Author Topic: Import of connector data from Excel  (Read 2168 times)

Ian Mitchell

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 446
  • Karma: +20/-4
  • The eaDocX and Model Expert guy
    • View Profile
Import of connector data from Excel
« on: April 11, 2022, 05:33:50 pm »
I am constrained by my customer to only use ONLY out-of-the-box EA features to import a load of data: elements and the connectors which link them.
Normally, I'd use eaDocX/eaXL, or some of Geerts excellent tools, but for now it must be the native CSV import.
Now I may be 15 years late to this party, but I can't see where to import connector information? Did I miss something ? Surely EA can import connectors...Sorry if this is a stupid question.
Ian Mitchell, Designer, eaDocX


www.eaDocX.com
www.theartfulmodeller.com

Geert Bellekens

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 11852
  • Karma: +460/-33
  • Make EA work for YOU!
    • View Profile
    • Enterprise Architect Consultant and Value Added Reseller
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2022, 05:51:17 pm »
There might be something possible wiht the Office MDG thing.
I'm definitely not sure as I don't use that tool at all.

Geert

Paolo F Cantoni

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 8198
  • Karma: +232/-129
  • Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2022, 06:17:48 pm »
I am constrained by my customer to only use ONLY out-of-the-box EA features to import a load of data: elements and the connectors which link them.
Normally, I'd use eaDocX/eaXL or some of Geerts excellent tools, but for now, it must be the native CSV import.
Now I may be 15 years late to this party, but I can't see where to import connector information? Did I miss something? Surely EA can import connectors...Sorry if this is a stupid question.
If, once you've got the elements imported, you can import the connectors by Proxy.
We often get CSVs where the relationships are implied as names in properties.  For example, DB instance references DB Server.  We then use the names to create the relationships we need, "ex post facto" via scripts (out-of-the-box feature).  Obviously, you may need to refactor the CSVs to hold the requisite information.

Does that help?

Paolo
Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
-Semantica-
Helsinki Principle Rules!

Ian Mitchell

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 446
  • Karma: +20/-4
  • The eaDocX and Model Expert guy
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2022, 06:57:25 pm »
You must be joking.
A tool which is all about the connectorions between things won't let me import those connections without writing code.
Even after 20 years of using EA, I am still amazed.

@Geert - I couldn't find how your Excel import/export code did this either. Where should I look ?
Ian Mitchell, Designer, eaDocX


www.eaDocX.com
www.theartfulmodeller.com

Paolo F Cantoni

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 8198
  • Karma: +232/-129
  • Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2022, 07:32:18 pm »
You must be joking.
A tool that is all about the connections between things won't let me import those connections without writing code.
Even after 20 years of using EA, I am still amazed.

@Geert - I couldn't find how your Excel import/export code did this either. Where should I look?
Unfortunately, I can't do a "Jean-Luc Picard" and order "make it so".    :o

In our case, the data was delivered (from the APIs we were using) as items with properties.  Thus, we had to use that approach.  Relationships (binary) weren't exportable.   :-X

Paolo
Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
-Semantica-
Helsinki Principle Rules!

Geert Bellekens

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 11852
  • Karma: +460/-33
  • Make EA work for YOU!
    • View Profile
    • Enterprise Architect Consultant and Value Added Reseller
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2022, 07:55:07 pm »
@Geert - I couldn't find how your Excel import/export code did this either. Where should I look ?

It doesn't. Whenever I needed to do stuff like this I usually wrote a small script.
I did receive a modified excel importer from a user that had added code to create connectors.

I was (still am) planning to incorporate that code into my version, but haven't gotten around to that yet.

If you want I can send you this copy.

Here's an example of a script that imports relations from a CSV file: https://github.com/GeertBellekens/Enterprise-Architect-VBScript-Library/blob/master/Projects/Project%20I/Import/Import%20Relations.vbs

Geert

Richard Freggi

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 391
  • Karma: +14/-7
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2022, 09:49:35 pm »
I've looked extensively into it a couple of years back and I have not found any out-of-the-box way to import connectors (nor attributes!) into EA.  You must use Geert's importer (it can be modified to import connectors) or a plugin (I use Sparx Office integration MDG although I'm not a fan).

