Author Topic: Office MDG Beta  (Read 3871 times)

Modesto Vega

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Office MDG Beta
« on: January 08, 2022, 04:09:15 am »
We are testing the new office MDG beta to export both a largish and an a smallish models to Excel, we are exporting Elements, Attributes, Methods and Connectors. Overall the performance is sluggish and after pressing export Sparx EA becomes unresponsive.

With the smaller model the progress report dialog eventually appears and after a wait we get an export.

With the larger model the progress report dialog never opens and we never get an export and Sparx EA becomes unresponsive. To troubleshoot the problem, we checked the Prompt During Export on the Elements tab, the prompt never appears in a reasonable amount of time (if it does it is hidden somewhere).

Also the connector export is very unclear. Ideally, the connectors should be exported to a separate sheet with additional detail specified. Instead they seem to be exported with minimum detail into the Elements sheet.

Geert Bellekens

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2022, 05:13:30 am »
If you know a little bit of SQL and scripting, exporting stuff to an excel file is really easy (and fast)
I don't see myself using the Office MDG for excel exports anytime soon.

Geert

Modesto Vega

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2022, 05:24:18 am »
The export is the beginning of a round trip I am hoping does not require knowledge of SQL and scripting. The important bit is the return journey, the import, which is likely to entail creating new entities, attributes and connectors.

I do have knowledge of both but not everybody working with the repo has and being a bottleneck is not nice.

Richard Freggi

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2022, 02:04:55 am »
I use the Office MDG regularly only because I don't want to invest time to learn Sparx API and assorted VBA script or whatever devilry is needed to script.  I have about 1 year experience with it.  You can search my posts about it in this forum.

It is a nasty, complicated and poorly documented piece of software.  Never got all features working, even after extensive googling and very good response from Sparx support.

I use Geert's EA importer whenever possible.  It supports round tripping.

You may think about hiring Geert to extend the importer to do what you need.  Just sayin'.


Modesto Vega

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2022, 04:36:52 am »
The biggest 3 issues I have with the Beta MDG are:
  • The way it handles relationships. I do not understand why relationships cannot be exported to a different tab, like everything else. Thus allowing changing some of the properties of the relation.
  • They have 2 profile manager, one for import profiles and another for export profiles.
  • Only import profiles can be edited through the profile manager. The export profile manager does not allow editing export profiles.

Geert Bellekens

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2022, 04:48:24 am »
This week I received an email from user that extended my Excel import/export tool to also support relations.

I still have to look at it, and integrate it, but I'll post here if I have it finished.

Geert

Richard Freggi

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2022, 01:42:57 pm »
That's fantastic news Geert!
Here's some unsolicited requirements for associations (connectors):
- Import association stereotype and roles (multiplicity / cardinality at both ends).  Multiplicity is not supported in Office MDG
- Import tagged values for individual associations (the Office MDG only has partial support: if 2 elements have 3 associations between them, you can only import the same tagged value for all 3)
- Define the connector start and end by the elements' tagged value (in addition to by name / alias as in the MDG).  This way we can put whatever we want in the tagged value (ObjectID, EAGUID, some counter etc.) and have more flexibility in defining start/end.

ps Sparxians please also consider for the new release of the MDG!  Thanks!

Modesto Vega

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2022, 09:13:57 pm »
That's fantastic news Geert!
Here's some unsolicited requirements for associations (connectors):
- Import association stereotype and roles (multiplicity / cardinality at both ends).  Multiplicity is not supported in Office MDG
- Import tagged values for individual associations (the Office MDG only has partial support: if 2 elements have 3 associations between them, you can only import the same tagged value for all 3)
- Define the connector start and end by the elements' tagged value (in addition to by name / alias as in the MDG).  This way we can put whatever we want in the tagged value (ObjectID, EAGUID, some counter etc.) and have more flexibility in defining start/end.

ps Sparxians please also consider for the new release of the MDG!  Thanks!
+1

Eve

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2022, 12:19:02 pm »
I can promise you that requests here will not be seen.

Submit the request through normal channels if you want them.
Eve

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Richard Freggi

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2022, 02:15:24 pm »
The biggest 3 issues I have with the Beta MDG are:
  • The way it handles relationships. I do not understand why relationships cannot be exported to a different tab, like everything else. Thus allowing changing some of the properties of the relation.
  • They have 2 profile manager, one for import profiles and another for export profiles.
  • Only import profiles can be edited through the profile manager. The export profile manager does not allow editing export profiles.

My understanding is that the way it handles relationships is due to the fact that the MDG does not treat the relationship as a thing in itself, it really thinks about the objects (classes) and treats it as a property of the classes, therefore what the MDG can do about relationships is very limited.  This may be due to EA internal architecture, I don't know. (In software engineering object associations are not really important except generalization, while in data modeling they are hugely important - but EA is not natively a data modeling tool...)

Modesto Vega

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2022, 03:56:25 am »
I can promise you that requests here will not be seen.

Submit the request through normal channels if you want them.
I have created a feature request with the following content for the Office MDG:
Quote
1) Import and export relationships from and into a dedicated tab.
2) Introduce the functionality to change relationship properties, such, but not only, as relationship stereotypes, roles (including multiplicity/cardinality at both ends).
3) Introduce the functionality of exporting and importing tagged values for relationships.
4) Consolidate both profile managers (import and export profile managers) into a single profile manager.
5) Introduce functionality to allow the editing of export profile.

[SNIP]
This may be due to EA internal architecture, I don't know. (In software engineering object associations are not really important except generalization, while in data modeling they are hugely important - but EA is not natively a data modeling tool...)
I don't see anything in the data model or object model preventing the introduction of the features above. There is a Connector package defined in the object model (https://sparxsystems.com/enterprise_architect_user_guide/15.2/automation/connector.html).

I appreciate your comment about software engineering, but Sparx EA is used for much more than just software engineering - i.e., enterprise architecture, data architecture, business architecture, and so on. I don't see it as specialist tool. If Sparx Systems chooses to go down the software engineering route they are likely to lose customers.

If they want to enhance the product as a non-specialist tool that can be used by several architecture disciplines, I would strongly recommend they upgrade how they treat relationships.



Ian Mitchell

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Re: Office MDG Beta
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2022, 10:48:10 pm »
There's also a capability in eaDocX to round-trip Elements and Connectors to/from Excel.
Ian Mitchell, Designer, eaDocX


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