Pro Cloud Server
Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server is an enhanced, separately-purchased and licensed edition of Sparx Systems Cloud Services. Once the Cloud Service has been installed and configured, it runs on the installed machine as a Windows service, listening for requests for data from Enterprise Architect.
In order to support the new Pro Cloud Server functionality, the service has these enhancements:
- The ability to define individual database managers as 'Pro Features' enabled
- The 'Configure Server' screen in the Configuration Client displays the number of Pro model licenses and their expiry dates
- The ability to define a 'Default Schema' option against individual database managers
As well as providing all the features and benefits of Sparx Systems Cloud Services, the Pro Cloud Server also includes:
- The Sparx Systems Key Store and a floating license server
- WebEA, a web based application that allows users to view and discuss elements in Enterprise Architect models while on portable devices or remote desk-top systems, through a web browser
- Row-level security for Oracle and SQL Server based models, so that it is possible to restrict the access of a user or group of users to parts of the model that are only relevant to them
The Sparx Systems Pro Cloud Server product is installed using a standard Windows Installer package. While it is possible to change the install location of the Pro Cloud Server, most users elect to keep the default of C:\Program Files (x86)\Sparx Systems\Cloud Services\WebEA\ (assuming a 64bit machine is being used).
The base components of the Pro Cloud Server will create three sub-folders inside the installation folder. These are:
- Client Folder, containing the client GUI to configure the Cloud Service
- ISAPI Folder, containing runtimes of APIs needed by the Cloud Service for IIS integration
- Server Folder, containing the Window service and a folder each for log files and local databases
Depending on what options are selected while installing Pro Cloud Server, there could also be other folders. The additional folders will be discussed in the installation and configuration topics for the base Pro Cloud Server and for each specific feature.
The Sparx Systems Key Store and floating license server has been available for many years, providing users of Enterprise Architect with the ability to manage their floating licenses. Up until the creation of Pro Cloud Server, the Key Store was only offered as an independent Windows service. Now that it has been integrated into the Pro Cloud Server, users only need to install, configure and maintain one service for all their Enterprise Architect needs.
One of the most requested features from the Enterprise Architect user base recently has been the ability to access Enterprise Architect models on mobile devices or from desktops without the need to install the Enterprise Architect application.
WebEA has a large array of configuration options that give the Enterprise Architect customer the power to control exactly how each model can be accessed and what types of action can be performed.
The 'Visibility Levels' feature within Enterprise Architect gives the users the ability to restrict access to certain sections of a model. Only models hosted by a Pro Cloud Server are able to make use of this feature. Visibility Levels are implemented by taking advantage of the Row Level Security feature included in Oracle 8+ and Microsoft SQL Server 2016 (onwards).
Row Level Security is a security feature that controls which users can access which rows of data in a database. Traditional database security only allows for the ability to control which users have access to read, write or delete data down to the table level. Since Row Level Security functionality is implemented by the database, it is impossible for users to bypass security implemented at the application level by writing their own scripts or databases queries. That is, the database ensures that users can only view and update data they are authorized to access.
Since Row Level Security is functionality implemented by the database, most of the changes needed for Enterprise Architect and the Pro Cloud Server to support it are made directly to the database without needing to change the application code base, which means there is less to go wrong from an application point of view.