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Messages - Paolo F Cantoni

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1
General Board / Re: Default to not show connectors in other diagra
« on: May 25, 2018, 06:07:36 pm »
The tool offers support for this, via automation. We use scripts to 'tidy-up' context diagrams, so they show only the associations of the system of focus. I admit, it's something you have to build yourself but it is possible and not difficult!
Maybe a decade ago, I suggested that when a relationship is added, EA could pop up a dialog (similar to set visible relations) that determined which diagrams the new relationship might appear on, and you could deselect those that you didn't want it on.

It might be time to resurrect this concept.

Paolo

2
Bugs and Issues / Re: EA 14 Import DB fails
« on: May 24, 2018, 06:58:12 pm »
Hi,

I try to run an Import DB Schema in EA from an existing DB via an ODBC data source.
Once the Import starts, I get an 'Error retrieving table list' message when using EA 14 build 1420.

Running the same test in EA13.5 works fine.
Bu**er!  I was going to import a DB tomorrow.  Anyone else seeing this?  What is the DB Technology involved?

Paolo

3
I think you would render an event of Tiggers as having a top made out of rubber and a bottom made out of springs...

(And pay due reverence to the combined work of A A Milne and Walt Disney.)
and it's not yet Friday!  8)

Paolo

PS you can also use them for ArchiMate Zebedees...

4
Thanks.

it all seems to be in order. there is no duplicate stereotype in the UML Types options, I am somehow thinking this might be "Wild" - I see that MDG TV's are also added to the t_xref table. Also that the t_xref record includes the tag details in the description
[myTag]D4F0310E-E861-2fe8-B98D[/myTag]-E17A6212FB46}  -- does anyone know what the Client and this embedded tag relate to in the database, I could not find anything?

Cheers
What's the Name and Type of these t_xref entries?

Paolo

5
Hi All,  First let me say THANKS for all the great help and advice.  I think I need a bit of time to go through all of this and make a call.  The reason I prefer VB.net is that I have at TON of EA automation "helpers" written VB.NET as separate executables to do all kinds of stuff and have gotten to know the EA API quite well. That includes this crazy thing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpvqeNLQnxQ) that I wrote about 2 years ago that I use all the time in my work.  Much of what I do involves interchanging data with MS Excel (both reading from Excel and writing to it).  In that world, it helps a lot to use a language similar to Excel VBA, so VB.Net works better for me for that reason, too.  Plus, I'm just old, and I don't want to change my ways!   8)

I can do C# if I need to and maybe I just need to eat my spinach in this case and get on with it (or maybe I don't).    I'll let you all know how I get on, but thanks again for all the help!
I hear you.  When interacting with MS office, we tend to use VBA - we have some libraries that we build on top of and so it makes it relatively easy.
We have our diagrammer Add-In in C#
We started to use JScript for scripts but found VBScript allowed us to leverage our investments in VBA.  There was also the issue of how to specify ByRef parameters in JScript (which we couldn't).

I, too, am old.  But fortunately, people tell me I look 10 years younger.

PAolo

6
And it is MUCH easier to hide a connector that you can see than show a connector that you can't see. If you open a diagram and see that a new connector has suddenly appeared, that means that there is new information in the model that the person who created the diagram wasn't aware of. If it belongs in the diagram, great; if it doesn't, hide it. Better that than opening a diagram and not knowing if there is new information that may need to be shown.

That's certainly pragmatic.  The ArchiMate shapescript is probably the second or third worst in the base product, but the most worked on by your more knowledgeable customer base.  It would equally be as pragmatic to ask for their improvements and fold them into the product.
One thing we've toyed with is a "widget" to indicate that there are hidden relationships on the diagram. It's easy enough to run a query (behind the scenes ) to determine if there are hidden relationships on a diagram and add/remove the widget as appropriate.  Obviously, it would be better if it was automagical.

"Information: This diagram has hidden relationships.  You may be missing some information.  To see which relationships are hidden, use the "Set Visible Relationships" dialog [Ctrl+Shift+I]"

Paolo

7
Sounds reasonable. 

Can you give examples of how the macros would be used?  Your QuickLinker line and the resultant text on the QuickLinker menu?

What other objects might get placeholders (besides origin/destination element name)?

Paolo

8
But it would indeed be a great help if a locked diagram was ... locked(!). And it should be a very minor and simple change in Sparx.

