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Messages - Adam@Schneider

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Suggestions and Requests / MDG generation automation
« on: November 19, 2014, 02:49:10 pm »
Generating an MDG is quite tedious (especially if you have a lot of toolbox profiles), the current process is:

1..10 Right click on each UML profile, diagram, and toolbox package (I have 10 or more of these), then export the UML profile
11. Launch the MDG generation, select the MTS file
12. Click through and review, change options
13. Click generate and get your MDG file

I have a suggestion that would make things easier.

- Store the MTS options in the model somehow, similar to the document generation specification
- Associate packages with the MDG rather than UML profile exports
- Generating the MDG would encapsulate the profile export to a temp location for each referenced package
- When generating the MDG from the specification, it would save any changes to the spec, as per the MTS behaviour

This would make MDG generation simple:
1. click to launch the wizard
2. review/update the options as per the existing MTS procedure
3. Click go and all the exporting and joining together would happen, giving you an MDG at the end.

Failing this, possibly:
- Use the File attribute on the UML profile packages to populate the UML profile export filename
- Add a function to the project object to export a UML profile (something like the XMI export/import functions)
- Add a function to the automation interface to autogenerate an MDG using an MTS file.
The whole process could be tied together with a script.

In addition to this, all paths should use the local paths variables (including the MTS file), so external icons, UML profile output, MDG output are all relocatable.

Suggestions and Requests / ico file support
« on: November 17, 2014, 12:47:16 pm »
When creating UML profiles and MDG it seems EA is very picky on the image format.
The alternative image set in the image manager seems to accept pretty much anything, I've had issues getting the "icon" member of stereotype elements to accept some image types and I have settled on using png files. The toolbox icons seem to only accept 16x16 bitmaps at 4 bit colour, or at least that seems to be what is happening.

The transparency is also weird, the icons treat RGB 192,192,192 as transparent but ignore the alpha channel, the stereotype icons ignore both the alpha channel and the grey background, where the alternate images honour the alpha channel.

How about support for windows .ico files containing multiple image sizes and multiple depths? EA can then pick the best suitable image from the file, it can handle the transparency correctly, and it means we dont have to make bespoke versions of each image for different EA MDG features. Currently I'm having to use imagmajick to extract specific formats from my ico files.

Suggestions and Requests / Persistent document generation filters
« on: September 24, 2014, 05:18:14 pm »
I have a Master Document, and a number of nested Model Documents.

A number of my Model Documents work on different packages, and within those packages require different filter criteria.

I would like to use the same template for multiple model documents, with different filter criteria. The best solution would be for the filter criteria set on the model document to persist rather than reset when the dialog is closed. This way, for each model document I could set the template to use, then using the model document "generation" page, set the desired filter criteria.

When I then generate the document from the Master Document, each of  the filter criteria is applied to each model document. To work around this I am having to create multiple copies of the same template with different filter criteria for each.

If changing existing behaviour is not desired then perhaps something on the properties page for the model document? some tagged values? persistent filters?

General Board / Reporting on AssociationClass
« on: March 10, 2015, 02:27:45 pm »

I cant seem to find it anywhere, other than using a custom script/custom SQL is there any way to get at the connector for an AssociationClass in the RTF templates? or the other way around?

General Board / Re: BPMN relocating elements
« on: November 17, 2014, 12:09:10 pm »
We are on EA build 1110 and an SQL server repository.

I'll report a bug, there are 2 main reasons we arrange all activities in a single place, firstly the same process can be shown on multiple different diagrams, we might have a very big diagram showing everything, and cut down diagrams that go in certain document sections that are more focussed.

Second, following on from that we pool all activities under a single root so we can easily fire up the relationship matrix to view or assign requirements traceability. This also helps in document generation for example to generate a traceability table.

I dont mind that creating the activities on the diagram puts them with the diagram, but if they are manually moved away, or put onto another diagram (which for example may be in a sub package for doc gen formatting/heading purposes) moves the element then I think its wrong, it was put where it is for a reason.

General Board / BPMN relocating elements
« on: November 13, 2014, 06:25:14 pm »
I've noticed a quirk, if you create a BPMN process diagram, any elements you drop on it move to where the diagram is located within the project tree, if you move them back to their correct home in the project tree and then move them on a diagram they relocate next to the diagram again.

Why? and is this a user setting?

