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Messages - michielper

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General Board / Time traveling in EA
« on: August 06, 2018, 06:00:07 pm »
Time traveling is showing a series of views each representing a different lifecycle stage of a system (part of an application landscape).
This can be clearly very useful but is not explicitly supported by EA.

So how can we do this?
One obvious way would be to create new instances for every element for each of the lifecycle stages to show. That has the obvious disadvantage of ending up with many instances of essentially the same element that must be kept in sync. Making all instances inherit from a base instance looks like a possible approach. However, inheritance cannot (i think) be so fine tuned as to exactly specify which aspects of an element are inherited and which are not. Specifically, you want the connectors between elements be different in the different stages. Connectors are not first-class citizens in EA but are part of the Elements so different connectivity requires different elements :-(.

Has anyone else thought about this and created a feasible solution?

Thanks Geert!

We use a word macro to
- shrink the images to the correct size so the title
- set certain styles "keep with next"

Yes, that seems like a work around. It is definitely a bug in EA though. Any chance of sharing that macro code?

I am generating documents with diagrams in EA version 13. Package names are the paragraph headings in my document.
When a package contains a diagram that is not too large, I want the package name (paragraph header) to be on the same page as the diagram and not have a paragraph name followed by a large empty space.
So, I tried the "keep with next" option in my template. When opening the generated document in Word, however, the paragraph heading is NOT marked as "keep with next" and the paragraph heading is attached to the preceding text, is followed by a large empty space and the diagram is on the next page. Not what I want...
I also tried "keep together" but this neither works.

Has anyone else experienced the same problem and perhaps found a solution?

General Board / EA data model
« on: July 31, 2018, 08:04:46 pm »
Where do I find the complete EA data model? All tables and attributes that one can use in SQL queries.

General Board / Re: Default to not show connectors in other diagrams
« on: July 24, 2018, 09:10:37 pm »
Two ideas for improving the issues raised in this thread:
  • There are design tools where connectors are "first class citizens" and have more or less the same status as elements like components and interfaces. I suppose this requires a completely different architecture of the tool but it may resolve some of the issues raised here. It would e.g. make it possible to create views that contain a filter on connectors.
  • And while EA does have the concept of Diagram Filters, such filters are NOT part of a View but instead work globally over all views! Very regrettable I think. Why not make diagram filters part of a view/diagram?

General Board / Re: Swim lane header font changing
« on: July 20, 2018, 07:44:45 pm »
Interesting I just tried this in version 14 build 1422 and I get the same result. But weird in the sense the in the diagram it looks bigger than 8 point more like 12 point. However the dialog does say 8 point after following these steps
1) setting it to 18 point and saving swimlane change,
2) save the diagram,
2) closing the diagram and
3) re-opening it again to observe it resetting back to 8 point that looks like 12 point

You should raise this as bug with Sparx Systems.

Thanks for proving this problem to be reproducible! I did raise a bug for it indeed.

Bugs and Issues / Font size of Swim Lanes not persistent
« on: July 20, 2018, 06:42:28 pm »
The font size of the names of my swim lanes (in UML Activity Charts) changes back to 8 points after I have set it to 12 points in the swim lane dialog!  >:(
This happens every time. I change the font in the swim lane dialog, save and close the diagram, reopen it and the font is set back to 8 points. Extremely annoying!

General Board / Swim lane header font changing
« on: July 18, 2018, 07:38:46 pm »
The font size of the names of my swim lanes (in UML Activity Charts) changes back to 8 points after I have set it to 12 points in the swim lane dialog!  >:(
This happens every time. I change the font in the swim lane dialog, save and close the diagram, reopen it and the font is set back to 8 points. Extremely annoying!

So is there a way to prevent this or perhaps to change the default font for swim lane headings? The swim lane headings do NOT change when I change the default font in Preferences!

I am using EA version 13 on Windows 10.

General Board / Ways to show changes in Reports
« on: June 07, 2018, 01:19:23 am »
What options do I have to show what has changed in a Report since the previous version (or since a specific time)?
One way is to use Search * and sort on Date which gives the most recently changed elements on top. You can also generate a report that lists this information.

So, what other options do I have?
Is there some way to indicate changes in the text or diagrams themselves?
Is a baseline comparison of models useful?

Thanks for any tips!

General Board / Re: Element Status & Connector Status
« on: June 05, 2018, 06:32:56 pm »
The Template Package approach works well, also for the Status! :)

I know this is an old topic but Sparx Support referred me to this within the last 24 hours, so ...

ArchiMate might be a bit different than other modeling languages. If I have three elements A, B and C and relations from A to B and from B to C it might be relevant to show this on one diagram and then - on another diagram - only show A and C with a *derived* relation. The language has specific rules as to which relations can be derived from which. Therefore it IS highly relevant to be able to add relations without showing them in all previous diagrams.

To me the solution might be simple: If I lock the first diagram I thereby say that I don't want anybody to change anything. Sparx might then add the derived connection to the diagram but automatically turn the visibility off. If the diagram is not locked, Sparx can act as usual and make the new connection visible.

Feature request?

This is an important modelling topic. The ability to "zoom" in and out and show a model in more or less detail is very useful indeed. This can obviously be done manually, by explicitly hiding and showing connectors in diagrams (which indeed are Views). It would be nice if a tool understood the modelling language to such a degree that is could help with this. I think that certain Archimate-specific tools can indeed do this. But this is not easy and very much modelling-language dependent. For example... When A and E are connected via B, C and D with various intermediate elements and connectors.... What then is the relationship to be shown between A and E? I don't think the Archimate semantics will always be unambiguous in such cases. So I can understand that Sparx is not (yet) supporting this :-) although there are certainly simple cases where tool support would not be very complex.

Suggestions and Requests / Re: Multiple Project Browser Windows
« on: May 22, 2018, 09:08:38 pm »
One other workaround could be is opening the target package as a list and then drag the items back and forth.

That is a good suggestion. Especially since you can drag a tab to its separate window, this is indeed almost like having a second Project Browser. You can just drop elements into the new List window. I don't think I will need a second project browser now :-).

General Board / Re: Versioning of connectors
« on: May 17, 2018, 07:36:40 pm »
We use status on Connectors to indicate 'live' / 'proposed' and use diagram filters to show / hide connectors of current state / proposed state

I can use the same parameter to drive my reports too,

As far as I can see, connectors have no Status attribute... This is an omission in the tool I think; I don't see why connectors would not need a Status indication just like other elements. By connecting this status with the status of the diagram, my problem would probably be solved.
Of course, you can add a status tag, is that what you mean?
Diagram filters are not very useful. They are purely a visual aid and work globally, over all diagrams :-(.

General Board / Versioning of connectors
« on: May 16, 2018, 04:48:35 pm »
I would like to model a situation where I have a number of elements who's connections change over the system lifecycle. So, the components remain the same but the connections between them are different between versions.
Of course, one way to do this is by simply making different views (diagrams) in which different connectors are shown. This may be a useful approach if it's only the pictures that matter but not if the model itself is important, e.g. when generating reports or when simulating the model.
Another approach is to create copies of the elements but this creates a maintenance problem and is very inelegant.

So what other options do I have?

Thanks for any help!

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