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Messages - Thelonius

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Bugs and Issues / "Synchronised" Tagged Values ?
« on: October 09, 2009, 09:24:29 am »
Hi guys - noted the following misspelling - should be "Synchronise" not "Synchronised" Tagged Values ... true - not a big bug - but I'm just trying to do my bit here ... :-)

Bugs and Issues / Bug with connector label text wrapping
« on: January 06, 2009, 02:01:37 pm »
Text on connector labels reformats itself when the EAP file has been saved and re-opened. Typically if I set a text label to be a single line, when the model is re-opened, the text has wrapped the last one or two words.

Has anyone else observed this -- or am I the only one?

I have reported this bug using the registered users bug reporting facility on the EA website. But other than an automated email there is no 'real' acknowledgement when using that facility...

Visual representation of the problem is here:

Uml Process / Re: Deployment Diagrams
« on: April 26, 2012, 10:51:52 am »
Do UML Deployment Diagrams have "actor" on them?

What would the Actor's relationship, role or process be with an entity in a Deployment Diagram?

What would the "relationship" connector define if we were to connect an Actor to a Component, Node or Device on a Deployment Diagram?

Even ArchiMate diagrams would probably not show an Actor directly associated with a Node, Infrastructure Server, or Infrastructure Interface.

(On the other hand, I have put "actors" on a Component Diagram...)

Uml Process / Re: Where to store data types and data size
« on: June 05, 2010, 11:45:55 am »
Geert - "CIM" meaning "Conceptual Information Model"? Thanks - Jon

Uml Process / Re: Aggregation and Association proposal
« on: April 26, 2010, 03:39:37 pm »
And I've always said that Sparx is "just a better Visio than Visio" but it seems that time has caught up with the market place and has delivered something closer to what I need.

Sparx will always be a better choice for UML / MDA software engineers.

The flawed, patched-up architecture of the Sparx code base is a separate concern.

I was disappointed when v8 came out. It certainly doesn't seem like a major new release - more a point release.

Funny how all these little things come to the fore suddenly.

Uml Process / Re: Aggregation and Association proposal
« on: April 26, 2010, 09:31:02 am »
I'll just throw this in here, in response to reading the above comments. I've been a loyal user of Sparx EA for years. But it's true. The 800 lb gorilla in the room is that Sparx isn't really listening and changing rapidly enough to keep up with the market - let alone loyal users like me, who have attempted to contribute to the development strategy of Sparx EA. My organisation is now looking at Orbus iServer - and the more I look at it myself - the more I'm thinking it's a better solution for Enterprise Architecture. Sparx is evolving too slowly and isn't delivering to market what (my) market needs. If they want to keep the tool small, and focused on software architecture, that's fine, and that's what they seem inclined to do. Small can be beautiful.

Uml Process / Re: Reverse Architecting
« on: June 08, 2009, 05:59:10 pm »
We have been doing "reverse architecting" of enterprise architecture for clients - not discrete applications / systems.

As in - using Component diagrams to build macro models of enterprise systems architecture for medium / large private sector customers.

Have been calling this "forensic architecture" - but "reverse architecture" may be a better term. Or perhaps "reverse enterprise architecture".

Uml Process / Re: System Context Diagram - modeling
« on: January 28, 2009, 10:42:54 am »


I've been using the UML Component diagram for what you propose. A 'Component' element represents a 'Business System'. The 'Information Flow' connector represents an 'Interface'.

One model represents the 'As Is' environment. A different model represents the 'To Be' future environment, the 'End State'.

I'm vaguely aware that one can define a 'baseline', and have the 'to be' representation in the same .eap model, but I haven't got there yet.

Be nice if there was a book titled 'How to Use EA for Enterprise Architecture Purposes: Examples of Practical Applications Using the World's Cheapest and Most Open Architecture Tool'.

I'm using EA merely as 'a better Visio' at this point. Experimenting with UML Profiles to define Tagged Values, but that's still in the R&D phase.

The current 'As Is' model has an 'Everything' diagram that shows all of the more than 100 business systems in it, with all of the myraid interfaces. It's 'the diagram that shows just how complex our environment is'. Not much use for anything other than that. We have defined other, smaller, more detailed, but scope-limited diagram views for various Business Domains. E.g., all the business systems and interfaces that play in 'Risk Management'.

We say that the diagrams we're creating with EA are 'just the tip of the iceberg' of architecture work. We have defined 13 textual information descriptors that we keep in the 'Notes' section for 'Business Systems' and 9 bits of defined information in the 'Notes' section for each 'Interface'.

This supporting textual information provides the 'real value' for our architectural work. We're able to use the model in real time to answer common architecture questions: "How many of our systems are dependent on WebMethods for interfaces?"

I avoid mentioning the word 'UML' when talking to the customer.

Happy to share information with anyone.


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Archimate Add-In Bad Drawing
« on: August 16, 2010, 11:57:35 am »
This probably isn't the most elegant way to render text graphically within the Archimate "Product" icon.