General Board / Re: Remote DBMS models
« on: November 28, 2014, 05:49:21 pm »
Thanks, thats probably because MS Access is just a toy :)

We have our model on SQL Server (out of nothing more than familiarity with it) and we have a few experts here who can figure out what kind of replication we should use and how to set that up.

General Board / Re: Remote DBMS models
« on: November 27, 2014, 12:02:10 pm »
Thanks, we might have a look into some kind of replication, testing on something non-production first. 90% of our EA users are new users, we are still getting our repository structure and work method standardised, throwing version control into the mix now might be a bit much for some users.

If I find something that works well I'll update, failing that we might need to set up some kind of co-located server with remote desktop for this kind of thing.

General Board / Remote DBMS models
« on: November 26, 2014, 02:35:23 pm »
We are hosting our EA models on a server within our corporate network but at a remote site, we have people from all corners of the country accessing the same models on the same server.

We have a response time issue for larger or more complex diagrams (selecting and moving/updating things can take several seconds or more per item). Document generation can also be very slow. The model itself is in SQL server, running EA locally at that site over RDC is very quick. We have tried both direct SQL server (with WAN optimisations) and the cloud service, it seems like the cloud service is little more than additional security, connection management and possibly some caching, the WAN acceleration is also possibly caching, or some optimised requests. None of these really help with interactive use.

I suspect EA is doing lot of things in the background sequentially waiting for the response from one operation before starting the next. Ping times are 35-45 ms, bandwidth is not an issue.

My question is, has anyone encountered and worked through this issue?

It would be really nice if the cloud service implemented a higher level protocol that could at least bundle up lots of updates together so that the number of round trips between the client and server are reduced. Alternatively has anyone used some kind of real time data replication? Is this risky in terms of data integrity (we can put some controls in place such as package locking)?

General Board / Table headers in document fragments
« on: October 31, 2014, 02:19:37 pm »
If I render elements into a table within a document template, and set a row as the header row it only shows the header row once (unless I add something else in the element section, for example child elements or linked document, even if there is none it seems to break the table).

I have to remove any additional line breaks, even those in the yellow tags for this to work, but I can get it to work.

My issue is I have different formats for different elements, so I insert a document fragment (a selector) then each specific template has the package and elements section (with line breaks removed) and a table containing the same header row and data row. When I do this it generates one big table but every second row is a header row.

Is there some special trick? or does this just not work?

Bugs and Issues / Re: MDA tagged value types (and debugging in gener
« on: December 16, 2014, 03:26:01 pm »
For anyone else who finds this thread, I'm submitting a bug report.

When you open EA it doesn't seem to load the custom tagged value types from the MDG within the model (not sure if this affects local XML files or not). I'm not sure if its just after an MDG import, or needs to be done on every EA restart.

To make custom MDG tagged value types work, open the tagged value types dialog (in UML types) then click OK. This seems to cause EA to reload its tagged value types and everything works.

Bugs and Issues / Re: MDA tagged value types (and debugging in gener
« on: December 10, 2014, 05:44:10 pm »
So it magically started working without any input from me...

Bugs and Issues / Re: MDA tagged value types (and debugging in gener
« on: December 09, 2014, 12:06:26 pm »
I'll spend a bit more time pulling it apart, but I haven't done anything different to before, I might submit a bug report and get sparx to look at it, if there is something wrong with it, at the very least I should be getting an error on import.

Bugs and Issues / Re: MDA tagged value types (and debugging in gener
« on: December 08, 2014, 05:56:03 pm »
I'm on 1110, I use the MTS creation because that allows me to export all my images from the image manager and my tagged value types (which arent working...).

So to follow up on this, rolling back to the oldest MDG version I have which I knew was working, no luck. Creating an empty model with the old MDG, no luck, so it seems like its not something specific to the MDG. It would be great to see where the process is breaking down.

Bugs and Issues / Re: MDA tagged value types (and debugging in gener
« on: December 08, 2014, 12:13:26 pm »
Ok, so I know not to expect anything in that table, but even going back in time through my releases, re-importing things that previously worked doesn't make any difference. I know after an MDG remove and import I need to restart EA so it picks up all the changes (bug submitted and confirmed a while ago). I even re-apply the stereotype and nothing...

A log file would be nice, something telling me EA has imported element X successfully, or failed to import something. This would be nice in general actually.

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