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Messages - Marc Vanstraelen

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Bugs and Issues / Re: Lateral Horizontal/Vertical connector style
« on: January 26, 2017, 12:07:38 am »
Resurrecting this thread from last year, because I'd like to add a finding to the discussion.

We upgraded from EA10 to EA12.1, and we just found out that both versions show the line styles "Lateral - Vertical" and "Lateral - Horizontal" differently in some situations, and the same in some others. I did some tests in an Activity Diagram and found:

In EA12.1 the behaviour seems to be consistently:
  • Lateral - Vertical: Source --> horizontal --> vertical --> target
  • Lateral - Horizontal: Source --> vertical --> horizontal --> target
In EA10 however, it is like this for the connectors going into an activity from a common node, but the reverse for a connector coming out of an activity to a common node.

Some of our users are not quite so happy that their diagrams look worse after the upgrade.
I recommended, as Geert did, that they avoid the Lateral styles and go with the Orthogonal instead.

General Board / Migration EA10 to EA12.1: BPMN behaviour
« on: December 03, 2016, 02:46:45 am »
I'm about to upgrade our users from EA10 to EA12.1. In versions 11.1 and 12 a set of BPMN changes have been introduced. I want to avoid that the people working with BPMN diagrams would be troubled by a changed behaviour (like objects jumping to a different location in the Project Browser).

Are there specific options that can be set to have the BPMN in EA12.1 behave like it did in EA10? If so, are these global or should every user set them in his own copy of EA (we're working in a single shared repository)?

General Board / Re: Should our organisation migrate to EA12.1 or EA13?
« on: October 27, 2016, 06:55:23 pm »
I decided to roll out EA12.1 for the moment. Enough useful new features compared to EA10 that people will need to get familiar with.

We'll consider EA13 sometime next year.

General Board / Should our organisation migrate to EA12.1 or EA13?
« on: October 12, 2016, 10:56:03 pm »
I was getting everything ready to migrate EA in our organisation from version 10 (build 1009) to version 12.1 (build 1230).
Now I see that Sparx just released the first non-beta build of version 13 (build 1305).

I see three options:
  • Go ahead with the planned roll-out of version 12.1 as this is now stable, to give users the advantages of a set of new features;
  • Immediately roll out EA13, to have even more new features (time-based modelling seems cool), but with the risk of bugs still to be resolved in new builds;
  • Wait until EA13 has stabilised and remain on EA10 for now.

Considering that it has taken about 6 months between the initial release of version 12.1 (build 1224) and the final build 1230, I think it might be too soon yet to go for EA13 and it would be safer to wait until it has stabilised. Staying on EA10 would leave us out of some interesting recent features, so I think migrating to EA12.1 would be be best course of action.

What would you do? Do you have any comments / considerations / recommendations?

Uml Process / Re: Requirements model vs User Stories in scrum tool
« on: July 01, 2016, 11:19:30 pm »
I'm resurecting this thread, as I'm currently facing the same challenge. Our organisation's new CIO has mandated that we're going to use Scrum for the majority of our projects from now on, whereas we used to have a strong waterfall approach. I'm having to make a proposal on how our analysis method has to evolve to support this approach.

User stories are already being put in Jira, so I need to find out how this can balance with the use of EA for requirements, use cases, information models etc.

The agile manifesto says:
  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
I take this to mean that the items on the left are more important than those on the right, not that processes, tools and documentation are to be thrown away. But there is always a risk that some people are a bit more radical in their interpretation. So one of my challenges as I see it will be to propose an acceptable level of process and documentation in line with the "just enough" philosophy of Agile (it's true that some of what we used to produce in a waterfall approach is pure overkill when you collaborate in an agile mindset).

So any insights, pointers, real life experience are more than welcome!


I managed to create a query that uses the package guid to select elements up to 3 levels deep for which the related requirements are retrieved:

Code: [Select]
select oe.ea_guid as CLASSGUID, oe.Object_Type as CLASSTYPE, oe.*
from (((((t_object oe
inner join t_connector cn on oe.Object_ID = cn.End_Object_ID)
inner join t_object os on os.Object_ID = cn.Start_Object_ID)
inner join t_package pk on os.package_id = pk.package_id)
left join t_package p1 on pk.parent_id = p1.package_id)
left join t_package p2 on p1.parent_id = p2.package_id)
where (pk.ea_guid = '<Search Term>'
or p1.ea_guid = '<Search Term>'
or p2.ea_guid = '<Search Term>')
and os.Object_Type in ('UseCase','Activity')
and oe.Object_Type = 'Requirement'
and cn.stereotype = 'trace'

Again, it works perfectly in the Search Builder, but in the model document it still causes a "Document generation failed".
Are there maybe some requirements as to which attributes to add to the select based on the contents of the template?
I'm at a loss as to what to try next :o

Exploring the virtual documents alternative.

