Enterprise Architect 13 - Release Highlights

Webinar August 2016
In this session, we'll demonstrate:
  • New diagramming and visualization tools
  • Powerful model analysis tools
  • Major user interface enhancements

Join us for a preview of the exciting Enterprise Architect 13 milestone release! In this two-part webinar series, Sparx Systems staff will share insights on the major UI and productivity tool enhancements and highlight some of our favorite features in the new release.

Ben Constable Ben Constable

Scott Hebbard Scott Hebbard

Questions from the Audience

Click on a question to see the answer.

General

When will Enterprise Architect 13 be released?

We expect Enterprise Architect 13 to be officially released within the next 1 to 2 months (Q3, 2016).

Has the underlying database changed?

No.

How does the upgrade path work if you have Enterprise Architect 12?

You’ll simply download and run the installer from our Enterprise Architect release page. The installer will replace your existing Enterprise Architect 12 installation.

Note: Because the release is currently in a Beta phase, we strongly recommend using it only within a non-production environment.

Can you install Enterprise Architect 13 alongside an older version?

Yes. You can simply rename your current installation subfolder from "EA" to "EA-Previous" for example, and then install the new version. (Your installation path by default is "C:\Program Files (x86)\Sparx Systems" and the "EA" subfolder resides under that.) You'll then have two subfolders that contain a file named EA.exe, which represent the different versions Enterprise Architect.

To run your previous version, run the EA.exe file from your renamed installation folder.

A few months ago we raised a bug which we were told may be addressed in the next release. How can we find out if that bug is fixed?

Sparx Systems releases detailed Read Me notes with each release. It is likely your issue is mentioned in these. You can access the Read Me notes within the tool. (Start Ribbon | Help | Read Me…)

Were changes made to the Specification Manager?

There have been some improvements made to the Specification Manager. Possibly the most notable of these is the integrated ribbon

Does Enterprise Architect have any improvements to help me transition from logical to physical data models?

We haven’t updated the transformation engine specifically for logical to physical transformations in the version 13 release.

In data models, can I change the look or appearance of a specific set of columns? For example, can I shade or bold a specific set of columns in a table?

Changing the appearance of specific columns in a table diagram element is not yet supported.

Are there any enhancements to the Roadmap diagrams?

No.

Has the use case diagram auto layout been improved? Previously if you have a boundary and you lay it out all the use case bubbles jump out of the boundary…

There have not been any changes to the layout types available. You will find, however, that there are existing layouts available that accommodate visual nesting of elements as you have described. In particular, the Spring, Box and Diverge/Converge layout algorithms should help you.

In terms of add-ins in Enterprise Architect 13, is there any change or extension which may cause add-ins that work properly in version 12.1 to not work in Enterprise Architect 13?

In the current Beta release, we are aware of only one reported issue for add-ins where the MenuLocation value passed to add-ins was incorrect when clicking on the ribbon. We expect this issue to be resolved before the official release.

That said, we generally do not implement breaking changes to the add-in infrastructure or the APIs between releases of Enterprise Architect.

Ribbon Interface

Will the new “Find Command” option also inform of you where to find the feature you looking for in the ribbon menu?

No. Though this capability was originally planned, there were issues that prevented its inclusion in the release.

Is it possible to hide or change elements on the ribbon?

It is possible to hide panels within a ribbon to hide entire Ribbons, but not individual buttons. You hide panels and ribbons using Enterprise Architect’s Workspace Perspectives feature. For more information see our Ribbon Menus Help topic.

Is the ribbon customisable?

As mentioned previously, you can hide panels within a ribbon or hide entire Ribbons. For more information see our Ribbon Menus Help topic.

How do we minimise the ribbon?

Right-click anywhere on the ribbon and choose minimize, or simply double-click on the Ribbon’s tab (where the name of the Ribbon appears).

Can a smaller icon set be used? (I prefer to have the ribbon visible, but with smaller pictures/fonts.)

No, there is no support for selecting different sized icon sets for the ribbon interface currently. That said the ribbon labels will scale dynamically to accommodate different screen resolutions, by way of hiding/unhiding some of the text labels and substituting in smaller/simpler icons as needed.

Can you link the Enterprise Architect Project Calendar with Microsoft tools like Outlook, Skype?

Not currently.

Visual Styles

Will choosing visual styles impact performance of GUI?

No.

Can I create a diagram theme so I can set up a default diagramming look?

Yes. It is possible to alter Diagram Appearance Options to suit your needs, including setting default fonts, using watermarks, setting gradients, applying Hand Drawn mode, printing in color and other Element styles. For more information, please refer to the Help Topic on Diagram Theme Options.

