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Topics - Geert Bellekens

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General Board / Model Transfer from Cloud server
« on: August 31, 2016, 12:54:57 pm »

Yesterday I had a client who installed EA with the cloud service because of their internal security policies.
(they don't allow direct database access from clients to a database server)
After a bit of messing around we got it working with an SQL server as backend, connecting over the cloud service.

Then I wanted to show them how to do regular backups to .eap files using the model transfer feature (as we do in "normal" installation) but I came to the conclusion that I didn't have the option to transfer from cloud to .eap file, only from a direct database connection, which is not allowed in that organisation.

So does anyone know a workaround for this kind of situation? For now they can still use xmi export/import, but that will soon become a way too slow process as their model grows.


General Board / Mapping tool in EA -> who wants it?
« on: August 26, 2016, 05:46:50 pm »
Hi everyone,

I'm thinking about developing a mapping tool add-in for EA.
The idea is that you can manage a mapping between two types of (data) models. For example between your logical data model and your message model, or between your logical data model and your database model etc...

I already have a number of add-ins and scripts that somehow create traceability between models on element, attribute and association level, but I don't have a tool yet to visualize and manage those traces.

To give you an idea the GUI of the thing could look similar to this:

Functions could include
- ability to add notes to each mapping
- ability to export the mapping to excel
- drag-n-drop to create mappings

Now it seems to me like there could be many parties interested in such a tool.
I would like to develop this as a free and open source add-in (as I do for all my add-ins) but I'm still looking for sponsors.
My initial rough estimate for the development of such a tool is 15 man days.

I already have two parties that might be interested, but the more sponsors I can find the lower the price would get for each individual party.

So if you are interested in such a tool please let me know:


We wanted to set a default notes template on a BPMN business process so I naturally suggested to use the project template package.

But this doesn't seem to work for BPMN business processes. No matter what I put in the notes of the element in the project template package, my notes on a new BPMN business process are always empty.
It works for any other element I have tested, but apparently not for BPMN things.

Grr.. now I have to build a workaround for something that should be standard behavior.

Reported to Sparx


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / SetFixedRegion crashes EA?
« on: July 09, 2016, 03:53:59 pm »
I must be doing something wrong.
I'm trying to replicate the behavior of the standard requirements that have a left border block that only sizes vertically, but stays the same width.

I thought I might use the SetFixedRegion() command to get that effect, but when I try it EA crashes hard getting the processor up to 100%
And this is repeated every time EA tries to execute the shape script.

Anyone know how to use the SetFixedRegion() correctly?

Here the shapescript that makes EA crash. Removing the SetFixedRegion fixes the crash.

Code: [Select]
shape main
 layouttype = "leftright";
 h_align = "left";
 v_align = "center";
shape borderBlock
shape nameCompartment
h_align = "center";
v_align = "center";
editablefield = "name";
shape S
//left vertical line
//bottom arc
//top arc
//right vertical

Bugs and Issues / EA.ConnectorEnd.IsNavigable sometimes wrong
« on: June 26, 2016, 05:30:55 pm »
When setting the navigability using the direction field on the association the navigability in the EA.ConnectorEnd is not reported correctly.

This is probably due to the fact that EA stores this information in two places (t_connector.DestIsNavigable and t_connector.DestStyle).
When setting the navigability with the direction field only the DestIsNavigable is filled in where the DestStyle remains Navigable=Unspecified;

When setting the navigability with the Role field then the opposite is true, DestIsNavigable remains 0 where DestStyle gets filled in with Navigable=Navigable;

In the first case the EA.ConnectorEnd.IsNavigable and EA.ConnectorEnd.Navibility fields are not filled in correctly.

Bug reported


I have created some RTF script fragments  and I wanted to deploy the lot via an MDG.
Unfortunately the script fragment looses the link to the script if deployed via an MDG.
The only solution was to import the script using Import Reference Data, breaking my whole nice MDG deployment scheme.

Digging a bit into the details I noticed that the template references the script by its GUID, but the script int he MDG doesn't have a GUID at all, so logically that doesn't work.

Reported as bug


I'm trying to make a template fragment that show the details for the internal requirements in a nice table.