I have a query that returns all linked requirements based on the activities in a package. This query returns the ea_guid as CLASSGUID, Object_Type as CLASSTYPE.
From the resulting selection, I can successfully generate a document using an existing template.

Now, when I define a Model Document to which I associate this search and this template, and then ask to generate the document while the desired package is highlighted in the project browser, I get an error message "Document generation failed".

This query again contains the #Branch# macro, but I tried using #Package# and #PACKAGEID# and got the same error.
How do I get a model document based on a search to work for a specific package?

Well it seems to be case sensitive after all... I replaced #PäckageID" with #PACKAGEID# and lo and behold, the query works!

Now I still need to figure out how I can make the fragment display the notes of the requirements as formatted text rather than plain text full of tags like

<font color="#ff0000"><u>SEY 29/02/2015: QC 3890:   </u></font>
   <li><font color="#ff0000"><b>Si   type de la pièce =  NOT02 =&gt;</b> </font></li>

Navigating the EA documentation is never easy  :(
I looked a bit more and found this:

So apparently it should be #PACKAGEID# in an RTF fragment, whereas it's #Package# in the Query Builder. Just to keep things nice and simple  ;)

Not sure what I'm doing wrong then... Is this case sensitive?
I'll try some more...


The version 10 documentation mentions #Package#, which is also what works in the Search Builder... I tried #PackageID# but got the same message (and this doesn't work in the Search Builder...)

I replaced the part of the where clause "Package_ID in (#Branch#)" with "Package_ID = #Package#".
This again works in the Search Builder tab of the Project Search, but still gives the same error in the SQL tab or when used in the template fragment...

Do you think that I could make it work with virtual documents using a predefined search? I've never worked with virtual documents yet, so I guess the best way to find out is to try it...

I've built an SQL query to retrieve all linked requirements from the activities in the package. When I test this in the Query Builder of the Project Search, the query returns the expected elements.

I then created a template fragment where I copied this query in the "Custom SQL" tab of the document properties. When I start the generation of the document with a template that uses this fragment, I get an error "ORA-00911: Invalid Character" (our repository is in Oracle).

I suspect the "invalid character" is due to the fact that the query contains a #Branch# macro to limit the results to the selected package and its subpackages. Interestingly, when I wrote and tested the SQL statement in the Project Search, I also got the same error message when I used the SQL tab instead of the "Search Builder" tab. So it looks as if the #Branch# macro is not expanded.

Is there a way around this? If not, I guess I'll have to use virtual documents instead...

We specify our use cases using activity diagrams. We also have standard RTF templates to generate a report on a use case containing the diagram(s) and all relevant elements in them. This works fine as each use case is stored in its own package with its activity diagram and the contained elements.

We also link business rules (documented using Requirement elements) to some of the activities in the activity diagram via <<trace>> links. These rules/requirements are stored in their own separate package.

I've now been asked to create a template that also includes these linked requirements, preferably in its own section. If I check the option "Include all diagram elements in report", this will show the requirements, but together with the other elements of the diagram.

Is there a way to have a report where the requirements do NOT appear between the other elements, but in their own section? The idea is to be able to use it on any package that contains a use case specification. I've been looking at template fragments, but did not yet manage to achieve the desired result.

General Board / Re: HTML Generation: object properties without 'tabs'
« on: March 09, 2016, 07:32:59 pm »
I'd be interested as well how I could customise some parts of the generated pages. Is this at all possible?

General Board / Re: One click shows all relationships
« on: March 04, 2016, 01:03:20 am »
Yes, this is the "Context filter". You can activate it via the "funnel" icon in the diagram toolbar.

Something similarly useful is the "diagram filter", which allows you e.g. to highlight only a certain type of elements on a diagram, or elements with a certain text in the notes, or a lot of other filters.

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