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Topics - Geert Bellekens

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Can someone please explain to me the reasoning behind the choice "none" as the default selection for the Link to Element Feature dialog?

One would assume that the default option should be the one that is most often used. I personally think the option "attribute" is used in more than 99% of the cases, but yet "none" has been choses as the default value.
I'm pretty sure the actual usage of "none" is 0%. Nobody chooses the option "Link to Element Feature" in order to not link it to an element feature.

This type of thing is very hard to explain when giving a demo or explaining a this feature. I usually resort to something like "yeah, weird choice, you know Aussies and all"


A feature that I didn't notice in the readme.txt is the fact that classically invisible elements such are notes and boundaries are now visible in the project browser, in a separate, blue package.

I find that a great improvement.


Automation Interface, Add-Ins and Tools / Addins on EA v16 beta 64 bit
« on: October 12, 2021, 05:33:05 pm »
I just installed the v16 beta, and found that my add-ins are no longer visible.

I'm guessing that is because of the 64 bit part.

The manual unfortunately doesn't tell me how to install a add-in on a 64 bit installation.:

I'll try some stuff if I find the time, but some documentation would be nice.


Bugs and Issues / DMN table not visible in WebEA
« on: September 24, 2021, 05:34:09 pm »
One of my clients has decided to start using DMN decision tables. They are happy with how it works in EA, but were utterly surprised that WebEA doesn't show the decision table in any way.

WebEA should show the decision table like the EA client does.



Bugs and Issues / Updating attributes through the API is very slow
« on: June 22, 2021, 04:16:50 pm »
I had imported an xsd that contained an enumeration with lots of values 4000.
The name of the value was a numeric code, and the description of that code was imported into the notes.
I wanted to put the descrption into the alias so I could see the meaning of the values on a diagram by showing the alias, so I wrote a little script to do so (see below)

I ran this script on a few other imported XSD's and it was finished whithin a minute or so, but when it came to the xsd with the enumeration mentioned, it took ages.
I let it run, and it finally finished after 13 hours!

That is an average of over 11 seconds for each attribute. This is not workable anymore. Something should be done to improve the performance of the API in these circumstances.

Code: [Select]
const outputName = "CopyNotesToAlias"

sub main
'create output tab
Repository.CreateOutputTab outPutName
Repository.ClearOutput outPutName
Repository.EnsureOutputVisible outPutName
'get selected package
dim package as EA.Package
set package = Repository.GetTreeSelectedPackage
'inform user
Repository.WriteOutput outPutName, now() & " Starting CopyNotesToAlias for package '" & package.Name & "'", 0
'do the actual work
copyNotesToAlias package
'inform user
Repository.WriteOutput outPutName, now() & " Finished CopyNotesToAlias for package '" & package.Name & "'", 0

end sub

function copyNotesToAlias(parent)
dim element as EA.Element
for each element in parent.Elements
'inform user
Repository.WriteOutput outPutName, now() & " Processing element '" & element.Name & "'", 0
'move notes to alias
if len(element.Notes) > 0 then
element.Alias = Repository.GetFormatFromField("TXT", element.Notes)
end if
'process attributes
dim attribute as EA.Attribute
for each attribute in element.Attributes
'move notes to alias
if len(attribute.Notes) > 0 then
attribute.Alias = Repository.GetFormatFromField("TXT", attribute.Notes)
end if
'process subElements
copyNotesToAlias element

end function




PCS General Board / Direct link to element or diagram in WebEA
« on: June 11, 2021, 06:46:50 pm »
I have a customer that uses WebEA to publish their model.

They were would like to be able to user hyperlinks to specific elements or diagrams.
With the HTML export this is possible by adding the parameter ?guid=DC62B0DA-0D60-4447-85E6-B9BBAE7FC90F to the url

like this: http://path/path/path/Index.htm?guid=xxxxxxxxxxxx

Is there a similar feature for WebEA? I can't seem to find it in the documentation.


I was trying to set the (sub)type of my Activity to callProcessActivity in order to link it to an existing Business process. But I found no way to change the subtype, or fill in tagged value calledActivityRef from the docked properties window.
Only when using the model properties Dialog I was able to change the type to callProcessActivity. After doing that the tagged value calledActivityRef became visible.

Steps to Reproduce:
- Create a BPMN Business Process diagram
- Add an Activity
- Select the activity and try changing it to callProcessActivity using the docked properties window.
- Notice that the tagged value calledActivityRef is not accessible.



When trying to add an ArchiMate3::ArchiMate_Flow relationship between two ArchiMate3::Archimate_ApplicationComponent in the relationship matrix we get an error saying:
Enterprise Architect
Invalid combination of source and target types for this connector type.
[ OK ]

This does not happen when trying to create the exact same relation in the diagram, or in the new relationship matrix diagram view.

