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Topics - Geert Bellekens

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Bugs and Issues / SQL error when element name > 255 characters
« on: April 28, 2009, 03:51:19 pm »
When you change the name of an object to be longer then 255 characters the GUI will allow it but you get an SQL error "string or binary data will be truncated" when it tries to save the element to the database. At first it seems like the name is accepted (the element shows the full name on the diagram) but when it is refreshed the name of the element is not saved to the database and reverts back to the original name (Action1)
The only seems to happen on a DBMS (SQL Server) and not on an Access repository. The latter will not show the error, but truncate the name anyway.

Steps to reproduce:
  • Add a new action (or any other element) to a diagram
  • In the name field paste a name longer then 255 characters
  • Click OK
  • Notice the error "string or binary data will be truncated"
  • Notice that the full name (>255 ch) is displayed on the diagram
  • Doubleclick the action on the diagram
  • Click OK.
  • Notice that the default name ("action1") is displayed.

In my opinion the GUI should validate the length of the name before trying to submit it to the database thus avoiding the technical error.
I'll report this to Sparx in a bug report.


Bugs and Issues / Issue.DateResolved cannot be set to null by api
« on: July 15, 2009, 10:22:06 pm »
When creating an issue through the automation interface
using following code:
Code: [Select]
EA.Issue defect = (EA.Issue)wrappedElement.Issues.AddNew("Defectname","Defect");
           defect.ElementID = parentElement.getID();
the "DateResolved" field is filled in with 0:00:00
This has as effect that in the GUI the date resolved is filled in with "30/12/1899" and the checkbox is checked.
When adding a defect through the GUI the field is left null.
It is however not possible to set the field to null using the API.

I've reported this as a bug to Sparx

Bugs and Issues / InformationItem cannot be used parameter type
« on: April 10, 2009, 05:12:29 pm »
I was trying to use an information item as the type of a parameter and the return type of my operaration. The Application allows me to select the informationItem, but does not retain the information once selected.
Using an InformationItem as type should be allowed as in UML the information item inherits Classifier with inherits Type
The type of the Parameter is of type "Type" so informationItem should be allowed.
Steps to reproduce:
1. Create InformationItem (A)
2. Create operation
3. click on the "..." button to open the "Set Element Classifier" window
4. Select the just created InformationItem and click "OK"
5. Notice that the field "returntype is still empty
for the issue with the parameter type
1. Create InformationItem (A)
2. Create operation
3a. click on the "Edit Parameters" button
3. click on the "..." button to open the "Set Element Classifier" window
4. Select the just created InformationItem and click "OK"
5. notice that the field "Type" is empty

I've sent a bug report to Sparx as well.

Bugs and Issues / Unhandled COM exception at DiagramObject.Update
« on: May 14, 2009, 06:24:23 pm »
When I try to update my diagramObject afer changing its ElementID I get an Unhandled Com exception:
System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException was unhandled
       at EA.IDualDiagramObject.Update()

My litte C# program does following:
- Find all diagramObjects with a specific elementID
- Replace elementID with another elementID
- Update diagramObject.

It is in the update method that I get the unhandled COM exception. I'm testing this using EA v 7.5 b844 on an access backend.

As a workaround I'm going to try to create e new DiagramObject with the correct ID and the same settings, and then delete the old one.

Bugs and Issues / stereotype display error on collaborations
« on: April 21, 2009, 04:37:27 pm »
When resizing a collaboration with a long name the stereotype is being displayed multiple times.

Steps to reproduce:
- Create a collaboration with a very long name
- Add a stereotype to the collaboration
- Put the collaboration on a diagram
- Try to resize the collaboration by pulling the bottom up
- Notice that the stereotype is diplayed twice.
- Try resizing again and each time a new stereotype display is added.

If reported this to sparx as well.

Uml Process / BPMN 2.0: PartnerEntity or ParnerRole?
« on: October 28, 2015, 06:22:55 pm »
I'm trying to decide whether I need to use a PartnerEntity or a PartnerRole, so I naturally look at the BPMN 2.0 specs and try to figure out the differnence between the two.
That was kind of a disappointment. What I found was this:
- PartnerEntity: A PartnerEntity is one of the possible types of Participant (see the section above).
- PartnerRole: A PartnerRole is one of the possible types of Participant (see the section above).

So that didn't help all that much. The "section above" (could you be more specific please ::)) I assume refers to this part:

- partnerRoleRef: PartnerRole [0..*] The partnerRoleRef attribute identifies a PartnerRole that the Participant plays in the Collaboration. Both a PartnerRole and a PartnerEntity MAY be defined for the Participant. This attribute is derived from the participantRefs of PartnerRole.
- partnerEntityRef: PartnerEntity [0..*] The partnerEntityRef attribute identifies a PartnerEntity that the Participant plays in the Collaboration. Both a PartnerRole and a PartnerEntity MAY be defined for the Participant.This attribute is derived from the participantRefs of PartnerEntity.

