Enterprise Architect 12 - Release Highlights

Webinar June 2015
Watch and learn as we demonstrate some release highlights:
  • New tools for wireframing, database engineering and XML schema
  • Enhanced Testing, Project Management and superior Model Merge
  • Major UI updates and faster navigation with Portals

Enterprise Architect 12 is a major milestone release of Sparx Systems' award-winning modeling platform. Significant user interface enhancements make it easier to navigate the model, access element properties and create a personalized look and feel. Hundreds of updates and new tools make your modeling more productive than ever!

Here you can view recordings of the release highlights, read our answers to questions raised by the audience and download example models used by Scott and Ben.

Ben Constable Ben Constable

Scott Hebbard Scott Hebbard

Questions from the Audience

Click on a question to see the answer.


Which of these features are available in the Desktop edition?

All of the User Interface enhancements, such as UI and diagram themes, and enhanced properties dialogs, are included, along with the new Wireframing support. The specialist tools, such as the Schema Composer, Database Builder and XSLT Debugger require higher editions. For a complete list see our Compare Editions page, under the section New Items in Enterprise Architect 12.

Can we import requirements from another requirement management tool such as Blueprint?

Not from Blueprint, but you can import requirements from DOORS, using the MDG Integration for DOORS.

Do you have videos around reports that could be generated from Enterprise Architect 12?

Not currently. However, you might be interested in our two recent webinars dedicated to reporting in Enterprise Architect 11, which are both still relevant for version 12:

Given that Git is a popular DVCS, does Enterprise Architect 12 support Git? Is it in the Enterprise Architect road map?

No. Git is not currently supported nor is it in the short-term road map for Enterprise Architect.

We use Enterprise Architect 10 with an add-in tailored for our process and documents. Any notes on migrating add-ins to Enterprise Architect 12?

Because Enterprise Architect's automation interface is backwards compatible, your add-ins should run in version 12 as in previous versions.

Is Enterprise Architect 12 available for Mac? Through Crossover or native?

It's available for Mac through Crossover. For details, see the topic Installing Enterprise Architect with Crossover in our installation instructions for WINE.

Nice system architecture features, are there any new enterprise architecture features?

Some examples include:

  • New support for the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) profile
  • New support for the The Open Group's Risk Taxonomy
  • Support for UMM (UN/CEFACT Modeling Methodology) and UPCC (UN/CEFACT UML Profile for Core Components) now built into Enterprise Architect
  • Numerous enhancements to reporting and document generation, diagramming and charts, BPMN and ArchiMate modeling, Relationships window.

I'm still on Enterprise Architect 10. Is there a similar webinar that covers the differences from Enterprise Architect 10 to Enterprise Architect 11?

User Interface & Theming

Why did you make so many changes in the menus?

The main menus in Enterprise Architect 12 logically group new and existing functionality. So features related to a package, for example, appear under the new Package main menu. The specialized tools, such as the Schema Composer, are grouped under the Tools main menu.

In Enterprise Architect 12 the Project Browser now has an auto horizontal scroll feature. This is great but there may be occasions when it would be good to regain manual control. Is there a way of reverting to a manual horizontal scroll function?

The presence of a horizontal scroll bar is actually determined by the Visual Style, available from the menu View | Visual Styles. For example, if you switch to the Visual Studio 2010 style, a horizontal scroll bar is displayed in the Project Browser. There is also an update planned, which will restore manual scrolling in the Project Browser for visual styles that only use the standard Windows scroll bars, such as Visual Studio 2008.

Could you explain how the new Alternative Default Image feature works in Enterprise Architect 12?

Alternative images can improve the appearance of a diagram and make them easier to read and understand. For example, you can display an image of a Router or PC on an element, replacing the standard UML presentation for that element.

To do this in Enterprise Architect 12:

  1. Right-click an element on a diagram.
  2. From the context menu, choose: Appearance | Select Default Image.
  3. Select a suitable image via the Image Manager dialog. The new default image will display on all instances of the element in diagrams across the model.

Are you supporting pen-enabled canvas for diagrams? I use Microsoft Surface and I'd love to use my pen to add notes to diagrams.