In our organization a number of us use Microsoft Surface Pro/Book with pen. Have you included pen/inking support in this version?

No.

Custom Status Bars

Can we report the custom status bar details in the model documentation?

Yes. Elements that contain Custom Status Bars can be easily added to any report or document generated by Enterprise Architect 13. For more information, see the Help topic Generate Document Reports.

Can we use Custom Status bars on any element and tagged values?

Yes. Shape Scripts need to be suppressed on any diagram that displays a Custom Status Bar. Some Elements may also need to use Rectangular notation in order to display the Custom Status Bar correctly.

For more information on Custom Status Bars, refer to the Help topic Predefined Structured Types.

Relationship Matrix

Is it possible to save your setting within the Relationship Matrix?

Yes. Select Options | Profiles | Save as New Profile. For details see the Help topic Matrix Profiles.

Can I create a relationship matrix between objects (tables) and diagrams where they are positioned on?

No.

Is it possible to create libraries of matrices?

You can create Relationship Matrix profiles, which can be exported to other projects. This could be useful if the target and source package (with their original GUIDS) have been reused across several projects. For more details on Relationship Matrix Profiles, see the Help topic Matrix Profiles. For details on how to import and export the matrix profiles as Enterprise Architect Reference Data, see the Help topic Sharing Reference Data.

Document Window

Is editing of linked documents improved? Are there buttons or does it still use the right-click menu?

Yes, document editing has been significantly improved with the addition of the new Edit Ribbon and the Document Window.

To learn more, see the Help topics The Document Window and Document Edit Ribbon.

Are there buttons or does Enterprise Architect still use the right-click menu?

Buttons are now available via the Edit Ribbon to edit fonts and layout your text as desired.

Enhanced Kanban Boards

Can we use custom status bars in Kanbans?

The status bars displayed on a Kanban diagram are filled from the incomplete resource allocations saved against that element. Custom status bars can be added to other diagrams using the ProgressBar tagged value type. For details see the Help topic Predefined Structured Types.

Can the Kanban board be synched with another board inside JIRA for example?

Not currently.

Is there support for Scrum Sprints

Yes. There are various tools in Enterprise Architect that can help you document and manage Sprints. One approach suggested in our User Guide for modeling and managing the Sprint Backlog, is to record sprints using an element’s Phase or Version property, then display elements grouped by their Sprint using Enterprise Architect’s Model Views feature. For details see the Help topic Backlog Management.

A similar approach using tagged values to recorded estimates of effort against Requirements is mentioned in the Help topic Agile Requirements Processes.

You could also combine Scrum Sprints with Kanban Boards, in a Scrumban method, as mentioned in our Kanban Help topic Other Processes and Methods.

Diagram Filtering

Can we search on custom tags on elements?

Yes. Enterprise Architect 13 now supports the ability to filter Elements based on Tagged Values. For instructions on how to do this, see the Help topic on Working with Diagram Filters.

Can you use wildcards in the Diagram Filter?

No, wild cards such as * and ? are not supported. However, you can search using logical operators, to create rich and powerful search terms.

How do you suppress Diagram Scripts?

The ability to suppress Diagram Scripts is available via the Diagram Properties:

  1. Open the Diagram Properties by right-clicking the diagram and choosing Properties from the Context menu
  2. Click on the Diagram tab
  3. De-select the check box entitled “Show Shape Scripts”.

Can you replace all values once found using the filter? For example, change the Author from “Scott” to “Ben”.

No. Diagram Filters are designed to modify the display of a diagram to rapidly identify Elements.

Is filter to version only applied to the immediately previous version? Or, for example, can you apply V3 from V1?

You can use Logical Operators and Groups of Filters to achieve the desired result. For details, see the Help topic on Diagram Filters.

How do you filter for related elements as you could in 12.1?

If you want to insert them into the current diagram, see the Help topic Insert Related Elements. Otherwise if you need to locate all related elements, one approach is mentioned in the Help topic Locate Related Elements.

Can you publish a diagram based on these filters? For example, publish a diagram where objects are highlighted that are changing in the next release.

Yes. You can also export a diagram as an image with Filters applied. For details see the Help topics Copy Image to Disk and Model Publishing.

Is it possible to filter connectors as well as elements?

Yes. You first create a new Diagram Filter. Then, using the 'Diagram Filter' dialog, click on the drop down arrow and select 'Connector'. This will allow you to filter all Connectors on a Diagram, based on a set of criteria that you determine. For more information, please see the Help topic Work With Diagram Filters.

Is it possible to have sub-folders with diagram filters?

No. You can only create Filter Groups.

Is there a way of putting a time filter to display a progress from a transistion architecture view to a target?

