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Pro Cloud Server

Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server is an enhanced, separately purchased and separately licensed edition of Sparx Systems Cloud Services. Once the Cloud Service has been installed and configured, it runs on the installed machine as a Windows service, listening for requests for data from Enterprise Architect.

In order to support the new Pro Cloud Server functionality, the service has these enhancements:

  • The ability to define individual database managers as 'Enable Pro Features (OSLC, WebEA and Integration)'
  • The main screen of the Configuration Client displays the Pro Cloud Server's edition, the date it expires and' if appropriate, the number of WebEA users licensed (Express edition only)
  • The ability to define a 'Default Schema' option against individual database managers

As well as providing all the features and benefits of Sparx Systems Cloud Services, the Pro Cloud Server also includes:

  • The Sparx Systems Floating License Server
  • Integration Plugins
  • WebEA, a web based application that allows users to view and discuss elements in Enterprise Architect models through a web browser, while on portable devices or remote desk-top systems
  • Visibility Levels for Oracle and SQL Server 2016 based models, so that it is possible to restrict the access of a user or group of users to parts of the model that are only relevant to them
  • Prolaborate, a team Sharing and Collaboration Software package

Sparx Systems Pro Cloud is available in three premium editions, to support small, medium and large projects with differing numbers of models; the editions have the same installer but the License key determines what functionality is enabled:

  • Small Business, which supports up to three Firebird repositories; Visibility Levels is not available in this edition, as the feature is for Oracle and SQL Server databases
  • Team Server, which supports up to five repositories of any type
  • Enterprise Server, which supports any number of repositories of any type, within any restrictions imposed by your server and network

Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Express Edition provides WebEA access for a limited number of concurrent users, based on the number of licenses.

Installation

The Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server product is installed using a standard Windows Installer package. While it is possible to change the install location of the Pro Cloud Server, most users elect to keep the default of C:\Program Files (x86)\Sparx Systems\Cloud Services\  (assuming a 64bit machine is being used).

The Pro Cloud Server installer consists of multiple optional components; all but the 'IIS Integration' is installed by default.  The installation supports any number and combination of components being installed; for example, it would be possible to run the installer and choose to only install the 'Management Client', which would useful to users that require the ability to configure the Pro Cloud Server from their desktops.   By default each component is installed into a sub-folder immediately under the installation folder; however, some of the components allow their folder to be installed to a different location.

The Pro Cloud Server installation consists of these components:

  • Pro Cloud Service - installed in Service folder, containing the Windows service and sub-folders for log files, local models and various driver/supports files
  • Management Client - installed in Client folder, and will contain separate applications to configure the Pro Cloud Service and the Keystore
  • WebEA - installed in WebEA folder, and will contain the PHP, Javascript and CSS files that make up the WebEA application; typically the entire contents of this folder should be copied to a location that is controlled by your web server
  • Plugin Interface - installed in the SBPI folder, and will contain various executables to support linking elements within an Enterprise Architect model to external products
  • Visibility Levels - installed in the VisibilityLevels folder, and will contain the SQL scripts needed to enable (or disable) visibility levels within Oracle or SQL Server 2016+ models
  • IIS Integration - installed in the ISAPI folder, and will contain the runtime APIs needed by the Cloud Service for IIS integration

To assist you in performing and understanding the installation process, watch the Sparx Systems webinar Installing the Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server. Click on the link to access this webinar.

WebEA

One of the most requested features from the Enterprise Architect user base recently has been the ability to access Enterprise Architect models on mobile devices or from desktops without the need to install the Enterprise Architect application.

Sparx Systems has developed WebEA using PHP, JavaScript and CSS to provide a solution that can be deployed easily, that runs on the widest variety of systems, and that doesn't require any special hardware or additional licensing.

WebEA has a large array of configuration options that give the Enterprise Architect customer the power to control exactly how each model can be accessed and what types of actions can be performed.

Plugin Interface

Or Server Based Plugin Interface (SBPI), is a framework developed to extend the Pro Cloud Server via Plugins.  In the initial release of SBPI, the plugins developed will enable the Pro Cloud Server to support  the ability to link Enterprise Architect elements to elements/objects defined in external products and directly view (and potentially update) the details.

Floating License Server

The Sparx Systems Floating License Server functionality has been available for many years as the Key Store, providing users of Enterprise Architect with the ability to manage their floating licenses. Up until the creation of Pro Cloud Server, the Key Store was only offered as an independent Windows service. Now that it has been integrated into the Pro Cloud Server, users only need to install, configure and maintain one service for all their Enterprise Architect needs.

Visibility Levels

The 'Visibility Levels' feature within Enterprise Architect gives model managers the ability to restrict access to certain sections of a model. Only models hosted by a Pro Cloud Server are able to make use of this feature. Visibility Levels are implemented by taking advantage of the Row Level Security feature included in Oracle 8+ and Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (onwards).

Row Level Security is a security feature that controls which users can access which rows of data in a database. Traditional database security only allows for the ability to control which users have access to read, write or delete data down to the table level. Since Row Level Security functionality is implemented by the database, it is impossible for users to bypass security implemented at the application level by writing their own scripts or databases queries. That is, the database ensures that users can only view and update data they are authorized to access.

Since Row Level Security is functionality implemented by the database, most of the changes needed for Enterprise Architect and the Pro Cloud Server to support it are made directly to the database without needing to change the application code base, which means there is less to go wrong from an application point of view.

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