A Controlled Package is a Package configured to save and load in XML format to a named file; the XML output is UML 1.3 compliant XMI, with Enterprise Architect extensions to support diagrams and additional model elements. Controlled Packages are a powerful means of 'externalizing' parts of an Enterprise Architect model.
Package XML is standard XMI-compliant output that can be loaded into any XML viewer, or used by any XML-based tool to perform manipulations and extracts, such as document or code generators.
Controlled Packages appear in the Project Browser with a small colored rectangle to the left of the Package icon, as shown for the CIM Package:
Using Controlled Packages you can support:
- Widely distributed development by having team members submit Packages in the form of XML for import into a central Enterprise Architect repository
- Version control, by writing model elements in XML text files suitable for version control using standard version control software
Using XMI this way, you can manually connect to third-party version control software outside the Enterprise Architect environment; Enterprise Architect internally supports the configuration of version control through SCC and CVS
- Import and export of model elements between different models
For example, a Class library can be re-used in many models and kept up to date in target models using Controlled Packages, reloading Packages as required when new versions of the Class model become available