Author Topic: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used  (Read 1051 times)

Alex9329

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« on: September 27, 2017, 06:48:21 pm »
Hi!

I have a project now and the purpose of the project is to create an IT repository using Sparx EA.
I have been learning the features of Sparx for the last month and I find it not very good tool for creating Enterprise Architect. Sparx is more like a case-tool for me.
Could you please tell me, what type of an instrument Sparx is?

Glassboy

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 896
  • Karma: +52/-54
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2017, 07:23:37 pm »
The better question is what kind of "Enterprise Architect" are you trying to create?

Uffe

  • EA Practitioner
  • ***
  • Posts: 1066
  • Karma: +81/-5
  • Flutes: 1; Clarinets: 1; Saxes: 5 and counting
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2017, 07:36:37 pm »
Could you please tell me, what type of an instrument Sparx is?

What types have you got?

Fundamentally, EA is a UML tool, and fundamentally, UML is a documentation method. If your enterprise architecture (which I assume is what you meant) is suitable for documenting this way, which in a large part depends on the level of UML skill in your organization, then it will work well; if not, it won't.


/Uffe
My theories are always correct, just apply them to the right reality.

Alex9329

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2017, 08:45:37 pm »
I would like to create Full Architecture: all systems, all info flows between the systems, all business and data objects and many other things. So, I would like to see my model in different hierarchy views, but I can't

qwerty

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 8952
  • Karma: +136/-123
  • I'm no guru at all
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2017, 08:53:18 pm »
What is your profession?

q.

Alex9329

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2017, 09:32:35 pm »
Complicated question...
I am IT consultant, business analyst, project manager(IT)

For the current project I provide consultations for Architects.

qwerty

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 8952
  • Karma: +136/-123
  • I'm no guru at all
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2017, 10:03:56 pm »
So my advice as a consultant to a consultant: If you don't know a tool, do not recommend it. Like "Oh, what's that thing with that metal brick at one end of the wooden stick? Can I use it to open my breakfast egg?"

q.

P.S. Sparx is a company located in Australia. It's purpose should be to maintain Enterprise Architect.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2017, 10:52:12 pm by qwerty »

Geert Bellekens

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 7727
  • Karma: +165/-21
  • Make EA work for YOU!
    • View Profile
    • Enterprise Architect Consultant and Value Added Reseller
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2017, 10:40:56 pm »
But, to answer your question. EA is perfectly suited to model your Enterprise Architecture.
The thing is that EA is a very complex tool with a near endless list of features. The art is to figure out which features you need, and which features you don't.

Geert

Uffe

  • EA Practitioner
  • ***
  • Posts: 1066
  • Karma: +81/-5
  • Flutes: 1; Clarinets: 1; Saxes: 5 and counting
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2017, 02:44:27 am »
... What EA does not provide, however, is a set of this-is-how-you-model-for-purpose-X templates.

It does support various modelling languages (UML, SysML, BPMN) and frameworks (TOGAF, UPDM). But it assumes that you already know how to use them, including tailoring them to your specific needs. It's not a turnkey enterprise architecture solution where you just need to plug in your company logo and it'll do everything for you.

But then, having seen time and again the devastation caused by supposedly turnkey solutions from IBM and their ilk, I rather think that's just as well.

/Uffe
My theories are always correct, just apply them to the right reality.

Glassboy

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 896
  • Karma: +52/-54
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2017, 07:32:52 am »
I would like to create Full Architecture: all systems, all info flows between the systems, all business and data objects and many other things. So, I would like to see my model in different hierarchy views, but I can't

I've done this many times in EA.  Firstly you have to decide what you mean by "system" and "application" because you'll run in to problems discussing your models with others.

But anyway, start by creating all of your systems at the broad brush level as a UML component (a component can contain other components).  Create all of your high level business objects/concepts as Information Items.  Create Information Flows between the components, and convey the Information Items across them.

