UML & SysML modelling languages

Expertise and blog articles on UML, SysML, and Enterprise Architect modelling tool

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SparxSystems Enterprise Architect modelling tool

SparxSystems Enterprise Architect modelling tool

Entreprise Architect is a UML, SysML, ArchiMate and BPMN modelling tool created by Sparx Systems.

As a member of the OMG, Sparx Systems makes sure that Enterprise Architect is compliant with the modelling standards including UML, SysML, BPMN. EA also supports non-standard yet commonly used diagrams such as requirements, user interface, mind mapping, etc.

As a very cost-effective model-driven tool, adopted by more than 1,000,000 users, Enterprise Architect is suitable for all types of needs, from an individual or private use to a large company or body environment.

Enterprise Architect provides numerous features (modelling, reverse engineering, model transformation, code generation, documentation generation, reports, etc.), and can be extended through add'ins, MDG technology and UML profiles, and fulfils most daily modelling needs.

Sparx Enterprise Architect users community is very active via the following websites :

This section provides access to articles, news, and tutorials about Enterprise Architect. A selection of hints and tips for Enterprise Architect is regularly updated ; click here to access this list.

Deploying a model repository often eventually leads to user requests for additional features to address specific needs, mostly to save time when using Enterprise Architect (EA). Whilst EA is a very rich and powerful tool, it provides an API to extend further its capabilities e.g. by querying the model or updating/creating model content. 

The API can be exploited through the following means:

  • EA scripts: stored within a shared repository (EA project), scripts can be executed by users granted with the run scripts permission. This approach is useful to avoid installing and maintaining applications (EA add-ins) on each client. EA can be used as the IDE to implement, test and run scripts. Supported languages include VBScript, JScript, and JavaScript.
  • EA add-ins: extension applications must be installed on each client to be available within Enterprise Architect. They can be implemented with most programming languages such as C#, Java, C++, etc. In comparison with scripts, they support enhanced user interfaces and EA broadcast events (to trigger a behaviour e.g. when an element or connector is created).
    • eaUtils is an example of a free EA add-in.
  • Third-party applications or scripts: EA API can be accessed through third party solutions such as a PowerShell script or a C# command line tool. This is convenient to run scheduled tasks for regular updates or extracts, e.g. update the application portfolio within an ArchiMate Enterprise Architect repository from a CMDB Excel weekly extract. 
  • Model-based add-ins: defined in the repository, there is no installation needed on clients. Based on JavaScript, the main advantage of using model-based add-ins is related with the EA broadcast events support.
    • This is the topic covered in this article.
Friday, 29 December 2023 10:07

Prolaborate 5.2 overview

Prolaborate 5.2

This article is an overview of the main enhancements available in the upcoming Prolaborate 5.2, a follow up from Prolaborate 5.1 review.

  • Multi-Factor Authentication support.
  • Version Explorer.
  • Custom elements icons and default analyzer colours.
  • Dynamic charts enhancement.
Tuesday, 28 November 2023 08:08

Prolaborate 5.1

Prolaborate 5.1

Following my previous article about Prolaborate 4.4, I tested the latest version 5.1 released in October.

Prolaborate 5 maintains the same user interface as Prolaborate 4, making it simple to upgrade from a user perspective.

Main enhancements:

  • New Lifecycle Roadmap chart.
  • Dynamic charts.
  • Reports: columns filters, inline content editing, Excel export.
  • Card Widgets: quick and easy overview of the repository or project data by highlighting business information or key metrics.
  • Dashboards export/import
  • Rich Text Editor.
Wednesday, 24 May 2023 19:16

Prolaborate 4.4 overview

Prolaborate 4.4

First released in October 2021, Prolaborate 4 is a full redesign of the web application from the previous version 3 for a better user experience, improved performance, to be Cloud ready, more scalable, and more secure.

Since it has completely been rebuilt, Prolaborate 4 delivers most features available in Prolaborate 3, and progressively supporting missing ones as new releases are published.

After 2 and half years since its first release, Prolaborate 4.4 is now available with new features such as the awaited capability to download data from reports to a CSV file, whilst the next release 4.5 should support the Relationship Matrix.

This article is a preview about Prolaborate 4 with examples illustrating the new user experience from this powerful and comprehensive web solution of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect models.

EAUG 2023 UK Reading


Tickets for the EA User Group 2023 in the UK are now available. 

Join us on June 19th and 20th, in Reading, London, UK, for the next Enterprise Architect User Group.

19 speakers from 8 countries will be gathering to share their knowledge and experience with you.


EAUG 2023 Call for Speakers are now open.

Following last year's success, the next European EA User group event will be happening in Reading, London UK on June 19th and 20th 2023. 

Monday 19th June will be a training day, with half day workshops run by SparxSystems partners. Then Tuesday 20th June will be a day of presentations and networking.


Friday, 01 April 2022 11:05

EA User Group UK 2022 (Reading)

EA User Group 2022 UK

The EA User Group event is back this year on May 24th in Reading, UK. This is the perfect event to come and share your questions, knowledge and experience with the EA community.

[14/04/2022 update: agenda available]

Friday, 18 February 2022 11:03

Prolaborate 3.6 release

Prolaborate 3.6

Prolaborate 3.6 web solution for Enterprise Architect is a new release available to download from Sparx Systems registered user area.

