Enterprise Architect provides a facility to 'Baseline' (snapshot) a model branch at a particular point in time for later comparison with the current Package state.
Baseline comparison is most useful for determining the changes made to the model during development compared to some Baseline saved at a crucial point - for example the completion of a phase or version iteration.
More than one Baseline can be stored against a single Enterprise Architect Package.
Baselines are particularly useful during requirements management to check for changes, additions and deletions that have occurred since the start of the current work phase; knowing how a model has changed is an important part of managing change and the overall development process.
Baselines are stored within the model in compressed XML format; you can save a Baseline to an external XML file for storage or archive, or for distributing to other users working on models derived from a master project.
Baselines are generally used in conjunction with the Compare utility.
A typical scenario for using Baselines would be:
- Create the base model branch to a sufficient point to create a Baseline (checkpoint); create and store the Baseline as Version 0.1a
- As work continues on development, managers and developers can check the current model branch against the Baseline for important modifications, additions and deletions; the Compare utility can be invoked from the Baseline dialog to check the current model branch against the stored version
- As required, minor Baselines can be created to check recent progress; these 'temporary Baselines' are useful for managing change when a lot of work is being done and it is important to only see what has changed in, for example, the last 24 hours
At sign-off or the move to a new version/phase, a major Baseline can be created to capture the new state of the model.
Minor Baselines created earlier can be deleted if required to save space
XML files must be in the same format used by the Baseline engine - currently the UML 1.3 XMI 1.1 format (plus Enterprise Architect extensions), which contains all the information necessary to reconstruct a UML model, even a UML 2.x model