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Messages - Paolo F Cantoni

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You can install both version 13 as version 14 on the same machine as long as you rename the EA directory in the program files.

Don't forget to setup the <User>\AppData\Roaming\Sparx Systems\EA folder with whatever you want to have 13 (such as Workspaces etc.)


General Board / Re: Reusing a Use Case, generic or template?
« on: June 05, 2018, 04:13:15 pm »
See in-line...
I can embed/inherit/include a use case in a use case? Or have I misunderstood you?

Embedding, inheriting and including use cases are three different things.  <<<=== YES!

- Embedding means you nest a use case under another use case (ownership). I don't really see the point in doing that.  <<<=== NO! Embedding is NOT Nesting! (but in both cases, there's not much point)
- Inheriting means you have a generalization relationship between use cases. (UseCaseA is a UseCaseB) Haven't seen much useful constructs like that as there is really a standard defines set of rules that determine how this generalization will manifest itself. (unlike in Class generalization where we know exactly what happens if you inherit from another class)

In general, I only use include, and only if I have a reasonable chunk of behavior that is shared between use cases.

In graphical terms Embedding means placing one object inside the shape of another.  Nesting is not a graphical term, but a structural one.  Embedding may imply nesting, but it need not (and in Archimate - notionally doesn't).


I usually take the approach teach them the modelling notation as I teach how to do various diagrams with various notations. Examples seem to be the best way to get them up the learning curve quickly. For enterprise architecture using archimate I start off with motivations then move through the various domains such as business, application, infrastructure etc. Each time introducing something new that Sparx EA can do.

I get people to start modelling and tell them not to worry about being correct.  Then I read their model back to them and get them to confirm whether what I read is what they intended to convey.  ArchiMate especially should break down into a series of statements, and be able to be read like a story.  Story telling is a fundamentally human activity and we train children to do it in schools so I find that people pick up how to improve their modelling this way.
A couple of times, in the past, I have automated the process of replaying (some parts of) the model back to the user.  But not since I started using Sparx EA.  It would be interesting to see what could be done.  As you say GB, it sure sorts out if your modelling is correct.


Bugs and Issues / Re: EA14: Archimate shapescript / rendering issues
« on: June 05, 2018, 10:43:47 am »
There are several rendering issues with he Archimate3 shapes in EA14 (many / most of which trace back through earlier EA versions and Archimate MDGs).  From what I can tell many people are accepting these or working around the (eg by creating their own shapes) - I can't find any mention of bugs or issues being explicitly raised in this forum.  However, given that Archimate is one of the major reasons why we are using EA I thought I would formalise the issues we are encountering.  I will raise a formal bug report for these also.

3rd worst shapescript in the product :-)
You DO mean that the Sparx ArchiMate 3 scripts are the 3rd Worst, yes?  What are the other two?   :-\


I know this is a weird situation but...

If an MDG XYZ is stored in a repository
and an AddIn is installed that loads the same MDG (or another version of it)

then  the MDG that is activated is the one from AddIn (as expected)
and the quicklinks defined in the MDG loaded from the AddIn are ignored (BUG)

Hi Alain,

Because we dynamically slipstream (local) development MDGs during our (currently) manual development process, we are familiar with the issue.

I believe it is because QuickLinker files are only loaded on program initialisation.  This isn't a big problem for us as it takes 10-15 mins to regenerate our QuickLinker file from our source specification matrix, so exiting and reentering EA isn't so much an issue.

Perhaps a Sparxian can confirm if the QuickLinker is only read once.


General Board / Re: Multiple elements (virtualised connector ends)
« on: June 01, 2018, 10:51:43 am »
Write a little script to pop them on...

I was kind of hoping to just use a commercial product to do Archimate modelling without having to get under the covers and code, and I suspect that path leads to an ever growing eco-system of self coded 'enhancements' and work-arounds (you seem to have invested quite some time in doing that ...)
Having said that, is there somewhere you can point me for an example of the sort of script you're talking about to give e a head start ... ?

As it happens, in this case, I can't (I only know it can be done because our diagrammer had a bug where it created them accidentally).  But the Standard scripts or Geert's excellent script repository will help.

The key concepts you need are:
  • Select the object on the diagram
  • Run the script:
  • Find the diagram object in the diagram objects collection of the current diagram
  • Create a new diagram object, copying the data from the existing object, but change the location by adjusting the x&Y coordinates
  • Udate the diagramobject
  • Refresh the diagram objects collection
  • I think that should do it or at least get you started


Sounds like you're being offered the Eric Morcombe Gambit - "Get out of that without moving" or even the infamous Catch-22.

You need to share files, but you can't (not allowed to?) share files?

Since you're not allowed to create a shared folder, I assume you can't link them either.  SneakerNet sounds like the only option.  But then you ARE sharing files, so why inhibit you in the first place?

But, as Sunshine says, your collaboration needs to be well orchestrated (ArchiMate based pun intended).


General Board / Re: Multiple elements (virtualised connector ends)
« on: May 31, 2018, 04:42:40 pm »
Hi Matthew,

AFAIK, most of my issues have not been fixed.

If you want a model, then Visio won't give it to you.  It will just give you diagrams. (but, I'm sure you know that).

You can only have one Virtualised Connector End per connector on a diagram (hence your comment about only one "duplicate").

