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Messages - Oliver F.

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Suggestions and Requests / Re: Can you provide online chat service?
« on: October 09, 2009, 06:20:23 pm »
Have you noticed the forum capabilities of EA?
Though this is not realtime it greatly helps in collaboration.

What we do is use the forum for feature discussions and then do resolve the remaining issues via Skype or Webex.

Online chat services are a critical thing when it comes to securing business communication. There are a zillion solutions on the market which already care about all issues related to business collaboration and communication. Reinventing that wheel in EA would not be on my personal high priority list.

Just my few (€) cents.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: Finding Classifier in Browser
« on: September 28, 2009, 04:55:06 pm »
Sadly this does not work for attribute classifiers so my vote would go in this direction :)


Suggestions and Requests / Disarm Restore to Baseline option
« on: September 21, 2009, 10:37:17 pm »
OK, that one has been on my focus for a while and now I find it is time to kick a feature request.
The button "Restore to Baseline" has to be disarmed. I consider this one being one of the most dangerous items in the whole EA.
This element is placed so close below the "Show differences" button that somebody with the appropriate rights quickly pushes it by accident. And there is no warning- the baseline is just imported and overwrites the previous content.

I call for disarmament of this thing- asap - before bad things happen ;)


Suggestions and Requests / Re: Discussion Forums - Linkage to Model Elements
« on: September 14, 2009, 05:21:42 pm »
Although, I don't think there is any way to get the discussions for an element.

However that would be worth a feature extension. The discussion forum is there to discuss model aspects and elements and diagrams can be linked to it.
So I would expect that something similar to the "find in diagrams" context would be extremely helpful (eg. "find in forum topics").
Plus an additional search filter criteria.
Or an addition to the model view showing all elements in topics plus a backlink to the topic.

This one has my vote.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: EA protocol handler - again
« on: September 18, 2009, 09:13:23 pm »

It's not because it is open source that the development neccessarily has to be free.
You could also try to raise an internal budget to sponsor the open source solution.

Thanks for your offer which is highly appreciated.
Of course is the prefered way to have an open source solution.
However depending on the license model involved our corporate policy might (!) require that the result of our investment is kept internal if we use a coporate budget.
However we had a few projects in the past where we have given back some changes to open source projects due to the restrictive GPL.
So chances are high that something commonly available will be possible. A not so welcome option could be to branch the existing code with a new commercial license. I do not appreciate this myself.
Actually it is hard to create a budget and pay external resources due to political, commercial and financial issues in our business.

Personally I have spent more than half of my professional life actively supporting several open source projects (of which one was the Mozilla browser) so I hope to know about all aspects involved.

Thanks again for the offer, I will consider it when the issue becomes clearer.

Best regards,


Suggestions and Requests / Re: EA protocol handler - again
« on: September 18, 2009, 04:44:32 pm »
I have a response from Canonic.
They have shifted priorities so the EA protocol handler is currently not under active development.
However they have signalised to open source the code which is, as they state, 90% finished.

I have offered to coordinate development efforts if necessary for such an open source solution.
Before I am going to raise an internal budget for development here (which might lead to licensing issues), I am seeking for volunteers who would like to participate in an open source solution.
My preference would be a free and open source variant instead of a corporate one.



Suggestions and Requests / EA protocol handler - again
« on: September 17, 2009, 08:11:42 pm »
Some time ago Canonic announced a protocol handler for EA.
As Canonic does not seem to be able to deliver this a feature request has been started.
What we would like to achieve: Open Enterprise Architect from an external application and show the corresponding element or diagram.
This can be done the same way DOORS does it (doors://doors_ID -> ea://element_uid).

This solution will provide the necessary traceability from DOORS and other external applications.
Additional information: Yes, we are already using the EA MDG link for DOORS, however importing requirements is not enough as we need the backlink DOORS->EA while we already have EA->DOORS.

I am also grateful for hints how to create such a capability via scripting or addin or by other means.


Suggestions and Requests / Transformation language needs a loop statement
« on: September 10, 2009, 07:34:50 pm »
Having worked a lot with the transformation templates I found a high need for iterative language constructs to write loop statements.
Actually there is none.
Under linear conditions this is not obvious, it becomes important when using the EXEC_ADD_IN macro which might deliver multiple values eg. as a comma separated list to process. Classifiers eg. might have several tagged values which values are used to process attributes or parent elements.
Actually such a parsing can be done recursively with custom templates I did this yesterday but it is tedious.