This article illustrates enhancements on the "EA Reports" widget and a new feature to create relationships between elements.

enterprise architect 16 beta preview

This article is a preview of Enterprise Architect 16 beta (build 1600) which is available to download with your registered account (if you own an active license) from

Covered features and enhancements:

  • Enterprise Architect 64 bits
  • New QEA/QEAx file-based repositories
  • Native connection to DBMS repositories
  • XEA new exchange format
  • JavaScript support
  • User interface improvements


EAPostgresImportfromNativeXML Enterprise Architect Native XML import to PostgreSQL solution


EAPostgresImportfromNativeXML is a specific third-party solution for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect modelling tool. 


  • Import a Native XML into a PostgreSQL EA database from a command-line prompt or via a CMD batch file, instead of opening Enterprise Architect (note: the Native XML Import is not supported by EA API).
  • Deliver better performances with a reduced execution time, especially relevant for very large EA model repositories.

 This solution can be useful for a publication process involving transferring the work EA repository to a publication database, dedicated for end users via Prolaborate; a batch file can be configured in this case with Windows Task Scheduler to run the transfer on a nightly basis.

Prolaborate 3.4

Prolaborate 3.4 has been released mid-February with new features and enhancements.

  • Custom query-based properties applicable for the elements attributes view
    • Using Prolaborate Modelling Language form designer, Enterprise Architect fields such as the name, alias, notes... can be selected to define the available details for web users (e.g. on UML classes). This new feature supports custom properties based on queries to display details on a selected element that are not available via other tabs. Sub elements such as the list interfaces and ports for a component is an example of what can be rendered with this new feature.
  • Diagram Editor
    • Prolaborate and Enterprise Architect are part of Sparx Systems complete modelling solution. With the latter needed to update diagrams, an optional link can be enabled on Prolaborate diagrams to be opened in Enterprise Architect for editing purposes. 
  • Customize Prolaborate Log Paths
  • New Dashboard Collaboration widget
    • This new widget is convenient to create discussions within a dashboard for a dedicated for a group of users.
  • Improved JIRA integration

BPMN diagrams in Enterprise Architect use the "Orthogonal Square" line style on the connectors. These are very convenient to organize the layout as it automatically creates or removes bended points.

However there is often a need to move these connectors around to finalize the view. 

Takeshi Kouno from Sparx Systems Japan released the BPMN Smart Layout Add-in to address this issue.

This article illustrates how it works.

Friday, 30 October 2020 18:19

Prolaborate 3.3 preview

Prolaborate 3.3 preview

Prolaborate 3.3 has just been published. This article illustrates some of the main improvements.

  • Integration with third party applications
    • ** New Microsoft Teams support to share diagrams and views from Enterprise Architect in Teams conversations, and provide an easy access to Prolaborate.
    • Azure DevOps Server version support.
  • Discussions
    • ** New Discussions Dashboard widgets to provide a convenient control and access to specific discussions, reviews and threads.
    • Support to create Discussions on Connectors.
  • Convenient access to download Prolaborate and Pro Cloud Server logs from Prolaborate web interface (Health Checks page).
  • Connectors tagged values are now support (displayed in the properties view).


Prolaborate Data Model Modelling Language profile

Data Models generated via a reverse engineering from an existing Database in Enterprise Architect modelling tool can be shared dynamically with Prolaborate web solution. 

This article illustratse the use of a profile that I defined to customize the level of details for a Physical Data Model that is visible to Prolaborate users.

Thursday, 12 December 2019 05:34

Enterprise Architect 15.1 beta

enterprise architect 15.1 beta sparxsystems

Sparx Systems has released the first beta version of Enterprise Architect 15.1 (build 1521). It provides a number of interesting new features and enhancements.

  • Diagram Layers: new feature to group elements by layers and manage them separately (view/hide, etc.).
  • Multi-Language Support can be enabled on elements notes and titles, with a manual or automatic translation(with Google or Microsoft services). The document generation tool provides an option to select the target language.
  • Composite Diagram Preview: a composite element has a new shortcut (eye icon or ‘\’ keyboard shortcut) to open the diagram in a popup window.
  • Native XML Project Transfer: the traditional Project Transfer feature is a useful way to copy and replace the entire source project to a target project (file or DBMS). The “Native XML” version is a handy way to generate an XML file when the source and target projects are not available from the same location.

ea-reference-data-splitter sparx enterprise architect script export

This article introduces a free third-party tool by Geert Bellekens, EA Reference Data Splitter, to help with publishing scripts defined in Enterprise Architect.

Prolaborate 3.2 SparxSystems web

Sparx Systems has released Prolaborate 3.2 this summer with a number of new features.

Click here to read the full review.

Thursday, 20 June 2019 11:34

Enterprise Architect 15 beta preview

enterprise architect 15 beta preview

Update (04/09/2019): Enterprise Architect 15 is available to download from SparxSystems site.

Sparx Systems released this month the beta version of Enterprise Architect 15.

