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Messages - bholtzman

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16
General Board / Insert tagged value from MS Access
« on: August 10, 2017, 01:54:22 am »
I've built a tool in MS Access that connects to the EA database and provides tracking and a custom metadata "overlay". The tool can export a combined set of EA and non-EA metadata in various custom formats. One of the data elements I am extracting is from the two tagged value tables in EA, t_attributetag and t_objectproperties.

I have limited the Access app to querying the native EA tables only. I have never done any inserts from the Access app, but I have selectively run a few table updates manually.

The question has now come up as to whether new tagged value entries can be made from the Access side. Is that a bad idea or is it doable with careful diligence? Is there a way to populate the ea_guid field in the tagged value tables?

I am using EA 13.5 and Access 2016.

Thanks.

Bill

17
General Board / Re: Upgrade to 13 with Postgres db
« on: December 07, 2016, 08:22:44 am »
Fabulous, thank you. EA is a powerful tool.

Bill

18
General Board / Re: Upgrade to 13 with Postgres db
« on: December 07, 2016, 07:58:19 am »
Can you just clarify a bit? There must be some releases that do require changes to the database. In those cases I guess it would be made very clear? Thanks.

Bill

19
General Board / Upgrade to 13 with Postgres db
« on: December 07, 2016, 04:53:55 am »
Hi all,
If I upgrade my application to EA 13 can I still use the same EA 12 Postgres database? Thanks.

Bill

20
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: October 09, 2016, 02:42:43 am »
I have to tell you guys, using MS Access with an EA Postgres database has been working out great. I have so much flexibility in terms of customizing the Access front-end, adding and modifying my custom data tables, and customizing the output capabilities it is tremendous. Even if I knew how to build MDG Technologies, I am not sure I'd have the same ease-of-use that I have and it would have taken me months if not more to get to the same level of proficiency. It helped, of course, that I had years of experience with Access. But I really am skeptical that I could have achieved the same level of capability with MDG Technologies even if I had mastered them.

I haven't had any issues with corrupting the database or any other setback. Naturally I am diligently and religiously careful never to touch the EA native tables. The only issues I have are performance-related when I am using a VPN connection. Most functions work well but when Access does heavy data crunching, as most of you know, it passes lots of data back and forth with the database. So one procedure - when I review all of the EA changes and build a new data dictionary - can take as long as a half hour to run. But it's an issue that's very workable and a small price to pay for the powerful tool I have built.

Well, I just wanted to update you on my efforts and let you know that this method does indeed have value despite your misgivings. You just have to be careful and know what you're doing, as I think Paolo said previously. Thanks, Paolo!

Bill

21
General Board / Re: baseline fail
« on: July 15, 2016, 12:31:05 am »
Thanks all.

Bill

22
General Board / baseline fail
« on: July 14, 2016, 09:48:22 pm »
Hi all:
We have a PostgreSQL database set up with our EA 12.1.1227 Corporate Edition clients. I was trying to create a new baseline and got the message:

"ERROR: column "bincontent" is of type bytea but expression is of type lo; Error while executing the query"

I tracked this issue down to what I believe is the culprit, the column bincontent in the table t_document. This appears to be where EA stores the global attributes associated with each baseline. Interestingly, I was able to create a single baseline weeks ago for my database because (I believe) there was no data in this table previously. But now that a baseline exists I cannot create a second one because the code fails when it encounters the original baseline data. So as I see it I can only have one baseline in the database. Any ideas other than delete the first baseline?

Thanks.

Bill

23
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: May 20, 2016, 03:33:14 am »
Does anyone know how to code an ODBC connection into the Access file? We'd like users to be able to run the app with the run-time version, which doesn't allow them to configure the connection. Just hoping someone has some copy-and-paste and save me the trouble...

Bill

24
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: May 06, 2016, 10:43:32 pm »
Hi GB,
We did that and it seems to have turned out fine. I also published to HTML and that went fine. I didn't do any comprehensive testing though. Is there anything in particular we should be looking for in terms of problems with migration?

All in all we haven't had any issues so far except for performance over the VPN from far away.

Bill

25
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: May 05, 2016, 11:08:53 pm »
Paolo and all,
We've established a Postgres database on our server and migrated an EAP file into it. We then connect to the database from both EA and a custom Access front end. After some performance tuning of my code, it all seems to work quite well. My table and code configurations are such that we don't do any data manipulation on the EA tables but only on the custom tables I created. So I feel like we've minimized the risk of bad things happening and still leveraged the power of your approach.

It's really quite an effective solution to our needs and fits well with our existing skill sets. I do hope to graduate one day to Geert's more sophisticated and intrinsic solution but the current configuration is what will enable us to get the resources required for that.

