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Messages - Sunshine

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General Board / Re: Sparx Systems dialog with customers
« on: September 19, 2012, 08:14:00 am »
As an Enterprise Architect I too use ArchiMate. I have also found the support of ArchiMate lacking in some areas. I agree it would be good if ArchiMate 2.0 shape scripts were improved as I've had to cludge my way through the short falls. For instance before ArchiMate 2.0 was supported I had actually created my own MDG to support motivations and implementation extensions. It took up a few days of my time which could be better spent on other things. I'm sure to fix the problems roates mentioned above wouldn't take more than a few days of development effort so its not a heavy investment in time to polish off a good product and make it great.

I know Enterprise Architect is a UML based tool but its rather ironic don't you think it doesn't properly support an Enterprise Architecture Notation like ArchiMate. Come on Sparx make Enterprise Architect live up to its name.

As the Open Group are merging ArchiMate Notation into TOGAF I'm not using the TOGAF extension. I tried it and found it just too complicated for my team's to use.

At the risk of being given an inch and taking a mile I think a really cool feature would be to add a set of wizards and patterns that create the TOGAF lifecycle and under each phase provide example viewpoints. A lot of these are documented on the Open Group Website. This would make it easier for those learning ArchiMate with a set of example viewpoints. I appreciate this is a whole load more effort but it would be a real selling point and provide a good value proposition over other tools.

Well thats my 2 cents worth.  :)

General Board / Re: How to attach an image to a class
« on: September 19, 2012, 08:39:47 am »
Here is a thought. Create a User Interface diagram and add an screen (from User Interface toolbox), copy the screen shot and apply image from the clipboard onto the screen object. You can rename the image later. Then add/drag the class(es) on to the same diagram. Create trace relationship between the screen and the class. If you have a lot to do I'd recommend using a matrix to create the relationships as its easier that way.
Hope that helps - cool eh?

General Board / Re: Image libraries?
« on: September 19, 2012, 08:26:05 am »
I've experimented in the past using various clip art libraries such as those from MS Clip Art. I've found importing WMF  files works best overall. However a word or warning; I have found for some reason when creating large diagrams with imported clip art images which are placed  beyond a certain boundary on the diagram, the images disappear when printing even though on screen they appear to be okay. Tried on different printers in different organisations but still get the same problem. I have reported to Sparx a few years back but they couldn't replicate the problem so it hasn't been fixed. I still observe the same bug today.

General Board / Re: Advice for the newbie?
« on: September 06, 2012, 11:49:56 am »
Worth noting too that we also use ArchiMate for Enterprise Architecture work covering ;
  • Motivation,
  • Business,
  • Application,
  • Technology
  • Implementation and Migration

We use BPMN for the detailed process workflows so we can easily automate them.

General Board / Re: Advice for the newbie?
« on: September 05, 2012, 07:03:38 am »
For business processes we use BPMN notation. You can see lots of examples on the web.

Suggest also doing a search for BPMN patterns.

Hope that helps :)

General Board / Re: Copied a Diagram (Shallow Type) now to unlink?
« on: July 31, 2012, 01:25:24 pm »
The deep copy is probably the best option however just a thought for you is that you could convert each object to an instance as an alternative. Select the object and right click and you should find that option under the the advance menu. This way you get a link to the original object too. You might do this for instances of nodes for environments like, dev, test, prod, DR etc.

General Board / Re: SSRS
« on: August 03, 2012, 07:21:29 am »
I agree with GŁnther, I think you've just got to ask yourself why do you want to document a report. It is possible to do in enterprise architect however do you want to spend time keeping it up to date. You could reverse engineer the database and show how each report looks via screen layout diagrams and then meticulously map each field in the database onto the report. However it will be quite time consuming and is likely to get out of step with any changes that happen.
Ask yourself if in 12 months time you want to update the reports are you going to look at some model/document or are you going to dive straight into SQL server reporting and change it.
My advice is to work smart and  not model/document things just for the sake of it.  8-)

General Board / Re: Filtering Diagrams on publishing
« on: June 27, 2012, 07:04:37 am »
I use diagram filters and filter on the phase. Typically I'll have 5 or so phases and use the diagram filter to hide the items that appear in later phases for early documents. I haven't tried it with HTML generation so not sure if it works for that.
See the following for more details
Quick start guide to filters
User guide
Hope that helps  :)

General Board / Re: Some questions on the tools possibilities
« on: May 02, 2012, 08:12:32 am »
In theory yes can use it as MDD/MDA however you are likely to need to do some of the transformations/ generations yourself to achieve what you want. Doing this can be a lot of work and not for the faint hearted.

If you are thinking of doing RAD development consider creating the use cases /story boards along with a domain model in EA. Transform the EA model to data model then generate DDL and create a database. Once the DB has be created then consider using a tool like ironspeed or code on time to generate the rest of the stack.