The reason is that in EA implementation, connectors and object properties like attributes are NOT objects themselves, so they are treated as an after-thought.  This may well be the UML spec, don't know, but surely makes our life more difficult.

p.s. if you are reverse engineering a database, you can import attributes and relationships automatically.  But you must connect to the database instance (no DML import)

Ian Mitchell

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 446
  • Karma: +20/-4
  • The eaDocX and Model Expert guy
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2022, 02:27:12 am »
Thanks to all for their contributions.
I'm still amazed...but I guess I'll have to do it in script.
The tools my customer has been looking at to do Architecture-management have loads of built-in importers for all kinds of data - not as addins, but part of the core proposition. I'm just embarassed...by EA's shortcomings, and my lack of product knowledge.
Ian Mitchell, Designer, eaDocX


www.eaDocX.com
www.theartfulmodeller.com

steen.jensen

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 161
  • Karma: +6/-1
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2022, 07:30:51 am »
The Office MDG can import relations in Excel format., just 1 extra column for "Target Name"

Ian Mitchell

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 446
  • Karma: +20/-4
  • The eaDocX and Model Expert guy
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2022, 11:50:42 pm »
...and as I said at the top, I am constrained by my customer's security environment to NOT use ANY addins.
If I could, I'd just use eaDocX to do it - no coding required.
Ian Mitchell, Designer, eaDocX


www.eaDocX.com
www.theartfulmodeller.com

Sunshine

  • EA Practitioner
  • ***
  • Posts: 1204
  • Karma: +108/-10
  • Its the results that count
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2022, 05:22:55 pm »
Yes its disappointing that Sparx EA doesn't import connectors via CSV. Given your customer security constraints and not being able to use Office MDG nor other plugins then I think you have only two options left.
a) Look into putting the connectors information into XML format so Sparx EA can import that way
b) Write a script to parse the connector CSV file that imports the connectors.

Option b) may be the easiest as getting the format of the XMI file right to import can be tricky.

Can't think of any other easier options I'm afraid.
Happy to help
:)

Richard Freggi

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 391
  • Karma: +14/-7
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2022, 12:32:50 pm »
Thanks to all for their contributions.
I'm still amazed...but I guess I'll have to do it in script.
The tools my customer has been looking at to do Architecture-management have loads of built-in importers for all kinds of data - not as addins, but part of the core proposition. I'm just embarassed...by EA's shortcomings, and my lack of product knowledge.

As far as I remember Office MDG is included in the ultimate version, so you could argue that EA does provide it out-of-the-box.  And EA's cost is just a fraction of the leading tools, so does not seem too bad from my perspective

Ian Mitchell

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 446
  • Karma: +20/-4
  • The eaDocX and Model Expert guy
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2022, 05:49:36 pm »
@Richard - at the risk of dragging this sad tale out even further, an argument of 'just buy this 3x more expensive version of EA just so you can import Excel' is unlikely to be something that I can sell to my client. And I suspect that's not unusual.
If someone  - like my client - is looking to do lots of importing of stuff, it's likely that they are at the start of their EA journey, and we should be doing everything we can to help them along in these early days, so that they see the amny benefts of the tool. Lets give them loads of importers, all built-in to the most basic version of the tool.
Ian Mitchell, Designer, eaDocX


www.eaDocX.com
www.theartfulmodeller.com

Modesto Vega

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 832
  • Karma: +23/-8
    • View Profile
Re: Import of connector data from Excel
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2022, 06:30:26 pm »
[SNIP]
As far as I remember Office MDG is included in the ultimate version, so you could argue that EA does provide it out-of-the-box.  And EA's cost is just a fraction of the leading tools, so does not seem too bad from my perspective
Richard is correct it is included out-of-the-box with the ultimate edition.

Just to complicate matters, the Office MDG is something that plugs into Sparx EA itself, and not an Excel (or Word, or Visio) add-in. This could be because it is not developed by Sparx Systems or because it is a gimmick to generate more revenue.

INMO, the out-of-the-box import/export capabilities of Sparx EA (other than XMI) are a deficient sticky plaster. I do not understand why Sparx Systems has not made an attempt to address this capability gap.