Below is a selection of the main features and enhancements that will be detailed in this article:

  • Data Miner (EA Unified or Ultimate edition required)
  • JavaScript Model Based Add-ins
  • Custom tables (new spreadsheet artefacts)
  • Browser new tabs
  • Diagrams enhancements
    • Custom drawing style diagram property
    • Google GCP, Amazon AWS web images
    • Bookmark values
    • Group elements
    • New keyboard shortcuts
    • Simplified access to the "Link to element feature"
    • Image Assets drag and drop to a diagram
  • New keyboard shortcuts
Wednesday, 16 January 2019 13:50

Prolaborate 3.0 available

Prolaborate SparxSystems 3 Enterprise Architect Web

Sparx Systems has released Prolaborate 3, the latest version of its web solution for Enterprise Architect modelling tool.

Main improvements:

  • Increased performances.
  • New widget to include Impact Analysis views in the dashboards.
  • New CxO multi-level charts to represent complex data in an impressive and easily understandable way.

The EAExample sample project pre-installed with Enterprise Architect has been used in this article to illustrate some of Prolaborate 3 features.

Note: contact me via e-mail (guillaume [at] to get further information (costs and alternatives), or to organize a demonstration of Prolaborate with Enterprise Architect.

EA User Group London 2018

This is the second and last part of my feedback on the EA User Group London 2018. Each attendee had the opportunity to follow 6 presentations including the Keynote.

This article covers the following presentations:

  • Keynote on Enterprise Architect 14 by Peter Lieber.
  • Model Driven Enterprise Knowledge with Gemalto GMOD platform by David Faus.
  • My presentation on scripting with EA API (title: Extending EA with custom scripts to cater for specific needs and user requests).

odata metadata to sparx enterprise architect

I recently got a request to import a database schema definition into Enterprise Architect from an OData metadata XML file. OData or Open Data Protocol is an OASIS standard with a definition of best practises for building and consuming RESTful APIs. A metadata document is an XML file with the description of the available entities, properties, etc.

This article describes a solution to import the definition from the OData metadata to Sparx Enterprise Architect.

EA User Group London 2018

This year’s London EA User Group took place at the Skills Matters Code Node venue. It has been enjoyable and useful to discuss and share experiences with users via this unique dedicated Sparx EA event.

The EAUG London 2018 event started with a day of training on Thursday.

Click here for my feedback on the training sessions I attended.

ea user group londres 2018

I'm looking forward to attending once again the London EA User Group as a speaker. Following last year's talk on automated tests with EA add-ins, I submitted a presentation linked with EA's API again, but this time to share my experience in implementing a number of custom scripts.

Below is my presentation's abstract. Please do come and join me at the next EAUG on Friday 8th of June in London (tickets are available to purchase here).

Extending EA with custom scripts to cater for specific needs and user requests using Sparx API

Enterprise Architect supports most standard modelling languages and notations i.e. UML, BPMN, SysML, and ArchiMate. Whether EA is used to build models for a software application, identify business processes, define the system with the MBSE approach, or carry the IT landscape via the business, application and technical layers, customizing the notation with stereotypes and adding tailored features is almost a recurring request.
Automated tasks and additional features can be built using EA API via scripts, add-ins, external tools, etc. Based on a large number of scripts implemented for clients involved in software applications, data modelling, and systems engineering, I will share my experience on this growing activity over the past years:

  • Overview of the covered topics (custom Excel import/export or publishing, model QA, save users' time in avoiding repetive or time consuming tasks, manage EA users & groups via Excel, run a reverse on unsupported languages such as Fortran...).
  • Demonstration of a selection of scripts.
  • Experience feedback on dealing with scripts in EA...
    • The need to organize and name scripts.
    • Hints and custom scripts to publish scripts from the "dev EA project".
    • Addressing limitations and issues (e.g. lack of sub menus with more than 20 scripts, lost of group types in the MDG integration...)
  • Debug scripts.
  • Compatibility with different DBMS and the Cloud connexion.
  • Automatically trigger scripts with Geert Bellekenss free ea-matic add-in.

Join other EA experts, enthusiasts, and users on the 8th of June; full details are available from the site.

The EAUG London 2018 agenda is available here.



Wednesday, 11 April 2018 15:36

EA User Group London 2018 agenda

Tickets are available to purchase for the next EAUG in London and the full agenda has been released. 

I'm looking forward to participating at this great event again, not only as a member of the organization team, but also having been appointed as one of the speakers. This year I will discuss and share work on custom scripts that have been achieved to extend Sparx EA features based on specific needs or user requests (contexts: Data Modelling, SysML & MBSE).

Click here to review the full details and agenda

Version Française disponible

Back in 2012 the very first European EA User Group took place... lasting just one afternoon with 12 attendees.

Jump forward to 2018, the London event has expanded to a two-day affair with a training day, 100+ attendees, and speakers from around the globe - of which you could be one!

We will meet again at the fantastic Skills Matter venue, Code Node in London.

Call for Speakers are now open.

sparx pro cloud server enterprise architect

Sparx Systems launched the Pro Cloud Server, a gateway for third party tools to integrate with Enterprise Architect models.