Steps to Reproduce:
- Create 2 Archimate 3 Application components in a package
- make sure you have the option "strict connector syntax" on
- Open the package as source and target in the relationship matrix
- try create a flow connection between the two application components.
- Notice that you get an error and the relation is not created
- Notice that you can create the same relationship directly on the diagram without a problem



Bugs and Issues / Grouped properties are not set to read-only
« on: April 22, 2021, 05:55:56 pm »
When tagged values of a stereotype are grouped, they are no longer set to read-only with the rest of the properties.
Things like name, alias, or plain tagged values are read-only, but the grouped tags can still be edited.
This happens both with security based read-only or with version control based read-only

Steps to Reproduce:
-Create a BPMN Business process
-Set it to be read-only either by security or version control
-Try to change the property processType
-Notice that the property processType can still be changed, although the element is supposed to be read-only.



I have an add-in that copies attribute constraints.
Recently we had an error when copying because one of the attribute constraints contained two single quotes.
This resulted in a database error, which was caught by my add-in.
The DBError.txt read:
22-04-2021 07:44:46
Microsoft OLE DB Provider for SQL Server [0x80040e14]

Incorrect syntax near 'quotes'.

select * from t_attributeconstraints where ID=727432 and [Constraint]='constraint with two single 'quotes''

What happened here obviously is that the code forgot to make the name of the constraint SQL safe and escape the single quotes (SQL injection anyone?)

When trying to reproduce the same in a script I was surprised that I didn't get an error. After investigating I found that the error actually happened (and was written to dberror.txt), but had been swallowed by EA. My update didn't work, and EA didn't let me know

Steps to Reproduce:
- create an attribute with a attribute constraint containing two single quotes in the name
- execute the following script (using the correct attribute guid
- notice that the update didn't happen
- open dbError.txt and notice the swallowed error in there

Code: [Select]
option explicit

!INC Local Scripts.EAConstants-VBScript

sub main
dim attribute as EA.Attribute
set attribute = Repository.GetAttributeByGuid("{6C820356-61E4-4359-93AB-0F8F98128238}")
dim constraint as EA.AttributeConstraint
for each constraint in attribute.Constraints
constraint.Notes = constraint.Notes & "+;"
Session.Output constraint.Notes
end sub




Bugs and Issues / Users in nested groups are not recognized
« on: April 19, 2021, 07:38:29 pm »
We are setting up a new environment and we want to follow best practices with regards to the Active Directory structure (AGDLP)
So that means we setup a resource group to allow access to a certain EA model (e.g. RGP-SparxEA-RW)
This groups contains a number of global groups (eg. BGP-FunctionalAnalist, BGP-Developer)
These global groups then contain the actual users (
When I link a group in EA to the resource group, EA doesn't recognize my user and doesn't allow me access.

Steps to Reproduce:
- setup security to automatically create users based on the linked AD group
- create a resource group that contains a global group that contains a user
- try to open the model with that user
- notice that the user is denied access



Using the API I can update diagrams and DiagramObjects for diagrams that are read-only in the GUI.
- Diagrams not locked when using "Require User Lock to Edit"
- Diagrams not checked out when using version control

Steps to Reproduce:
Write a script that updates Diagram properties, or DiagramObject properties
Execute this script on a diagram that is either
- not locked when using "Require User Lock to Edit"
- not checked out when using version control
Notice that you don't get an error, and EA happily updates the supposedly read-only diagram.
This is in contrast to other API objects, such as EA.Element that do honor the read-only status.



Bugs and Issues / Native XML import hangs
« on: March 24, 2021, 07:40:13 pm »
I'm using EA v15.2.1558 and wanted to copy a data model from one repository to another.

The data model has about 400 Classes, Enumerations and Datatypes, and about 4000 attributes.
So it's not a small model, but definitely not an extremely large model.
An earlier version of this model already exists in the target repository.

Since I've heard all kinds of good things about the Native xml format I thought I'd give that a try.
Exporting to xml was fairly quick and resulted in a 53 MB file.

Importing this file into the other repository however took ages and seemed to be stuck on importing connectors.
After about 15 minutes I killed the process.

Then I went back to using XMI 1.1 for the export/import.

Anyone else seeing this? Am I doing something wrong? Are there cases in which the new native xml format should be avoided?


Bugs and Issues / Format XMI for version controlled packages
« on: January 27, 2021, 10:52:55 pm »
We have a bunch of version controlled packages.
Up until very recently the xmi that ended up in the version control system is formatted to be human readable.

Now the whole xml content is on a single line.
That made comparing two versions go from difficult to impossible.

I think the option Preferences | XML specifications | Format XMI output used to control that, but that setting is on for all of us and hasn't changed.

We are currently using 15.2.1557

Anyone have the same experience and/or a solution?


When using "Require user lock to edit" it used to be enough to lock the diagram in order to add an existing element to the diagram (as link)
Pretty recently (v15) this has been changed. Now you also need a lock on the owner of the diagram (element or package), which is very annoying.

Steps to Reproduce:
- Set security to "Require user lock to edit" mode
- Apply user lock to diagram, but not to the owning package
- Drag an existing element onto the diagram
- Notice the error message



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