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Messages - Richard Freggi

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46
Hello, here's a few ideas:

Data modeling:
1. Add true crow's feet notation, where keys are underlined instead of having the key icon as stereotype (following the bar across relationships helps following identifiers)

2. If it's not patented, how about adding automatic highlighting of the keys when you hover mouse over a relationship... this is something that Mysqlworkbench does and I find it useful to plan queries and joins

3. You can drag attributes (non-keys) from a table (or Class) to another in Project Explorer, but not in the diagram... it would be useful to be able to move attributes around in diagram as well (like ERWin etc.)

4. Editing attribute names in the diagram by click+F2 or click + slight move cursor is buggy - sometimes changes are not saved

5. Add ability to reverse engineer SQL DDL code (from DDL file to ERD diagram, instead of from database connection to ERD diagram)... useful when database connection is not available and to share schemas via DDL.  MySQLWorkbench and ERWin can do this

6. No CSV export for attributes is a major feature gap... I have read up on EA limitation to CSV export classifiers only and not their attributes, and I understand the difficulty in implementing this across all UML classifiers, but a table-attribute specific script should be made available by Sparx.  It's very valuable for quick editing-fine tuning-reporting when under time pressure (ERWin is excellent in this respect)

Other:
7. If I add a nesting relationship to a package in package diagram, it is not reflected in project explorer... in project explorer the nested package is NOT moved to inside the parent package.  Shouldn't it be?

8. In sequence diagram there should be a checkbox or setting to have default every activation is new... so when using message numbering, the numbering is 1,2,3,4 by default not 1.1, 1.2, 1.3.  It's very time consuming to right click on each message and set new activation for all messages.  I think activations should be new by default

9. When using search function (CTRL-F) several times in a row, the last text typed in the search bar is still there and unselected after pressing CTRL-F again.  So I have to move the mouse to the text bar, delete the text, then type your new search item.  It would be better if the text in search bar was highlighted-selected after each CTRL-F so if I type a new text it will be immediately overwritten; and if I want to keep or add to the old text I can just click on the bar to deselect it.  Like search function works in WIndows.

Pls PM me if any of these suggestions are implemented in future versions.  Thank you!


47
This is really a UML question, not a tool question.  I don't think it makes sense in UML to have multiple instances of the same classifier in a diagram, and if absolutely-positively need to, the correct way to do it is with a generalization (duplicate element IS-A original element).  EA implements the UML standard correctly by not allowing 2 of same classifiers in a diagram. 

Since version 12 or 13 there is something called virtual connector ends that sortof kinda does this in a bit weird and Sparxian way.

See http://sparxsystems.com/enterprise_architect_user_guide/13.5/modeling_tools/virtual_routing.html for more info.

Geert

48
Thank you Geert and Maxym.  Yes I agree with your posts - although to be fair Sparx EA is not marketed as a data modeling tool, the ERD is a useful add-on but it will never be at the same level as dedicated data modeling tools.  Same for other EA add-ons (BPMN comes to mind), I think it's great that Sparx provides some of them for free and they are very valuable in a pinch but they were clearly not meant to replace the dedicated tools.  Another thing is that I think it's perfectly appropriate to model data and design databases in 100% UML and in this case Sparx EA would do a fine job.

I'll submit the feature recommendations (sans-DDL reverse engineering), we'll see what happens.

49
Great feedback Sunshine thanks!
Yes reverse engineering DB works fine for me too - but I'm referring to reverse engineering a DDL text file (CREATE statements...).  Open the SQL file and the tables+attributes+associations+diagram are generated for you
I use CSV export of tables and attributes to go over action items for each table or attribute (check semantics with someone, validate domain, etc.) , sometimes several times a day.  I don't really do this for relationships.  I edit the schema on Project Explorer.  Html or rtf document generation is an OK workaround but not as clean and fast as having an Excel file.

Anyone else?

50
I am thinking about submitting a feature request, but first I would like to sound it off here, since I'm still learning about EA (previous ERWin user)

1. What do you think about adding a true crow's feet notation, where keys are underlined instead of having the key icon as stereotype
1.1 Also if it's not patented, how about adding automatic highlighting of the keys when you hover mouse over a relationship... this is something that Mysqlworkbench does and I find it useful to plan queries and joins
2. You can drag attributes (non-keys) from a table (or Class) to another in Project Explorer, but not in the diagram... it would be useful to be able to move attributes around in diagram as well
2.1 Editing attributes in the diagram by double clicking is buggy too... changes are not saved
3. EA (at least Professional) cannot reverse engineer SQL DDL code... I find it useful to move models around and update schemas.  MySQLWorkbench and ERWin can do this
4. No CSV export for attributes is a major feature gap... I have read up on EA limitation to CSV export classifiers only and not their attributes, and I understand the difficulty in implementing this across all UML classifiers, but a table-attribute specific script should be made available by Sparx.  It's very valuable for quick editing-fine tuning-reporting when under time pressure (ERWin is excellent in this respect)

Any feedback or ideas?  I'll submit feature request in a few days


51
General Board / Re: What is Sparx and for what purposes it should be used
« 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.