As models need to be available for members of the project team to access and review, they need to use Sparx Enterprise Architect tool. For a read-only access, models can be published in Word, Excel or HTML, however resulting in a decoupled export from the live repository. For users who require a simple and quick access to models, Sparx Pro Cloud Server (PCS) offers a gateway to EA models via its built-in Web EA or for upcoming and emerging third party toolsto provide a web interface via a standard or mobile browser. This will be also useful to select and provide access only to the models that need to be visible for a given type of user (e.g. reviewers, Q/A, etc.), where this cannot be achieved with EA (any user has a full access to the model structure). The PCS also provides a suitable solution for existing third party tools to exchange information with EA.

Pro Cloud Server features:

  • Gateway for Enterprise Architect, licensed by Sparx Systems
  • OSLC and RESTful API enabling third party tools integration
    • For web solutions to address Enterprise Architect needs e.g. to access, edit text, and review models (details about an emerging web solution will be provided soon)
    • Existing third party tools where the need to exchange information is relevant, e.g. requirements or business process to be traced with analysis and design elements in EA
    • Note: a commercial license is required for 3rd party use. The license simply details the scope and conditions under which the API may be used for commercial purposes.
  • Built-in web interface: Web EA
  • A number of licensing options are available to choose from, based on the number of projects and users
    • Note that Sparx Systems just released the Pro Cloud Server Express, which is free for users who have active EA licenses (conditions apply)

Sparx Systems introduced the ribbons tabs interface in Enterprise Architect 13 to replace the traditional menus.

Ribbons group commands related to an activity e.g. Design to build the model with new elements and diagrams, Layout (see below) to change the look and feel of diagrams...

sparx enterprise architect 13 layout ribbon

Under each ribbon, commands are grouped by functionality, e.g. security commands under the configure tab to manage users, groups, permissions, and locks.

enterprise architect 13 sparx configure ribbon

Where the purpose of this modern interface is to make Enterprise Architect features easily accessible, several users find it difficult at first to find their way round.

This article is aimed at providing a guidance and some help with a detailled set of mapping information based on Enterprise Architect versions 12.1 (build 1230) and 13 (build 1310).


EA User Group London 2017

This article is the second part of my feedback on the EAUG London 2017 event, covering a full day of presentations, case studies, and user stories which took place on Friday, May 19th. It illustrates the quality of information that has been delivered if you couldn't make it this year.


EA User Group London 2017

This year's EA User Group was the first time it was run with an optional extra day of training from Sparx Systems training partners. It was followed by the traditional day of presentations from EA experts and users.

This is the first part of my feedback on the EAUG London 2017 event, covering the training day which took place on Thursday, May 18th.

archimate logo

EA User Group London 2017

I attended a useful and interesting training on EA and Archimate 3 from Gillian Adens (Hippo Software) at the London's EA User Group today. Defining Archimate business roles, Gillian pointed out that EA does not let one disable the rectangle notation on all selected roles. A right click on each business role to select Advanced > Disable Rectangle Notation being time consuming, I felt this could easily be achieved via a handy script.

This article shares the script code I wrote during the training session...

sparxsystems enterprise architect Archimate 3 support

This article is the next part of customising Sparx Enterprise Architect to use Mastering Archimate book alternate colour scheme (see initial article with Archimate 2 here), suggested by its author Gerben Wierda: it covers the new Archimate 3 standard, introduced in Enterprise Architect 13.

In the previous article, I looked at two ways to customize Enterprise Architect; via an MDG Technology with custom stereotypes, and via a Project Element Template where colours can be redefined for the existing Archimate elements. The latter option being more complete and simple to use, I extended its definition to Archimate 3.

Archimate 3 Project Template lets users work on diagrams in Enterprise Architect as illustrated here:

sparx enterprise architect archimate3 mastering archimate colour scheme

ArchiMate 2 is a standard enterprise architecture modeling language from the Open Group.

Available in Sparx Enterprise Architect modelling tool, it is aimed at modelling the enterprise architecture into a business, application and technology layers.
According to the Open Group specifications, a colour scheme is applied to improve diagrams visibility: business elements are rendered in yellow, application elements in blue, and infrastructure/technical ones in green.

For those who read Gerben Wierda's “Mastering Archimate Edition 2” book, he applies an alternative colour scheme based on the following rules:

  • Blue is used for active elements/objects (e.g. an interface or a component)
  • Yellow is used for behavioural elements (e.g. a function or service)
  • Green is used for passive elements (artifact, data object, business object...)
  • Colours are strengthened in the technical/infrastructure layer, and softened in the business layer

Mastering Archimate 2 MDG has been defined to apply this colour scheme in Sparx Enterprise Architect models.

  • Update 03/02/2017: a complete and more simple solution with EA Project Template Package option has been added to this article.
  • Update 06/02/2017: an article on Archimate 3 is available here.

Thursday, 15 December 2016 15:45

EA User Group London 2017: 18-19th May

Details on the 2017 London EA User Group are available.

It will take place on Thursday 18th and Friday 19th of May 2017 in the City area of London. Compared with previous events, this EAUG will run on 2 days. This decision has been taken based on a recent survey where a day dedicated on training with the tool was requested.

This first training day is optional, whilst the second day will include talks as on previous years.

I will run a presentation on Friday 19th of May on "Running automated tests with your EA add-ins" (see abstract on the full page here). 


