Simulation & Prototyping

in Enterprise Architect

Webinar June 2013

Mr Scott Hebbard Communications Manager at Sparx Systems, shows how to bring your behavioral models to life using wire frames, prototyping and model simulation. Learn how to:

  • Create user interface designs (wireframes) in Enterprise Architect
  • Link requirements, use cases and structured scenarios to UI prototypes
  • Leverage the model to conduct A | B testing of user interfaces
  • Combine process model simulations with UI designs for powerful system prototyping
Simulation & Prototyping

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Supplementary Questions

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Explore the Model

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

Download: simulation.eap

Questions from the Audience

  1. What version of Enterprise Architect did you use in this presentation?
  2. What edition of Enterprise Architect do you require to conduct a simulation?
  3. Can we have a copy of the model used for this presentation?
  4. What additional tools were used beyond EA?
  5. Where are these simulation capabilities documented?
  6. Do you have any kind of tutorial on how create simulations and what type of artifacts support simulations?
  7. How were the user interfaces (screens) built?
  8. Can processes (activity models) also be simulated?
  9. How do you access the Learning Center?
  10. Are you going to demonstrate code generation?
  11. Are there different languages besides JavaScript that can be used in a simulation?
  12. How do you connect the state machine to the user interfaces - where do you specify which dialog to show for a given state?
  13. Is there any mechanism to go back to a previous step when your are in between any simulation of an activity diagram?
  14. How are times and costs calculated?
  15. How does that login windows work? Is that code written in EA? or the user has to write the code for that?
  16. Where do I put the new "password reset" process/state flow implied by the new button?
  17. In the execution analyzer window, it looked like there were a number of C# scripts. How were these created? Were they also used in the simulation? If so, how?
  18. Can you also simulate web interfaces?
  19. Which types of EA model can you use simulation on?
  20. How are business rules simulated?

Questions & Answers

1: What version of Enterprise Architect did you use in this presentation?

A: Enterprise Architect 10, Build 1007

2: What edition of Enterprise Architect do you require to conduct a simulation?

A: The Corporate edition or higher is required. This also includes the ability to use JavaScript as a run-time execution language for evaluating guards and effects.

3: Can we have a copy of the model used for this presentation?

A: Yes. Here it is

4: What additional tools were used beyond EA?

A: None. Enterprise Architect was used to design the model and simulate it.

5: Where are these simulation capabilities documented?

A: See the Enterprise Architect User Guide, which contains the top-level topic Model Simulation.

6: Do you have any kind of tutorial on how create simulations and what type of artifacts support simulations?

A: Apart from this webinar, you may interested the following videos and related resources:

Also note that BPMN 2.0 models can be simulated.

7: How were the user interfaces (screens) built?

A: These were modeled using Enterprise Architect's Win32 profile for UI Design. The Win32 modeling toolbox is built into all editions of Enterprise Architect.
You can learn more about this capability:

8: Can processes (activity models) also be simulated?

A: Yes.

9: How do you access the Learning Center?

A: Select the View Menu, followed by Learning Center. Alternatively, you may use Alt + F1. Select Simulation from the drop down list, as outlined in the Supplementary Questions video.

10: Are you going to demonstrate code generation?

A: Though not part of this webinar, we may feature code generation capabilities in a future session.

11: Are there different languages besides JavaScript that can be used in a simulation?

A: No. Currently, Enterprise Architect only supports JavaScript for the programmatic aspects of model simulation.

12: How do you connect the state machine to the user interfaces - where do you specify which dialog to show for a given state?

A: JavaScript code is used to connect the State Machine to the User Interface. Javascript is used to display the dialog which is called by the behavior associated with the Entry Event and is dismissed with the Exit Event.
For a more detailed step by step overview, please review the Supplementary video above.

13: Is there any mechanism to go back to a previous step when your are in between any simulation of an activity diagram?

A: No. However, it is possible to use a breakpoint, allowing you to interrupt and inspect the simulation process. Simulation halts when it reaches an element defined as a breakpoint. The UML elements that can be defined as breakpoints include: Actions, Activities, States and most other behavioral nodes (decision, initial, final etc.).
For more information on simulation breakpoints view the Enterprise
http://www.sparxsystems.com/enterprise_architect_user_guide/10/model_simulation/using_simulation_breakpoints.html

14: How are times and costs entered and calculated?

A: In this particular example, all of the time and cost values were hard coded using JavaScript. For more information, refer to the Supplementary Question video above.

15: How does that login window work? Is that code written in Enterprise Architect? Or must the user write the code for that?

A: The Login window was modeled in Enterprise Architect using the Win32 UI profile. The Login button on the Dialog is functional and uses an onClick event to broadcast the Username and Password to the State Machine.
For a more detailed overview, please review the Supplementary video above.

16: Where do I put the new "password reset" process/state flow implied by the new button?

A: The "Password Reset" button may require a separate process and State Flow altogether and could be contained within a composite diagram.

17: In the execution analyzer window, it looked like there were a number of C# scripts. How were these created? Were they also used in the simulation? If so, how?

A: The Execution Analyzer window contains a number of Scripts, including some that are used for simulation. The C# examples are used to set up the compiler and default directory for code engineering examples. The Execution Analyzer window enables you to manage all Analyzer scripts in the model. You use the Execution Analyzer window toolbar buttons or script context menu options to control script tasks. Scripts are listed by package; the list only shows packages that have Analyzer scripts defined against them.
For a detailed, step by step overview, please review the Supplementary video above.

18: Can you also simulate web interfaces?

A: No. Currently, only Win32 user Interfaces are supported.

19: Which types of EA model can you use simulation on?

A: UML Activity, Interaction, Sequence, State Machine, State Tables, BPMN Activity Diagrams, BPMN 2 including exclusive or paralell gateways, sub-machine States and SysML Parametric.

20: How are BPMN models simulated?

A: For more information, see the User Guide on BPMN simulation.

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