Customers have reported using a Microsoft Surface device to add notes to diagrams. This does not allow you to create free form diagrams. Unfortunately, the Surface RT device does not run Enterprise Architect.

Model Merge Sets

Does Model Merge work with a SQL database model repository?

Yes. Merge Files are compatible with both the file-based model repositories (*.eap, *.feap) and RDBMS-based repositories.

In your merge models demo you illustrated 2 users working on a model baseline at the same time but different packages within that baseline model. Is there any way of allowing 2 users to work on the same package concurrently?

Users can edit the same package concurrently and merge changes using the Merge Files. However, the edits made by each author should be to different elements within that package. As noted in the subsequent responses, if two users edit the same element or diagram, the last changes to be merged will be used in the final model.

How does merge work if two users changes the same item? Does the second importer get a warning of some sort?

The second set of changes will replace the first. No warning is issued, as the merge capability is not intended to be used to enable authors to edit the same elements at the same time. To prevent this scenario, you would still need to use Enterprise Architect's role-based security (locking) and/or version control capabilities. Also the Baseline Compare & Merge feature would still be useful to identify and resolve conflicts in such an editing scenario.

The Merge File capability is ideal in the scenario when users are editing separate parts (as in separate elements, diagrams or sub-packages) within the same containing package.

How does Enterprise Architect handle conflicts with merging (overlapping updates)? We are looking at the possibility of the same diagram being updated by two separate individuals and we are wondering if this is possible and how this would be handled.

As mentioned in the previous response, Merge Files are best suited to scenarios where authors will be editing separate diagrams and elements within the same containing package.

Does version 11 support the same shared / merge files?

No. Enterprise Architect 11 does not have the Merge Sets capability, but it does provide the ability to compare and merge packages based on exported XMI files. The main difference, is that the new Merge files in version 12, prevent you having to manually open each exported baseline and then compare and merge changes item by item.


How can you change the values displayed in the drop down list on a web based wireframe?

  1. Open the element Properties dialog for the Drop Down List element type.
  2. Select the wireframing tab and choose drop down state.
  3. Select the 4th icon to "Edit Tagged Value Notes".
  4. List all of the values you would like to appear in the list and set one of those values as the default.
  5. Press OK to save your changes.

Do you support Windows phones and tablets?

No, we do not currently support Windows phone, but this is being considered for a future release.

Schema Composer

I assume the Schema Composer can work with UML Class models as well as database models. Correct?

The Schema Composer is designed to work with generic UML Class models to produce XML schemas. It is not intended to be used for relational database engineering.

Can I combine the Schema Composer and Database Builder, for example, to populate an XML file from MySQL?

Not currently.

When will Enterprise Architect support JavaScript?

Enterprise Architect already supports JavaScript via its automation interface and Model Script features. The Schema Composer is designed to support the Java Script Object Notation (JSON).

For more information, see the Help topics Enterprise Architect Object Model and Scripting.

Can the schema composer be used generate JSON from RDFS/OWL?


Does Enterprise Architect 12 have a JSON validation capability?


In healthcare IT industry HL7 is used as an XML-based interchange format. Are you aware of plug-ins or developments that supports the HL7 schema generation?

We are not aware of Enterprise Architect plug-ins specifically for HL7 schema generation. We are interested, however, in input from customers with a view to expanding the built-in set of formats that the Schema Composer currently supports. (The standard formats and models that are currently included with Enterprise Architect are the result of industry engagement.) Please let us know your thoughts regarding additional formats via webinar@sparxsystems.com.

Also note: The Schema Composer can leverage Enterprise Architect's API. So you could customize the output to support a particular HL7 format even before it is built into Enterprise Architect.

How do I import XSD files into Enterprise Architect and get a UML view with relations and connectors?

See the Help topic Import XSD. In relation to the Schema Composer, we have been experimenting with an XSD import capability that creates a more traditional class model, at the expense of losing some XSD-specific features.

XSLT Execution & Debugging

Where can I learn more about XSLT debugging?

See the Help topic XSLT Editor and Debugger.

Is it possible to perform XML validation?