We want to provide users with only the run-time MS Access to use the custom front end. If they had the full version of Access they could create the connection to the database themselves, but with the run-time version I understand I need to code the connection in VB. Do you have any tips or code snippets on doing this? Maybe this wasn't an issue for you but I figured it was worth asking.

Thanks for all of your help!

Bill

26
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: April 15, 2016, 10:26:13 pm »
Since you guys already hijacked the thread (I know - I started it!)...Geert I know a number of Dutch air traffic controllers both in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, as well as some at Maastricht. And they all have that same challenge with the language since we use English in all business. My hat is off to all of you!

Bill

27
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: April 14, 2016, 11:38:50 pm »
Geert,
I am becoming convinced that developing our own MDG is the longer term solution. For political reasons we want to demonstrate why that is using the quick and dirty Access method, explaining that they'll need to make a bigger investment if they want it done right and with full capabilities. Does that make you feel better?  :)

I do have one question. I understand that in EA 12 the EA Viewer no longer supported MDGs. Is that true? If so, that could be an issue that tips the scales back the other way.

Paolo,
Thanks for the caveats and detailed info. You guys must really know EA backwards and forwards. Sounds like a fun place to work! Our plan for the short term Access solution is to use a server-based database and put our custom tables in a separate database, using Access to link them and giving the Access front end read only capability for the EA tables. So we will have no way to make edits or change the schema of the EA database and so completely avoid the issue of "contaminating" EA.

By the way for both of you...I assume you're not native English speakers? If so you both have tremendous command of the language, both formally and in your use and understanding of day-to-day expressions! Thanks so much for your help.

Bill

28
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: April 14, 2016, 04:29:31 am »
Of course you can say "I told you so"! If I'm wrong, I will freely admit it and make sure and tell you.  :)

You don't seem to be responding to my points directly, so I am feeling comfortable. Also, one of our tasks is to provide this custom metadata "overlay" to an existing, full-scale EA project. It seems to be this will be to some degree easier doing it our way.

With regards to BPMN 2.0, that is an MDG right? How long would it take to develop such an MDG for specific requirements? How long would it take to learn how to do it and where do you go for the training materials?

Bill

29
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: April 14, 2016, 02:50:50 am »
Thanks, Geert, I really do appreciate your comments and suggestions.

As far as document generation and HTML, I feel our approach has a definite advantage. I can customize the heck out of that. I've built modules in Access to export HTML files many, many times.

I have not seen how EA handles BPMN. Is there a video online somewhere?

As far as regretting the decision later, I don't get the sense that Paolo feels that way. In fact, he seems very comfortable with the direction they've taken, and has even been able to add his own data manipulation tools, letting him do things that ordinary users can't. It sounds like if he wanted to add a prefix to every object in one package (or do something more complex), he has a GUI for it.

Bill

30
Bugs and Issues / Re: MS Access 2013 and EAP files
« on: April 13, 2016, 11:43:22 pm »
Hi guys,
Sorry for being offline. The conversation is really great.

Paolo,
I also feel like I have much more granular control and understanding of things using the Access option. Maybe it's just because I haven't been working with EA for years (just a few months actually) and don't have the "back of the hand" knowledge of it inside and out. It's certainly a powerful product with lots of capabilities, but as you say it's great to have freedom to create your own modeling environment.

We're curious how you capture "versions" of the data in your custom tables and how you match that up with each Baseline from EA. Did you build some custom tools for handling that?

It seems pretty bold to be running scripts to perform action directly on EA tables! Can you give some examples of this? I've already had cases where EA throws an error because it is creating an entry that violates a primary key, so I've taken steps to keep all of my activities confined to the tables I created, and not "touch" any native EA table except in "read only" mode. My sense is that this is necessary for me but not for you, because you've made the mistakes in the past and know what you're doing!

The flexibility of performing higher level and very customized validity checks is also appealing. I take it these are your arguments to Geert about why you think using Access is worthwhile?

Geert,
If I use UML Profiles would I also use EA Forms to provide the user with a way to track 20 pieces of metadata associated with a particular element, attribute, etc.? How would that data be stored, in t_attributetag, t_objectproperties, etc.? Having our custom field names stored in these tables as plain text doesn't seem efficient. Also, where are the enumerated tagged value datatypes be kept in the database? EA Forms does not seem to be that well supported. The web site doesn't seem to be up-to-date.

The difference between us is you have many, many years of working with EA and incorporating new capabilities. For us to get to anywhere near the same level of comfort might take a year. Meanwhile, Access is a familiar and comfortable tool and is probably used by 10,000 times as many people as EA. So if we build something in Access there are a lot more people available who can manage that component cheaply and proficiently. So the configuration is more manageable on the design side.

Cheers,
Bill

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