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Enterprise Architect in 30 minutes

Welcome to the comprehensive overview of the capabilities of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect 16.1. Each section focuses on a particular aspect of Enterprise Architect, providing an introduction to the purpose and benefits of each capability.

What is Enterprise Architect?

Enterprise Architect is a visual platform for designing and constructing software systems, for business process modeling, and for more generalized modeling purposes.

Enterprise Architect is based on the latest UML® 2.5 specification (see UML defines a visual language that is used to model a particular domain or system (either proposed or existing).

Enterprise Architect is a progressive tool that covers all aspects of the development cycle, providing full traceability from the initial design phase through to deployment, maintenance, testing and change control.

What differentiates Enterprise Architect from other UML tools?

  • Comprehensive UML 2.5 based modeling
  • Built-in Requirements Management
  • Extensive Project Management support, including resources, tasks, project calendar and metrics
  • Test Management built-in: Testpoint management, model-based test execution, test case specification and support for JUnit and NUnit
  • Flexible documentation options: HTML and Rich-Text (RTF) report writers
  • Code engineering support for many languages out of the box
  • An integrated Visual Execution Analyzer to profile, debug and document executing applications; instantiate run-time model objects; and record sequence diagrams from a stack trace
  • Extensible modeling environment that can host user-defined profiles and technologies
  • Usability: Enterprise Architect makes it easy to get up and running quickly with UML
  • Speed: Enterprise Architect is a spectacularly fast performer
  • Scalability: Enterprise Architect can handle extremely large models and many concurrent users with ease
  • Price: Enterprise Architect is priced to outfit the entire team, making collaboration and team development cost effectivelity from the initial design phase through to deployment, maintenance, testing and change control.

How popular is Enterprise Architect now?

With one million effective users worldwide, Enterprise Architect has proven remarkably popular across a wide range of industries and is used by thousands of companies world-wide. From large, well-known, multi-national organizations to smaller independent companies and consultants, Enterprise Architect has become the UML modeling tool of choice for developers, consultants and analysts in over 130 countries.

Sparx software is used in the development of many kinds of software systems in a wide range of industries, including:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive
  • Banking and Finance
  • Defense
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Research and Academia
  • Retail
  • Transport and Utilities

It is also used effectively for UML and business architecture training in many prominent colleges, training companies and universities around the world. Actual implementations range from single users to companies with over 1000 seats working on large, distributed projects.

Summary of Enterprise Architect Features

Enterprise Architect enables you to:

  • Model complex information, software and hardware systems using UML-compliant notation
  • Model, manage and trace requirements to deployed solutions
  • Produce detailed and quality documentation in RTF, PDF and HTML formats
  • Leverage industry-standard enterprise architecture frameworks
  • Generate and reverse engineer code in 10+ programming languages*
  • Model databases, generate DDL scripts, and reverse database schema via ODBC*
  • Manage, track and control change using baseline model merge and auditing capabilities
  • Centralize enterprise-wide documentation of processes and information systems
  • Model dependencies between elements, system dynamics and state
  • Model class hierarchies, deployment, components and implementation details
  • Record project issues, tasks and system glossary
  • Assign resources to model elements and track effort expended against required effort
  • Share models using the latest XMI 2.1 format. (Earlier versions also supported)
  • Import models in XMI format from other tools
  • Manage version control through XMI using SCC, CVS and Subversion configurations
  • Use UML Profiles to create custom extensions for domain-specific modeling
  • Save and load complete diagrams as Patterns
  • Analyze and trace relationships between elements using the tabular Relationship Matrix
  • Script and automate common tasks using the Automation Interface and Model Scripts
  • Connect to shared database repositories using MS SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle and more*
  • Migrate changes across a distributed environment using Controlled XMI Packages
  • Perform model-to-model transformations using Model Driven Architecture (MDA)*
  • Create and share dynamic views of model elements and diagram sets using Model Views
  • Create Mind Maps, Business Process Models and Data Flow Diagrams using UML
  • Generate BPEL scripts automatically from business process models in BPMN© notation*
  • Generate executable business logic from rule tasks and trace to natural language business rules*
  • Visualize executing applications using the Visual Execution Analyzer
  • Transform behavioral models into executable source code both for software and for hardware description languages (HDLs) such as Verilog, VHDL, and SystemC*
  • Simulate SysML parametric models.*


Enterprise Architect supports all UML 2.5 models and diagrams. You can model business processes, web sites, user interfaces, networks, hardware configurations, messages and many other aspects of your development.