That's a diagram centric view, not a model-centric view.  A diagram is a representation of a number of elements in the model.  Elements that can belong to anyone, not just the creator of the diagram.
As Glassboy says, the diagram is merely a specific view into the underlying model.  The question of derived relationships is also more complex than ArchiMate proposes.  And regardless of EA's internal architecture, as qwerty says "definitely not that simple"

In our methodology, we distinguish between at least 4 types of derived (from canonical) relationships:
By Traversal - the "classic" ArchiMate mechanism: grandparent_of(x) => parent_of(parent_of(x))
By Union - the aggregation of a number of separate semantics between the same two classifiers:  knows(x) => parent_of(x) | child_of(x) | works_with(x) | is_friends_with(x) | (etc.)
By Projection - a binary relationship that is a "projection" of an n-ary relationship (usually an Association).
By Generalization - where the derived relationship is the Generalization of the relevant canonical relationships (whether by reverse inheritance or reverse restriction).  Typically, this is because one of the relationship ends of the derived relationship is a Generalization of the appropriate ends of the canonical relationship. 

Any given derived relationship can be a combination of the above if more than one traversal is involved.

In addition, there is the problem of explicit versus implicit "Association". 

Explicit Association is where we REALLY mean the classical Associative Relationship - an n-ary (typically binary) relationship with defined multiplicity at the destination AssociationEnd.  This specifies the number of instances of the destination classifier (under that AssociationEnd) for each instance of the origin classifier under the semantics (via name) of the Association.

Implicit association (on the other hand) is like the "association" (note the small "a"), that Lise Gerd Pedersen mentioned.  What we in Oz would call the "Clayton's association"  (aka "the association you have when you don't have an Association").  These types of "associations" are not explicit (as above). Instead, they represent an unspecified relationship between the two classifiers, but since ArchiMate doesn't have the «Unspecified» relationship, they fell back on "association".  However, since you can't specify the explicit semantics of the relationship (and therefore you can't name it); by the Bjelke-Petersen "Duck Test" - it's not a duck ("Association").

Our shapescripts handle derivation in a consistent way, indicating the types of derivation and providing consistent rendering (so that it's clear on the diagram that the relationship is derived).  In addition, with the recent ability to have relationships between relationships, we can explicitly model which relationships are involved in any specific derivation.

So, the decision of whether or not to render the derived relationship is highly dependent upon the viewpoint and the specific view of the diagram.  I don't think it can be automated.

Paolo

9
(Re-)Install V13.5. Rename the program folder from EA to EA13.5. Install V14. You can launch V13.5 directly from program files/EA13.5/EA.exe

The same way you can keep as many EA versions as you want.

q.
We also take the precaution of renaming the .exe we don't want to be the "default" to something other than EA.exe.

We also sometimes use multiple instances of the same version to help with our large overnight processing tasks - each .exe has it's own name so we can figure out who's doing what.

Paolo

10
We end up with this more often than needed. But EA's way to handle free stereotypes (not associated with any Technology) causes an entry to be added in local model for anything that EA identifies as a mismatch to the list of available MDGs
As a routine check, the first thing in resolving any anomaly is to remove these auto-created local stereotypes.
As part of our "overnight" processing of our corporate repository, we have a background SQL query to find and remove those "local" stereotypes.

Paolo

11
For layouttype="border" there are two arguments: name and location. For other layout types, there are either one, three or five arguments: name, width, height, X position, Y position.
Could you please get the help and editor tooltips updated to reflect that, please?

Paolo

12
General Board / Re: Glossary plural terms
« on: May 11, 2018, 03:45:00 pm »
The best way EA could handle this in the future is to model the glossary using an ontology definition profile. EA could then query the model itself for the glossary terms to highlight and the definitions to display.
+100

But first, ask us what we think we might need.  Or even how we envision the solution.

FWIW, as you know, I've had nearly a decade of creating and using ontological models in Sparx EA.  I'm sure there are other users with similar experience and we could "Crowdsource" the requirements / envisioned solution.  I say envisioned because Sparx is the owner of the actual solution, but in communicating our thoughts, the specification of an envisioned solution may help clarify matters.

Paolo

13

Geert is of course correct.
Yes, but he's not a Sparxian. I, too, have used the syntax he mentioned for many years, but I was secretly hoping there were more syntaxes where one could combine the location and sizing.

Paolo

14
I read it like:

This requires an additional argument to the addsubshape method

And indeed we see

   addsubshape("triangle","center");
   addsubshape("name","s");


That must be it no?

Geert
No, the description is technically ambiguous I could read it that way, but I could (reasonably) read it differently.  The absence of a formal syntax for that use case in BOTH the help system and the tooltip, makes it even more so.

FWIW, exactly such an ambiguity is what started me on this "modelling lark" four decades ago!  (Blame it all on James Martin)

Paolo

15
General Board / Re: How to update profile
« on: May 10, 2018, 11:00:18 am »
Yeah. If you post a lot of nonsense like me, you soon become a guru. Well, I once complained in the old forum where they made me God - yuck. This level/karma stuff here is completely weird.

q.
In the good old days, Q, you may recall I became an EA Guru by posting 500 bugs!

Paolo

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