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Messages - Richard Freggi

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Seconded and thirded.  I often run real-time stakeholder workshops on lo-res projectors and on Skype/Zoom and I get errors and wrong mouse positions all the times.  In previous post I think SParx's Simon mentioned it's a Microsoft Win 10 problem and not much Sparx can do about it.  If only my company let us use Linux OS....

Uml Process / Re: Requirements Models and 'Construct' reports.
« on: May 13, 2019, 10:46:46 pm »
I remember that EA has a TOGAF module that you can license for a fee, there must be documentation somewhere...

I'm TOGAF level 2 certified and happily use pure UML for my architectures.  TOGAF itself is very explicit that it leaves the notation choice and artifact choice to the practitioner (method tailoring).  I capture requirements as text in Excel tracker and then as soon as I can I update the use case / sequence diagram / class diagram / component diagram / deployment diagram according to the tracker.  These diagram sets cover TOGAF Phases A to D and are very strong bases for phases E to G.  It takes skill and experience to translate the text requirement from the tracker into the right model changes, but it's very efficient and effective.  There should be some presentations and workshop guides from me in TOGAF website (not sure if Open Gropu APJ is keeping the seminar notes updated: I presented in 2017 and 2018).

I have not seen much business value in strict end-to-end requirement traceability in real life; my experience is that senior stakeholders like the idea but it can become a nightmare to implement while it does not result in measurably better architectures (at least as far as I've seen) .

Uml Process / Re: Requirements Models and 'Construct' reports.
« on: May 08, 2019, 07:07:42 pm »
Timoc, my thinking is that you are in a common situation, many people find themselves in this quagmire when they ignore proven/robust methodology.
My advice is NOT to rely on EA tool functionalities to help you manage requirements, but the other way round - decide how you are going to manage requirements based on a robust methodology, and then use the EA functionalities that support that methodology.

UML per se does not have much to say about requirements, besides the fact that you can develop stereotypes for them.  But if you look into methodologies like TOGAF or Agile they will tell you how to manage requirements, and you will find EA features that support that methodology (not always 100%, but still make your life easier).

Good luck!

I'd like to know if there is some workaround to show in the timing diagrams timing constraints from one state change A to another state change D further down the timeline (after state changes B and C).  This is the same as summing the timing constraints of A,B and C together.  Although I could show timing constraints for A, B and C individually and let the stakeholders sum them up, this would clutter the diagram and also not be correct (for example B to C do not have a constraint, it's A to D that has a constraint)

I'd also like to have auto calculation of time from any transition to any other displayed as a time constraint, again this is useful for live discussion with stakeholders.

Seems from documentation that none of this is possible in EA 13, if anyone knows of any workaround please let me know!

p.s. I'd show a picture of the diagram but ... forum constraints.

My experience is that EA does not update or delete FK automatically when the PK is changed or deleted (see my earlier post on this topic).  I have to manually update each FK in the relationship editor.  So you may have to manually correct them.

General Board / Re: Newbie question concerning process map
« on: April 17, 2019, 03:10:28 pm »
Kulko if you can't find a diagram type look up "MDG" in the user manual and enable the appropriate MDG, then you should see it!  You can try several MDGs until you find the diagrams an toolboxes you need.

General Board / Generating a RACI table from Use Case Diagram
« on: April 15, 2019, 01:20:25 pm »
I'd like to have very fast (a few clicks) generation of RACI from a Use Case diagram, as in a matrix with all actors as rows, all use cases as columns, and an X for associations between actors and use cases (don't need the R-A-C-I letters).  This would help during real-time modeling workshops with business stakeholders.

My model has actors, use cases and diagrams in 3 different packages.

The standard 'Relationship matrix' menu does not help because it works at package level not diagram level:I have 100s of use cases, actors and diagrams and I cannot filter out or sort by elements present in that specific diagram only.

Does anybody know a workaround?  Thanks!

General Board / Re: Is Sparx Asleep at the wheel ?
« on: April 02, 2019, 08:23:37 pm »
I suspect massive code refactoring would be needed, a big expense that would not result in any bullets in the marketing brochures.  Usability does not sell licenses, features do.

Uml Process / Re: Show inherited connectors between classes
« on: March 28, 2019, 02:00:22 pm »
Hmmmm Hmmm, what's a connector between classes?  If we are talking about an association - I am under the impression that the UML tool should not recreate the parent association for all its children - for example of the parent is removed from the diagram the association should disappear from the diagram too.

As Paolo says... 2nd case.  Changes in PK of parent entity should be automatically reflected in the child entity FK.  If they are not, then the child table FK is wrong.  I guess EA won't be my data modeling solution.

General Board / EA not updating Foreign Key when the PK is changed?
« on: March 19, 2019, 01:39:08 am »
Using Data Modeling MDG it seems that if I change the PK name or I change the parent PK to another attribute, nothing happens to the child FK... it just retains the attribute and datatype of when the relationship was first created.  I have to change the FK manually using the relationship editor.  Is this normal or is there a better way?  EA 13 professional... don't have the (expensive) data modeling version of EA (I don't know if it would make any difference?). 
If FKs do not auto update, I'll try something else for data modeling.  Thanks for any advice!

General Board / Re: Why insert classes below components?
« on: March 08, 2019, 02:17:16 am »
I'm pretty sure that in UML 2.5 a component is just a class.  But I'm too lazy to actually look it up.

Uml Process / Re: Organizing Use Cases
« on: March 02, 2019, 05:57:32 pm »

Here's my perspective
yes you can get down this rabbit hole but there's a better way.
You are mixing what the user wants to achieve with how the system does it.  This is the typical pitfall of functional decomposition.  Very non-UML and very non-object oriented.  It leads to very large, complicated and less useful models. 

My approach would be: neither is a good use case.  The use case should show WHO wants to check authorization and object existence and WHY they want to check it.  In other words, what are they trying to achieve?

The mechanics of HOW the system achieves the user goals should be completely out of the use case model.  The mechanics should be described in sequence diagrams, because the lifelines will guide you directly to define a good, simple and efficient class diagram. 

Activity diagrams are of very little value because they show procedural logic without reference to the objects or their classes.  So you don't get much benefit from them.  Activity diagrams are useful to define class methods and user interfaces.  If you need to describe complex object transformations, statecharts are much better.

End of rant: use case models (and package diagrams) are deceptively simple and easy to draw.  But it takes a few years of practice to use them correctly (system architecture, implementation approach, project management, vendor management, testing....).  Just keep practicing and eventually you'll get it!


I've been taking a crack at loading use cases into Sparx and ran into a situation where I'd like to get guidance.

I have a number of use cases that rely on a common set of steps.  Namely: checking if an object exists and checking if the requester has access to said object.  I'd like to factor these steps out into their own standalone use cases so that I can include their behavior when necessary.

As a result, I created 2 use cases - "Check Authorization" and "Check Object Exists".  They are each self-contained and have happy/sad paths as you would expect.  In my primary use case, I "included" the auth check and exists check into the scenario steps where I expect them.  All seems reasonable, however...

If I try to generate test cases or activity diagrams, this inclusion is lost. Activity diagrams no longer show branching that in the primary use case.  Test cases don't generate variation.

My question is if the use of inclusion is recommended in this situation?  I'm really just trying to avoid repeating alternate flow definitions and I want all the goodness that the tool can offer.  How have you managed this kind of setup



Eve and Qwerty, thank you and I look forward to learning more if anyone has further insights

Per UML 2.5 can an element have more than one stereotype?  Asking for a friend.

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