Apart from sharing Enterprise Architect projects in real time over a network, you can also share projects using replication.
Replication is a powerful means of sharing projects between isolated or mobile users. In this scenario a project is converted to a design master, then replicas are made of the master. Users take the replicas away, modify the project, then bring their replicas back to be synchronized with the master file. Replication enables different users to work independently of one another, and to merge their changes at a later time.
To avoid difficulties in this inevitably hazardous process, please read all sections of this topic carefully.
Enterprise Architect Merge Rules
Enterprise Architect follows these rules in merging:
- Additions are cumulative; that is, two replicas each creating three new Classes result in six new Classes after merging.
- Deletions prevail over modifications; if one replica changes a Class name and other deletes the Class, performing a merge results in both files losing the Class.
Conflicting modifications appear in the Resolve Replication Conflicts dialog (Tools | Manage EAP File | Resolve Replication Conflicts menu option). See Resolve Conflicts for details on how to deal with conflicting modifications.
To use replication, follow the steps below:
- Convert the base project to a design master using the Tools | Manage .EAP File | Make Design Master menu option.
- Create replicas from the design master using the Tools | Manage .EAP File | Create New Replica menu option.
- Take the replica away and work on it as required, then bring it back for synchronization with the design master.
- Synchronize the replicas. During synchronization, all changes to both the master and the replica are propagated in both directions, so at the end they both contain the same information.
Upgrades and Replicas
When you upgrade your version of Enterprise Architect, you must not open a replica until you have opened the design master and then synchronized the replicas with the master. You cannot directly upgrade a replica.
Avoid Change Collisions
If two or more people make changes to the same element - for example, a Class - Enterprise Architect arbitrarily overwrites one person's change with another's. To avoid this, different users should work on different packages.
However, since Enterprise Architect does not enforce this rule, it is possible for users' work to conflict. To minimize the difficulties this causes, please note the following guidelines:
- If users are likely to have worked in the same area of the model, they should both witness the synchronization and confirm that they are happy with the net result.
- If small pieces of information have been lost, they should be typed into one of the merged models after synchronization.
- If a large piece of information has been lost (for example, a large Class note that was overwritten by another user who had made a minor change to the same Class) use the Resolve Replication Conflicts dialog.
Disable or Remove Replication Features
If you have converted a project to a design master but now want to disable the replication features, use the Tools | Manage .EAP File | Remove Replication menu option. Make sure you back up all your files first!