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Topics - Ian Mitchell

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General Board / Icons on Artifacts
« on: October 11, 2017, 07:01:03 pm »
I just dropped an 'Artifact' element on a diagram, and gave it a stereotype of 'decision', and was a bit surprised when EA helpfully gave it a little green diamond next to the 'artifact' icon.
This makes me wonder, are there other icons which EA might put there if I choose other stereotypes for my Artifact? Does anyone know? Sadly, I don't have an infinite number of monkeys to try out all possible stereotypes, so I wonder if @Sparx know ?
Not a world-changing feature, but still enjoyable..

General Board / 13.5 reviews - set reviewers
« on: July 20, 2017, 07:31:34 pm »
I'm looking into the new 13.5 Review mechanism.
I can see how to set the 'what' to review, the 'when', but not the 'who'? Is there some way to say who I want to do the review? Or is there some existing way to do this ? Confession - I've not used EA Element or Team reviews before....

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Repository.ImportRASAsset
« on: January 24, 2017, 04:34:19 am »
The release notes of 1308 announce a new API: Repository.ImportRASAsset.
Has anyone tried this?
The Help seems to be silent on the subject, and I just don't have time to do the reverse-engineering to find out what the API does.

Or even if it really exists .

See item,36058.0.html
The use of nvarchar(max) as a data type seems to have some bad effects, at least in my setup.
Tried with SQL Server 214 and SQl Server 2016 - they both show the same issue with the nvarchar(max) data type

General Board / SQl Server 2016 anyone?
« on: September 12, 2016, 07:45:36 pm »
I'm just setting up a new server, and I'm seeing a REALLY strange error: the 'Notes' field won't update.
This is an all-new machine, with Microsoft server 2012, and SQL Server 2016 - first time I have used this.
Setup is otherwise the same on an existing machine - which works - and the new one - which has the above error.
- both have EA 12.1 Ultimate
- both use SQL server
- both using the same repository content.

So I can create new elements/diagrams/packages on the new server, and I can update the simple fields : name, phase, difficulty etc, but not the Notes. If the Notes pane is open (the one which is separate from the Properties page) then I can see my update to the Notes. but as soon as I switch to another element, then back again, the update is lost.
I even tried updating the database directly, and those updates don't show up back in EA. It's as if EA just can't process Notes fields. Same thing happens with Notes on Attributes & Operations: updates just don't work, so it's not specific to t_object: t_atribute and t_method show the same effect.

This may not be relevant, but I notice that, between SQL Server 2014 and 2016, the datatype of all the Note fields has changed from nText (SQL 2014) to nvarchar(Max) (SQL 2016), but Mr. Google says that they are backwards compatible. And the EA setup script specifies [Note] nvarchar(max), so it seems that SQl Server 2014 makes this into nText datatype.

Has anyone else seen anything like this? I really need this server for a customer demo, and it's driving me crazy...

General Board / Cloning children
« on: August 03, 2016, 12:58:46 am »
Using EA v13 build 1303, and no, this is not the start of a moral debate on child cloning....
The 'clone element' function in v13 works with no surprises when the item being cloned is a child of a package.
(Package) Original Package
--diagram 1
--element 1

Cloned to become:
(package) Cloned Original Package
--diagram1 (clone, empty)

I then drop element1 onto the cloned diagram1, and get EA to create a clone of element1, as a child of (package) Cloned Original Package:
(package) Cloned Original Package
--diagram1 (clone)
--element1 (clone)

So far, so good. No surprises.

So what about if I create a child of element1, and repeat the process:
(Package) Original Package
--diagram 1
--element 1
----element1.1 (child of element1)

Question is, what do we expect to happen when we clone element1 now? Do we clone its children as well? ALL of them? And their children?
If element1 is a BPMN process, then it will have children which are lanes/pools, which in turn will have lots of child activities, events etc: a BIG structure.

But what's the alternative? If we don't clone all the children, then EA seems to get confused, and won't clone the children AT ALL (bug reported).

So if I want to create a new version of a process, how should it be done? I think a 'deep clone' (all children) makes sense, but I'm really not sure what I expect.

Ideas please!

Does anyone know if it's possible to detect when an element is an EA 'embedded element', that is, and element of a type which cannot be dropped onto a diagram ? I've looked through all the obvious attributes of the element, and nothing says 'I'm an  embedded element'.

