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Messages - bholtzman

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Yes. The EA Message composer is basically a tool to create a subset of a model, with some added intelligence. Think creating message definitions from a large canonical model.
It it not specifically aimed at XSD models although it does have some features that are specific to the XSD generation mechanism.
You could probably change the code to make it do what you need (or pay me to do it). You would need to evaluate if this would be the right direction given the current focus of the tool.

Great. That helps define our options. Since it's designed to be used by EA to generate the standard XSD, it sounds like it wouldn't be the best way to go. We need the output XSDs to have some significant customization. Starting from scratch would probably make more sense. Would you agree? Any kind of ballpark range for how much this would cost to develop?

It uses the pos field of the attributes, and the position tag of the source connector ends for associations to play with the sorting.
Not sure about the order of the classes themselves. I don't think tt does anything specific with that, but I would need to check the code to be sure.

Ah, ok so then the Pos field in t_attribute is really the key to the sequence. That would explain why the order appears to be dependent on the chronological sequence of when the attributes were entered. I would assume that EA automatically assigns the new row in t_attribute with the next number in the sequence for that Object_ID.

Thanks again, this is giving me some valuable insights into how EA works!


So then it's safe to say I could not use the EA Message Composer to customize the XSD further to add text based on some Tagged Values, correct? Do you think that is something that could be accomplished by modifying the EA Message Composer source code, and do you offer that option? Since you didn't mention it as an option, I assume there are no MDG Technologies for something like this.

Also, does the EA Message Composer use the TPos field to set the ordering explicitly? Based on your message I'm not clear as to whether the TPos value is used in the generation of the XSD.

Sorry for all the questions!  :)


It's the API equivalent to t_object.TPos

So TPos is a parameter you can use to sort the elements in the output XSD? In my database the count looks like this:
null: 88
0: 381
1: 1
2: 1

I don't know how this field is updated within EA. Another guy on my team (who wrote the original post here) thinks that the sorting is a function of when the element was created, so maybe that is the second level in the "order by" clause? I noticed that only t_object has a "CreatedDate". t_attribute does not.

If TPos is the primary sorting field, then I could certainly add the capability to control the sequence with an Access tool. Have you done that?

Geert is that what EA Message Composer does? So option (2), the EA Message Composer, builds custom XSDs whereas the option (3) would be to take the standard XSDs generated by EA and process them?


Thanks, Geert. Much appreciated!


By the way what is EAElement.TreePos? Is that something I can find in the database?


It's probably setting EAElement.TreePos in the order you need it.


Thanks. I should have been clearer. It's not just the sequence of the elements that we want to process. We want to actually tailor the schema output to include reference to some information in tagged values. Is that the kind of thing you'd build an MDG for? I could also see doing it through some Access VBA but this would exist outside of EA - the Access file would link to the EA tables and then do lots of data manipulation on its own. I think you know what I mean since you encouraged me to use Access this way!


Hi Geert,
Can you elaborate on item (3)? Are you referring to post-processing within EA or something external? Is there any ability to modify and customize the generation of xsd's from within EA? Is there a way to somehow integrate scripts within EA to different EA export features?

We're trying to replace an existing post-processing tool with a method that is internal to EA.



We have solved this (for different customers) in different ways:

- 1) only use attributes and no associations (limits some constructs such as anonymous choices)

- 2 ) use an add-in I wrote: EA Message Composer to select the message as a subset. The add-in takes care of the alphabetic order.

- 3) write a post-processing tool/script to order the resulting xsd's alphabetically.


General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 26, 2018, 11:55:33 pm »
Thanks for your help. I emailed Sparx to let them know the results of my beta testing of EA 14.  :)

General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 25, 2018, 12:20:13 am »
OK, I reinstalled EA 13.5, but I put it in this folder:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Sparx Systems\EA13

Looks like I needed to put it in a higher level folder as I no longer seem to have EA14.

So I am running 13.5 now, which isn't a bad thing because my .eapx files could not read by my colleagues running EA 13 and I could not export in .eap format. I had to reinstall the Visio importer (the "import" link was grayed out) and now have two separate Visio extensions in the ribbon, but it does work. Now when I import the Visio file, I do get the connectors! So there is clearly an issue with EA 14 and the Visio MDG. Also, the Activities import with the stereotype Box. Nizam I assume you saw the same thing.


General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 21, 2018, 05:22:32 am »
Nizam, I should add that when I run this query in the EA SQL Scratch Pad:
select * from t_connector

There are no results.


General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 21, 2018, 05:12:57 am »
 I am using:

EA 14 (Build 1421)
Visio Standard 2016
EA Visio MDG Link

I also chose 'Activity' but the same thing happened for other options.

What's this about dragging and dropping objects? I get a diagram generated as shown in the slides here (same link as before):

I don't do any dragging and dropping. I appreciate your help with this greatly.


General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 20, 2018, 04:39:15 am »

Thanks very much. Hope it's not something ridiculously stupid on my part...


General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 19, 2018, 04:53:45 am »
OK, so I observed the following properties in an object I had imported from Visio and then changed the stereotype from "rectangle" to "function" through the EA properties dialog:

Stereotype: function
StereotypeEx: function
Type: Activity (this is the value I get when I run a script to show me selectedElement.Type, but what appears in the properties dialog window is "Function")
MetaType: Function

This object appears as a box with the stereotype <<function>> above the name of the object.

So I then used a script to update a different object that was imported from Visio to the same values and the result is an object that does not display a stereotype but instead shows me the little function symbol, fx, in the upper right corner. What's the difference?

The Visio importer still isn't generating connectors. Is that something I need to control through UML Types?



General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 11, 2018, 10:31:51 pm »
Thanks, Nizam. I will review the scripting materials and see if I can get that to work.

qwerty, yes I could put images on another server but clearly it's a configurable option on this platform. I don't get why they don't turn it on especially given how useful screen shots are. A security issue?


General Board / Re: Visio import: Element text invisible
« on: July 11, 2018, 05:47:40 am »
OK, here's some more information. I set a baseline then, using EA, I clicked on one element and deleted the stereotype of "rectangle" by backspacing the text and then clicking out of the field in the Element Properties window.

Now I ran a Baseline Compare. I wish I could post an image here but cannot. Well, the comparison said three items had changed:
- The value of stereotype in the element went from "rectangle" to null. (No surprise there)
- There was a tagged value with Name "fill" that was false in the baseline. This tagged value was deleted.
- There was a tagged value with Name "nameVisible" that was also false in the baseline. This tagged value had also been deleted.

Knowing this, I executed SQL to do make the exact same changes to another element. The result in the appearance of the diagram was no change. The stereotype for the element I tried to change using SQL still said "rectangle", so clearly the field t_object.stereotype is not the authority for this property. Where is this data hidden?

Quite a puzzle.


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