Author Topic: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used  (Read 1055 times)

sargasso

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #15 on: September 28, 2017, 06:49:01 pm »
 :-X
"It is not so expressed, but what of that?
'Twere good you do so much for charity."

Oh I forgot, we aren't doing him are we.

qwerty

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2017, 06:49:06 pm »
Ah. So that's the piece of information I wanted basically. Well, then sorry for being picky. I guess the others have pointed you in the right direction(s). There is no simple way to tackle an enterprise architecture. EA can do that definitively. But it's a quite long way and without knowing the tool you'll have a hard time (see my pun).

q.

Geert Bellekens

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2017, 06:58:47 pm »
The traceability window combined with the EA Navigator add-in should answer most of your questions.

Geert

Glassboy

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #18 on: September 29, 2017, 05:51:45 am »
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.

The Information Item doesn't "belong" to any of the Information Flows but I understand your point.  I believe Geert's add on does this for you.

Quote
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?

That's not all you can do.  Double click on the what you see in the links.

qwerty

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #19 on: September 29, 2017, 06:39:20 am »
Actually if you have the properties of a link open it means that you also have the link in focus (on a diagram). So you just dbl-click the two elements the link is attached to (one after the other).

q.

Sunshine

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2017, 10:48:43 am »
I've used various tools like Sparx EA for the last 30 years in my profession. I've used Sparx EA for about 12 years now which I've used for the purposes of enterprise architecture, solution architecture, software architecture and engineering. Its probably the best value for money and feature rich tool on the market place today. The tool provides all the core features for enterprise architecture with the ability to draw diagrams, manage objects and relationships aided by matrices and lists all stored in database. The database can be from one of many mainstream vendors such as MS Access, MS SQL, Oracle etc. Sparx EA also has a very rich document generation ability too. It can be configured and customised and its use is only limited by your imagination. Yes it very feature rich and so the learning curve can be very steep and a bit overwhelming to the inexperienced.

So first of all if you want to use Sparx EA to store and manage Enterprise Architecture of a business you need two things. An expert in Enterprise Architecture and an expert in Sparx EA. They could be the same person or two individuals. If you are lacking these then start looking as trying to learn both is probably a learning curve most mortals would find hard to climb for the short duration of a project.

Second like any problem you need to break it down. Who needs to use the tool and for what purpose? A use case model can help. During this discovery phase you should ask what Enterprise Architecture Framework are you going to base your work upon?
 TOGAF, DODAF, ArchiMate and Zachman to name but a few. Other questions to ask are what viewpoints and elements will the stakeholders need and what data should those elements have to be useful to the stakeholders. Then prototype each use case in the tool to see how you would do it.

For enterprise architecture work I use a customised version of ArchiMate MDG (added extra features and attributes to the elements) and follow the Archimate V3.01 standard along with TOGAF V9.1. I also use various books like Enterprise Architecture At Work by Marc Lankhorst et al to guide me.

I have a meta model based on ArchiMate that describes all the elements and relationships along with a catalogue of viewpoints mapped to stakeholders. I based my catalogue of view points on the TOGAF and ArchiMate List.

These all allow me to cover everything in the enterprise from strategy, motivations for change, current states of business, data, application and infrastructure as well as future states and roadmaps to guide the organisation there.

So to re-iterate if you don't have the knowledge and experience in both methodology and tool then you need to find someone to help in one or both of these areas otherwise you will be doomed to fail.

Finally from the words of Mark Twain - Apologies for writing such a long response for I did not have time to write a shorter one.

Hope that helps and good luck with your endeavour.
 :)
« Last Edit: October 01, 2017, 10:55:50 am by Sunshine »

qwerty

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #21 on: October 01, 2017, 07:51:26 pm »
Sunshine: +1

(to help Mark Twain)

q.

Paolo F Cantoni

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2017, 10:59:52 am »
Sunshine: +1

(to help Mark Twain)

q.
+1 (Sunshine)

Paolo
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Alex9329

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2017, 10:17:15 pm »
I've used various tools like Sparx EA for the last 30 years in my profession. I've used Sparx EA for about 12 years now which I've used for the purposes of enterprise architecture, solution architecture, software architecture and engineering. Its probably the best value for money and feature rich tool on the market place today. The tool provides all the core features for enterprise architecture with the ability to draw diagrams, manage objects and relationships aided by matrices and lists all stored in database. The database can be from one of many mainstream vendors such as MS Access, MS SQL, Oracle etc. Sparx EA also has a very rich document generation ability too. It can be configured and customised and its use is only limited by your imagination. Yes it very feature rich and so the learning curve can be very steep and a bit overwhelming to the inexperienced.

So first of all if you want to use Sparx EA to store and manage Enterprise Architecture of a business you need two things. An expert in Enterprise Architecture and an expert in Sparx EA. They could be the same person or two individuals. If you are lacking these then start looking as trying to learn both is probably a learning curve most mortals would find hard to climb for the short duration of a project.