So a loop statement would be a rather good idea.


Just filed this feature request at Sparx:

The ability to create reports from the EA forum would be a valid and helpful feature.
We use the forum for feature discussions between all parties involved and if we could create a report from this discussion to archive the result for QM issues that would be rather helpful.

Procedure as usual: Select a topic/discussion, press F8, select a tenmplate and the generator runs through the topics reporting the text and attached elements. Reporting elements is important here as they carry agreed information.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: Error Messages - Transformation Editor
« on: August 31, 2009, 05:36:42 pm »
Dear all,

The error messages refer to errors on line numbers, a feature which is not activated in the Transformation Editor.

The line number relates to the position in the preliminary language file.
If you create the log file and visit the corresponding line you can see where it occured.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: Locks Checking
« on: July 10, 2009, 05:56:49 pm »
Can you add the commands, GetLock(), (Where it determines weather there is a lock or not on a package, diagram, or element) or GetLockOwner() (which returns the user that has that lock on that particular package, diagram, or element) in the next build, 846.

Plus exposing this information to shape scripts so that elements can display their lock state visually.


Suggestions and Requests / EA Lite and automation interface
« on: April 02, 2009, 10:23:07 pm »
Having finally found the link to EA Lite which is promoted as a "read-only" version of EA I found out that it indeed is not completely read-only. In fact the automation interface seems to be completely functional and lets me modify elements at will.
Though I am not sure whether this is in the nature of the original idea of EA Lite I consider this a feature as it lets us deploy a deamon process which not only does HTML exports on a regular basis but also manipulates elements frequently (like creating baselines, etc.)
This daemon runs on a computer which is not operated by architects and on the very positive side does not require to spend a license for a not existing resource (due to the free character of EA Lite).

My interest is that this is a supported scenario and that therefore this situation will not change. I can imagine a scenario in which this functionality slipped through the fingers of Sparx and which will lead into disabling write access for the automation interface in the mid or long run.
A feedback from Sparx regarding this would be appreciated.

EA Lite is a great addon for us and highly useful in several aspects as it allows a better integrated communication with our stakeholders.


Me too.

However, Sparx requires users to raise a formal 'feature request' using a different part of the web site - otherwise these feature requests raised in the user fora appear to be disregarded.

Of course, if you do raise a formal feature request via the web site - your request disappears into a black hole and you hear no more about it.

This is not the case. You can post it here and file it as a feature request so Sparx does not loose track nor do we.

What do people think the new features in 7.5 are originating from? The Sparx crystal ball?  ::)

Judging the numbers of users around the world and assuming the number of feature requests from those, it should be clear that not each of those will instantly make its way into the product.
I believe most of the requests do not fall into the "no way we never gonna do this" category but into a "sounds reasonable put it on the list" folder. Such a list is of course a prioritised one and the priority depends on the demand, effort, cost/benefit relation, etc.
Besides the fact that a priority might change from release to release and it bumps up and down the list  8-)

EA is not a project where you (mostly) get payed for features but a product and product lifecycle issues differ a lot from project business ;)


Suggestions and Requests / Re: connecting model documents
« on: February 24, 2009, 07:30:05 pm »
In version 7.1 you do need to set the list numbering specified in the sub/documents as copies of the master document. Start with the numbering in them master document and copy this tempalte as a starter for each sub/document.  There will be added features in 7.5 to accomodate this.

Ah, that explains a lot. Actually the whole process of numbering is actually not very consistent and cumbersome as it behaves differently depending on the scope it is used in. This needs improvement. I assume.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: ALT-F4 just quits the application
« on: January 10, 2009, 12:21:00 am »
The Sparxians are active members of this forum as well, and often participate in the above discussions. Sometimes they can shed light on why Sparx has taken a particular route in development of EA, other times they can provide answers we might not think of, given that they have an in-depth knowledge of the product internals.

To be precise on some (rare) occasions Sparx has reacted on forum posts and took the initiative to file an internal feature request themselves or just implemented it.
But this is not the default way- it drastically increases your chances to be heard (and to make a long story short) one files that feature request.


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