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Messages - MichaelRuschena

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General Board / Re: Zicom Mentor - Anybody buy it?
« on: February 16, 2003, 04:00:55 pm »
One of the keenest of our early adopters bought Mentor himself, and gave us a demo of it on Friday (14/2). Context-sensitive UML help in the modelling will be very useful for the introduction of modelling in the team... we have a variety of UML skill levels, and this will be a great equalizer.

It will certainly be adopted if we can ever get past the business case stage.  ::)

General Board / Re: Use Case scenarios
« on: February 27, 2003, 03:33:13 pm »
I use scenarios for basic and alternate flows as well. I'm not sure what a "data fill" is, but could it be captured by defining another type of scenario, and just putting the text in?

I do not neglect to provide the links to the actual requirement objects as well.

Molla, I'm very interested in the fact that you do this. We've been thinking about trying this, but it seems like a very manual process. I wonder if you could say a few words about the benefits you get from this, how detailed you make the requirements, and what (if any) use you make of the explicit tracability.

To actually capture this, I'm assuming you're using the requirements icon in the custom diagram, possibly with aggregation or association links between them as appropriate. Is this way off target?


General Board / Re: How do I upgrade registered version?
« on: February 16, 2003, 04:04:39 pm »
Glad to hear the EA-RequirementControl still exists... I was worried it had folded, or burnt to the ground, or something.   :D

BTW, does anyone else think a EA Add In forum would be a good idea? Someplace where announcements could be made along the lines of "The World-eIT site will disappear for the next 3 weeks". Or "Try out Mentor for nifty UML explanations"

General Board / Re: Building Profiles and Patterns
« on: February 04, 2003, 03:05:50 pm »
Thanks Phil, thats real handy.

I'm assuming the metafiles contain the images, and if you specify one, it gets added to the icon... only some icons can support this. A scan of my hard drive shows no other emf files, so they must be programmed in. Odd way to do things. I look forward to creating a profile for this place.

General Board / Building Profiles and Patterns
« on: February 03, 2003, 06:45:09 pm »
Hi folks,

Just wanted to ask a couple of questions about patterns and profiles.

1) Are there any resources about how to build our own UML profiles? Or will we have to decode the XML in the file ourselves?

1a) The custom icons that some stereotypes in the profiles show... where do these come from? They don't seem to be in the XML file. Are they hard-coded into EA?

2) I've built and saved a pattern, but am rather annoyed that I can only put one pattern in a file. I'd like to build a file called GoF Design Patterns, and load that. How do I go about combining different files?

Thanks in advance,


General Board / Re: Linking a sequence diagram to a use case
« on: November 26, 2002, 02:29:36 pm »
Making the <<realization>> link will create links in the HTML documentation, so the use case is accessible when you print out the docs. However, binding the notes to an internal feature of an object is much, much cooler 8). It means that in the diagram itself, the text is available.
So for sequence diagrams, you can have the scenario displayed in the modeller next to the function calls. It really makes a clear link between the use case and the sequence. Try it... overnight it's become my favorite EA trick :).

General Board / Re: Linking a sequence diagram to a use case
« on: November 25, 2002, 09:57:46 pm »

I got half way with the relationship matrix. Specifically... I can call up the Use Cases, and I can even create Note Link Associations, but... I can't call up the particular notes, or tell the note which particular feature to link to.  :(

The work around' s not too bad, so I'm not incredibly disappointed. Just curious, mostly.


General Board / Re: Linking a sequence diagram to a use case
« on: November 25, 2002, 05:01:07 pm »
The thread cited by Jaime was really cool.  :D I'm just wondering if there's a way to link a note to a feature without having to do it in a diagram?

For instance, suppose I have a use case, and want the scenario to appear as a note in the sequence diagram. I could
  • copy and paste text... I have done this, but now I know a much better way ;D
  • In the use case diagram, add a note, associate it to the scenario, then copy and paste the note to the new diagram
  • Include the use case in the sequence, associate the note, then delete the use case

The key point being... to associate I seem to need a NoteLink, which means I need note and object in a diagram, which I won't necessarily want in the final diagram. I can get around it, but... is there a way to associate without the link?


General Board / Re: Business Case for Enterprise Architect
« on: November 24, 2002, 03:06:08 pm »
Thanks for the replies, everyone.

I did come up with a productivity test to compare the tools as a simple UML drawing tool. I nominated 6 diagrams from a UML workbook, and reproduced them in both Visio and EA, timing how long each diagram took. (I don't have access to Rose, so I can't run this through the same test yet... I'm planning to, though.) I took some efforts to get the diagrams matching the appearance of the ones in the book, but did allow variations native to the applications.

Diagram# ElementsE.A TimeVisio TimeEA Efficiency
Use Case Model3182770%
Domain Model5091747%
Class Model44233330%
Robustness Diagram278Not availableN/A
Sequence Diagram20102255%

Visio couldn't do Robustness diagrams in the UML portion. (I think it was available in a different diagram type, but then the benefits of Visio's UML connections, such as they are, would be lost.) Visio also lost marks in the Sequence diagram, since it was unable to efficiently add comments by the diagram (The comment icon was stuck in a default size, and I couldn't figure out how to effectively resize it.)