Yes you are right there is no such thing as the perfect tool. EA is powerful and affordable which makes it popular however there is a bit of a learning curve to climb. Its not always intuitive to use. You need to know what your going to do †with it and be prepared to put in the hard yards. At the end of a day a fool with a tool is still a fool. There is no silver bullet just a pinch of inspiration and lots of perspiration.

I'd advise you to find a local Sparx Partner to get you up to speed if you are struggling. :)

Comparing tools - well there are plenty of people out their who try but often there is a hidden agenda or they are simply not qualified to compare tools. Gartners EA tool magic quadrant - would take with a pinch of salt.
Another is however the last time I looked it was comparing an old version of Sparx EA with new versions of other tools - not quite a level playing field there.
I've also come across vendors trying to sell tools making a comparison of their tool with Sparx EA. After some scrutiny I often find they have blatantly lied. To the un-initiated they can get a way with it but with me knowing Sparx EA for 7+ years use I pull them apart.

If you looking for some kind of endorsement the I can recommend Sparx EA as being the best value tool on the market. I've done lots of research time and time again over the years and found Sparx EA to be good value. Once again there is no gain without pain and that is you need to spend time learning the tool. No short cuts here unless you hire someone to guide you through it.

Well hope that helps in some small way before you take the plunge. In many ways its like standing on the side of the pool thinking should I jump in or not. It feels cold may be not. If you don't you'll miss out on all the fun. Jump in and splash around you'll have fun!

General Board / Re: Convert Component into Packaging Component
« on: May 31, 2012, 05:13:53 pm »
If you look under the hood a component is an object but the packaging component is a package and these are stored in two different tables thus its not as easy as changing a component to say a class.
You could write a javascript program to convert the components to component packaging and copy the relationships. The trick will be identifying which component you want to convert if you didn't want to convert them all. One or two obstacles may be in converting the relationships as not all the relationships for components are valid for component packaging. Another is that you can't attach an interface.

Another option is to create a transformation to transform the components to component packaging.

Well there are a couple of ideas - good luck

General Board / Re: Could I remove a model from DBMS?
« on: May 21, 2012, 02:30:38 pm »
In EA repository the node hierarchy is something like this

So if you are referring to that top node as a model then you need to delete all the views then delete the Model. I think from memory you can't delete the top node until its empty. You should get prompted by a dialog box that tells you that. At least that is how it works in V8.0

General Board / Re: Merging templates
« on: April 30, 2012, 07:09:55 am »
You can't  merge templates as such but you can concatenate.

Have a look at the user manual under virtual documents. Basically you create a Master document along with Model documents. The master document is the all encompassing container with each model document pointing to a template and one or more packages.

Hope that helps  :)

General Board / Re: Metamodel vs Ad Hoc - Advice for New Users
« on: April 20, 2012, 12:44:35 pm »
If your doing an enterprise architecture then definitely do a meta model.
You have to agree what things you are going to capture and what you mean by them. i.e. What is a function for instance. Use the view points to help decide whats important for your work. Remember you don't have to use everything in the DoDAF meta model.

General Board / Re: Metamodel vs Ad Hoc - Advice for New Users
« on: April 19, 2012, 01:09:43 pm »
I think the Ad Hoc approach is probably a recipe for disaster as I can image several people in the team all taking different approaches and ending with a mish-mash of stuff.  That being said I like to suggest a kind of middle ground, whilst a meta-model is useful you don't really want to get bogged down in making it perfect. A more pragmatic approach is to at least have a list with definitions of things your interested in modelling maybe a few of the major relationships between them. Don't get hung up on the relationships.  
You don't mention what the team is going to do so I'm working in the dark here.  So for instance if you are into developing software you may be interested in use cases, requirements, test cases, classes, components etc. Alternatively if your team is doing enterprise architecture you may be interested in drivers, gaps, business functions, processes, information systems etc.
One way to help develop the meta-model is consider who you are going to need to communicate with and what view points they would be interested then map the objects on these viewpoints into your meta-model.
I'm in the Enterprise Architecture space so I started off using the ArchiMate meta-model and added stuff as I need it.
I'd recommend having a stab  at choosing a meta-model and realise that you don't have to know everything about it nor have it perfect at first but later on refine it from time to time. This way at least everyone on the team heads in the same direction. As you do more projects your ideas and thoughts will develop and possibly change so just accept that will happen. Treat the meta-model as a buffet of food where if you are hungry you can choose to eat a lot or if you just want a light meal you can have a cucumber sandwich.

Hope that helps

General Board / Re: ERD - Associate attribute with Relationship
« on: April 19, 2012, 06:46:26 am »
No problem happy to help.

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