But I have internal requirements of two different types (Business Rules and User Messages) and I would like to have one fragment showing the Business Rules and the other fragment showing the User Messages.

But I can't seem to find a filter that I can use in the Other Filters section. Is this filter set missing, or am I not finding it?


I would like to be able to build Schema Composer schema's using the API.

Currently the API only allows to read the Schema Composer schema when generating a schema, but I would like to be able to create and modify Schema's using an add-in or scripts as well.


Bugs and Issues / RefGUID tags info lost when doing xmi import
« on: June 01, 2016, 06:47:25 pm »
We are using RefGUID tagged values to reference Change requests from our model elements as a way to do change management.
(keep track of which things are changed because of a CR).

We ran into a problem when retrofitting some of our changes to a branch model.
The idea was that we could simply export a set of existing CR's from our main trunk to our branch model, and because of the GUID's the import would not break any existing links.

That assumption is true, but only if you import the elements in the same package!
If you import them into a subpackage (effectively moving existing elements to another package) then EA deletes the elements and recreates them in the subpackages (instead of updating the existing elements).
Now for regular connectors this is not a problem as the xmi import mechanism keeps track of the connectors and reconnects them after the creation, but for tagged values this is a problem. All the tagged values referencing a CR where cleared when the CR was deleted, and the guid was not filled in again after the recreation, leaving a bunch of tags pointing no nowhere anymore.

So now we have to manually reconnect a few hundred tagged values to their respective CR's, not the most enjoyable tasks imaginable :/

Reported as bug


For IBAN Account numbers there's a pattern that is 848 characters long.
But the tagged value on the XSDSimpleElement only allows for 255 characters.

The usual workaround for things like this is to use <memo> as value so you can type in the longer content into the notes window.
Unfortunately the XSD generation is not smart enough to recognize this and simply generates &lt;memo&gt; as pattern

Can we please make the XSD generation a bit smarter so it can handle large patterns?


PS. The current workaround for this problem at my client is to change the database structure to enlarge the t_objectproperties.Value column. Unfortunately I cannot offer an alternative (yet).

When dragging an Action onto an Activity Diagram, or a BPMN Activity onto a Business Process Diagram I get a little menu that allows me to select the type of Action/Activity.

The result of my choice is an element with the same stereotype, but with values for the tagged values.

I would like to replicate that for my own profile, but I don't know how. With the hidden toolbox feature I can do that for different stereotypes, but not for differences in the tagged values.

Does anyone know the secret recipe to do that?



According to the EA.ConnectorClass should contain a property called AssociationClass, but I get a compile error when trying to use that.

Bug reported


Since one of the newer versions, if you add a state machine to class it adds the statemachine, adds the state machine diagram, but then it also adds the statemachine to the diagram looking like a diagram reference.

Why is this happening all of a sudden? The feature was working fine as it was.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
I'll report it as a bug


I have a client who would like to have a specific stereotype for the Association Class, but combine that with another stereotype for the association itself.

I created a stereotype extending AssociationClass, but now both the Association as the AssociationClass get the same stereotype (and the same tagged values, of which I only want one set)

I haven't found a way to tell EA that the stereotype for the association should be a but the stereotype for the association class should be b

Any idea's (using standard MDG approach)?


When making an BPMN2.0 Business process Diagram you typically create the BusinessProcess element and have a diagram nested under that element.
Now typically when creating things on a diagram these things are located at the same place as the diagram.
So if I add something on the diagram it will be nested under the Business Process element.

That is true for everything except for BPMN2.0 Messages. They get moved out of the business process to be on that same level.
I don't know why that is, and if there is a good reason for it, but that in itself wouldn't be a big problem for me.

Now because we want to depict Messages on a diagram more then once (we put the message icon next to the MessageFlow to make navigation to the composite diagram of the message easy) we use Message Instances.
I created a stereotype Message for Object as well (with a shapescript that makes it look like a BPMN Message) so our Message instances look like messages. (a script takes care of the composite diagram for the instances)

The problem is that EA moves my Message Instances out of the Business Process element as well.

So please, if possible remove the strange behaviour that moves messages out of the business process.
If that is not possible then at least check the type of the element (Class) as to leave objects alone when moving.


Reported as bug.


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