You can filter on Version and Phase to differentiate between a Transition and Target Architecture. It is also possible to save Temporal data as a Tagged Value and filter based on that information. For details, see the Help topic Predefined Structured Types, looking at a Tagged Value Type such as Date.

New Searches & Charts

Is there now a Search and Replace functionality?

No, this has not been added in version 13.

Are there charts for requirements?

Yes. One way to create a chart focused on requirements is to use one of the predefined charts availlable from the Dashboard toolbox. For example:

  1. Right-click on a diagram
  2. From the context menu, choose New Element or Connector | Other
  3. From the list of available charts, you could select either the Requirements or Changes time series charts, or the Unrealized Requirements list.

You can also define your own kind of requirements charts by first creating a Standard Chart element and then applying Element Filters or using a custom SQL query to populate the chart. For more details, see the Help topic Charts.

Time Aware Modeling

Can I see if an element has versions in the Project Browser?

Yes. Select an Element and via the Context Menu, select Find | In Project Browser. The Element Browser can also help identify related Elements and find them in the Project Browser with a few simple clicks.

Can I have several branches from the same element?

Yes. Time Aware Modeling can be used to build multiple branches, versions or states of a model, outlining how the model will change over time. For an example, see the Help topic Time Aware Modeling and the detailed User Guide Time Aware Models.

Can I delete (remove) a version of an element?

Yes. One of the advantages of Time Aware Modeling, is having the ability to remove an element without impacting the integrity of the original (As-Is) model.

If (version) branches exist to an element, can I merge two branches to a new version?

You could manually merge the two elements.

Would the versioning functionality also work with all aspects of a sequence diagram, such as different messages or a different sequence?

Yes.

What is the difference between Time Aware Modeling and Baseline?

Time Aware Modeling allows you to observe how a model evolves over time, without altering the integrity of the original model. You can view two diagrams side by side to understand how each element has evolved. To learn more, see the User GuideTime Aware Models.

Baselines provides a facility to 'Baseline' (snapshot) a model branch at a particular point in time for later comparison with the current Package state. More than one Baseline can be stored against a single Enterprise Architect Package. To learn more about Baselines, refer to the Help on Package Baselines.

Is there an option to publish only the latest version of a project (automatically without the old items)?

Yes, you can choose what elements to publish. This can be done with Diagram Filters or by publishing one suitable iteration of a cloned package.

Do you have a PDF document on Time Aware Modeling?

Yes. The Sparx Systems website provides a number of Enterprise Architect 13 resources, including a whitepaper on Enterprise Architect’s Time Aware Modeling capability.

Standards and Modeling Notations

I saw an ArchiMate 2 publication button. What does that do?

It provides the functions for import and export using the ArchiMate exchange format.

Does Enterprise Architect 13 support the ArchiMate exchange format?

Though not available in the current Beta release, ArchiMate exchange format is planned for inclusion in Enterprise Architect 13.

Are there any plans to extend the integration with other modeling/simulation tooling using the FMI standard (https://www.fmi-standard.org/)?

There are no immediate plans for this.

With the new standards, will there also be an implementation of OMG's CMMN standard?

Support for CMMN is certainly a possibility for the future. It hasn't been included in version 13, but it could be included in a future release of Enterprise Architect.

Operating System Support

Does Enterprise Architect support Mac?

Yes. By using the WINE compatibility software, you can install and run Enterprise Architect on a Mac running OS X.

Could you please explain what is required to run Enterprise Architect on Mac OS?

Please see our web page on installing Enterprise Architect on Linux and Mac.

Although Mac is not specifically mentioned in the context of WINE, the instructions for Linux apply similarly to Mac.

What are the benefits of running Enterprise Architect on OS X with WINE instead of using a virtual machine?

It's much lighter on system resources, and doesn't require a licensed copy of Windows.

Microsoft is implementing a bridge to allow installation via the Microsoft Store. Is Sparx Systems looking into this installation model for Windows 10?

No.

Publishing & Reporting

Are Enterprise Architect 12 projects and report templates compatible or do they have to be migrated?

Report templates created in version 12 are compatible with version 13.

Does Enterprise Architect 13 support customization of Linked Document content as an output to a HTML format?

There's no customization of the format for Linked Documents in HTML reports.

In the previous versions of Enterprise Architect, the output of linked documents in HTML format is kind of hard coded including meaning the font size and the font family of the report is in hard coded method... I heard that we can get a customized output of HTML format of Linked Documents using the Joomla! interface. Where can I get more information on that please?

The Joomla! export includes rtf files available for download from the server.

Are you looking at publishing to either JIRA or Confluence?

There are no immediate plans for this.

Can I publish to Microsoft PowerPoint?

Yes, this can be done using the MDG Integration for Microsoft Office.