  • What? 2 days of Enterprise Architect related training, presentations and networking
  • When? Thursday 18th and Friday 19th May 2017
  • Where? Code Node, LONDON, EC2M 7BT
  • Official site:


  • Thursday 18th May, 9am-5pm: an EA training day, with a small number of in-depth sessions led by approved Sparx Enterprise Architect training partners.  Full details will be published shortly.
    •  Note: training numbers will be limited.
  • Thursday 6pm onwards: an evening networking event.
  • Friday 19th May: a ‘traditional’ EAUG event day - including shorter presentations, case studies and user stories (see details here).


  • £550 to join us for the full 2 day event.
  • £75 to join us on Friday only.

 Click here to access the full agenda.

EAUG supported by sparx systems

VISEO EA UML to JHipster Generator MDG Technology

This article shares an MDG Technology that integrates Sparx Enterprise Architect UML models with the free and open source JHipster RAD (Rapid Application Development) framework.

VISEO EA UML to JHipster Generator MDG produces JDL (JHipster Domain Language) content from UML models maintained in Enterprise Architect. This output can be used with JHipster to create the application's entities, including properties and relations.

Not being able to find a suitable tool that generates JHipster entities from UML models, I started such integration for a software application that has been implemented with JHipster 2. This work has been tested and used by VISEO JHipster experts and developers.

Update (31/10/2017): this project is now available from GitHub (MDG-Sparx-EA-UML-JHipster Github project) and will evolve to support new JHipster JDL definitions.

Note: a french version of this article is available here (version FR).

Please click here for more information.

sparxsystems enterprise architect 13

Sparx Systems has released the first build of Enterprise Architect 13 (build 1305). A preview of the beta version is available here.

Enterprise Architect version 13 main enhancements include:

  • Ribbon interface, replacing the traditional menus
  • Time Aware Modeling with a package and element Cloning approach
  • Links between connectors for a new level of traceability
  • SysML simulation with OpenModelica and parametric diagrams (more information available here)
  • SysML and BPMN modelling improvements
  • Tagged Values support within diagram filters
  • A new "Progress bar" tagged value type
  • Direct publishing to Joomla CMS
  • Improved Linux and Mac compatibility
  • Back end repository updates when accessing a shared Enterprise Architect project, hosted on a centralized database with the Security feature enabled
  • Cloud Service improved (IPv6 support, better performance)

sparx enterprise architect api automation interface

Sparx Enterprise Architect security feature involves setting up users, groups, and permissions for access and authentication purposes. It can be applied for a shared access to model repositories configured and stored on a central database such as MySQL, Postgres, SQL Server... Windows Active Directory is supported so authentication can be performed based on the users' Windows sessions.

sparx enterprise architect security groups interface

EA lets one exports the list of users, groups, and permissions to XML in order to copy such configuration from one Enterprise Architect repository to another. I've been asked to generate a custom Excel export in EA to extract the following information, requested by administrators in charge of maintaining the EA projects: list of users and assigned groups, list of permissions enabled for each group and for each user.

One of the great and powerful sides of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect modelling tool is it open automation interface (API) to extend its features. As regards I was able to generate such Excel file via VB Scripts within EA by querying the internal database. Even though the API is pretty well documented by Sparx Systems, I couldn't get the name for the permissions id values I retrieved.

I had to run a manual check on each permission to produce a mapping table. This information can be useful if you come across a similar scenario.

  • Update (07/02/2017) added permissions introduced in Enterprise Architect 13: Edit Scripts, Run Scripts, Configure Project Prerequisites 
Sunday, 03 July 2016 22:35

Enterprise Architect 13 beta preview

sparxsystems enterprise architect 13 beta

sparxsystems enterprise architect 13 beta

This article provides a preview about the upcoming Enterprise Architect 13, available in its beta version since beginning of June. 

SparxSystems Enterprise Architect 13 leaflet (PDF version available here) covers the main enhancements including:

  • Ribbon interface, replacing the traditional menus
  • Links between connectors for a new level of traceability
  • Time Aware Modeling with a package and element Cloning approach
  • SysML simulation with OpenModelica and parametric diagrams
  • Tagged Values support within diagram filters
  • A new "Progress bar" tagged value type
  • Various other enhancements:
    • Direct publishing to Joomla CMS
    • Improved Linux and Mac compatibility
    • Back end repository updates when accessing a shared Enterprise Architect project, hosted on a centralized database with the Security feature enabled
    • Cloud Service improved (IPv6 support, better performance)

reverse database sparx enterprise architect dll title

Data from a Sparx Enterprise Architect modelling project is stored in a database. When one works on a local Sparx EA project, the file used has an EAP extension and is effectively a Jet Engine database that can be opened with Ms Access.

Sparx reverse engineering features on relational databases can be run on an Enterprise Architect project to extract its schema definition such as tables, columns and relations managed by Sparx modelling tool.

This article provides a procedure to achieve this using Enterprise Architect 12.1 built-in DB Builder tool.

sparx enterprise architect working offline

Sharing access to an Enterprise Architect modelling project can be achieved through a number of options such as using a central database server or coupling it with a version control repository (e.g. Subversion).