I'm sure someone will tell me to fill out a form and submit a bug report and fling that into the echo-less black hole of bug reports ...

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: togaf question
« on: March 27, 2010, 02:30:50 pm »
Your ADDs must be compiled manually.

The TOGAF plug-in is useful, but it's pretty much just a skeleton. There's a lot more functionality / structure / content that could be added.

Is the group that created the TOGAF plug-in listening on the Sparx forum?

I would be interested to know what further development may be planned for the TOGAF plug-in.

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Requirement management
« on: December 09, 2009, 08:38:36 am »
You are partly correct - EA can be used to do requirements management without RaQuest.  However RaQuest provides an improved user interface for working with requirements (IMO).  Most people who will work with requirements would prefer to see them in a spraedsheet/grid form rather than a graphical/modelling form.  This is what RaQuest provides.  Howeverr because it is integrated, you can then allow the modellers to access the requirements and place traces on the diagrams.

David - just a question about RaQuest- is the synchronisation bi-directional between the spreadsheet and EA? Or is the spreadsheet export only a presentation artefact? Thanks - Jon

...when that half an hour editing is necessary you can bet your arse that at some point the analyst will quickly make some modifications in the document without doing those modifications in the model...Geert


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Hiding Elements
« on: October 09, 2009, 01:39:20 pm »

You are right, and I periodically get into deep and meaningful conversations with various colleagues on the points you raised in your original posting.  Unfortunately, I have been wrestling with a totally different set of problems lately, and have not been able to translate "what we need to do is..." from the conversations into "what I have done is...". Soon, I hope.

WRT Simon's suggestion, you might get more from the Diagram Slide Show topic in that Model Views section. Basically, what Simon is talking about is having a set of diagrams illustrating either a developmental progression or a set of perspectives (with and without elements relating to a particular perspective). Each time you run the slideshow you draw in the current diagrams - that is, they always represent the latest saved changes.

Bringing in Paolo here, those changes will have been made manually, and the Model Views facilities would either be telling you that the diagram has already changed, or there have been developments in relevant objects that now need to be (manually) added to or removed from the diagram, depending on what you set up in the SQL search views.

I'm getting out of my depth here, but maybe it would be possible to create an Add-In or MDG technology that performed specialised searches, opened relevant diagrams and updated them automatically.

There is a possible role for a series of shortcuts too - it seems to me that there could well be a meshing of different EA tools and facilities here, but I just don't know how it would all work. And THAT is where we return to Jon's point about "what I want to do, how I could approach it, why these EA tools and facilities might be useful, and then what steps do I actually work through". This is the sort of area that the white papers are supposed to address, so maybe we should look into them.


I appreciate this information. It's giving me a sense of where EA is going to go in the future.

White papers - yes, please. I've been meaning to write one myself for my colleagues at work.

I know what you mean.

So much work. So many challenges. So many opportunities. So little time. So few resources.

Lateral thinking?

Think about your social network out here. The Community.


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Hiding Elements
« on: October 09, 2009, 10:25:49 am »
Thelonius, what I would recommend for that kind of presentation is creating multiple diagrams.  To take matters further you can create a slideshow to automatically move through a sequence of diagrams.  (Look at the model views window)  Is that the kind of feature you are looking for?

As for your comments on what EA is good for, yes we know.


I must not be the smartest puppy in the litter.

I went to look at the Sparx documentation and found the following:

And after reading that little (very little) description ... I'm wondering "what would I actually do with this?"

"...encapsulate your model into the areas you are interested in." ?

This could mean just about anything to anyone, depending on context. It's a bit of a vague description, actually. And it's the only description I found in the user manual. "Encapsulate"?

If Roy is listening in, he'll be getting a bit of deja vu from this ...

The Sparx documentation / user manuals seem to provide a LOT of descriptive text about HOW to do something - but the documentation does not often seem to be written with consideration of the viewpoint of the user, who needs to first understand a bit more about what value or relevance or context a feature provides, or relates to.

As is "Gimme a ferinstance" as we used to say in the Bronx.


"If you need to define multiple views of a model to demonstrate specific knowledge about the model to stakeholders in a succession of views, you should consider the Model Views capability."

"In order to demonstrate what we mean by this, please watch the following (Camtasia Studio) demonstration ..."

And I would be willing to provide you with several worked examples of what I think would be relevant to many Sparx customers.

This does not require Sparx to anticipate ALL POSSIBLE uses that every customer in the universe may have -- but only a single 'most likely best instance' example that we can use to understand the potential value of certain capabilities of the tool. Just so the 'lightbulb comes on' for those of us - like me - who may be dragging the chain a bit ...


Please don't interpret anything I have said here as being negative or rude. I love all of you guys and I'm a keen evangelist for Sparx EA out in "the market place of ideas". (Which is near Footscray, actually.)

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Hiding Elements
« on: October 09, 2009, 09:26:51 am »
Thanks, Simon - I'll go have a look at Model Views Window now ... get back to you on that ...


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