The Specification Manager
In developing a model, you can use a wide range of Enterprise Architect tools to create the model specification. For the preliminary specification, such as defining Requirements, you can adopt one of two general methods:
- Diagram-based, creating UML-defined element icons in, for example, Requirements diagrams, and building the model graphically, or
- Text-based, creating elements as simple text descriptions, sketching out the elements, relationships and properties in a broad definition that you - or team members with more specific roles - can refine and develop into a more complete model
Your 'sketch pad' for the second approach is the Specification Manager.
The Specification Manager is a simple document-based interface to a selected Package or diagram in the model, providing the means of creating and reviewing elements as text representations of objects in the model, using a process that is familiar to all users including business professionals and management, who might not have expertise in model development.
This collection of images highlights some key features of the Specification Manager and how it can interact with other tools in Enterprise Architect.
The Specification Manager is also an interactive reporting tool for displaying, in icon form, the status of various other features against each entry and providing access to edit each feature.
In the Specification Manager you can:
- Work on the element entries as paragraph text in the same way as you would edit a document using a word processor; this includes copying or dragging text from an external file into the Specification Manager, and importing data from an external spreadsheet (.csv) file
- Switch easily from element to element in a displayed Package, with a single mouse-click
- Show and edit in-place the current status of a number of properties of each entry
- Directly interface to a range of Enterprise Architect tools that you can quickly invoke to display, edit and discuss the properties of the selected Package or element; these tools span the range of Project Management and Model Management facilities, including:
- Traceability (Traceability window and Relationship Matrix)
- Change Management (Baselines and Auditing)
- Risk Management
- Documentation (document format, web format, and spreadsheet format)
- Review and Discussion (Team Library, Discussions, Formal Reviews and Model Mail)
Once any tool window is open, the details reflect the currently-selected element in the Specification Manager, so you can quickly run through the properties of a number of elements just by selecting them in sequence in the list.
The Specification Manager makes it very easy to develop a simple, visual description of your model for initial specification, ongoing development and program management, with immediate access to a range of types of detailed information on any selected element, should you need this detail.