Author Topic: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....  (Read 4200 times)

Richard Freggi

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2020, 03:24:55 am »
Unfortunately I'm not surprised by Gartner's approach and well done Sparx for sticking to your guns

timoc

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2020, 12:45:24 am »
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.


qwerty

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2020, 02:07:44 am »
Not once since V6 I had the feeling that Sparx has any interest in it's users. Only market shares seem to count. That's why they produce mainly stuff for sales persons. (It has been different before that V6! Which is the time from which I goot hooked to EA.)

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KP

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2021, 08:27:19 am »
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.


https://www.sparxsystems.com/resources/user-guides/15.2/
The Sparx Team
support@sparxsystems.com

qwerty

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2021, 11:38:59 am »
Admittedly I haven't looked into those (and I don't think you really made a new version). But the past "manuals" were a good replacement for my non existing hydraulic press. Probably the meaning of "manual" is interpreted differently to what I would mean.

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Geert Bellekens

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #20 on: January 04, 2021, 04:01:52 pm »
Maybe not completely what timoc was looking for.

Had a quick look at the scripting document. It's 204 pages in total, of which 190 pages are descriptions of Javascript mathematical functions.

Geert

qwerty

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #21 on: January 04, 2021, 08:31:22 pm »
Actually I had also a short look into the GUI manual. It was just that usual repetitive "Click-here-click-there". One ton of documentation.

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Glassboy

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2021, 08:26:44 am »
I also believe that we the community could help Sparx in this. We have the expertise in using this tool in the wild; Sparx don't. They don't supply their own consultants, and internally, they only develop one piece of software so even if they do eat their own dog food it's only one flavour of one brand.
So we could actually help in prioritizing what improvements to make and what features to focus on for a given goal, eg reducing cost of adoption in mid-to-large organizations. But that would of course also require a higher level of community commitment from Sparx.

For the community to help Sparx, Sparx would have to listen to the community and make EA a piece of software that actually can be deployed and used in managed environments.  Like actually using %appdata% for something useful.  Currently if there is a bug/defect/weakness in a MDG/script/sample/pattern/dictionary you have to download a new version (hopeless if your software licensing is outsourced) and pay your IT services company to repackage and redeploy it.

I gave up developing a MDG that a few organisations were using as it was way too hard.  I should just be able stick the files for the MDG on Github and leave the rest to the end user.  However to make it work  have to know the ins and outs of how every the organisations (mis)manage their PC fleets.


Richard Freggi

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2021, 01:58:18 am »
My view is that you get what you pay for, and EA is great value for its price.  I also found the manuals easy to use, they are huge but I just CTRL-F the heck out of the PDF and always find what I need pretty quickly.  Also the online version with search function (+ Googling!) works fine for me.

Geert Bellekens

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2021, 03:49:43 am »
My view is that you get what you pay for, and EA is great value for its price.  I also found the manuals easy to use, they are huge but I just CTRL-F the heck out of the PDF and always find what I need pretty quickly.  Also the online version with search function (+ Googling!) works fine for me.
I think most of use agree that EA is the absolute champion when it come to value for price.
Most competitors cost a multitude and often don't even offer half of the functionality.

What frustrates many of us is that it could be so much more. It wouldn't even necessarily be more expensive.

One example is that they could involve the community much more in things like bug reports and feature requests.
Publishing all reported bugs and feature requests, including their status could be one example.

Asking feedback from users when developing new features could be another. Now we often get new features that seem like a good idea, but aren't thought through or tested in real-world scenario's.
These end up in the basket of "sales-features". They look good on shiny paper, but are useless in practice.

Geert

qwerty

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #25 on: January 12, 2021, 05:04:42 am »
What Geert said. I could add a lot about bug fixing and documentation but meanwhile think it's just futile.

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Paolo F Cantoni

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Re: Sparx EA - Dropped from latest EA Tool report from Gartner, Pity.....
« Reply #26 on: January 12, 2021, 09:20:31 am »
Gert has encapsulated our frustration very well!

As Geert has hinted, Sparx has a unique resource in a set of knowledgable, passionate, users who actually want the product to improve and are keen to help.

Paolo
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