Using a central/shared database requires access to the DB server e.g. on a MySQL, Postgres, Oracle, or SQL Server DBMS.

This article illustrates a strategy and procedure to generate and work with an offline version, prior to merge and commit changes on the shared project when back online.

Microsoft AzuRE DB Cloud Services with Sparx Enterprise Architect
Sparx Enterprise Architect in Azure Cloud Platform

This article provides guidance on setting up a Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect modelling project in the Cloud, using Microsoft Azure SQL Database services.

Microsoft Azure SQL Database (formerly SQL Azure, SQL Server Data Services, SQL Services, Windows Azure SQL Database) is a cloud-based service from Microsoft offering data-storage capabilities (similar to Amazon Relational Database Service) as a part of the Azure Services Platform (source: wikipedia).

As regards an Azure SQL Database is very similar to a Microsoft SQL Server database, supported by Sparx Enterprise Architect. A few tweaks were needed a while ago, however Sparx Systems has since released an Azure version which works well.

MDA model transformation from UML to XSD with CIM, PIM, PSM

This article provides a feedback about Sparx Enterprise Architect model transformation and XML Schema generation (XSD, JSON), involving the Schema Composer (introduced in Sparx EA v12).

Having a business class model in Enterprise Architect, I moved to the definition of the message structure for the application's services (purpose was to exchange data with another application involved in the overall process). I took the opportunity to assess EA model transformation and XML schema files generation based on the associated benefits:

  • The existing Business Class diagram content can be reused to start the design.
  • Traceability between the Business and Design models would enable impact analysis in the long run, whereas relevant information identified whilst carrying the design could be pushed to the business model.
  • Enterprise Architect would facilitate publishing and sharing a model alongside XSD files with the dev team in charge of implementing the interfaced application. This step was required to agree on the exchanged data and associated services between both applications.
  • Document generation features would facilitate producing Service Contract specifications.

This article illustrates the model transformation from a PIM to PSM, a custom model transformation template, and the use of the Schema Composer to generate an XSD File.

Sparx Enterprise Architect MDG Office

Sparx Systems released in 2015 the MDG Integration for Office.

This extension features an integration with Microsoft PowerPoint, an import/export module for Microsoft Excel, and an import module from Microsoft Word or Visio. This MDG is available for around USD145 (fixed licence RRP).

In order to understand what this MDG helps EA users achieve, I carried some tests through each of its features. As a result I summarized its features in a comparison chart, involving other tools related with Excel and Word documents:

This article illustrates a comparison chart to choose the right tool for you.

sparx logo execution analyzer

Enterprise Architect is mainly used as a modelling tool to define and maintain a structured set of models based on standard languages or notations such as UML, BPMN, SysML, or ArchiMate.

Enterprise Architect includes several features to fulfill other needs, associated with functional, business, design, or architecture aspects. This article illustrates the use of Enterprise Architect Execution Analyzer to capture and record method calls between instances of implementation classes during code runtime. A method call recording feature can be enabled:

  • to visualize and analyze interactions i.e. invoked methods between instanciated implementation classes,
  • to document implementation classes,
  • to understand a software or application behaviour,
  • as an option to identify reasons for bugs when static code analysis hasn't been satisfying.

Note: static code analysis can be carried on the source code from the IDE, whereas dynamic code analysis is carried in a runtime environment.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015 00:00

Feedback from the EAUG Paris 2015

EAUG user group Paris 2015 France

I organised and attended the first edition of the EAUG in Paris last week. It's been a very busy, interesting and exciting day overall.

My colleague at VISEO, Yves Connetable, wrote a very good summary on what happened during this day. I translated it as follows to share it beyond the french speakers.

sparx enterprise architect 12.1 beta

Sparx Systems released last Friday the first beta of Enterprise Architect version 12.1.

This article provides is a summary of the main features and enhancements introduced in EA 12.1.

sparx enterprise architect 12 database builder

As part of an EA add'in implementation, I had to import all Enterprise Architect table and column names in enumeration classes.

Having access to a database that stores a Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect project (e.g. MySQL, SQL Server, or even an EAP file via ODBC), there was a number of ways to populate enumeration classes with literal values using a small application in C# or another programming language. As Enterprise Architect 12 includes the Database Builder, an integrated tool to work on DB schemas, I took the opportunity to use it. Compared with the result of a C# application, this feature would let me capture the enumeration classes in my EA modelling project in addition to generating C# enumeration classes in my add'in solution.

This article only covers a small portion of Sparx EA Database Builder features: it illustrates how I managed to import Enterprise Architect table names as literal values in the EADBTableType enumeration class, and their column names as literal values in separate enumeration classes e.g. t_diagramColumnType, t_objectColumnType...


ea user group london 16th may 2014

The full agenda for the next EAUG in Paris is available.

Register now from the EventBrite website (ticket: 75€).