If you are intending to use Visual Embedding for your diagram and you DON'T intend to show ANY relationships then there's a possible solution - thanks to EAUI!  While through the manual UI, you can't add more than one diagram object for each element on the diagram, you CAN (or, at least you could) with automation.  Consequently, you are seeing multiple views of the same thing!

Write a little script to pop them on...


Hi All,

Thanks for the responses! I can confirm that using Visio diagram elements from actual templates and stencils makes the import much more useful. Visio "User" elements come in as <<user>> stereotypes, Server nodes as <<node>> types, etc. so there is some promise. It's not perfect, but certainly better than having everything import as <<rectangle>>, <<circle>>, etc.

So now that the technical problem is somewhat taken care of, we'll need to start working on the social problem i.e. either use Visio to create meaningful diagrams, or use EA, and if you 'just want something quick' then use the Whiteboard/Hand-Drawn mode for those drawings.

Thanks again!
One approach to the social problem is to determine if the users are trying to create models or just pictures or drawings.  Often, we find they are just trying to draw pictures - i.e modelling is NOT their "day job" and the overhead gets in the way of getting the work package completed.  Consequently, Sparx appears to have TOO much friction.  If they are trying to draw pictures instead of creating models, you need to work on that.  Forget EA for a minute, just work on the implication of a model versus a picture (pixels) or even a drawing (as in Visio).
If they are really trying to create models, then you need to explain why a Visio diagram is NOT a model.  THEN, you need to work on reducing the friction to them creating models in Sparx.
That's why we emphasise creating a good user experience with EA.

As an example, our integration group used to create integration diagrams in Visio and for years we couldn't wean them off.  Then a new Integration Architect Lead came on board who understood the value to him and his team of true models.  We worked with him and the group to create a sub-MDG to handle the Integration Aspect - the kinds of objects one finds in the various Enterprise Service Bus technologies.  New elements and connectors.  Now they are enthusiastic users of EA (and our poster children on why you should switch to a modelling approach).

However, this is an example of one of my aphorisms: "If they're not buying, you can't sell".  (until the new Lead came on board, we couldn't mount a good enough argument)  You need to seize your moment carefully.


@qwerty - seems to be missing from your Inside EA book.
Well, it's in my Shapescript book :-)

Why would I look there?  ;)

@Matthew - get a copy!  (Of both books)

PS: Still think there might be a reference to the value in the Inside EA book.

Ok - I can see shapescripts that use the rectanglenotation property to control appearance - hasproperty("rectanglenotation","0"))
But where is that property defined ... ?

There are some archimate shapes that support rectangle notation and some that don't, the ones that do presumably have this property and therefore get the "Use Rectangle Notation" menu option. But I can't find that property defined *anywhere*
- It doesn't show up in the Element Properties dialogue or pane
- I can't find it defined as an attribute or tagged value in the base class (eg Class, Activity)
- Some stereotypes which are based on Class have the property but others also based on Class don't (suggesting it is in the stereotype)
- But I can't find it defined as an attribute or tagged value in the Archimate 3 MDG stereotypes

So, does anyone know where this is defined? How I can add it to my shapes?

(and terminology - is there somewhere that clearly explains the difference between an element property, an element attribute and a tagged value they are used somewhat interchangeable but are also very different things)

Matthew James
Psst...  Matthew,  It's a secret!  :) don't tell anyone! ;)

If your shapescript contains the test for rectangular notation
Code: [Select]
if(hasproperty("rectanglenotation","1")) //decoration only in Rectangular Form
, then the property is synthesised onto the context menu.  If you select/deselect the notation you will get an UCRect=0/1 entry in the t_diagramobjects.ObjectStyle column.


@qwerty - seems to be missing from your Inside EA book.

A combination of V14 and the DB Builder (we were using the Oracle ODBC drive - did it.

We imported 2355 tables, 159 views etc...   However, we got a Resources Exceeded message and thought it might have damaged the FK Constraint import.  But it seems that this product hasn't got any FK Constraints!


General Board / Re: System Resource Exceeded on Large Deletes
« on: May 29, 2018, 02:56:07 pm »
We couldn't succeed with import even after changing the Registry setting (EA just froze), so we ended up importing in parts.
(obviously compromising the inter-relationships between entities).
We upgraded the user to b1421 and although we got the error, the RE seemed to complete.  2355 Tables (with, apparently, NO FK Constraints defined).


General Board / Re: System Resource Exceeded on Large Deletes
« on: May 29, 2018, 12:40:20 pm »
Another instance where we've seen this is when trying to import a fairly large DB Schema, 900+ tables precisely.
Just got one a few minutes ago, doing just that!

It seems like we got the Oracle Reverse Engineering going (see another topic) only to get this...  The Reverse Engineer is still running (at time of writing) so I can't tell how big the source DB was.

BTW Nizam, was there any impact of the error?


General Board / Re: System Resource Exceeded on Large Deletes
« on: May 29, 2018, 09:49:21 am »
Yes, the option would be useful.

We're also finding some queries (internal to EA) which generate overly large sets which tax the system on our production repository.  Fortunately, we've learnt that when they fail, nothing bad (appears to) happens.  So we just ignore them, but it would be better if they didn't occur.


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