Second like any problem you need to break it down. Who needs to use the tool and for what purpose? A use case model can help. During this discovery phase you should ask what Enterprise Architecture Framework are you going to base your work upon?
 TOGAF, DODAF, ArchiMate and Zachman to name but a few. Other questions to ask are what viewpoints and elements will the stakeholders need and what data should those elements have to be useful to the stakeholders. Then prototype each use case in the tool to see how you would do it.

For enterprise architecture work I use a customised version of ArchiMate MDG (added extra features and attributes to the elements) and follow the Archimate V3.01 standard along with TOGAF V9.1. I also use various books like Enterprise Architecture At Work by Marc Lankhorst et al to guide me.

I have a meta model based on ArchiMate that describes all the elements and relationships along with a catalogue of viewpoints mapped to stakeholders. I based my catalogue of view points on the TOGAF and ArchiMate List.

These all allow me to cover everything in the enterprise from strategy, motivations for change, current states of business, data, application and infrastructure as well as future states and roadmaps to guide the organisation there.

So to re-iterate if you don't have the knowledge and experience in both methodology and tool then you need to find someone to help in one or both of these areas otherwise you will be doomed to fail.

Finally from the words of Mark Twain - Apologies for writing such a long response for I did not have time to write a shorter one.

Hope that helps and good luck with your endeavour.
 :)

Thank you very much for the answer. You mentioned such thing as " For enterprise architecture work I use a customised version of ArchiMate MDG. I have a meta model based on ArchiMate that describes all the elements and relationships along with a catalogue of viewpoints mapped to stakeholders. I based my catalogue of view points on the TOGAF and ArchiMate List."

Could you please show me some screenshots or maybe share the example of your work. It will definitely help me.. I would like to understand and to see how you have organized catalogs and mappings, viewpoints and some example of metamodel.

qwerty

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2017, 11:09:02 pm »

Alex9329

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #25 on: October 04, 2017, 05:41:36 am »
Thanks! I know about Archimate and I and my collegues are using it. I just would like sime example of how can I organize everything in Sparx

Alex9329

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #26 on: October 04, 2017, 05:42:39 am »
And metamodel example in sparx

Glassboy

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2017, 07:56:49 am »
Thanks! I know about Archimate and I and my collegues are using it. I just would like sime example of how can I organize everything in Sparx

Use the TOGAF content meta-model as the basis for your package structure.  If it doesn't have a place to file something there's a good chance you're doing something wrong.

Sunshine

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Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2017, 01:15:58 pm »
Thank you very much for the answer. You mentioned such thing as " For enterprise architecture work I use a customised version of ArchiMate MDG. I have a meta model based on ArchiMate that describes all the elements and relationships along with a catalogue of viewpoints mapped to stakeholders. I based my catalogue of view points on the TOGAF and ArchiMate List."

Could you please show me some screenshots or maybe share the example of your work. It will definitely help me.. I would like to understand and to see how you have organized catalogs and mappings, viewpoints and some example of metamodel.
Sorry pretty much everything I do is for clients is usually confidential so can't share.

However, if you go to www.opengroup.org all the standards on ArchiMate meta model and view points are there. Similarly for TOGAF. Also Marc Lankhurst the main author of ArchiMate works for bizzdesign and he has a blog with some good stuff on using ArchiMate etc http://blog.bizzdesign.com/
Another place to check out is https://www.orbussoftware.com/ as they provide some posters for viewpoints and metamodel.

The extensions I've added to the ArchiMate metamodel are mainly attributes. For example an I've added to application component attributes like Annual Support Cost, Security Classification, etc to help manage the applications.

How I organise the Sparx Model for enterprise architecture is something like this. As Glassboy says its in align TOGAF. I mainly follow ArchiMate as thats the language I use in combo with UML and BPMN. There is some work going on to align the ArchiMate and TOGAF to use same metamodel.

Enterprise Architecture Model
          Motivations
                    Catalogues
                    Diagrams
          Strategy
                    Catalogues
                    Diagrams
          Business
                    Catalogues
                    Diagrams
          Application and Data
                    Catalogues
                    Diagrams
          Technology
                    Catalogues
                    Diagrams
          Implementation and Migration
                    Catalogues
                    Diagrams

Document Generation
          Subject A
                    Model Doc X
                    Model Doc Y
          Subject B
                    Model Doc Z

I keep the doc gen separate from the main model so I can generate the enterprise architecture model as HTML making it available to everyone in the organisation. I keep the diagrams separate from the catalogs of objects to make sharing of the objects easier. The downside when you create new objects on a diagram they are stored in the same package as the diagram and you have to lift and shift them into the catalog package.

Like I said before the learning curve is massive for both Enterprise Architecture Discipline and the Sparx EA tool so you really need to bring in some experts. My colleagues call me an expert but I still sometimes struggle with some aspects from time to time and I've been using Sparx EA for Enterprise Architecture over a decade now.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 01:31:33 pm by Sunshine »

Sunshine

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« Last Edit: October 05, 2017, 01:50:01 pm by Sunshine »