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Messages - Paolo F Cantoni

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Bugs and Issues / Re: Virtual Connectors do not execute Shape Scripts
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:56:56 am »

See my recent posts (last few months) on Virtual Connector Ends.  It will also alert you to other problem you may come across.  I've come up against the same kinds of problems and I've made an analysis of why they occur and proposed a possible solution.  Essentially, the implementation is "less than optimal".

The idea is fine, it just needs a different (and I would argue, more logical) implementation.


I guess this is an SQL search and not a script.
First thing to do is check the dbError.txt in the %appdata% folder for EA.

Then remove the comments. IIRC EA will strip (or it used to) everything after the first comments, so your search will be nothing more then "SELECT"

Next thing is the To_Number(t_connector.PDATA1) there's a good chance you have somewhere a text in a PDATA1
I guess you better cast both fields to string to compare them instead of trying to cast it to a number.

To reinforce what Geert has said, don't forget that a NULL value will also trigger type issues.  We find that a lot with function calls in queries.

Again, for the record, I HATE NULLS!


General Board / Re: Element Text Alignment
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:49:05 am »
Okay, as expected. I've found a workaround by setting the alias blank and adding a text label which i put inside the element. Not ideal, i hope they will implement a feature which solves this in an easier way.
We found the same solution,  We ALSO extended it to allow the user to select which of a number of names (held in Tagged Values) the element should display on a specific diagram.

BTW, setting the Alias to "space" is what we did, "setting it blank" might imply «Emptyt» - where this "fudge" doesn't work.


Suggestions and Requests / Re: Watermarks. Discuss.
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:43:40 am »


Bugs and Issues / Re: Default tag values do not work properly
« on: December 12, 2017, 10:36:50 am »
Just for the record...



Oh, and the default value can't be left as NULL because NULL is NOT a value!

you cannot use WITH directly in EA because EA just ignores it for whatever reason.
In principle, all but SELECT statements are ignored.

I use WITH in a MSSQL view and SELECT that view in EA.

Just do it this way, and you can meet your objectives.
+1  This is one of the strengths of SQL - you can substitute a view for a table.

A decade ago, I "lifted" EA up one level by defining all the EA tables as views with my own DB structure underneath that supplied all the views and reacted to updates on the views to maintain our own, more consistent structure.

EA itself appeared to be none the wiser at the time.

Never took it any further though, pity.


General Board / Re: Linking a Logical data model to database builder model
« on: December 11, 2017, 10:40:54 am »
I don't think there is / should be an automatic linking of data models at conceptual - logical-physical (schema) level.  Going from one level to another you make a number of decisions about the model structure based on circumstances, your style and habits etc. There are many different correct ways to develop a physical schema from a logical one and vice versa.  Don't know how it could be automated to have changes propagated correctly.
This particular client has all their transformation rules defined.
The add-in transforms the logical model into a physical model following these transformation rules.
Then the DBA's review the proposed structure and overrule certain rules if needed.
The tool marks the database objects that have been overruled in order to not propose a change according to the standard transformation rules next time the logical model is being transformed.

In any case, this saves a lot of mindless grunt work and helps with the standardization (naming conventions etc..)

(my emphasis)
I've found one of the first things to define in any automated transformation/generation process is the "escape mechanism" to allow you to specify exceptions.  As they used to say on Sesame Street "One of these things is not like the others..."

This is also the source of the (in English) phrases "The exception that proves the rule".


General Board / Re: Linking a Logical data model to database builder model
« on: December 07, 2017, 10:56:20 am »
My comment on that is tools that link the various models all tend to make the conceptual and logical models become shadows of a physical model.
If you start from the physical, that is often the case (the "Schema as Design" analogue to "Code as Design").  I've been fortunate to have been able to do some greenfield DB design using generators and careful separation of concerns and use of scaffolding injection made the physical model elaborations of the conceptual model.  The key as Uffe keeps reminding us was: Concistency, konsistency, consistensy! TMUffe - after Paolo

However, these were artisan generators, not using EA.


General Board / Re: We are dissapointed since Version 13
« on: December 07, 2017, 10:47:07 am »
Using a miter saw :-/

At least the cuts were straight...   ::)

I already searched for it, but recursive queries are not supported by MS Access.

We use Pass-Through queries in MS Access, but we're going to SQL Server repositories.

Some research suggests the using of CTE (Common Table Expressions) is related to the question of Adjacency Lists vs Nested Sets ( and

If you look at the SQL Server version, it relies on “breadcrumbs” to provide the Nesting (which is provided directly from Oracle).

This may help others.


As usual, it is EXACTLY a matter of semantics.  As you have seen in the discussion there is a divergence on what the terms duplicate, clone, copy and paste mean.

Most of the "old timers" know that the element object isn't the whole story regarding the semantics of the element.  The relationships and other properties also play a part.  The semantics of "copy and paste" in the simple case ONLY make a copy of the element.  In Sparx EA terms, cloning means copying the object, its properties and relationships.  "Duplication" isn't really a valid concept since the resulting clone is not an exact copy, but a "doppelganger".

So if all you want to do is make a second element with all the same properties as the original but none of the relationships, then that's relatively simple.  Otherwise, as the others have said it's trickier than it first looks.


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Discussions and Reviews
« on: December 04, 2017, 05:05:10 pm »
We do, but here Sinterklaas mostly brings hollow chocolate figures, speculaas and toys for the kids. :P
Traditions like that vary strongly from region to region.

LOVE Speculaas!


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Re: Discussions and Reviews
« on: December 01, 2017, 05:37:20 pm »
Geert, you like Santa, always accurate answers and also quick packed in nice wrappings  ;D

Hohoho!  ;D
In English it's Ho Ho Ho - but you're forgiven!   Happy Friday!


Suggestions and Requests / Re: Diagram custom attribute order
« on: November 28, 2017, 10:36:49 am »

It would be useful to have a way to define a custom order of a class attributes that is specific to a diagram.
The order is currently specific to a class, however I have several diagrams on which I need to show attributes in a different order.

Diagram A

Diagram B
Hi Guillaume,

I've often wanted the same thing, but since Attributes and Operations are 5th or 6th class citizens of the EA ecosystem....


What RDBMS?  I reverse (and forward) engineer with SQLite using the OBDC driver mentioned in the user guide and my FKs and associations work.  EA 13.0.1310 on Win10)
SQL Server 2016.  The driver is marked as ODBC Driver 13 for SQL Server.


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