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Messages - timoc

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General Board / EA 15 - Toolbox missing icons?
« on: August 04, 2021, 02:26:21 am »
My toolbox now does not show any icons. I have already tried to use a repair action.

Not sure what happened, It may be related to installing and uninstalling plugins.

Any ideas?


I have a client using multiple EA projects: a common model, and a model for each team. New versions of a specific "shared package" from the common model are published via XMI files.
Each team imports the XMI in a dedicated package on its own EA project.

Elements (e.g. blocks + ports) from the imported / external package need to be associated with the local blocks. The issue is that once a new version of the common model is imported, any connector from an element (source) that belongs to the common model is deleted. I knew about this constraint however in the current context we must be able to create connectors both ways between ports. For instance an output port from a common block must have a connector from this port to the local block.

My understanding is that this issue and constraint is linked with the XMI import process, and not necessary with the EA DB. When I create a connector in the local project DB from a common to a local block, it can be seen as surprising that it is deleted from the DB as a result of the XMI import.
Unless a new option to support a way to preserve connectors is added by Sparx, the only workaround I can think of is to have a script that stores somewhere the definition of all connectors from any element in the common model so they can be restored after an XMI import.

Maybe the merge feature will do this - if you import the file and merge with an export of a larger context containing the connectors?

General Board / Team Library 'Import' package not maintaining GUID?
« on: July 23, 2021, 05:53:07 pm »

I have been experimenting with the the Model Library (Start->Design->Share->Library), and its Team Library feature (Start->Design->Share->Library->Current-model-Dropdown->Configure-Connection), to share reference packages, model structures and reference documents between models.

It seems that when i share a resource (Library window right click->share resource) via a 'Team' library, and import it into the local model (right click on resource->import to current model), the imported package gets new GUIDs. It seems to perform a paste as new operation, which breaks the concept of import. It seems to break the ability for any models created referring to that imported package to be pulled back into the team model without a re-build.

Am i missing something?
Is there an option somewhere to keep guids? or another way to share packages?

If i remember correctly, there is a free plugin that might fit the bill. It has its own diagram styling capability.,44949.msg264523.html#msg264523

Ring. Hat. Toss.

See, now that's interesting. I see it a little differently.

In my view EA is an enthusiast's tool -- not a professional's. In order to make good use of EA you need someone in the organization who knows the ins and outs of the tool. It's not enough to know the modelling language.

EA is a toolkit. It's a rag-bag of features that don't work well together, and which sometimes are different attempts to implement the same functionality. Unless you intend to work only within the tool, it comes with nothing to help you in any given usage scenario: no usable project setups, model structures, or document templates. What's there is all demo-level stuff. On the IT side of things, EA integrates poorly and clunkily. And even the extension mechanisms are limited: you can access the most basic functions through the API, but only a very small number of the high-level ones.
Navigating this quagmire requires deep insight, which must either be built up within the organization, or purchased from a third party. All of this makes EA a far more expensive tool to use than the purchase price would suggest.


What he said. But in my opinion, i think the first step in making EA less of everything above (to those outside Sparx) and more like the tool Sparx thinks it is, requires no code changes, and while it is work, is pretty simple in concept.

Publish a user manual.

All we have now is documentation, which is not the same thing at all.

Also it is mostly auto-generated documentation - I know, i actually tried to read it. It is 10x the size of the source, due to pointless repetition. Worse, the current documentation is useless unless you know what you are looking for, and why you need it, which is also the opposite of documentation. I often find myself in bait-n-switch circular link references which only cost me time and tell me nothing. So i have to come here, go to google, or flail around aimlessly in a multiplicity of options pages, which then send me back to the bait-n-switch.... 

Anything else, no, everything else, becomes easier for everybody with a manual, because EA will then be used by everybody in approximately the same way, which is also the as it was designed to be used. Hard coded 'Magic Number' ENUMS (such as Project Task/Issue status fields) should then make sense, as the reason for them, and the workflow they automate is clear. Bugs and feature requests are on point and in context, feature overlap is explained, or at least mitigated. Example documents and templates can be made useful out of the box, Less duct-taping hacks together to make primitives/out of the box things work the way you think they should, rather than the expected usage. Whitepapers are just documents laying out a particularly clever hack, and do not count as manuals IMHO.

Sparx has to do this. All the community can do without this is reverse engineer intent, or overlay/hack in out interpretation of intent.

Bugs and Issues / Re: wine and ODBC not working
« on: December 28, 2020, 12:09:14 am »
Database mariadb.
Driver mariadb ODBC connector for MS Windows 32-bit latest installed, in wine control ODBC base is selected and connected using the driver. Connection name visible in sparx, i select it, test connection = succseeded. And it doesn't work ..