Has anyone got the "Copy to clipboard" (for a package) and 'paste from clipboard' to work in V13 Beta?
'Copy to Clipboard' is there, but when I copy a package, the 'paste elements(s) from clipboard' option is grayed-out.

Has something changed in the V13 menu handling?
In V12, when the user chooses an extension menu from the main EA menu, then EA_GetMenuItems passes menuLocation = "MainMenu"
In V13, it's passing menuLocation = "Diagram", but this seems to be a transient effect. Sometimes, I get another random menu, other times, just a top-level menu with no sub-menu items. EA may be passing the type of thing I have selected in the Project Browser, but even then not reliably, and EA12 didn't do that.
This is repeatable - when I go back to V12, all is well.
Please can someone have a look at this.

General Board / EA13 Sweeper and 'HV Lock'
« on: June 13, 2016, 10:15:47 pm »
A few new menu options have appeared in V13, which don't seem to have any help - odd, as they are in the 'Helpers' bit of the 'Layout' ribbon.
  • What does 'sweeper' do (and please don't say 'sweep'
  • And 'HV Lock'

I'm trying to figure out how to create an EA chart (bar chart etc) using the EA API, and there doesn't seem to be any obvious support for it.
Nor can I even find where in the EA database the definition of the example charts is saved.
Does anyone have any experience of creating charts this way ?

General Board / Archimate2 Metatypes and SQL
« on: March 24, 2016, 07:45:00 pm »
My customer is using Archimate2, and has a large model, developed over many EA releases.
They are now seeing some pain from how Archimate_Location elements are stored, as their model has saved them in two ways, and we don't know why.
Looking in the database, some Archimate_Location elements have Object_type="Class", some have Object_type="Location".
Has something changed across EA releases? This seems possible because when opening the properties of a 'Class' style element, then closing it (without changing any data), it got saved back in the database with object_type='Location', and a new 'modified date'.
This would normally not be a problem, because the UI makes everything look OK, but our model-quality analyser is flagging errors because we have the same 'thing' stored in two ways.
Has anyone seen this before?
Also, when I run a query to find these things in a test repository with a few brand-new Archimate_Location instances, the SQL seems to vary the results I get: for some queries, the object_type='Class' , for others object_type='location'. Sometimes both IN THE SAME QUERY. The Object_Type just seems to randomly say 'Class' or 'Location'.

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Another error using SQL
« on: March 14, 2016, 10:24:25 pm »
Trying to use the the SQL:
" Select, Object_Type, Stereotype, COUNT(*) from T_OBJECT  "
 group by, Object_Type, Stereotype "
(which finds duplicate elements in a model)
  • Works fine in the model search with EAP file
  • Works fine called via Repository.SQLQuery to EAP file
  • Works fine in a model search with mySQL
  • Doesn't work with Repository.SQLQuery in mySQL
..and the error is the one so often mentioned in this forum:
Error: Code = 0x0 Source Line: 0; Char : 0, Error Description = (null).

This is an especially nasty error because (a) it's very unhelpful and (b) keeps repeating until the use crashes EA.
Other forum items suggest changing the SQL a bit, but this really is what I need the query to look like. About the only change possible is to change the select(*) to a select(Name), but that doesn't work either.
Does anyone have an ideas either (a) how to get around this or (b) how to get more helpful error message from EA ?

General Board / When is an instance not an Object?
« on: February 20, 2016, 02:04:07 am »
When we create EA Instances of EA things (Class, Use case, Actor etc) then EA creates a new entry in t_object, with Object_Type = "Object", and an instance classifier which points to the relevant 'thing'.
But when I create an instance of a 'DeploymentSpecification', I get the correct instance classifier pointer, but the instance 'thing' has an object_type="DeploymentSpecification", not "Object".
Are there other EA meta-types which create instances which aren't "Objects"?
Seems like the only way to distinguish between an instance and a 'thing' is the presence of the instance classifier, but that doesn't seem quite right....
If this a bug?
Or a feature?

Suggestions and Requests / Improve speed of forum searches
« on: November 07, 2012, 02:50:20 am »
Could Sparx possibly buy a bigger server for the forum searches? Mine usually specify 'all time periods' and each search seems to take several minutes to run - not a great user experience, but one which should be relatively easy to fix.

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