configure | Project Types

Database Datatypes

Configure | Settings | Database Datatypes

Configure | Settings | Database Datatypes

Namespace Roots

Configure | Settings | Namespace Roots

Configure | Settings | Namespace Roots

Preprocessor Macros

Configure | Settings | Preprocessor Macros

Configure | Settings | Preprocessor Macros

Manage Technology

Configure | Technology | Manage

Specialize | Technologies | Manage

Manage Security

Configure | Security | Manage

Configure | Administer

Project Transfer

Configure | Transfer | Project Transfer

Configure | Transfer | Project Transfer

Export Reference Data

Configure | Transfer | Export Reference Data

Configure | Transfer | Export Reference Data

Import Reference Data

Configure | Transfer | Import Reference Data

Configure | Transfer | Import Reference Data

Enable Audit

Configure | Audit

Configure | Auditing

Project Integrity

Configure | Check Integrity | Project Integrity

Configure | Integrity Check | Project Integrity

Reset ID

Configure | Check Integrity | Reset IDs

Configure | Integrity Check | Reset IDs

Repair .EAP file

Configure | Check Integrity | Manage .EAP file | Repair .EAP file

Configure | Integrity Check | Manage .EAPX/.EAP file | Repair .EAPX/.EAP file

Compact .EAP file

Configure | Check Integrity | Manage .EAP file | Compact .EAP file

Configure | Integrity Check | Manage .EAPX/.EAP file | Compact .EAPX/.EAP file

Update .EAP file Indexes

Configure | Check Integrity | Manage .EAP file | Update .EAP file Indexes

Configure | Integrity Check | Manage .EAPX/.EAP file | Update .EAPX/.EAP file Indexes

Construct

Discussion

Construct | Discussion

Start | Discussions

Team Review

Construct | Team Review

Start | Reviews

Resource Allocation

Construct | Resources Allocation

Construct | Resources

Code

Code Templates

Code | Configure | Code Template Editor

Code | Options | Edit Code Templates

Code Engineering Datatypes

Code | Configure | Code Engineering Datatypes

Or

Configure | Settings | Code Engineering Datatypes

Code | Options | Configure Code Engineering Datatypes

Or

Configure | Settings | Database Datatypes

Import Source Code

Code | Import Code

Or

Package Context Menu | Code Engineering | Import Source Directory

Code | File | Import Directory

Scripting

Code | Scripting

Specialize | Scripting

Extend

Manage Add-ins

Extend | Manage Add-Ins

Specialize | Add-Ins | Manage

Others

Linked Document

Element Context Menu | Linked Document

Start | Properties | Linked Document

Export XMI

Package Context Menu | Import/Export | Export package to XMI file

Publish | Export XMI

Import XMI

Package Context Menu | Import/Export | Import package from XMI file

Publish | Import XMI

Apply Auto Naming to Elements

Package Context Menu | Advanced | Apply Auto Naming to Elements

Design | Edit | Advanced | Apply Auto Naming

Turn on Level Numbering

Package Context Menu | Advanced | Turn on Level Numbering

Design | Edit | Advanced | Toggle Level Numbering

Package Baseline - New

Package Context Menu |  Package Control | Package Baseline

Design | Edit | Manage Baselines | Manage Baselines

Package Control

Package Context Menu | Package Control | Configure

Or

Publish | Package Control | Configure

Publish | Package Control | Configure

Generate Source Code

Package Context Menu | Code Engineering | Generate Source Code

Code | Generate

Project Browser Search

Project Browser | Drop Down | Find in Project

Project Browser | Drop Down | Find in Project

Diagram Properties Dock

NA

Start | Properties

Context Browser (Alt + 0)

NA

Start | Browse | Context Browser

Dynamic Document

NA

Start | Properties | Dynamic Document

Inline Specification

NA

Design |  View As | Toggle Inline Specification View

 We highly appreciate your comments. Also comment if we missed to add any frequently used options. Drop your E-mail id as a comment to receive PDF of the same with other exciting enterprise architect 14 features.

 

Published in Tutorials

Enterprise Architect 14 and Sparx Services Australia

Come join us on the dates listed below as we celebrate the recent release of Enterprise Architect 14 and the establishment of Sparx Services Australia.

Register using the URL Below:

http://www.sparxsystems.com/press/event/register.html

 eauglogo.png

Enterprise Architect 14

Sparx Systems recently released Enterprise Architect 14, come and see first hand the latest and greatest in the release. Scott Hebbard, Communications Manager at Sparx Systems will walk through and answer any questions around the most notable features of the release.

Sparx Services Australia

Come meet the experts from Sparx Services Australia, Sparx Systems newest services arm. Listen to Stephen Maguire, Principal Consultant and Trainer of Sparx Services Australia and author of over 1000+ patterns in Enterprise Architect 14.

When and where

The event will be held at the following locations: 
  • Melbourne - Tuesday, 8th May, Rendezvous Hotel - 328 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Adelaide - Wednesday, 9th May, Grosvenor Hotel - 125 North Terrace, Adelaide 5000
  • Sydney - Wednesday, 9th May, Sydney Masonic Centre - 66 Goulburn Street Sydney NSW 2000
  • Canberra - Thursday, 10th May, Hellenic Club - Matilda Street, Woden ACT 2606

Entry is free but seats are limited, register today to avoid disappointment. Light refreshments will be provided. 

We invite you to register now!

 

Published in Events

Enterprise Architect 14 and Sparx Services Australia

Come join us on the dates listed below as we celebrate the recent release of Enterprise Architect 14 and the establishment of Sparx Services Australia.

Register using the URL Below:

http://www.sparxsystems.com/press/event/register.html

 eauglogo.png

Enterprise Architect 14

Sparx Systems recently released Enterprise Architect 14, come and see first hand the latest and greatest in the release. Scott Hebbard, Communications Manager at Sparx Systems will walk through and answer any questions around the most notable features of the release.

Sparx Services Australia

Come meet the experts from Sparx Services Australia, Sparx Systems newest services arm. Listen to Stephen Maguire, Principal Consultant and Trainer of Sparx Services Australia and author of over 1000+ patterns in Enterprise Architect 14.

When and where

The event will be held at the following locations: 
  • Melbourne - Tuesday, 8th May, Rendezvous Hotel - 328 Flinders Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Adelaide - Wednesday, 9th May, Grosvenor Hotel - 125 North Terrace, Adelaide 5000
  • Sydney - Wednesday, 9th May, Sydney Masonic Centre - 66 Goulburn Street Sydney NSW 2000
  • Canberra - Thursday, 10th May, Hellenic Club - Matilda Street, Woden ACT 2606

 

Entry is free but seats are limited, register today to avoid disappointment. Light refreshments will be provided. 

We invite you to register now!

 

Published in News