First, I prefer using code-weavers crossover. If you are going to invest money in a product like EA, you should also consider crossover. It allows you to set up your EA once. It does not need to be re-built/reinstalled when you change distros or perform EA updates, as it does most if not all of the  of the prerequisite installation for you (e.g. fonts, Jet etc.). You can save yourself some hassle there, such as multiple versions of EA, so you can make try the latest update without messing up a working setup. 

My checklist is something like:
in linux:
- setup username password and database access permissions.
- run schema creation and schemea population scripts
- use sql command line client from user running EA, check you can access the EA model.
In Wine 
- (crossover) create bottle backup of working ea setup
- install ODBC drivers (from crossover app menu)
- setup system ODBC DSN according to the Sparx instructions,
- to debug connection.
- Enable 'GLOBAL'  ODBC logging options in System DSN window, and enable 'Tracing' ODBC logging in tracing tab- Move on with successful 'test connection'

With all of that in place, tweak the connection string to setup the provider. E.g. My Postgres connection string looks something like:
Code: [Select]
LocalPG --- DBType=4;Connect=Provider=MSDASQL.1;Persist Security Info=True;Data Source=LocalPG;LazyLoad=1;

With a working setup, i then use crossover to create another EA backup to baseline my working Postgres setup.

Bugs and Issues / Re: Bug: File Path too short
« on: December 27, 2020, 11:03:02 pm »
Seems like schema changes are allowed, even in point releases - as we just had one for last 15.2 (1557) release (that seems to include the hack above). Possibly this could be fixed in the next point release?

Another 'work around' option that Sparx could consider, is to extend the 'Hyperlink Target Objects' to include something like the javascript: uri type ('') to generate the target addresses. e.g referencing a script in the library that generates the URL on demand or similar.

This approach could potentially solve other issues, such as situaitons where you want to map to different things depending on the project and environment.  Staging vs Production, or model versions are a few examples.   
Something like:
Code: [Select]

General Board / RAS database as Team Library Server?
« on: December 15, 2020, 11:40:08 pm »

 I was wondering if the RAS database could also be used or viewed as an external library in the Team Library feature?

General Board / Re: C4 + Archimate "Note View" required.
« on: October 22, 2020, 03:03:14 am »
I think the only solution would be to override the standard ArchiMate stereotypes with your own stereotypes and your own shapescript allowing for notes display.

I was hoping by now there would be a tag based override mechnism or derivation or diagram style or something that would enable this, the simplest of diagram style of "coloured box with text and lines" element visualisations when they introduced the diagraming shapes.

Is it possible to hack it into on the local Archimate XML?

General Board / C4 + Archimate "Note View" required.
« on: October 21, 2020, 07:43:29 pm »
So i want to be able to use EA to make C4 + Archimate - something like this:

I attempted to make something in EA 15.2, but came up against the issue that the Archimate 3.1.1 MDG does not allow notes to be displayed. I am sure there is a workaround or process allowing for this, but i could not find it.

Any ideas?

I would like to see all of the information in the "Configure" ribbon represented/representable as a root object or package in the model itself.

For example, the The "general types" can be represented as bpmn, and it can be used to make a workflow representation.
"people" (users and roles) - can be represented in archimate, uml or similar.

Ideally these representations, when updated, can be used (by authorised personelle) to update the model configuration. It also makes using a given mode, sharing, backup and restore etc. much easier to manage.

I'm not sure you can change the syntax highlighting.

I haven't seen a reference in EA's manual on how to do that.

After much digging, and without having the time to implement a full grammar, that was my conclusion.
Maybe, code editing support, such as highlighting, is something that could be augmented with the new javascript engine.

I have a DSL that is related to a model, but not generated or handled by EA at the moment. I would like to view/edit the DSL in the EA's integrated development environment with syntax highlighting.

As far as i can tell from the manual, syntax highlighting can be changed. In IDE's, it is usualy a configuration task. I had the feeling there was some code parsing related feature that suppored syntax-highlighting, but I cannot tell if it is available or associated with with any of these EA features:
- MDG Technology - Developing a programming language
- Code mining 
- Grammar Framework

Is it possible in one of these or something else? If so are there simple examples?

PCS General Board / Re: Host WebEA on a linux Server
« on: August 09, 2020, 10:45:29 pm »
Could not I just put the WebEA folder on my linux apache root directory and change the models settings in webea_config.ini to point to the PCS server ?
No idea.

PCS General Board / Re: Host WebEA on a linux Server
« on: July 28, 2020, 09:21:06 pm »
Hi guys,
is it possible to host WebEA on a linux server ?
No idea. I know you can run the RAS server under wine with some tweaking.

Keeping PCS Service on a windows server and link it to a linux Apache / PHP  ?

Did any of you tried this configuration ?
i know you can setup an nginx as a web facing proxy to another service. I have never tried it with any Sparxian stuff.

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