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Messages - Ian Mitchell

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Suggestions and Requests / Re: Feature Request - Priority Values
« on: September 08, 2009, 12:27:24 am »
I'd like to add a vote for this feature: most customers have their own pet set of priorities that no amount of persuading will wean them away from.

General Board / Re: Doc Gen Stylesheets
« on: December 09, 2015, 12:44:19 am »
You do know there's a simpler answer to all this, don't you?  ;)

General Board / Re: Is there any solution for Docs Generator (RTF)
« on: October 01, 2015, 07:53:52 am »
Ok, so a few people have suggested that I make a comment on this one.
Declaration of Interest: I'm the author of eaDocX, a competitor to the RTF generator, but I'm also a Sparx partner, so I'm treading a fine line here between what I want to write, and what won't get me into trouble with HQ.

Much of the comment above concerns how much, and what type of code you need to write in order to get a document you can be proud of.
I reject the idea that EA users should have to write any code at all in order to get great documents. There are lots and lots and lots of EA users who don't write code. And don't have access, any more, to people who can write code for them. They are business analysts and process modellers and even actual Enterprise Architects, and they just don't write code.
So any document creation mechanism which relies, even in a small way, on writing code, or even requiring understanding of the increasingly complex EA internal data model, just is not fit for purpose. When these people are told they need to write code to make a document, they go straight back to Visio and Word, and those tools are the completion here.
It's why I wrote eaDocX. So you don't need to code documents any more. You choose what to print, and how you want it to look. So the silent, non-coding majority of EA users can just keep thinking and modelling.
And I can sense I'm in trouble with HQ already.....

General Board / Schema Composer - Editing Restrictions
« on: June 22, 2015, 11:41:07 pm »
I'm a bit of a newbie to the XML Schema Composer, but think I get the basic function - which is clear and usable.
I'm now trying some of the value-add which I would expect to be doing as I generate a schema from a class model, by adding and editing Restrictions - the multiplicity/optionality of an attribute.
I right-click the attribute to see the restriction, but I can't edit it. Is there something simple I'm doing wrong?
(EA V12 build 1215, Ultimate Edition)

General Board / Re: User Tracking Statistics
« on: June 09, 2015, 07:41:36 pm »
Is this available as a solution for others? I get asked for this kind of thing quite a lot.

General Board / Re: Import relationships from Excel via a matrix
« on: March 30, 2015, 08:31:11 pm »
Apologies to the eaDocX elves: this feature is already built and delivered - someone forgot to update the help (me).
Available from v3.6 onwards.
In the spreadsheet, just add extra rows, one for each Connector, like:
Relation | ElementA name | Element B name | Relationship Type | (optional) relationship name | (optional) rel stereotype.
Restriction is that ALL the elements referenced MUST be present in the spreadsheet, including any existing elements. This gets over the problem of identifying existing elements: just add them temporarily to the target package.

General Board / Re: Import relationships from Excel via a matrix
« on: March 30, 2015, 07:12:28 pm »
The eaDocX elves tell me that we have some code somewhere will allows for importing of relationships using Excel - I will try to find it.

General Board / Re: EA and Use Case 2.0 'Slices'
« on: April 23, 2013, 08:11:31 pm »
A first step would be to use the code which creates 'Test case Scenarios' and make each 'Slice' into an Element. Then it can be linked to other stuff more easily. Not rocket science.
Creating the definitive list of those slices from a set of Use Case structured scenarios is one of those problems Sparx should give to a recent computer science graduate: they would know!

General Board / EA and Use Case 2.0 'Slices'
« on: April 23, 2013, 06:27:40 pm »
I'm just starting to use the UseCase -> TestCase generation feature, as it makes EA REALLY useful for those who are using the new "Use Case 2.0" idea of 'Use Case Slices'. (see Jacobsen et. al white paper at

What I noticed is that the test case scenarios which get generated aren't all the possible paths through the use case, as described in Jacobsen's paper.

There seems to be one per Alternate, but you don't handle combinations of alternates.
So, if my Basic Path has alternates A1 and A2, I get test case scenarios for :
- BP
- BP, including A1
- BP, including A2,
- the A1 fragment
- the A2 fragment

but, I don't get BP including A1 and A2 (assuming that the logic of the use case allows the user to follow both paths in the same run of the use case).
I totally get why this would be: it's computationally nasty to cope with combinations of multiple alternates, and the user can quite easily construct these complex cases from the generated fragments, but I wanted to make sure that this was a deliberate omission. If so, then I'll explain to my users how they can make the complex cases themselves.

@Sparx - is this how it is ?

Also, it would be good, at some point, for EA to explicitly support the Use Case Slice idea, as it looks like you've done all the hard work, and it just needs a skin and a few graphics changes. UC2.0 looks a really practical way to use 'use case' ideas in the Agile world, so is likely to get more popular over time.

..and no, I don't want to write ANOTHER extension....:-)

General Board / Re: Generate documentation - USING VB SCRIPT
« on: April 02, 2015, 01:09:46 am »
Rather than use Script, have you seen eaDocX? If you have already decided not to use RTF, it should be quicker and easier than Script.

General Board / Re: Generate documentation - structured scenario
« on: March 03, 2015, 04:53:22 am »
Have a look at eaDocX - there is good support for printing structured scenarios

General Board / Re: Traceability of PartnerEntity
« on: March 03, 2015, 04:48:14 am »
Will @Geert's EA Navigator detect 'secret' traceability links like this ?

General Board / Re: BPMN with Sparx: Is there an in-depth text boo
« on: October 09, 2014, 09:13:19 pm »
Oh - and I forgot Peter's excellent 50 EA tricks:

General Board / Re: BPMN with Sparx: Is there an in-depth text boo
« on: October 09, 2014, 08:46:30 pm »
There is a very large book written by the guys at LieberLieber (aka Sparx Central Europe) which is available in German and English. It has LOTS of detail, so isn't for the newbie user, but it very comprehensive.
Don't be put of by the title: "Project Management with EA" - it has nothing to do with PM!

General Board / Re: BPMN: Data objects vs Classes?
« on: October 13, 2014, 11:42:34 pm »
I teach BPMN quite a bit  (that doesn't mean I'm a 'guru')  but I favour simplicity of your meta-model over BPMN purity any day.
The downside is, of course, that a readers of your BPMN diagrams will see Classes where they expect Data Objects, but most people with even a little UML/BPMN knowledge should get the idea.
So my advice would be 'keep it simple' and use Classes. And make a note of your decision in your meta-model documentation - you DO have a documented metamodel don't you... ;)

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