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Messages - Oliver F.

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General Board / Re: Multiple use of elements in diagram
« on: July 13, 2017, 09:24:20 pm »
Your basic assumption is incorrect- Items being defined in EA are primarily  "types" of items.
So eg. for deployments you can define a device named "router" which specifies certain attributes and behavior. However in complex environments you will certainly want to place several of these on the deployment diagram which, however, are instances of the router type you just defined.

The same applies for class diagrams. Modeling scenarios with eg. multiple credit cards the solution is not to put the credit card class multiple times on the panel but use instance objects instead.

Different example: On some occasions I had component diagrams which went too complex with all these connectors so this might lead to the temptation to have the same component being placed left and right on the diagram to clean up the mess. However this would lead to massive confusion. Therefore the correct approach here would either be to clean  up the connectors mess or split the diagran in several parts with a compound component as the basis- This basically is what Geert was refering too- the problem here is lying in the way modeling is performed, not in restrictions of the tool. Often it is really better to think out of the box and improve overview and modularity instead of approaching problem with a hammer ;)


I think that comment feature only works when editing Rich Text Document Artefacts, not templates...?

I can confirm this. I havenīt been able to apply a comment inside a document template but it works with Document Artifacts.
It is grayed out otherwise.


Isnīt this the use case the "Skip Root Package" checkbox in the document generation option is supposed to handle?


General Board / Re: Migrating from v12 to v13
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:43:08 pm »
I can feel your pain.

Maybe it helps that I am currently mostly not relying on the menu bar but use the menu item search functionality to get quick access to functionality.
That way I also get an idea where the items are hiding now. I still have to get used to that ribbon concept.


Somewhere rings a bell from some time long ago but I currently can not remember exactly what it was.
Which extra includes are you seeing in the code?`


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Publishing Add Ins
« on: June 21, 2017, 10:19:51 pm »
What do you mean by "publish"?

Making it publicly available or integrating it into EA so that it is available for usage?

Integrating it into EA is simply following the guide here:

If you want to make it publicly available I suggest you pack both files into an installer which handles unpacking, registry entries and assembly registering for you to prevent from doing it manually.
The installation package can then be made available via standard hosting means (Dropbox, sourceforge, GitHub or whatever you prefer).

Hope that helps.


You might want to try the Enterprise Architect Connector plugin we have been working on some years ago.
It has a bit aged but still seems to work.


General Board / Re: Status Types per Package
« on: June 12, 2017, 08:32:21 pm »
Why do you think that? Those are exactly for that purpose. Add a new value (or delete some) and you see the changed drop down.

As far as I can see Claudio wants to have a different drop down content depending on the package the items are in which is something which is not available in EA as well as status colors can not be set by stereotypes.
An alternative option is using different shape scripts which change the color according to the stereotype of the item (afaik package is not available in shape script criteria). However this is not very flexible, I have to say, as it requires changing the scripts for new statu texts and colors.

Writing an addin could be an option which changes the color according to package and stereotype or tagged values. This approach is more flexible and can rely on existing status strings.



General Board / Re: Find Command in EA 13
« on: June 08, 2017, 02:29:09 am »
Can this be related with the availability of remaining space to the right of the menu?
Might be worth trying to disable some of the menu entries to reclaim some space in the menu.
Just a thought.


General Board / Re: Find Command in EA 13
« on: June 08, 2017, 01:28:22 am »
I use it frequently. Itīs at the end of the menu right of the "Extend" command,
Frequently used by myself as I donīt want to scan through the ribbons to execute  a command hidden in the structure.

I also juct checked the Perspective settings but have not found a way to disable it. Did you already try setting the Perspective to "All"?


Ah, thanks Simon, I did not have the model templates on my list. Great advice.

The only 2 drawbacks I see here:
  • It definitely requires an MTS file.
  • I assume that any time I would create an update to the MDG using the wizard in EA I need to manually add the section.

Anyway, looks promising I will give it a try, thanks for pointing me in that direction.


Sometimes good quick ideas turn into medium high effort ones if your enthusiasm is doing the front runner dance with reality  :)

The idea:
Create a pattern for virtual model documents to have the same documentation structure at hand over and over again.

The challenge:
To have a common header with history, etc. these have to be stored in a document artifact inside a package to be colelcted by the document generator.

What has been accomplished:
Setting up the structure of model documents (empty) to be filled with packages later on (after expanding the pattern).
Setting up a package with the document artifact containing the history.
Creation of a diagram with all elements on it including the package with the artifact plus the artifact itself separately on the diagram (it will otherwise not be saved with the pattern).

So the structure is:

model document 1 (referencing the header package below)
model document 2 (empty)
model document 3 (empty)
Header package
 ---Artifact with history

On the diagram all 5 objects are placed flat and the diagram is saved as a pattern.xml

After importing the pattern and applying it to a diagram the following is observable:

  • The model documents are in place including tagged values and ready to be filled for documentation. This is nice. Check.
  • The header package is present. Check.
  • The artifact is no longer inside the package. Not good.
  • The package is no longer referenced in the model document. Not good.

To conclude: Creating patterns does not consider package hierarchies as they are saved from diagrams. A package in turn does not automatically include its contents and putting the content flat in the diagram leads to having it reflected flat in the pattern.

I am not tempted to state this is a bug. Currently I felt this to be a great idea to handle a certain use case of mine to solve a specific problem and I have found my expectations are not matched.

Therefore I will not file a bug report but raise this as a note to everyone expecting recursive inclusion of items in patterns. It does not work.
I am pretty much convinced there are more important problems Sparx should take care of and I even know a few of these.


General Board / Re: Input XML for EA
« on: June 06, 2017, 05:49:27 pm »
From the OP's word "automatically" I would guess for most people to mean "out of the box".

In that case our definition of "automatically" differs. For me that implies using the automation interface  ;)


General Board / Re: Input XML for EA
« on: June 06, 2017, 04:45:20 pm »
I rather was that short because of "XML". I mean "XML"??? That could be anything.

Though flying on that height of abstraction he could write an addin/script or external tool which parses the XML and creates a visual representation of the content. Or transform the XML to XMI via stylesheets.
If there is content there is always a way to process it somehow.

He never said it should work out of the box  ;)


Well, in fact it does not. We use the standard styles and lists (overrides) for all templates and then apply the corporate stylesheet to them at generation time.
It now works when basing the corporate sheet on the EA default ones and then adjusting the fonts. Importing the numbering scheme from a different style rtf breaks the list overrides and produces the results mentioned above though there is no indication when editing the list levels and styles why this is the case. Looks like some internal tables are being messed up.
At least numbering is ok now though some issues still apply like frames in the header being resized at certain pages only and only in the PDF and .doc files or styles in the .doc being lost.

As a matter of fact importing styles from external documents can really mess things up and this is not the first time I come across this.


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