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Topics - stevesavage

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General Board / Simplifying tracing from a Source Document
« on: February 09, 2015, 06:24:08 am »
As a Business Analyst I often reference existing documentation as a source of statements that describe people, processes, requirements, rules etc, included in my analysis.   Early on I discovered that Sparx EA allows me to import and store RTF documents, and then directly generate elements in the repository by selecting statements from these documents.   Unfortunately the interface for this feature is NOT very user friendly, requiring you to navigate several nested menus each time you want to create a new element.   To address this issue (and later to simplify some other tasks), I decided to use an application called AutoHotKey to reduces these steps down to a single Keyboard Shortcut.

To get a copy of my AutoHotKey script and a description of how to use it, check out my new blog.

General Board / Neaten report output by adding bookmarks
« on: December 05, 2014, 05:08:21 am »

There is:
  • Define a Template Fragment that calls a different fragment based on element type
  • Neaten report output by adding bookmarks to support conditional output
  • Define a header to be generated for the first item only
  • Define a list separator to be generated for items other than the first
  • Conditionally write text around any field only if it is non-empty
  • See system reports for examples

For the last line "See system reports for examples" could you be a bit more specific?  The only way for me to see bookmarks in these examples is to copy the template documents  one at at a time to see if it "might" be the one you are talking about (can't view bookmarks on the originals)

I have this working for:

  • {Element.Notes.Start} {Element.Notes} {Element.Notes.End}, and
  • {Element.valueOf(aTaggedValue).Start} {Element.valueOf(aTaggedValue)} {Element.valueOf(aTaggedValue).End}

I haven't figured out how to do this for custom fields yet.  
I did find the info on:

custom>{CustomSQL_TITLE_Begin}Label: {CustomSQL_TITLE_End}{CustomSQL_LIST_Begin}, {CustomSQL_LIST_End}{FieldName}<custom

I'd like to change my output depending on {FieldName} being null or providing a value.  

{CustomSQL.FieldName.Start} {FieldName} {CustomSQL.FieldName.End} does not seem to work.

General Board / SQL "with clause" for reusing subqueries
« on: August 23, 2013, 02:08:00 am »
I'm doing a rather complex query to generate a data dicitonary.
To simplify the query, I'd like to make use of Oracles WITH clause.  Unfortunately this doesnt seem to be supported in the SQL search feature (or the repository.SQLQuery) command.  

I don't know if it's something with my local setup, or somehting with EA.  Any ideas?  

Simple Example:
WITH q01 AS (Select Package_ID From t_package where ea_guid = '{A5B35797-AA94-4641-ACC7-AB1A2819DD66}')
SELECT Package_ID From q01

Info from oracle:

What I'm trying to do:

WITH q04 AS (Select q03.PName, q03.EName, q03.EID, q03.AName, q03.AType From
(Select q02.PName, q02.EName, q02.EID, t_attribute.Name AS AName, t_attribute.Type AS AType From t_attribute JOIN  /* q03: get the attrbutes for the XSD objects */
(Select q01.Name AS PName, t_object.Name AS EName, t_object.Note AS ENote, Object_ID AS EID from t_object JOIN /* q02: get the objects within the XSD packages */
(Select Package_ID, Name From t_package where Parent_ID IN /* q01: get the packages within the XSD Schema */
(Select Package_ID From t_package where ea_guid = '{A5B35797-AA94-4641-ACC7-AB1A2819DD66}') /* the package containing the XSD Schemas */
) q01 ON t_object.Package_ID = q01.Package_ID /* end: q01 */
) q02 ON t_attribute.Object_ID = q02.EID /* end: q02 */
) q03 /* end: q03 */

General Board / Different representations of the same element?
« on: June 29, 2012, 12:37:14 am »
Question: how are other people handling what are conceptually the same things in EA when you need to create a separate element for each diagram standard you want to work with.

Background: As we undertake project, we are building up a common catalog of elements for re-use, for example the organizations and roles that make up the business.  

At the moment I've created a shared catalog containing packages for each org/role and then different elements for each diagram standard I need to create.  e.g.

The package "Deputy Minister" contains elements called "Deputy Minister" with the following types/stereotypes:
  • "Business Actor" element for using in Business UC diagrams, a
  • "ArchMate_BusinessRole" element for Archimate diagrams,
  • a "Class" element to use in Conceptual Models, and
  • a "Lane" element to use in BPMN diagrams.

I've create a "sameAs"  stereotype to use with a traceability relationship, all the "alternate" versions traceTo the "class" version used in my Conceptual Models (contains the generic description of the org/role)

To make this less painful, I create an EAscript that given an element of type="Actor", automatically creates the package, and all the alternate versions if they don't already exist.  The "note" in the alternate contains a link to the "class" version of the element.

I'm doing this for traceability
For example, to generate reports that show what IM/IT solutions are used by a specific role or org.
Or to show what org or roles would be impacted by a change.

And clarity, to show that each version is the same thing.

General Board / Missing "linked elements panel"
« on: October 12, 2011, 12:47:57 am »
I'm trying to use the Team Review Feature, and followed the instructions at and

The instructions assume that the "linked elements panel" will be visible as soon as you create a new topic.  That isn't the case for me, so I'm either missing a step, or there's a bug.