Paolo F Cantoni

  • EA Guru
  • *****
  • Posts: 5874
  • Karma: +71/-77
  • Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2017, 09:47:20 am »
I would like to create Full Architecture: all systems, all info flows between the systems, all business and data objects and many other things. So, I would like to see my model in different hierarchy views, but I can't

I've done this many times in EA.  Firstly you have to decide what you mean by "system" and "application" because you'll run in to problems discussing your models with others.

But anyway, start by creating all of your systems at the broad brush level as a UML component (a component can contain other components).  Create all of your high level business objects/concepts as Information Items.  Create Information Flows between the components, and convey the Information Items across them.
(my emphasis)  In my experience, this is one of the most difficult things.   To which I'll add... Then you need to ensure that your definitions map to reality.  So that each object you've defined as one or the other passes the "Bjelke-Petersen Duck Test": "If it quacks like a duck and it walks like a duck, it'll get shot like a duck, my word it will!"

We believe we have solved this problem, but humans being humans, steadfastly refuse to accept the solution.  (For example, a recent survey in Oz showed (apparently) 30% of people in Oz believe in Aliens, 30% believe in Angels (not necessarily Christian Angels), yet 40% believe Climate Change is not real).

Enjoy the ride!

Paolo

BTW: In my experience, when people use the unqualifed term "Application", they DON'T mean the unqualified term "Application".
Inconsistently correct systems DON'T EXIST!
... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
-Semantica-
Helsinki Principle Rules!

Glassboy

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 896
  • Karma: +52/-54
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2017, 10:52:39 am »
Ducks aside.  Supporting any area of business there is generally an ecosystem of software, ranging from software from large well known vendors to home grown scripts.  Some people like to call this "the x system" or the "the x application".  Personally - based solely on the actual meaning of the words - I like to use system from the broader container (or containers) and only use application for discretely deployed pieces of software.  I've had other architects vehemently disagree.

But really - apart from the fact they're wrong - at the UML level you use a component element for both and it doesn't make a difference for creating a landscape diagram.  At the lower levels when your components become things you discretely deploy you can start to use assemblies between components and swap conceptual objects for something more representational of the actual payload.

Richard Freggi

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 42
  • Karma: +1/-1
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2017, 12:01:35 pm »
Hello Alex,

the most widely accepted definition of Enterprise Architecture is provided by the Open Group via the TOGAF standard.  TOGAF is 100% free and all of it is available at
http://pubs.opengroup.org/architecture/togaf9-doc/arch/

UML is widely accepted as one of the better ways to generate the artifacts described in TOGAF. 

Sparx provides a TOGAF plug-in module with all artifacts templates ready for use.

It doesn't get any easier or better than this.  All the hard work is done for you... it's just a matter of rolling up your sleeves and getting to work.

Alex9329

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2017, 05:29:57 pm »
I would like to create Full Architecture: all systems, all info flows between the systems, all business and data objects and many other things. So, I would like to see my model in different hierarchy views, but I can't

I've done this many times in EA.  Firstly you have to decide what you mean by "system" and "application" because you'll run in to problems discussing your models with others.

But anyway, start by creating all of your systems at the broad brush level as a UML component (a component can contain other components).  Create all of your high level business objects/concepts as Information Items.  Create Information Flows between the components, and convey the Information Items across them.

You mentioned "convey infoemation items across the info flows" - ok. I will convey but if I open the properties of Information Item, I won't see to which Info flows it belongs. Can I? Sparx is a rich featured instrument but it can't answer on some simple questions. More over if I make a link between 2 elements, I go to the properties of the element and I would like to go to the linked element from the properties of the first element. All that I can do is do go to the "link properties" from element properties. Or you know how can I go?

Alex9329

  • EA User
  • **
  • Posts: 35
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #14 on: September 28, 2017, 05:31:56 pm »
So my advice as a consultant to a consultant: If you don't know a tool, do not recommend it. Like "Oh, what's that thing with that metal brick at one end of the wooden stick? Can I use it to open my breakfast egg?"

q.

P.S. Sparx is a company located in Australia. It's purpose should be to maintain Enterprise Architect.

Great advice but the thing is that I did not recommend this tool. The choice has been made without my participation. The company itself decided to choose the tool without the knowledge of the tool and then asked us to create the Architecture in this tool.