Yes. Using Enterprise Architect, you can perform XML validation both of documents to be transformed and of XSLT style sheets.

What is the XSLT language version supported by the XSLT debugger?

XSLT version 1.1 is supported by Enterprise Architect and was used throughout the webinar.

Database Builder

I cannot see the database builder option under tools in Enterprise Architect 12. What could be wrong?

There are two things to check:

  1. That you have the right edition of Enterprise Architect – you need Corporate edition or above.
  2. That you are using an Enterprise Architect Perspective (a role) that exposes the Database Engineering capabilities. You can check this using the menu: View | Perspectives | Perspective Sets. Apply either the Default or Database modeling perspective – both have complete Menu sets.

I would like to learn more about the Database Builder and the process of data base creation with Enterprise Architect. Are there any further documents about it?

See our previous webinar Database Engineering with Enterprise Architect 12 and the Help topic Database Engineering.

Is there a way now to reverse engineer databases from SQL DDL scripts?

Not currently.

Which versions of Oracle, SQL Server and MySQL are supported?

A list of supported databases is provided in the Help topic Supported DBMSs.

Where I can find document to help me to edit DLL template?

See the Help topic Edit DDL Templates. For examples, you might look at the built-in templates for all of the supported target DBMS platforms.

A useful feature would be to generate delta scripts for a database. Is it supported in version 12?

Yes. After you compare differences between the model and the database, you can use the Generate DDL feature, with the option to save the output to file.

Does synchronizing the database from the Database Builder drop columns and destroy the data?

In the case of Firebird, the column is dropped. For other DBMS platforms an alter statement is created to adjust the column. For details, see the response to a similar question in our webinar Database Engineering with Enterprise Architect 12.

How can Enterprise Architect help with migrating a system from one database to another – especially dealing with the database specific features?

You can reverse engineer the existing database, to obtain a UML model that targets the original database platform. You can then reset the target platform within the model (right-click the containing package, and choose Code Engineering | Reset DBMS options). Some manual changes will be required to accommodate the DBMS specific differences. Then you can regenerate the database schema for the new platform.

Do you have interface to SAP or support for SAP HANNA databases?

Not currently.

Can a database model be shared with users on version 11?

Yes. Note: the DDL code generated from the model may be different between Enterprise Architect 11 and 12.

Project Management

Does the calendar integrate with enterprise calendars (such as Exchange) and/or cloud-based calendars (like those on Google accounts)?

No. The Enterprise Architect Project Calendar was intended to only manage events for a given project. It was not designed to replace email clients or cloud solutions like Gmail or Exchange. You can however, move a calendar of defined events between projects, using the Export Reference Data and Import Reference Data options.

Does Model Mail link into Microsoft Outlook?

No. Enterprise Architect's Model Mail facility provides you with the ability to send, receive and respond to messages within the project team, under your User (Role-based) Security ID – either as an individual user or as a member of a group that has a shared inbox. This approach avoids SPAM and can help to improve communication within the project team. Using Model Mail, you can links to diagrams, element discussions and other specific model content in your communications without having leave the modeling environment.

Can we import a Microsoft Project plan into Enterprise Architect?

Yes. There is an extension available that supports import and export for Microsoft Project. The export script parses a tree of Packages and Elements and creates a hierarchical tree of Tasks in Microsoft Project.

To learn more about an Enterprise Architect Interface to Microsoft Project, please see the following resource on our Community Site: http://community.sparxsystems.com/community-resources/515-87enterprise-architect-interface-to-microsoft-project.

Regarding the Project Management capability, aside from creating Sprints etc, can you create individual tasks and assign them to team members?

Yes. You can assign staff resources to a given task or role. For more information and a step-by-step example of how to assign resources, please review the webinar Project Management in Enterprise Architect.

Does the Project Management capability integrate with Agile Project Management tools like Atlassian JIRA?

There is a third-party tool that integrates Enterprise Architect with Jira called EA Connector for Jira.

Can I update project tasks in Enterprise Architect and have them link to application like TFS?

You can use Microsoft Team Foundation Server (TFS) as a version control provider for Enterprise Architect. For more information, see the Help topic Create a TFS Environment.