Please note : This help page is not for the latest version of Enterprise Architect. The latest help can be found here.

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Tricks and Traps




See also

Visual Basic 5/6 Users Note

Visual Basic 5/6 users should note that the version number of the Enterprise Architect interface is stored in the VBP project file in a form similar to this:

Reference=*\G{64FB2BF4-9EFA-11D2-8307-C45586000000}#2.2#0#..\..\..\..\Program Files\Sparx Systems\EA\EA.TLB#Enterprise Architect Object Model 2.02

If you experience problems moving from one version of Enterprise Architect to another, open the VBP file in a text editor and remove this line. Then open the project in Visual Basic and use Project-References to create a new reference to the Enterprise Architect Object model.

Add-In Fails to Load

From Enterprise Architect release 7.0, Add-Ins created before 2004 are no longer supported. If an Add-In subscribes to the Addn_Tmpl.tlb interface (2003 style), it fails on load. In this event, contact the vendor or author of the Add-In and request an upgrade.

Holding State Information

It is possible for an Add-In to hold state information, meaning that data can be stored in member variables in response to one event and retrieved in another. There are some dangers in doing this:

  • Enterprise Architect Automation Objects do not update themselves in response to user activity, to activity on other workstations, or even to the actions of other objects in the same automation client; retaining handles to such objects between calls can result in the second event querying objects that have no relationship with the current state of Enterprise Architect
  • When you close Enterprise Architect, all Add-Ins are asked to shut down; if there are any external automation clients Enterprise Architect must stay active, in which case all the Add-Ins are reloaded, losing all the data
  • Enterprise Architect acting as an automation client does not close if an Add-In still holds a reference to it (releasing all references in the Disconnect() event avoids this problem)

It is recommended that unless there is a specific reason for doing so, the Add-In should use the repository parameter and its method and properties to provide the necessary data.

Enterprise Architect Not Closing

.NET Specific Issues

Automation checks the use of objects and won't allow any of them to be destroyed until they are no longer being used.

As noted in the Automation Interface topic, if your automation controller was written using the .NET framework, Enterprise Architect does not close even after you release all your references to it. To force the release of the COM pointers, call the memory management functions as shown:



Additionally, because automation clients hook into Enterprise Architect, which creates Add-Ins which in turn hook back into Enterprise Architect, it is possible to get into a deadlock situation where Enterprise Architect and the Add-Ins won't let go of one another and keep each other active. An Add-In might retain hooks into Enterprise Architect because:

  • It keeps a private reference to an Enterprise Architect object (see Holding State Information above), or
  • It has been created by .NET and the GC mechanism hasn't got around to releasing it

There are two actions required to avoid deadlock situations:

  • Automation controllers must call Repository.CloseAddins() at some point (presumably at the end of processing)
  • Add-Ins must release all references to Enterprise Architect in the Disconnect() event; see the Add-In Events topic for details

It is possible that your Automation client controls a running instance of Enterprise Architect where the Add-Ins have not complied with the rule above. In this case you could call Repository.Exit() to terminate Enterprise Architect.


In developing Add-Ins using the .NET framework you must select COM Interoperability in the project's properties in order for it to be recognized as an Add-In.

Some development environments do not automatically register COM DLLs on creation. You might have to do that manually before Enterprise Architect recognizes the Add-In.

You can use your private Add-In key (as required for Add-In deployment) to store configuration information pertinent to your Add-In.

Holding State Information Add-In Events Automation Interface

Concurrent Calls

In Enterprise Architect releases up to release 7.0, there is a possibility that Enterprise Architect could call two Add-In methods concurrently if the Add-In calls:

  • A message box
  • A modal dialog
  • VB DoEvents, .NET Application DoEvents or the equivalent in other languages

In such cases, Enterprise Architect could initiate a second Add-In method before the first returns (re-entrancy). In release 7.0. and subsequent releases, Enterprise Architect cannot make such concurrent calls.

If developing Add-Ins, ensure that the Add-In users are running Enterprise Architect release 7.0 or a later release to avoid any risk of concurrent method calls.