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Messages - Sunshine

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Learning how to model for the first time using EA is a bit like learning to drive by starting with an 18 wheel truck.  I usually recommend that people get the hang of modeling using the free Archi tool ( and then come over to EA once the basic principles are understood. You can even export your models from Archi and import them into EA when you are ready.  Clearly that works best when using Archimate, but it has really helped me help people get over the mental barrier between diagramming and modeling.
I hear what you are saying but have to disagree with you as introducing another tools such as Archi only confuses them and is like teaching people to drive an automatic then giving them a manual transmission to drive. I found it best to teach them to drive a manual whilst teaching them the road code. Do it in small chunks one lesson at a time so its not overwhelming.

I usually take the approach teach them the modelling notation as I teach how to do various diagrams with various notations. Examples seem to be the best way to get them up the learning curve quickly. For enterprise architecture using archimate I start off with motivations then move through the various domains such as business, application, infrastructure etc. Each time introducing something new that Sparx EA can do.

The fundamental thing to do is to start with 'what in it for them' in using a tool like Sparx EA over visio. Usually its something like working a different way which is less effort and more effective. For instance moving from a document centric waterfall type method to an iterative model driven agile and collaborative approach. As everything is getting called digital this that and the other you could put digital in there somewhere. Something like Digital Iterative Model Driven Agile Collaborative Approach (DIMACA). Now they have some motivation to learn  something new and shiny with an acronym to make them sound smart but  we all know its just re-branded old stuff

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: EAI Patterns
« on: June 01, 2018, 09:19:10 am »
Yes I did one back some time ago (around 2005). I assume integration patterns by Gregor and Hope is what you are after.

Haven't looked at the MDG for a while so not sure what state its in. The EAI MDG was created for a particular purpose of drawing integration patterns in Sparx EA and nothing else. It was my first MDG and very primitive. There is no underlining data to support anything further such as automation of implementation etc. Just components with images of patterns that can be dragged onto the diagram and connected up.

I've probably got a copy somewhere in my archives.

General Board / Re: EAP-to-DBMS model transfer
« on: June 01, 2018, 08:56:09 am »
As eap files are MS Access you could have a look to see if MS Access has anything built in to do the transfer and see if you could automate it.
Alternatively if you have some coin you could use an ETL tool like informatica or similar to do the transfer.

Sounds like it could be painful to do that. Unless the team is cohesive and all aligned to the needs for the MDG. However if you are a masochist then you could try linked folders and change the link for each user.

Why do it the simple way if you can go through a variety of ODBC and native drivers instead?

Probably because the help tells you to use ODBC drivers. Haven't found out how to run DDL in EA yet though. Still searching in the online help for that feature.

I'm not an Oracle expert but any RDBMS should spit out the schema DDL code as a text file on request.  Then just run the DDL in EA to recreate the schema as a physical data model?
Interesting I didn't know you could run DDL in EA to recreate the schema. I've search the help and can't find anything on that particular feature. Care to share a reference on how to access it?

General Board / Re: How to import visio data flow diagram into EA
« on: May 30, 2018, 06:28:03 am »
You'll need to download and install the visio importer first of all.
Next use the importer to import your visio diagram.

As DFDs are stereotyped elements in Sparx EA you'll need to change them as the importer just inputs raw UML. Try importing as activity.
In Sparx EA the DFD MGD provides stereotyped UML elements for example;
  • processes are activities stereotype as DFD_Process and
  • data stores are classes stereotyped as DFD_DataStore
  • dataflows are dependency relationships stereotyped as DFD_DataFlow
You'll need to run a script to change the types and stereotypes once imported to match the above. There is some jScript in the forum I posted some time ago that changes types and stereotypes you can use you just have the change the source and target types and stereotypes. Easy Peasy.
Alternatively if the diagrams are not too complex or numerous you may find it easier to just use the swivel chair interface and enter it manually.

Done a couple of oracle databases and never been able to get the relationships either. Fortunately the primary keys and foreign keys where named consistently that i wrote a script to create the relationships. Not ideal but i ended up with the desired result.

In the past I've found I've had to manually fix up visio diagrams before importing. As I only had a handful it wasn't worth automating. I probably spent just a little less time than manually re-creating in Sparx EA. So if you have a really large number of visio diagrams it might be worth running some automation script to fix the visio diagrams before importing.
Some thing the automation might do to improve import results into Sparx EA are
1. remove superfluous objects such as art work etc
2. ensure connectors are connected at both ends
3. change objects to UML template objects or consistent objects so they can be easily mapped to sparx EA

There are probably other common problems you might be able to fix via automation scripts. However I must stress this is only worth doing if the effort to do it is less than manually recreating the diagrams in Sparx EA. Other times I've found manually recreating diagrams in sparx EA gives you a chance to review those diagrams and find errors other than syntactical ones so there may be benefits to be gained doing that.

Don't be put off by the "youngsters"....
For the record I'm 1960's vintage so probably fall into the youngsters category. I hear what you are saying about VB.Net. Its now treat as first class language by MS so its more than capable. If folk have invested IP in that language then thats going to be the way to go for now to meet your goals as quickly as possible.
I too have a long pedigree with VB, C, C++, C#, Java etc. I even remember the days when VB was a second class language. However its not about putting people off particular language. Its about getting things done with the least impediment and what I'm observing is between C# and VB the former appears to have more momentum behind it. For those without prior investment in VB then for longevity its sometimes best to stick with the larger pack. Not that there is anything wrong with VB. I just recommend C# as its quicker for me and I can get my youngters to do some of the work for me so I can do other things.

I do remember the days when quality, standards, productivity and ease of use where paramount to the success of a product.

General Board / Re: MDG on V12+++
« on: May 26, 2018, 06:14:38 am »
Yep same here. Told all my colleages to  stick to v13.5  for now until the teething problems are sorted.

General Board / Re: Cannot download my licensed version of EA
« on: May 24, 2018, 06:22:00 am »
Or maybe you should just pay the support costs to get access to the downloads. ;)

General Board / Re: Attributes
« on: May 24, 2018, 06:20:12 am »
Yeah tell me about it. Staying with V13.5 for now until they sort out usability issues with a few things like the attributes or features as they call it now.

@saugup05. Have you by chance upgraded to Windows 10 build 1803? I've noticed issues installing sparx ea as they've changed to the security. Found I need to disable folder protection. Search the forum to find the details on the fix.

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