Again, no definition of the difference between the two things.

Have I missed something, or is the specification of this language really this poor? :-/


Uml Process / UML best practice: Attribute or Association
« on: August 10, 2011, 03:59:24 pm »
Another one in the series of UML best practices: how to decide whether to use an attribute or an association:

Any and all comments/input/insults are welcome


Uml Process / UML best practice: One Operation => One SD
« on: May 27, 2011, 04:23:22 pm »
I've written down one of my best practices to model implementations of operations using sequence diagrams.
UML Best Practice: One Operation => One Sequence Diagram
Any and all comments/congratulations/insults are welcome :)


Uml Process / Modelling testcases in UML
« on: September 28, 2009, 06:14:50 pm »

We are planning to model our testcases on a functional level.
A TestCase for us is related to one specific usecase scenario, and it describes what needs to be executed, and what the desired results are for this testcase.
We are thinking of modelling this using usecase instances. Each testcase is an instance of the usecase from which it tests a scenario. In the scenario of the TestCase we will then describe the flow and desired results.

What do you think of this approach, and how do you model testcases?

Any input is greatly appreciated.


Uml Process / Call for Action: Set UML Free!
« on: January 15, 2010, 04:40:50 am »
Have you also though it would be neat to collaborate with colleagues and friends (or forum members) on UML diagrams online?

Then the webUML initiative might be of interest to you.
Show your support by signing the call for action at and
include the badge in your profile.

Thanks for your support


Uml Process / How do you document your (Modelling) Method?
« on: December 01, 2009, 08:03:20 pm »
At my current client we are in the process of documenting the modelling method.
At the moment we have some Word documents scattered around the intranet and some network drives, we have a partial metamodel in Enterprise Architect, some powerpoint slides... you get the picture.
I would like to rationalize this approach and have a central integrated documentation. This documtation should include all aspects of the modelling method, and it should be able to link from one aspect to the other.
To get an idea of what I mean with the different aspects see Modelling Method
The different types of documentation I need are described here: Modelling Method Documentation

The only tool I found so far that seems to be able to provide what I need is EPF but I'm not sure whether that will fit my needs. I'm afraid it will be a bit overkill.

So my questions are:
- How do you document your (Modelling) method
- Are there any other tools on the market that I could use.



Uml Process / Extending an enumeration
« on: October 01, 2009, 11:55:50 pm »

I'm breaking my head here on the subject of extending enumerations.
According to UML specs and the (not very helpfull) EA help it should be possible to extend an enumeration, but nowhere is stated how this should be done.

I've been thinking about inheritance, but that seems to work a bit akward. Suppose following situation:
EnumA with literal A1
EnumB with literal B1

If EnumB generalizes enumA, what exactly does that mean?
You could argue that, since for every instance of EnumA we could use an instance of EnumB that an attribute of type EnumA now can hold both A1 as B1 literals.

So now what happens with an attribute of type EnumB. You could argue, that since EnumB inherits everything from EnumA we should be able to set the value of the attribute to A1 as well as B1. (so now it doesn't matter wether your the type of the attribute is EnumA or EnumB)

... I'm confused ...   :'(


Uml Process / Diagrams do not contain model information?
« on: August 27, 2009, 07:29:11 pm »
Continuing the discussion from in a new topic.
The main question is:
Since diagrams are hardly defined in the UML metamodel we should be able to delete all of them without loosing any information.
Diagrams only serve as a means for a human to understand the model.
This seems to become problematic when talking about Activities and the Activity diagrams. (especially in the way it is implemented in EA)


Uml Process / Connecting states to operations
« on: September 01, 2009, 08:06:38 pm »

I'm trying to find a way to model the state aspects of our elements.
Currently I have following:
The element for which we are modelling the state aspects has an attribute (with stereotype state) that represents the state.
The type of this attribute is an enumeration (again with stereotype state) that lists all possible states.
Nested in the class we have a statemachine (with the same name as the state attribute).
The StateMachine contains a state diagram, and for each value in the state enumeration we have a state in the state machine.
Between the states we have of course the transitions with guard condition etc...
The issue that I'm facing right now is how to link the transitions with those operations that perform the transition. I.e if I have states "Open" and "Closed" and a transition between "Open" and "Closed" I whish to know which operations in my model change the state from "Open" to "Closed".
On the other hand I want to know which operations should get triggered when the state is changed from "Open" to "Closed".

Any thoughts or idea's on how to achieve this in EA?



Uml Process / Using UML Component as a logical analysis element?
« on: April 03, 2008, 04:41:45 pm »

My client is currently creating a "Component Based Design with UML" method for functional and technical analyses.
We had a discussion about the UML component (UML v2); whether or not it is a common practice to use it in a functional, non platform specific, non technical manner.
My question: Do you use the Component only to model a physical "deployment" item (as UML v1 would suggest) or do you also use it on a logical level; to group analysis elements and define the services of and the dependencies between the groups?

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