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Topics - stevesavage

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I've started making heavy use of the new Image Asset element to bring in mock-ups created by our development team so I can link them to BPMN activities.
E.g. while doing the activity the actor is interacting with the IT solution using the interface.

Because they are NOT using Sparx EA for the mockups (using Balsamiq), I'd like to:

  • Export screens from Balsamiq
  • Import them in to Sparx EA (and store in Sparx EA) using the file names as the Element Name
  • If they later update
  • Export screens from Balsamiq
  • Run a script in EA that replaces the images in Sparx with the new images, using the file/element names for matching

Does the API have a feature for this, or one planned for this?
I was hoping for something similar to the Element.LoadLinkedDocument(string Filename) function.
E.g. LoadLinkedImage(string Filename)


For one of my scripts I'd love to be able to do the following:

  • In the Package Browser, select Package "A"
  • View Package "A" as a List (Package List View)
  • Navigate to Package "B"
  • Select some Elements in Package "B"
  • Run my script
  • Script uses Repository.GetTreeSelectedElements() to get the Elements I selected in Package "B"
  • Script uses "Session.Prompt" to pause and ask me to select items from Package "A"
  • I go back to the Package List View from step 2
  • I select Elements in the Package List View
  • Script uses ????? to get the Elements I selected in the Package List View, fromPackage "A"

I don't think this is supported right now, but I thought I'd ask.

By the way, if you didn't know already, you can open multiple "list views" at the same time, and drag and drop elements between them... handy for organizing things in Sparx EA.

General Board / Image Assets in Generated Reports
« on: January 07, 2017, 10:02:57 am »
We've started using Image Assets to import Interface Mockups created in an external tool in to Sparx EA.

I created several image assets by dragging some PNG files on to a diagram, and selecting "Image Asset" as the element type.

But I'm having some issues getting them to show up in reports:
"They can also be used in documentation by inserting hyperlinks to the Image Asset element."

I tried:
package >
  element >
  child elements >
< package

And that didn't work.
Anyone have any success yet?

My workaround is creating a diagram under the image asset to include the image.

General Board / Dyanamic Documents crash EA?
« on: December 21, 2016, 02:40:59 am »
I was really hoping to make use of the new Dynamic Documents feature to improve the readability of information contained in my model.
Unfortunately every time I try using one, EA stops responding, I'm using EA 13.09.

Just wondering if this is isolated to me, or if others are having the same issue.
I'm sure this was working on an earlier version of 13, but I don't really want to role back.
Tested on both our Oracle repository, and a local MS-Access EAP file, using a "reqirement" element with no stereotype.

Seems to be an error introduced in Sparx EA 13

When I generate a report (docx), the bookmark for an Element section is being placed at the "end" of the Element instead of the beginning.
Running the same report with the same template on Sparx EA 12.1.1224 correctly places the bookmark at the beginning of the Element section.


In Sparx EA 13.09 and 13.08:
Element 1 - start
Element 1.1 - start
Element 1.1 - end - bookmark for Element 1.1 is here (guid)
Element 1.2 - start
Element 1.2 - end - bookmark for Element 1.2 is here (guid)
Element 1 - end - bookmark for Element 1 is here (guid)

In Sparx EA 12.x:
Element 1 - start - bookmark for Element 1 is here (guid)
Element 1.1 - start - bookmark for Element 1.1 is here (guid)
Element 1.1 - end
Element 1.2 - start - bookmark for Element 1.2 is here (guid)
Element 1.2 - end
Element 1 - end

Also reported through the official bug reporter.

Bugs and Issues / Image Asset: Show Owned Image fails after update
« on: November 29, 2016, 07:57:45 am »
Started experimenting with the new Image Asset, really liked what I saw at first, and could see me using this for linking screen mockups to activities.

Using Sparx EA 13.08 on Windows 7.

Create an image asset by:
1. Dragging a .png file on to a diagram
2. Select "as image asset"
3. Select the new image asset on the diagram, right click and check "Show Owned Image"
4. Diagram now shows the "image", perfect for what I need.
5. Select the new image asset on the diagram, right click and check "Update Stored Image"
6. Select a different PNG file
7. Select the new image asset on the diagram, "Show Owned Image" is now unchecked
8. Tried checking "Show Owned Image",  stays unchecked

1. Dragging a .png file on to a diagram
2. Select "as image asset"
5. Select the new image asset on the diagram, right click and check "Update Stored Image"
6. Select a different PNG file
7. Select the new image asset on the diagram, right click and check "Show Owned Image"
8. No change, "Show Owned Image" is still unchecked

Will keep trying with some other variations to see what's going on.

General Board / Using DocumentGenerator in Document Fragments
« on: November 02, 2016, 04:05:11 am »
I know this has been around since 12.1, but I'm finally getting around to experimenting with this now, and it's showing a lot of promise of making more complex documents.
Has anyone else been experimenting with this?

Under Document Options -> Custom Query you can select Document Script, then select the script from your script library with the function you want to call (or select a script in the language you want to use, then write the function in the provided area)

E.g. I selected: "EAConstants-JScript"

Then defined my function in the provided area:

function createRTF(inElementID)
  var local = {};
  local.selectSQL = "SELECT t_object.Object_ID FROM t_object .....";
  local.selectedElements = Repository.getElementSet(local.selectSQL,2); // could also use Repository.SQLQuery and then pull from the XML
  local.documentGenerator = Repository.CreateDocumentGenerator();
  for ( local.i = 0 ; local.i < local.selectedElements.count ; local.i++ )
    local.element = local.selectedElements.GetAt(local.i);
    local.template = "VD-DMD-03-Data Dictionary (EN) Select-" + local.element.Stereotype;
  return local.documentGenerator.GetDocumentAsRTF();

Anyway, just playing with it now, will write a blog entry when I have more time.

