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Topics - michielper

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Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Plugin to edit pictures
« on: May 15, 2020, 07:10:24 pm »
I am looking for a way to let a user edit a picture (not a diagram!) in EA with an external editor. A sort of plug-in. Is this possible?

Thanks for any tips and tricks!


I have been experimenting and running into propblems with simulations in SysML and UML State and Activity models with the goal of using such simulation for strengthening the faith in dynamic models.

The models I want to use are semi-complex. They consist of subsystems such as signaling lights, movable bridges, sensors, etc. And there is a central system that must control the actuators and receive data from the sensors. This is clearly a multithreaded environment.

I have tried to model this with State Diagrams using the existing Petrinet-like semantics where a Join will only "fire" when all its input states are active. In this way you can create a model where each action consists of entering a "command" state by the central control parallel with entering a "wait" state. The appropriate subsystem waits until the "command" state (that for this purpose is repeated (linked) on the subsystem diagram) enables one of its Joins (Transitions in Petrinet language) and consumes the Command state. After finishing its work in its own thread, it enters a "Confirmation" state that is consumed by the Control thread so that it leaves the Wait state..... Etcetera. The different state machines are started each in their own thread from a Startup state machine in whose diagram I have linked the various Entry elements.
The whole model is not extremely simple but no rocket science either.

This works a bit but not well enough to be useful. I run into all sorts of strange problems. Inexplainable repetitions in the simulation log, inexplainable paths taken, halting of the simulation for no apparent reasons, etc. This also seems to depend on the way in which you organise the model with packages, nested elements, state machines etc. But I have not found a good way to make this work.

I have tried the same idea using Activity Charts but that gives different but similar problems that are also difficult to reproduce exactly.... I have the impression that the semantics of the Fork/Join element is not completely clear (at least to me...).

Of course, I have also tried to use Javascript to set global variables instead of communicating through shared States or Actions. However this leads to models that are very difficult to debug and maintain. And also to multithreading problems similar to those mentioned above.

So, my question is, are there other EA users who have tried similar simulations with multithreaded models and what is their experience and advice?

Regards, Michiel

I have read that it is possible to create COM objects with Javascript in a simulation (e.g. of a State Machine). And it should even be possible to communicate between an EA simulation and another application or system, using these COM objects. However, the documentation on this is not sufficient to understand how to do this.

So, my question is: How do I create and use a COM object to communicate via a serial port (USB) from a simulation?

General Board / pro cloud server versus EA Editions
« on: April 22, 2020, 12:13:32 am »
There are two comparison tables on the EA website:
containing a long list of detailed functionalities
containing a list of hosting features

It is unclear to me what the relationship is. Specifically, what are the functionalities of the Procloud editions? Or can I choose any of the EA editions in combination with the Procloud editions??

General Board / Send output of simulation to serial port or another program
« on: February 28, 2020, 07:53:56 pm »
Is it possible to send the output of a simulation (execution of state model or activity model or BPMN model etc.) to a serial port so that it can be used in another program on another computer?
Or, as an alternative, could the output of an execution be sent to another program on the same computer, perhaps via stdout/stdin or so?

My idea is to link Sparx EA to Blender 3D..... that should be fun!

Thanks for any suggestions!

It looks like Sparx EA 14.1 does not support an Archimate Flow relationship between application components! Of course, you can "manually force" the relationship by getting the relationship from the toolbox, but it is not in the Quick Link where it should be! The Archimate 3 standard definitely allows flows between application components!

This looks like a serious bug and hampers my work! I need to create Archimate Exchange files from my model and "forced" flow relations are missing from this file!!

Is there a solution for this problem?

General Board / How to retrieve the name of the last modifier
« on: August 15, 2019, 05:56:50 pm »
Elements and diagrams contain the name of the Author, set to the user at creation time. But the name of the person who did the last modification to an element or diagram is not so easy to find. Is this information permanently lost or is there some way to retrieve it? As a related question, I would also like to know who created or modified a connector.
I am using Sparx EA version 13 with a shared SQL Server database.

When I export my Archimate 2 model using Sparx EA version 13, FLOW relations are NOT exported and do not appear in the generated XML file! All other relations are present. This of course is a serious bug and hampering my work.

Has this been resolved in a newer version?

I need to export my Archimate model in Archimate Exchange format from Sparx EA version 13.0.1308.
For some strange reason, versie 13 supports Archimate 3 but can only export Archimate 2 models....

So there are two solutions: (1) convert my model(s) to Archimate 2  or (2) modify the export script (where can I find that??) to support Archimate 3.

Does anyone have a script for the conversion 3-->2?


Bugs and Issues / V14 Serious Bugs in Archimate3 implementation
« on: August 01, 2019, 01:27:56 am »
 I have a number of issues with the Archimate 3 implementation in V14:
  • The Quick Link does not allow me to draw a Flow relation between two application components while this is perfectly allowed in the standard
  • The Quick Link does not allow me to draw a Serving relation between two application components while this is perfectly allowed in the standard
  • The Model Export (Generate Model Exchange File) refuses to include any flow relations (not only betwee application components but also between application functions - the latter I can create via the Quick Link)
  • If I create a Composition relation via Quick Link, it is graphically incorrect: it is shown like a Serving relation

General Board / Ignoring invalid ArchiMate 2 element
« on: July 22, 2019, 11:44:48 pm »
I am trying to export an Archimate model into the Archimate exchange format in Sparx EA version 13. (context->extensions->Archimate2->Generate Model Exchange file.
But the result is missing many elements and the export log contains many lines like
  * Ignoring invalid ArchiMate 2 element : <name of element>
I have tried to change the stereotype of these elements but I have not yet found a reliable way to have these ignored elements included in the export.

Has anyone suggestions?   

General Board / Import of large model from an external source
« on: April 11, 2019, 09:12:26 pm »
I want to import a very large class model, consisting of 100.000+ elements and relationships from a non-EA SQL database into Sparx EA. What is the best way to do this?
I know there is a VBA importer to import from an Excel spreadsheet (written by Geert Bellekens) but that is probably not scalable enough. My idea is that it should be possible to create an XML file that can be imported as XMI. Is this possible? And what exactly is the format I must use?
And what about the relationships? All elements have of course already a unique ID, how can I use that to create the right relationships in EA? EA will want to assign its own GUID of course and the relationships must contain the EA GIUD, not the original ID.

Any help or suggestions are highly appreciated!

Bugs and Issues / Problems with Archimate in version 14
« on: April 10, 2019, 05:48:27 pm »
It seems that there are problems with the implementation of Archimate in EA version 14.
Several things do not seem to work as required, especially the connections when drawn from the "quick link" arrow next to an element:
- The access relation is not in the pulldown (e.g. when connecting a Component to a Data object)
- The Composition relationship is drawn as an Association
- and many more relationships from quick-link are missing or wrong

This all worked well in version 13

General Board / spam filtering in forum
« on: January 22, 2019, 01:50:28 am »
The forum moderator should set the spam filters to be more strict! There seems to be a lot of garbage now!

General Board / Archimate elements not visually correct
« on: January 21, 2019, 10:26:35 pm »
I have a situation where an ArchiMate_BusinessProcess is shown as a yellow rounded rectangle but without the small arrow in the top right corner! Another element in the same diagram does also have ArchiMate_BusinessProcess as stereotype but does, correctly, show the small arrow.
How can this be, what determines the visual appearance of an element?

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