Getting Started with Enterprise Architect

Webinar September 2013

Mr Scott Hebbard, Communications Manager at Sparx Systems, outlines some key concepts that you need to understand when you are getting started with Enterprise Architect.

In this webinar, you'll learn how to:
  • Install Enterprise Architect and build a simple model from scratch
  • Create Views, Packages, Diagrams and establish links between elements using Connectors and the Quicklinker
  • Create a Mind Map and a simple Class Diagram.

Explore the Model

We have provided a copy of the Enterprise Architect model that was used in the webinar.

Download: getting-started.eap

Questions from the Audience

Questions & Answers

What Version of Enterprise Architect was used in the demonstration?

Enterprise Architect 10, Build 1009.

Will the Model created during the webinar be made available to the public?

Yes, the model is available here.

Was any other software installed in order to create the model?

No. Enterprise Architect was the only tool used to create the model.

How do you change the font and color of an element?

The diagram window has a Format Toolbar for modifying the appearance of your diagram, including options for setting the font, text color, fill color and line color for a selected element.

For more information, see Enterprise Architect's Help topic on the Format Toolbar help topic.

To modify the default Element Font, select Tools | Options (Ctrl+F9) | Diagram | Appearance: Configure Default Element Fonts.

Is there a demo version of Enterprise Architect available?

Yes. Sparx Systems provides a free 30 day Trial version of Enterprise Architect on the Sparx Systems website:

How do you delete an element permanently?

To permanently delete an element from all diagrams and from the model, click on the element in a diagram or in the Project Browser and either:
  • Press Ctrl+Delete, or;
  • Right-click and select "Delete selected item(s)" context menu option
Note: You can delete a selected element from a single diagram by pressing Delete; this does not delete the element from other diagrams or from the model.

Can you take a Class model and transform it to a data model as a starting point for data modeling?

Enterprise Architect provides a number of built-in model transformations, including one for generating data models from plain UML class models. For more information, see Enterprise Architect's Help topic on Model transformation and DDL transformation..

View a video that demonstrates Enterprise Architect's Model Transformations.

How would I create an Activity diagram?

You create an Activity diagram in a similar fashion to the Class diagram demonstration in the webinar. Add a new diagram and select an Activity from the list of UML Behavioral diagrams.

If you select an element in a diagram, can you find where it is located in the Project Browser?

Yes. Right-click the element on a diagram and select Find | In Project Browser from the context menu.

Can deletion of model elements be "undone"?

No. If you delete an element from the model hierarchy, as opposed to the diagram, the deletion cannot be undone. However, you can use Model Baselines or XMI files to restore the project to a previous state. It also is recommended that you regularly back up your project file.

How do you share your project to allow another user to contribute?

As a team-based modeling tool, Enterprise Architect supports project sharing via:
  • Shared model repositories using a DBMS server as a host
  • Version Control integration
  • XMI Import and Export of model packages
Enterprise Architect also includes tools such as Team Review, Model Mail and role-based security to help enhance communication and team collaboration.

For more information on Enterprise Architect collaborative tools see Enterprise Architect's Help topic on team modeling.

For more information on setting up team based repositories, see the Resources web page entitled "Team Modeling Resources for Enterprise Architect".

Is there an automatic layout feature for diagrams?

Yes. Enterprise Architect provides tools to automatically layout diagrams. For more information, see Enterprise Architect's Help topic on how to layout diagrams or view a webinar that demonstrates how to prepare diagrams for publication.

Is it possible to edit the "shapes" of the elements available for a diagram, or create customized elements in addition to the available ones?

Yes. It is possible to use Stereotypes and Shape Scripts to modify the shape and appearance of an element and to create custom elements.

What does a package represent?

Packages in Enterprise Architect are organizational elements, much like folders in an operating system. They are defined in the UML specification and can be used to contain sub-packages, diagrams and elements. For more information see Enterprise Architect's Help topic on Packages.

Is there a way to track the changes to a model over time?

Yes. Enterprise Architect has numerous tools for tracking and managing changes to the model. For more information see Enterprise Architect's Help topic on:

Is possible to create simple flow charts without using concepts of UML?

Yes. Enterprise Architect supports a number of Strategic Models including a Flow Chart, Balanced Scorecard and Organizational Chart. For more information on creating a flowchart, please refer to our article on Creating Strategic Models with Enterprise Architect.

Can you trace the classes to existing requirements?

Yes. Please review our recent webinar on Tools for Traceability.

Can Enterprise Architect be used as a wireframing tool?

Yes. You can use the Win 32 User Interface Profile to create wireframes and prototypes, as demonstrated in the Simulation and Prototyping webinar.

How can I create a Class diagram from existing java classes?

You can reverse engineer a visual UML Class Model from existing Java Classes. You can import (reverse engineer) source code files in a variety of code languages. This can help you analyze the functionality of legacy code and libraries, or help synchronize the UML model with new code.

At what granularity (Project, Model, View, etc) can you control access to?

You can use role-based (user) security to control access to Models, Views, Packages and model elements.

How can you create links to elements in other packages within the same project? (For Example, linking a Class to a Use Case or Requirement)

There are numerous ways to link elements from different packages. For example:
  • Place both elements on a diagram and use the Quick Linker to relate them
  • Use the Relationship Matrix
  • Use the Gap Analysis Matrix
See some examples in our webinar on Tools for Traceability in Enterprise Architect.

Register for our Next Webinar!