General Board / Listing the "visible" attributes in a diagram.
« on: October 19, 2016, 01:41:16 am »
For my projects I typically have a domain model with classes that define the overall data-set being created/modified/used by a set of business activities.
I have a diagram showing a BPMN activity + the one or more classes it's linked to, and then use the feature visibility so only the attributes that are relevant to the activity are visible.

In addition to this diagram, I want to list these "visible" attributes and their properties within my reports.  (at the moment people have to look at the diagram, and then find the info in the domain model report)

After a bit of searching I found how and where Sparx EA stores this information in the DB.
I had hoped it would be something simple in in the t_diagramobjects or t_xref.

Instead the list of visible or invisible attributes are in t_diagram.StyleEx

S_2B7534 = the element with the GUID {2B753453-3F2D-4a25-8D5D-DA8FAF0E4674}
S_6CC0D7 = the element with the GUID {6CC0D72C-086B-45e3-B6C7-A70D0AC8984A}

E8B177,838277 = the attributes under S_2B7534 that are hidden
32C749,671377,4517EB = the attributes under S_6CC0D7 that are visible

Why only the first 6 chars of the GUIDs are used, don't know, but hopefully will not cause issues.

To determine if the attributes listed are hidden or visible you have to look in t_diagramobjects
For Object_ID = 2 = {2B753453-3F2D-4a25-8D5D-DA8FAF0E4674} = S_2B7534 : t_diagramobjects.ObjectStyle, AttCustom=0
For Object_ID = 3 = {6CC0D72C-086B-45e3-B6C7-A70D0AC8984A} = S_6CC0D7 : t_diagramobjects.ObjectStyle, AttCustom=1

My current idea is to create a template fragment that calls a script that returns the recordset I need.
But before I go that route, I was wondering if anyone had created an SQL query that could actually tie all this mess together?

In my notes and linked documents I often include links to elements in my repository.

E.g.  S5.1(a): [RP] is Responsible Person = True/False

Where S5.1(a) = a hyperlink to element.  <a href="$element://\{9BE72A54-C3C2-47d3-9FC3-B6B6A18DBABF\}>
When I generate a report, this hyperlink get's changed to: <a href="#BKM_B515ED4C_37E8_4728_ACA2_468C0C850EC6">

I'd like to generate an .rtf report that I then use as a linked document within Sparx EA
My clients can then load the document in EA and use the hyperlinks to "jump to" the linked objects.

Is there anyway to tell Sparx EA to leave the links alone when the document is generated?

Suggestions and Requests / Add "summary break" support for notes.
« on: August 19, 2016, 11:57:41 pm »
I'm finding that I'm making more use of the "notes" for an element in my diagrams.  Either directly in the body of the element or as a linked Text Annotation/Note.
It would be useful to be able to add a "text break" in to my notes where everything before the break is shown in the diagram, and everything after is hidden.

At the moment I adjust the character length for notes showing in the body of the element (Feature and Compartment Visibility -> Element Notes -> maximum chars)
But don't have a work around for linked Annotation/Note.

I'm in the process of documenting a bunch of scripts I've created over the years to post on my website, and to pass on to another team member for maintenance.

To make my job go a bit quicker, I was wondering if an XMI file is available containing the class diagrams found in the user guide?  E.g.

Having the these classes would greatly simplify creating sequence diagrams to document where and how my scripts call Sparx's API.


Suggestions and Requests / Embedding images in Notes
« on: December 14, 2012, 12:56:26 am »
A lot of the projects I work on require the tracking of rules and requirements for Scientific Applications.

Often the "business rules" are related to the execution of an actual formula.

I'd love to be able to include the image for the formula directly in the notes instead of using the image manager, or creating a linked document.

Suggestions and Requests / Flag/icon for attatched document
« on: December 14, 2012, 01:12:24 am »
An indicator in the project browser, and/or element browser showing when the selected element has an attached document.

At the moment, unless I'm looking at a diagram containing the element (and see the small red A), there is no way (I know of) for me to tell there is an attached document.

Most of EA's clients are IM/IT industry professionals.

Instead of having to search through threads in a discussion group to see if anyone else has reported a bug, or suggested a feature, I'd prefer to see the list of bugs and feature requests compiled by the Sparx's team from these discussion groups, as stored in your internal bug/request tracking system.

I could then see which requests Sparx's has taken note of, and for Bugs, I could easily find out if the Bug was previously reported, or better yet fixed, assigned to be fixed, or a suggested work around.

If that isn't possible, giving the community more formal tools for posting and searching requests and bugs would allow us to more easily find existing bug reports, and feature requests, so we could find, or submit information on resulting solutions, workarounds, etc.  It would also allow us to self moderate, guiding each other on how to submit concise and meaningful bug or feature requests instead of these omnibus discussions.

JIRA, Bugzilla and Mantis come to mind.  I'd suggest Sparx's host the solution so at the very least you'll be able to cross link your internal tracking solutions to reference the external comments of the community.

If you want to limit users, set it up so only registered EA users can submit features and bugs to the new solution, but make it readable by all.

Suggestions and Requests / Setting the "status" for diagrams
« on: March 16, 2012, 01:41:55 am »
I'd like to be able to set a status attribute for diagrams, the same way I can for elements in the repository.

Currently there is no way to indicate that a diagram has been reviewed and approved etc.

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