Enterprise Architect Hidden Gems
Webinar February 2013
Questions & Answers
Q: Project Management capabilities have existed in Enterprise Architect for a while, is there anything new for PM in version 10?A: Briefly:
- A context Menu to toggle the highlight for all overdue tasks. This makes it easier to identify project slippage.
- Select any task in the Gantt view, then use the context menu to quickly Jump to the Start, or End or Today's date. (The selected date appears in the middle of Gantt Chart.)
- Column Filters allow you to quickly search and filter tasks.
Q: What advantages does Model Mail offer over other mail programs?A: Enterprise Architect's Model Mail is not intended to replace corporate email software. Instead, it provides an excellent communication facility for shared Enterprise Architect models. You can send messages directly to other authors in your modeling team and include clickable hyperlinks to relevant model elements. Because Model Mail is sent and received directly within the model repository, you don't need any of the usual email client/server infrastructure to use it, nor is Model Mail prone to the usual issues associated with email, such as spam.
To use Model Mail in Enterprise Architect, select from the main menu:
View > Model Mail.
You can send a message to any of the authors that were previously defined using the main menu:
Settings > Project Types > Resources > Project Authors.
Q: Can I use Model Mail without setting up a task with resources?A: Yes. Model Mail is not dependent on your use of Tasks in Enterprise Architect. The two features just happen to work nicely together.
Q: Can we have this example - the train simulation program "City Loop" - that you showed?A: Yes. The "City Loop" application is available with Enterprise Architect's Example Model. You can find the code in your Enterprise Architect (version 9 or later) installation folder, for example:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Sparx Systems\EA\Code Samples\VEA\Microsoft Native\CityLoopThe application has been reverse engineered into Enterprise Architect's Example Model. See the following package:
Project Models.Execution Analysis.C++/NativeThis package already has an associated Build Script associated with it (access it via Right-Click > Execution Analyzer or Ctrl+Shift+F12). However, you need to define the following Local Paths in Enterprise Architect, as they are referred by the Build Script:
Settings > Local Directories and Paths.
The first path tells Enterprise Architect where to find the code to compile. The latter tells Enterprise Architect which compiler to use (for example devenv.com or msbuild.exe)
Q: Is the "City Loop" code managed C++A: No, it is an MFC application. As such, it has no dependency on the .Net framework.
Q: What would you say are the benefits of debugging within Enterprise Architect, rather than in my IDE?A: Enterprise Architect's Visual Execution Analyzer (VEA) enables you to record the debug session and generate models based on this. For example, you can automatically generate a sequence diagram based on an execution of your legacy application. This aids in understanding the run-time behaviour and called interfaces of the system, without necessarily stepping through code. So the VEA provides an excellent way to document legacy applications, using industry standard modeling notation.
When debugging Model Scripts, in addition to analyzing the run-state of variables and behavior of the code, you can inspect the model elements and any diagrams on which the script operates simply using Enterprise Architect's User Interface while the script executes. That has proved especially helpful to some of our own staff who develop Model Scripts.
Q: What identifiers link the code that you debugged with the Statemachine?A: A State Machine has been defined under the CTrain class in the Example Model. The CTrain class exists in the following location in the Project Browser:
Project Models.Execution Analysis.C++/Native.Source.CTrain
This State Machine represents the as-designed behaviour of the City Loop application, by modeling the set of legal State Tranisitions.
Q: What's new for the Visual Execution Analyzer in version 10?A: New in Enterprise Architect version 10:
- Support for Profiling of Java, .Net and mixed .Net/Native applications.
- Reverse Engineering of user defined languages is also supported.
- As demonstrated in the the webinar, you can auto-generate Class Diagrams from Execution Analyzer recordings.
- Testpoint management now supports Java and VB.NET.
- New toolbars to 'Build' and 'Record & Analyze' were added to the user interface.