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Messages - Thelonius

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Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Hiding Elements
« on: October 09, 2009, 08:21:09 am »
I think what livewireumd is asking for is to be able to use Sparx Enterprise Architect in an innovative manner - for direct communication of architecture knowledge.

As in - not creating an offline report - but standing up in front of a room full of decision makers - using Sparx EA live on a data projector - as a presentation and communication tool.

"Here are ALL of the <objects> ... "

"Here are ONLY the objects that relate to <domain A>"

"And here are ONLY objects that relate to <domain B>"

"And here we see objects that relate to BOTH <domain A | domain B>"

My customers love EA - and they're asking for me to be able to do this kind of presentation for them using Sparx EA in front of C-level executives. (Something I would not have thought possible 10 years ago...)

The visual impact of being able to do what livewireumd is asking for is something I've often thought would be useful.

If there is one point I wish I could get across to Sparx - it's that Sparx EA is a very powerful tool for communicating architectural knowledge to decision makers and stakeholders.

It's not only an MDA tool to be used in the back room by rocket scientist software engineers.

Ergo - more focus on assisting users to use Sparx EA as a tool for "presentation of knowledge capital". Which can include better report generation too. So far - I don't see this as a strategic goal for Sparx. Apologies if I'm missing something.

If I've understood you correctly, livewireumd .... ?

Just found this on Archimate:

From Mike Walker's blog. More relevant views here. I think you should be able to access this URL.


Interesting. And thanks for sharing your knowledge and views.

The referenced paper said something that I'm not quite sure about:

"Current object-oriented formalisms, such as UML, focus on
describing class models and use instance models only for
depicting scenarios. Little attention is being devoted to
defining how complex systems can be structured in order to
conform with those class models..."

I would have thought UML would be quite devoted to defining how complex systems can be structured to confom with class models.

Even in view of the fact that the paper was written back in 2000.

In reading all the stuff I can about Archimate - I have not yet found a really cogent explanation that tells me "Well, you could use basic UML to achieve the same thing that you can model with Archimate - BUT HERE'S WHY USING ARCHIMATE IS BETTER."

It just seems to me, from my naive perspective, that Archimate is "yet another" modeling branch off the base UML tree. Which may not be a good thing.

Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Anyone using Archimate add-in?
« on: August 19, 2009, 01:52:38 pm »
Sparx provide it. I've had a look at it, and at the Archimate specification. It has not been updated, and looks a bit daggy. I'm thinking that anything I could do using Archimate, I could do using basic UML.

Having a hard time seeing the value, really. In theory, the value assertion seemed interesting, but in practice - now that I've had a closer look - I'm not getting an epiphany from it.

What am I missing?

Since the process is entirely manual - you've got to type values in several places - there is a high probability of clerical error

That's the problem exactly. A good profile for defining profiles should normalize this, but setting this up would take a lot of time for planning and implementation, and obviously this is not top priority. After all it's probably just a minority of EA users wanting to define profiles.

Don't know about that, Frank. I think UML profiles are the first stop for people wanting to do some really simple and obvious things with EA. Personally, I'd like EA to do some very simple things via the application rather than having to go and create a UML Profile.

One example would be: defining a tagged value that I can name, that has an enum / pull down select list that I define, that allows me to to search, select, list, report on elements that have a tagged value that has a certain value.

Simple natural language example: "On this diagram that shows these business systems and all interfaces, select and display only those that have my tagged value Business Criticality set to HiGH".

What do you think?

I was going to bring this to market but I have kind of lost a little enthusiasm for doing so because I am not sure if anyone would be willing to pay for such a thing.

If it works, is easy to use, is well supported, extensible, documented, and integrates transparently with EA - I'd be willing to pay as much for an excellent third-party report generator add-in for EA as I have paid for the corporate version of EA. If not more.

This is my biggest problem right now. The 'RTF Generator' thing - the editor that allows one to modify the base report format - is ugly, wierd, idiosyncratic, mysterious and - for a human like me - unusable.

Consumers are like cockroaches. If you see one, there are thousands more you haven't seen.

I would encourage you to bring your work to the market.


Great idea. I find the Sparx RTF Generator a bit challenging. The documentation could be improved. Trying to work through it at the moment and finding it all a bit idiosyncratic. I'll keep trying.

The ability to easily generate -- and easily customise -- reports from the EA repository is something that would add ENORMOUS value to my work -- and would be of ENORMOUS interest to customers.

I showed the 'Working with the RTF Generator' documentation to a customer the other day. It didn't go over well.



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