Before I report a bug, I thought I'd check to see if anyone else has the same problem.  I'm using 9.1.909

General Board / Creating a Goal Model
« on: March 09, 2010, 06:54:49 am »
I'm trying to create a Goal Model in EA.  (see Business Modeling with UML: Business Patterns at Work)

I was able to create the Quantitative and Qualitative Classes, both stereotyped as "Goal".  

For Quantitative I added the typical attributes of: Description, Target, Current, and Unit of Measure.

I've created an object from the Quantitative Class.  But I can't find where I set the attribute values for the object.   Its probably staring me in the face, but so far no luck through experimentation or the online help.

Bugs and Issues / Creating elements by selecting text in a LinkedDoc
« on: July 28, 2015, 05:18:23 am »
I make heavy use of Sparx EA's ability to import Linked Documents as RTF files so I can trace requirements and other artifacts explicitly to statements taken from these source documents.

Details of how I do this can be found at

Unfortunately step 3.1 no longer works. When I do the following steps:

Select the text that you want to create a Statement from
Menu: right click on the select text -> create -> new -> other
In the “New Element Dialog”, Select Toolset -> requirements
Select Type: Requirement
In Stereotype: type “statement”
Press Create

Previously at this point Sparx EA would create the new Element, and the selected text would now be a hyperlink to the new Element.

Now, Sparx EA still creates the element, but instead of creating the hyperlink it deletes the selected text.

Create -> New Requirement works as expected.  But not Create -> New -> Other

Bugs and Issues / Virtual Documents and "Analyzing Model Structure"
« on: August 27, 2014, 11:04:20 pm »
Working with EA version 11.1.1110 and an Oracle repository.

For some reason EA now takes an increadibly long time during the initial "Analyzing Model Structure..." step.  10 minutes for even a simple Virtual document.

The CPU usage is extremely low %2 to %4, and the network usage is also extremely low %1.  So I'm not sure what it's doing or why it's taking so long.

My next step is to run an Oracle Trace to see what, if anything it's querying.

Bugs and Issues / Stereotype not set using the "New Element" dialog
« on: January 30, 2013, 08:11:29 am »
Triggered when creating a new element through the "New Element" dialog from the project browser.

The value in the stereotype field is not saved.  10.0.1004

Bugs and Issues / XSD import for release 1006, UML attriibutes only
« on: March 18, 2013, 11:46:14 pm »
I imported several XSD schemas when I had version 9 installed and was able to select Import XSD Elements/Attributes as: Assocations or Attributes, and chose "Assocations".

I have since updated to version 1006.

Leaving the selection as the default "UML Assocations", or even manually selecting it (toggle to UML Attributes, then toggle back), the schemas are imported using the UML Attributes setting.

To make sure I wasn't forgetting someting, I reverted back to version 9.3 and the options behave as expected, showing the nested elements assocated to their parents.

Bugs and Issues / FlushRtfLine(B) Ran out of memory
« on: June 15, 2012, 03:13:45 am »
Occurred when trying to save a large (130meg) RTF document that I had imported.

It started out as a 6meg MS-Word Document, but grew considerably when I converted it to an RTF.

Bugs and Issues / Archimate 2 bug for creating "device" elements
« on: May 23, 2012, 03:59:59 am »
When I create an Archimate2 Device Element using the "create element" feature from the Project browser, the resulting element does displays as a plain box when dragged to a diagram (no icon in the top right).  The option "Advance -> use rectangular notation is also not available"

When I create the element directly in the diagram using the Toolbox, the element does display using as a box with the device icon in the top right.

Bugs and Issues / Archimate 2 / Business Modeling conflict
« on: May 23, 2012, 05:45:28 am »
When creating or viewing an Extended Business Modeling Diagram, EA is incorrectly showing the Archimate2 Structural Concepts Toolbox instead of the Business Modeling Toolbox.

Not critical, but an annoyance when you need to create several of these diagrams.

Bugs and Issues / Archimate 2 / Business Modeling conflict
« on: May 23, 2012, 05:29:08 am »
When creating or viewing an Extended Business Modeling Diagram, EA is incorrectly showing the Archimate2 Structural Concepts Toolbox instead of the Business Modeling Toolbox.

Not critical, but an annoyance when you need to create several of these diagrams.

Uml Process / modeling conditional business rules
« on: March 06, 2010, 03:24:24 am »
I'm trying to find an elegant way to model some data quality rules for Meteorological observations (the rules are used to flag that something 'may' be wrong)

Simple range checks are easy.

For example, in Canada the observed temperature should be in general less than 40C, and greater than -55C.  That rule is pretty straight forward, and was easy to model with the Rule Composer in EA.

What I'm trying to model is the more complex checks we do:  customized range check, temporal check, multi-variable check, and spatial check. Ideally in a form that I can generate code from to help with system testing.  

Examples of each additional check:

Customized range check:  The upper and lower limits change depending on the location and time of year.  
E.g. in July the lower limit in Toronto is 10C,   But the lower limit in Regina could be 5C for July

Temporal check:  For the same location: In 1 hour the temperature should only increase or decrease by 6C.  In 2 hours temperature should have changed at least once (check for 'stuck' sensors)

Multi-variable check:  If the present weather sensor is reporting snow the temperature should not be greater than 5C

Spatial Check: The current temperature should not have a greater than +/- 5C difference from any other temperature observations measured within the past 30 minutes within a radius of 50KM and +/- 150m difference in altitude.

I'm going to keep working on this, and if I find a method that works, I'll pass it on.

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