For real results, further testing would be needed. Ideally, we would get at least 5 users of a number of skill levels, and run them through the same tests. (I count myself as a proficient user of both applications.)

On the basis of these tests, I can comfortably claim EA as 50% more efficient than Visio as a UML drawing tool (plus being easier to use). This translates into significant saving really quickly.

There are still the benefits to be gained from
  • not having to put stuff into Word.
  • task lists
  • code generation (although we don't get much of a chance to use this... silly ASP shops. ::)

I'd still like to know if anyone's worked with Rational products... Is there any differentiation between Rational and EA other than the price? (And yes, that price differential is a big different.)
Michael Ruschena

General Board / Business Case for Enterprise Architect
« on: November 12, 2002, 11:12:46 pm »
Hi folks...

We're looking to get EA adopted as a CASE tool for our team. We've been told to put together a business case for the app. Can anyone suggest the features the EA brings?

The main competion is Visio and Rational Rose. We do Microsoft-base web development (i.e. using MS SQL, ASP, normal web-type bits, COM, and so on)

Current ideas are:
  • productivity (we'll do some metrics)
  • good modelling ability (a little vague... specific measures, anyone?)
  • a single repository for documentation
  • UML support
  • Documentation... although I feel a little week on this
  • testing support
  • code generation (which we don't actually use yet  :-/)

Any other suggestions?



General Board / Re: Anyone know of a Business Analyst community?
« on: October 15, 2002, 12:40:49 am »
Thanks for the suggestions, guys.

Alan, Yahoo groups make me come out in a rash. ;)

Chris, how active are the WWISA discussion boards?

General Board / Anyone know of a Business Analyst community?
« on: October 10, 2002, 11:01:15 pm »

I'm just wondering if anyone is aware of an active Business Analyst/Systems Analyst community. I'm a big believer in such things as knowledge sharing places. I've had a look around the web, and couldn't find much. It seems like an oversite.

What I'm looking for is a discussion board/mailing list/some other thing where people exchange knowledge about business analysis... requirements gathering, solutions, and so on. (This board probably counts as a modelling community.)

Any recommendations would be appreciated.

General Board / Re: Robustness Diagrams
« on: September 10, 2002, 11:04:13 pm »

Mmm... that sounds interesting.  Do you have the reference by any chance?

The quote is firstly Aarti, who works at the desk next to me.  ;D

I pressed her for a bit of detail. It was first an observation made from the examples in Applying Use Case Driven Object Modelling With UML by Doug Rosenberg and Kendall Scott. Drilling a bit deeper, the book mentions "Putting methods on classes involves converting the controllers from you robustness diagram, one at a time, to sets of methods and messages that embody the desired behaviour" (page 89, their emphasis).

I can't honestly say I use the stereotypes well enough to give much in the way of feedback on your suggestions. However, I'd have expected Boundary to come in stereotypes of <<GUI>> and <<interface>>, and Entities to come as things like <<database>>, <<Mainframe>>, <<Container>>, etc.

Then you'd say that <<GUI>> is expected to handle user input, <<database>> is expected to receive SQL or whatever, <<container>> is a persistent object created for processing, and so on. Just a thought.

What are you hoping to achieve with the stereotypes?

General Board / Re: Robustness Diagrams
« on: September 09, 2002, 08:02:16 pm »
Thanks Phil, that makes sense. I can't really comment on J2EE  ??? though.

I did come across one reading where the control classes ended up as function calls in a first cut of a sequence diagram. (Boundaries and Entities formed the classes). They were then progressively turned into discrete functions.

General Board / Re: Robustness Diagrams
« on: September 05, 2002, 04:41:10 pm »
My robustness diagrams then look something like this:

ACTOR<-->Boundary (GUI)<-->Controller<-->Entity<-->Boundary (SQL)<-->DATABASE

I'm an analyst in an intranet environment, so Conallen's book is extremely useful to me. But I also do some C++ programming, and I use the diagrams the same way. So I'm curious about robustness diagrams with a single controller. What value does it add?

Let me explain my thinking. I put robustness firmly after a Use Case. The robustness diagram allows me to divide out chunks of work that the algorithm. For example: gather the parameters (talks to GUI), validate the input, build an appropriate query (talks to report object), run the query itself (talk to database), do something with the results (talk to report again), display them. So we have six discrete steps that have to be performed to accomplish a workflow in the Use Case, without getting bogged down in the details of a sequence diagram. Its easy to specify what each controller will do (if it isn't, then the controller is too big). It's also easy to relate the steps back to the original Use Case.

I can't help thinking that if there's a single controller, then either
  • the sequence of steps has been decided, and it's too late for the robustness to add much value, OR
  • the controller is doing way too much.
I'd be interested to know what benefits you get from single controller robustness. If it's simply to allocate functions to various tiers, wouldn't one of the other UML diagrams be more appropriate? (I'm thinking the physical diagram, but I don't venture much into such lands, so I'm not sure.)

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