52
Suggestions and Requests / Re: In-house training in HK
« on: September 09, 2017, 01:21:37 pm »
I may be able to help depending on the kind of training needed.  I'm based in Taipei but will be presenting at the Open Group - Enterprise Architecture Digital Transformation conference in Shenzhen on Sept. 21-22 (using EA! Yay!), so we may be able to meet there on en route (flying via HK).  I speak Mandarin but not Cantonese. Send me a personal message if interested. 

53
Uml Process / Re: Importing XMI from Papyrus to EA
« on: August 23, 2017, 10:19:45 am »
EA version 13.0.1310; importing a model from Papyrus Neon (version 2.0.2).  Couldn't do it without the kludge: I was getting an EA error message on the lines of "unknown XMI version".

54
Uml Process / [Solved]: Importing XMI from Papyrus to EA
« on: August 23, 2017, 01:48:00 am »
Hello I resurrected this old topic because I was just now in this situation and could not find a solution online, but this kludge worked for me: I manually change the Papyrus *.uml file on the second line as follows:
From "uml:Model xmi:version="20131001"  to uml:Model xmi:version="2.1"

Then all model elements imported into EA correctly (even notes loaded correctly).  Obviously no diagrams since the *.di file is a Papyrus specific thing, but everything else seems fine!

I don't know why all my Papyrus UML files have xmi:version="20131001" in my *.uml file header.  I'll ask on the Eclipse Papyrus forum when I have time.

55
General Board / Re: What is a "property"?
« on: August 17, 2017, 01:38:17 pm »
Sorry for bringing this up again, but I have to vent my anger and here at least there are sane people.

This happened elsewhere and today by the way!

THEY: Oh, you can't have the same name for a component and a class.
ME:  (deep breathing for at least 24 minutes) Que?
THEY: Oh, you can't do that because they would mean the same thing!
ME: (madly fumbling for 000 on my phone) So, a picture of a brick called "Fred" is the same thing as a picture of a dog called "Fred"?
THEY: Uh, what do you mean?
ME: ("Yes, hello operator. I desperately need three kg of Valium") Listen carefully, I will say this only once! (thinks: or twice,or thrice or perhaps 6.023*10^26 times...) (Very deep breath) OK. Is a picture of a dog called Fred the same thing as a picture of fish called Wanda?
THEY: I thought we were talking about the system?
ME: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!


Oh and by the way Paolo, that is actually a picture of a Picture that is (vicariously) called "This is not a Pipe" :P
 

I would suggest that the answer could have been that in UML 2.x components and classes are semantically DIFFERENT things, therefore they CAN have the same name... it would be like using he same name for an actor and a class... not necessarily a good idea, but not incompatible with the standard.  I think that classes realize components, so they are not the same thing semantically.

56
Uml Process / Re: Reusing UML Sequence diagrams
« on: August 09, 2017, 11:27:28 am »
Hello
Hope this can help.

I think your question is about how to use UML instead of how to use the EA tool - if you understand UML 2.x, then what to do in Sparx EA will become obvious.

If I understand what you want to achieve, I suggest you read up on <<include>> and <<extend>> use cases.  That will help you map out exactly what sequence diagram can be reused, under what circumstances (use cases are the preferred way to show what a sequence diagram does). 

Then you can use combined fragments to implement <<include>> and <<extend>> in your sequence diagrams.  "Ref" fragments can be used for <<include>> and "alt" or "opt" fragments can be used for <<extend>>.  This will give you an accurate, precise and easy way to reuse sequence diagrams.

Sorry if I misunderstood the question!  Cheers

57
Thank you KP.  I understand the point of _AttPub not being relevant to a toolbox profile.  So I would need to extend a class to have the characteristics that I want, then add the extended class to the toolbox.  But how to extend class so that the default scope for its attributes (and operations too) is public instead of EA default of private?  Thanks!!!

58
 BUMP!  Anyone has ideas?  Thanks!

59
General Board / Re: What is a "property"?
« on: August 02, 2017, 12:17:00 am »
In UML 2.5 a property is just a catch-all name for a feature of a classifier.  The excellent (and concise) "The Unified Modeling Language Reference Manual, second edition" by Rumbaugh, Jacobson and Book takes 7 PAGES to explain properties.  So, I suggest you just roll with it.....

60
General Board / Re: Can't add attributes or operations using toolbox???
« on: August 01, 2017, 06:12:45 pm »
Thank you for quick clarification!  So I guess it really depends on UML 2.5 metamodel to decide if what I want to do (add unstereotyped attribute/operation to class) is legal or not.  I think full compliance with UML spec is important... would not want to 'bastardize' the tool just to add this small convenience.

But then again, this action is possible by right clicking on model explorer or on the class in the diagram... so why not via the toolbox?  And what is the correct use of attributes and operations in the toolbox?  Forum moderator or EA gurus any takers for this question?

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