EA User Group France 2015 Agenda


8:30 Inscriptions, café
9:15 Message d'accueil
9:25 Gregory Weinbach
Lean Enterprise Architecture
10:10 Pause café
10:40 Pascal Roques, Dominique Travel
MBSE avec SysML : retours du terrain
11:25 Pause
11:35 Tobias Ivarsson
Aligning international standards TOGAF® ADM and ArchiMate® in Sparx EA:
A Case Study from the Automotive Industry
12:20 Pause déjeuner
13:50 Guillaume Finance
Documentation Agile avec eaDocX Collaboration
14:35 Pause
14:45 Albert Janssens & Michel Gibelli
Mise en pratique de l'Ingénierie Dirigée par les Modèles à l’aide d'EA et des technologies MDG
15:30 Pause café
16:00 Rodrigo Nascimento
Information Modelling to Canonical Messaging made easy
16:45 Guillaume Miard
Nos convictions en terme d'architecture d'entreprise.
Retour d'expérience de la mise en oeuvre d'EA chez plusieurs clients (PMU, Orange)
17:30 Remerciements
17:40 Pause finale
18:05 Fin

EAUG is supported by Sparx Systems   EAUG Paris 2015

ea user group london 16th may 2014

Call for Speakers

EAUG, France (Paris), 17th September 2015

Presentation opportunities are available for you to come and share your EA user story with the rest of the EA community at the first French Enterprise Architect User Group event in Paris, France on September 17th 2015.

We are interested in just about everything you do with Enterprise Architect, from the organisation of your model to enhancements you have made using MDG or the automation API, or even just a project with which you are especially happy. That said, we are not just after the sunshine stories and would be interested in hearing about any experiences learned the hard way. Presentations of an obvious or purely commercial nature will not be accepted.
Some example topics are:

  • Enterprise architecture (TOGAF, Archimate, DoDAF, UPDM)
  • Business Architecture, Capability Mapping, Process Modelling
  • Systems Engineering
  • Business Analysis, Requirements Management
  • Data modelling
  • Code generation, MDA
  • EA add’ins/automation, scripting
  • Document generation
  • Simulation
  • Tool adoption/deployment
  • MDG Technologies/UML profiles
  • Model collaboration and management
  • Test management

Do you have a story to tell? If so, please let us know on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EAUG is supported by Sparx Systems  


Enterprise Architect User Group (EAUG) - France, September 2015

Update (30/06/2015): the Call for Speakers has been released in both English and French. Online registration to purchase your ticket (75€) from EventBrite are closed.

VISEO will host the first EAUG in France on Thursday, September 17th 2015. This Enterprise Architect User Group will be held in Paris at "27 quai Le Gallo - Boulogne-Billancourt" (underground and tram stations are located nearby).

This first edition will introduce talks and presentations in French on a wide array of topics including Enterprise Architecture, modelling IT and software applications, generating and validating documentation from the models, and Systems Engineering (MBSE).

Enterprise Architect add'ins will be shown in a dedicated area, where users and experts will be able to share their opinions and experiences on notations, languages, methodologies around a coffee, tea or other refreshment.

The full agenda is yet to be defined, with a priority on sharing project experiences in using Sparx Enterprise Architect. Hence this User Group is opened to any company, expert, or consultant who would like to share and talk about their experience with the Enterprise Architect user community.

Online registration is available from The entry ticket costs 75€. Please contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you would like to more information.
VISEO operates as Sparx Systems main partner in France and has a member in the EAUG Steering Group (

Cliquez ici pour accéder à la version française | French version of this article is available here.

  ea user group london 16th may 2014EAUG is supported by Sparx Systems

ea user group london 16th may 2014

The next EA User Group will take place in London, UK on the 19th of May at the Park Plaza County Hall Hotel. Access costs £65 and can be booked from the EA User Group web site.

The agenda for the event has been published, as copied below.

Join the EAUG for a full day of stories, advice and inspiration from across the globe.
Share experiences and learn from the Enterprise Architect experts.
Discover the latest features, including Enterprise Architect 12, and new ways of working with Enterprise Architect.

Unfortunately I won't be able to attend this year, but the other EAUG members will be there to meet you.

sparx systems entreprise archictect 12

Sparx Systems released yesterday the first official build (1207) of Enterprise Architect 12.


New features include user interface theming, a Windows Explorer like navigator bar, a complete redesign of the property dialogs, a new range of menus to access various features via the portals window, BPMN improvements (BPMN2 export, compliancy), requirements improvements, diagram shortcuts/quick keys, a database engineering toolset, a wireframing support to work on UI designs for common devices (Apple, Android...), support for XMI merge, built-in Visual Studio (VS 2013 support) and Eclipse links, a package navigator (replacing the package browser), a schema composer to build XSD and other schemas, an XSLT debugger, an XML and XSD editing and validation, and much more...

Note: a preview of the Wireframing UI modelling is available here.

Highlights of EA12 are detailled on Sparx Systems web site:

Tuesday, 10 February 2015 22:36

Enterprise Architect 12 Wireframing preview

sparx systems enterprise architect 12

enterprise architect 12 wireframing example iphone

Enterprise Architect 12 is due to be released this year, with the RC2 currently available to download and test. Amongst its enhancements, I came across the new User Interface Wireframing support.

Wireframing lets you define a visual representation of a screen with its interface elements such as labels, fields, and buttons. Having defined several screens, a navigation model can built e.g. to specify the navigation from the login to the account summary screen via a “submit” user action.

Wireframing is intended to define User Interface diagrams that focus on functionality and obtaining business validation upfront. Wireframing does not address rendering styles, colours, or graphics.

