Author Topic: Show names of connected items directly on shape  (Read 3955 times)

adepreter

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Show names of connected items directly on shape
« on: September 13, 2016, 06:52:58 pm »
Let's say we have several Application Components that realize (they are connected to) some Business Function.

A key requirements for Enterprise Architecture is the ability to show the application component names directly on business function shapes.

Do we have a generic solution to show names of connected items directly on shapes?
I can't find anyway to do this on Shapescript.
Do we need some add-in?
Do we have any shared code available to do this?

NB: This capability should be built in Sparx

qwerty

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2016, 07:46:53 pm »
Have a look into the RelatedElement shape script: http://sparxsystems.com/enterprise_architect_user_guide/13.0/modeling_tools/add_custom_compartments_to_ele.html

I had trouble using it and there are some recent discussions which show strange behavior of this operation. But it might be worth a look.

q.

Paolo F Cantoni

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 10:19:35 am »
A key requirements for Enterprise Architecture is the ability to show the application component names directly on business function shapes.
Why is this capability a key requirement of Enterprise Architecture?   (just asking)
It's merely a specific rendering of the underlying model is it not?

Personally, as qwerty says, I would do it with compartments, but none of our architects (including myself) have missed not being able to do that.  However, that having been said, it does sound like a nice to have - so I might inves tigate it (or you could post your shapescript - when you get it working...).  ;D

Paolo
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adepreter

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 06:26:51 pm »
Thank you for you nice recommendation. I will give it a try.

To answer your question about the need of such feature for EA...

To make diagrams readable by business and IT decision makers, it is important to not mix too many kinds of relationships on the same diagram, and yet... we need to show all information that we want to convey.

Sample diagram where such feature is needed:
An information flow between business functions where the applications supporting (connected to) each business function appear on the business function shape.

Paolo F Cantoni

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2016, 10:28:17 am »
Have you checked out EA's visual embedding mechanism?  When you place a vertex within a related vertex, EA will suppress the relationship arc for you.

We use that a lot in communicating with non-technical stakeholders.

We also use "visual stacking" - where we suppress relationships on the diagram (see Diagram Properties | Connectors) and stack the related items in vertical (usually) patterns.  For example, we show high level business functions, with beneath them their main processes and then below them the applications that serve those functions and processes.

In all these cases, the elements only show their name and icon. In our case, if we are using "live" diagrams in a presentation, we can double click the diagram object and use it to navigate into the rest of the model via each element's associated neighborhood diagram - or one could user one of Geert's navigators.

As I said, we'll have a look at compartments to see if that provides any additional utility.  But I don't think you can use the compartment entry to get anywhere.

Paolo
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 10:31:28 am by Paolo F Cantoni »
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Glassboy

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2016, 11:57:21 am »
Why is this capability a key requirement of Enterprise Architecture?   (just asking)

You know, like the way you can mix structural and behavioural concepts in Archimate with no thought to the semantics of the message being delivered.

Paolo F Cantoni

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2016, 02:02:22 pm »
Why is this capability a key requirement of Enterprise Architecture?   (just asking)

You know, like the way you can mix structural and behavioural concepts in Archimate with no thought to the semantics of the message being delivered.
It's ArchiMateŽ...  You trying to do a "hoover"?

and you're right it's NOT "just a matter of semantics" it is "EXACTLY a metter of semantics".
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DavidM

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2016, 04:23:37 pm »
Yes I totally agree, as an architect I like to present say the logical layer, separate from the physical realization layer, but still be able to add information in a compartment in summary so it can be all conjoined.

The related element is not flexible enough as you cannot use it in custom shapes etc. and even if you use it in standard native shapes, like UML component, it does have positioning etc. so when you display a db schema component within a dbms component, it overlaps the writing

Maybe Sparx staff - could we make tag drops downs dynamic retrieved from SQL?
I don't think that would be too difficult, and that way it will solve many of my problems including this one.

i.e. DBMS element component, tagged drop down list returning list of DBMS technology e..g Oracle, SQL Server etc.

User selects it and we simply display it on the element in a compartment in a user defined shape. Dynamic so if a new technology is added, next time selecting from tags it is selectable.

Please please please implement by next Tuesday.
One thing about the Sparx data model, it is incredibly intuitive.

Geert Bellekens

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2016, 05:23:03 pm »
Please please please implement by next Tuesday.
One thing about the Sparx data model, it is incredibly intuitive.
;D Is Friday "Sarcasm Day"?

Geert

DavidM

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2016, 07:55:37 pm »
Hi Geert
If you mean sarcasim about the data model - far from it.
I'm bring genuine. I had my first look after years away from it a week or so ago.


I found it very easy to follow.  I guess I might gave been spoil by traversing comolex models like SAP etc. but this one is a delight.

Geert Bellekens

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Re: Show names of connected items directly on shape
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2016, 08:46:19 pm »
Hi Geert
If you mean sarcasim about the data model - far from it.
I'm bring genuine. I had my first look after years away from it a week or so ago.


I found it very easy to follow.  I guess I might gave been spoil by traversing comolex models like SAP etc. but this one is a delight.
I guess it can always be worse, but from my point of view as an architect it hurts just looking at it.

And the "please implement by next Tuesday" must surely have been a joke right?

Geert