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.
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.
2. 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.
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.
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
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/)