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Topics - Paolo F Cantoni

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Bugs and Issues / Printed text from Shapescript not copied from diagram
« on: August 31, 2018, 09:54:05 am »
We implemented a Datastore element and wanted to be able to handle multiple types of datastores: RDBMS, DocumentStore, Cache, CSV etc.  So we created a tagged value DatastoreType to manage this.
Normally we create a conditional shapescript which uses the tagged value to change the shape and or icon of the element controlled by the tagged value.  Time and resources didn't permit (at this time) so we jury-rigged an interim solution where we just print the tagged value below the SW corner of the item with the following code.
Code: [Select]
setorigin("SW",20,0);`addsubshape("datastoretype", "SW");
shape datastoretype
Works fine on the diagram, but when I select the item on the diagram and paste it into (say) an email, the datastoretype is NOT copied.


Bugs and Issues / MDG Load Error Logs Needed
« on: August 30, 2018, 12:32:33 pm »
The "silent" failure of MDG loads is REALLY starting to bug us.

We need an Error log of errors encountered during the loading of the MDG so we can debug the MDG.


Bugs and Issues / MDG Enabling checkbox malfunction
« on: August 30, 2018, 12:28:50 pm »
In the past, if you loaded an MDG and the checkbox in the MDG Technologies dialog was unmarked, then it meant there was an issue with the MDG. 
In v14.1 that's not necessarily the case.  We're finding that if we open EA the checkbox may be unmarked, but a substantial portion of the MDG is operational but other parts (particularly Searches and Package Models) are not.
 However, if we exit then open v13.5 and enable the MDG (so that the checkbox is marked), if we reopen v14.1 the checkbox remains marked and the MDG operates properly (as far as we can tell).


PS: a log of the MDG load errors would be VERY handy!

Bugs and Issues / Spurious Tagged Value types (non-enabled MDGs)
« on: August 23, 2018, 05:14:22 pm »
I've suddenly (b1425) got Tagged Value types from non-enabled MDGs appearing in my Tagged Value drop-down - for example, DMN1.1::*.  First time I've added some tagged values for a while.

They're not in t_propertytypes (not unexpectedly) and the applicable MDGs are disabled in the Specialize dialog.

How can I get rid of them?  Is it a bug that they are appearing?


I've just got a new Surface Book 2 (under Windows 10) and use Sparx with 3 screens, two Desktop screens @ 1680x1050 and the 13.5" Surface book 2 @ 3000x2000 (with scaling set at the recommended 200%).

Most apps handle this pretty OK.  Moving windows between screens adjusts the size of the window accordingly.

However, EA (as usual) does something unexpected.  If I move the Element Browser window (for example) from the Desktop screen to the Surface Book Screen, the physical size reduces dramatically (in order to maintain the pixel size) and a "ghost" window is also created - slightly lower and to the right at what looks like the correct size if the window was being adjusted for the scaling.  The ghost window stops me positioning the window in the correct place and the real window is too small to read without the magnifier!

Anyone else seeing this at high resolutions with multiple screens?


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Last Editor - functionality
« on: June 29, 2018, 11:30:37 am »
Since it doesn't look like Sparx is going to implement it soon, we've decided to implement "Last Editor" functionality.   In an enterprise-wide environment (as I've mentioned before) the original author of an item in the repository is of only passing (and usually historical) interest.  However, the last person to edit the item s is much more important!

Since EA has only one author field, to add Last Editor functionality, we need to either
  • Hijack the Author Field
  • Add the Last Editor property as a Tagged Value
If we hijacked the Author field, we'd need to add the Original Author property as a tagged value.
We'd also probably add some timepoint properties to record the event.

I guess we'd hook into the OnPostNewXXXX and OnNotifyConttextItemModified events to support this.


The Help says:
On a diagram to a file
To create a hyperlink on a diagram to an external file, simply click on the file in a file list (such as Windows Explorer) or on your Desktop and drag it onto the diagram.
A short context menu displays with two options - 'Hyperlink' and 'Artifact'. Click on the 'Hyperlink' option to create the hyperlink on the diagram.
The link is effective immediately, and you can right-click on it to add or change properties as necessary.
Files of most types - including .sql and .ddl - are opened within the appropriate Enterprise Architect code editor.

I tried to drag a number of different types of files onto a diagram.  All I got was the "No go" glyph.  What am I doing wrong?


We're looking at possibly intercepting EA when a user attempts to visually embed one item "into" another.  However, looking at the list of Broadcast Events, I can't see anything I can leverage to detect an attempt at visual embedding.

Can anyone suggest a mechanism that we could use (even outside EA) to detect the "dropping" of one item into another or the removal of a visually embedded item out of the encompassing item?


We have a number of relationships defined in our QuickLinker between relationship metatypes and various element metatypes.  Under v13.5 the Quicklinker displays them as appropriate.  Under v14 with the SAME MDG file, they are missing.


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Oracle Reverse Engineer
« on: May 28, 2018, 02:55:51 pm »
One of our users is trying to reverse engineer an Oracle DB.

We're usually a SQL Server shop, so I haven't done one of these for ages.  Using b1351, he seems to be doing all the right things on the Import from ODBC dialog.  Are there any "gotchas", "secret sauces" that we should be using?