In brief, Enterprise Architect:

  • Was the first UML tool to introduce comprehensive UML 2 support in April 2004
  • Continues to refine and update UML 2 support
  • Supports all 14 diagram types from UML 2.

In addition to UML, Enterprise Architect supports the latest Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) and Systems Modeling Language (SysML) specifications. Enterprise modeling notations are also supported out-of-the-box, including ArchiMate© 2.0, SoaML and SOMF©.

Enterprise Architect supports numerous other diagram types that extend core UML diagrams for strategic modeling, mind mapping, formal requirements specifications, data-flow diagrams, user interface prototyping and domain-specific modeling. The tool also provides alternative views that make editing the core UML diagrams more intuitive and effective. One example is the State Table editor, which renders a standard UML State Machine diagram as an editable logic table.

Enterprise Architect UML Modeling Tool
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Topic Guide

Information Sheets

What benefits does Enterprise Architect provide?

Model and Manage Complex Information

Enterprise Architect helps individuals, groups and large organizations model and manage complex information. Often this relates to software development and IT systems design and deployment, but it can also relate to business analysis and business process modeling.

Enterprise Architect integrates and connects a wide range of structural and behavioral information, helping to build a coherent and verifiable architectural model, either what-is or what-will-be. Tools to manage versions, track differences, audit changes and enforce security help control project development and enforce compliance with standards.

Model, Manage and Trace Requirements

Capture requirements and use full traceability from base requirements to design, build, deployment and beyond. Use impact analysis to trace from proposed changes to original requirements. Build the 'right' system.

Integrate Teams and Share a Vision

A scalable, easily deployed, multi-user environment, Enterprise Architect integrates team members from all sections and all phases of a product's (or system's) development and maintenance life-cycle, providing significant benefits from built-in collaboration and inherent information sharing.

A single repository for business analysts, software architects, developers, project managers, testers, roll-out and support staff. A 'unified' view of a complex system having many view points and many possible sub-systems.

Design and Build Diverse Systems using UML

UML 2.5, an open standard, provides a rich language for describing, documenting and designing software, business and IT systems in general. Enterprise Architect allows you to leverage the full expressive power of UML 2.5 to model, design and build diverse systems in an open and well understood manner. Generate code, database structures, documentation and metrics. Transform models. Specify behavior and structure as the basis for contractual agreements.

Visualize, Inspect and Understand Complex Software

Software is complex and often hard to understand. Use Enterprise Architect to reverse engineer a wide variety of source code to understand static structure. To complete the picture, use the unique built-in profiling and debugging tools at run-time to capture and visualize executing software. Create run-time instances of model elements and invoke methods using the built in Object Workbench. Integrate existing data models by reverse engineering database schema for a wide range of systems.

Use Full Life-Cycle Modeling and Project Management

Capture and track information about model elements that are important to success: for example, Testing, Project Management and Maintenance details. Use this information to drive and track product development and delivery.

Share and Re-Use Information Across Tools

Enterprise Architect supports a number of mechanisms for exporting and importing models using industry standard XMI. This allows modelers to use information created in other tools, to copy information between Enterprise Architect models and even to write and use custom tools that take XMI directly as input.

Create Platform Independent Models using Model Driven Architecture

Model Driven Architecture (MDA) is an open standard designed to facilitate rapid application development in a platform independent manner. Models can be built at a high level of abstraction and using MDA based tools, transformed into models and code targeting a specific platform or domain. Enterprise Architect has a rich set of tools built-in to support MDA.

Modeling Based on Open Standards

As a contributing member of the Object Management Group, Sparx Systems understands the importance of open standards to communicate effectively to a wide range of stakeholders. To this end, Enterprise Architect helps you to:

  • Visualize systems using the latest UML 2.5 notation
  • Document and describe business processes with BPMN 2.0
  • Model and simulate systems engineering projects with SysML 1.3
  • Leverage numerous other open modeling standards all in the one modeling environment!