The result is that after asking it to reverse engineer everything, for the tables, we get the table objects, no features or relationships - just empty boxes...


From the help...

To set the layout type you use the layoutType attribute, which must be set in the initialization attributes section of the script; in other words, before any of the methods are called. Valid values for this attribute are:

  • LeftRight - Shapes with this layout position the sub-shapes side by side, with the first added on the left, and subsequent sub-shapes to the right
  • TopDown - Places the sub-shapes in a vertical arrangement, with the first sub-shape added to the top and subsequent sub-shapes added beneath
  • Border - This requires an additional argument to the addsubshape method to specify which region of the containing shape the sub-shape is to occupy: N, E, S, W or CENTER; each region can only be occupied by one sub-shape
    A sub-shape that is assigned to the E or W region must have its preferredwidth attribute specified in its declaration and, similarly, sub-shapes added to N or S must have their preferredheight attribute set; in this case, the values for these attributes are treated as static lengths and do not scale glyphs

Unfortunately, neither the Help file nor the editor tool-tip show the exact syntax to be used for the addsubshape method with layouttype=border

Can a Sparxian, please enlighten me?


Bugs and Issues / V14 different browser order
« on: May 08, 2018, 11:46:13 am »
Our corporate repository (SQL Server) has 11 project roots.  If I open the repository in v13.5 I get the familiar order of roots (since v11).
In v14 I get a completely different order and if I move the one that's supposed to be the first up one (using browser arrows) (towards the top - it's about 6th down), it jumps to number 2 and the whole list of roots changes order!

What's going on? Anyone else seen this?

If I exit EA and re-enter, the original, weird order comes up, it doesn't retain the previous order (as did all previous versions).


Bugs and Issues / 1417RC Can't show Notes!
« on: May 01, 2018, 02:28:00 pm »
In the 1417 RC, the ability to use the Notes section of the [Ctrl+Shift+Y] Compartment Visibility dialog is compromised.  The [ ] Show Notes checkbox is missing!


As suggested, I've started a new thread to discuss what might be needed for Enterprise scale modelling of multiple states in time.  This post address the concepts involved so we can agree on what we are talking about and then look at options for implementation.

Time flows (for us humans at least).  What we consider to be the "present" state changes over time.  In database architectures, we can handle how records change over time with State Episodes (the record was in this state for this episode of time).  Using State Episodes, we can hold both historical changes of state and proposed future state(s) in addition to the present state.  One thing we can't do is hold alternate future states (at least not with standard State Episodes).

Because of the effluxion of time, there is only one present state and one "thread" of historical states.  With Standard State Episodes, one can hold a single "thread" of future states.

Historical states are (supposed to be) immutable.  The past is the past!  Whereas, the future is subject to change.  To quote Neils Bohr (disputed), "Prediction is difficult - especially about the future!".

The present is just the present - "As Is" - although what it contains changes with the effluxion of time.

Using state episodes, one can query the object and determine its state at any point in time, seamlessly.

One of the changes that the future is subject to, that that of alternate planning.  In real life (and therefore in modelling), we need to handle alternate, competing, possibilities for a solution while we are investigating the problem and its possible solution(s).  Eventually, we hope, one solution will win out and will be adopted as the "To-Be" solution, which when implemented and the effluxion of time has caught up with the future will become the new "As-Is".  One might say, in addition to a "To-Be",  we also need several "Might-Be".

While Sparx EA does not actually hold state episodic data, it utilises the single thread concept as part of its time aware modelling.

EA uses the concept of doppelgangers or clones to (at least some extent) simulate state episodes.  While not able to achieve the seamless determination of the object state at an arbitrary point in time, a clone (version) of the object is created at nominated points so that changes in a specific version are not also made in other versions.

Unlike a state episodic item, there is no single "identity", rather the single "thread" of clones establishes how the item has changed in each version.

In real life (and therefore in modelling), we need to retain knowledge of "As-was". There is a conceptual difference between "As-Was" and the other two viewpoints.  "As-Was" as mentioned above is immutable. We'd like to be able to recreate the state of an item at any point in the past for which we were tracking it, but that's not possible.  We can only take a "snapshot" of the item at a point in time.  Thus, we aren't really creating an "active" clone of the present (at the point at which we took the snapshot), but a "frozen" doppelganger.  It seems to me, therefore, that the semantic relationship between the past doppelgangers and the present is distinct from that of the future clones and the present.  In addition, while there is no direct relationship between the past doppelgangers (since they each came from a snapshot of the evolving present) there is an inferred relationship between them.

In EA, we already know how to create snapshots, we just export the branch and re-import using "Strip GUIDs".  All we need to do is to link the doppelganger with its master.  Not hard to do if we add a Tagged Value holding the original, master, GUID before export.  We can use the same GUID to link the other past doppelgangers to the new one.



Bugs and Issues / V14RC: [Alt+Z] functionality Gone!
« on: April 19, 2018, 02:51:02 pm »
V14RC: The [Alt+Z] key combination no longer resizes to the default element sizing.

Is there a ribbon/menu command to do that?  We use it all the time!


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