Enterprise Architect 12 Wireframing supports several mobile devices, such as iPhone smartphones, iPad tablets, and Android devices. Web site design is also supported.

Up to version 12, Enterprise Architect UI diagram involves an XP window style which can be useful to provide UI illustrations. It is very good news that Enterprise Architect supports User Interface modelling for mobile and web applications.

This article illustrates the use of wireframing diagrams in an Enterprise Architect modelling project.

sparxsystems enterprise architectEnterprise Architect includes the package baseline feature that lets you create snapshots / backups of your model within the project (data is stored in the project's database). Once the baseline feature is used, it can be cumbersome to find the packages that have baselines. Such information can be required e.g. to delete baselines that are no longer relevant in order to free some space, or to find the most recent backup from a model's parent package.

This article provides a user defined search, FindPackageBaselines, that lets you search through all existing baselines within the project, and display the associated package in the Project Browser.

05/2018 update: a built-in search module is available from EA 13 (common searches > find baselines).

sparx systems entreprise archictect 12

Sparx Systems released yesterday the first release candidate (RC1) of Enterprise Architect 12.

Enterprise Architect 12 is available to download for registered users on Sparx Systems official site.

New features include improved user interface themes, a Windows Explorer like navigator bar, a complete redesign of the property dialogs, a new range of menus to access various features via the portals window, BPMN improvements, requirements improvements, diagram shortcuts/quick keys, a database builder, a wireframing support to work on UI designs for common devices (Apple, Android...), support for XMI merge, built-in Visual Studio (VS 2013 support) and Eclipse links, a package navigator (replacing the package browser), a schema composer to build XSD and other schemas, an XSLT debugger, an XML and XSD editing and validation, and much more...

For more information, please visit Sparx Systems' Enterprise Architect 12 page.

Wednesday, 05 November 2014 00:00

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect 12 beta 1

sparx enterprise architect 12 beta

Sparx Systems has announced the first beta release of Enterprise Architect 12.

Enterprise Architect 12 beta 1 is available to download for registered users via the dedicated section from Sparx Systems official site.

New features include improved UI themes, a database builder window, a datamodel pattern, wireframing support for a range of common devices and implementation scenarios using custom drawn graphics (Web, Apple, Android...), XSD schema composer, XSLT debugger, XML and XSD editing and validation, a document handler, tighter integration with Visual Studio and Eclipse,and more.

For more information, please visit Sparx Systems' Enterprise Architect 12 beta page.

Defining a business process with BPMN2 involves using several elements from this modelling notation including activities, gateways, events, pools, lanes, and data objects. There is sometimes a need to change the type of an element, e.g. a user activity to a service activity, a parallel gateway to an exclusive gateway, a message start event to a timer...

Having to start over with a new element of the right type is not ideal especially when the existing element is associated with others, documented, and completed with BPMN2 properties (e.g. set as Catch or Throw). This article provides a Sparx Enterprise Architect hint to update and convert a BPMN element in just a few clicks using the toolbox.


sparx enterprise architect hint apply element type


sparxsystems enterprise architect

During a team review of our Enterprise Architect project, we needed to find the controlled package matching an XML file located in the SVN repository (the EA project was set up on a SQL Server database, coupled with an SVN repository).

This article illustrates a user defined search created in Enterprise Architect, named FindControlledPackageFromFile, aimed at fulfilling the following needs:

  • Determine if an XML File identified in the SVN repository is still associated with a controlled package,
  • or find the controlled package that's associated with an XML file.

Sparx Enterprise Architect search sql results

ea user group

Last May I went the the European EA User Group in the UK (Maidenhead) where the Enterprise Architect community gathered. Prior to run my presentation on the alternatives to set up a shared EA project, I attended several presentations, including the following ones that are covered in this article:

  1. Pragmatic agile model driven development using smart use cases by Sander Hoogendoorn (Capgemini, NL)
  2. EA Version 11 Cloud Services, OSLC and RAS by Phil Chudley (Dunstan Thomas, UK)


ea user group munich germany october 2014

The sixth European Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Conference, EAUG, which will take place in Munich (Germany) on the 7th of October.
The organizing committee are working very hard to make this event in Munich as good as the previous five conferences in London, Nuremberg and Utrecht.

The call for speakers for the next EAUG in Munich, Germany is available here (PDF file).

"If you are a user of Sparx Systems’ Enterprise Architect and related products, we invite you to share your user stories with the community. We are hosting a unique opportunity for you to share your experiences with other users of Enterprise Architect.
We are interested in just about everything you do with Enterprise Architect, from the organization of your model to enhancements you have made using MDG or the automation API, or even just a project with which you are especially happy. That said, we are not just after the sunshine stories and would be interested in hearing about any experiences learned the hard way. Do you have a story to tell? If so, please let us know.
Additionally we are looking for people who can lead a discussion / workshop on an Enterprise Architect related subject. Is this you? If so, please let us know.

To apply as a speaker, please see the call for speakers page or email Verena Hladik at verena.hladik[at]"

When manipulating elements from your project browser, there is sometimes a need to move an element from a package to another. To achieve this, users can select the element via a left click, holding down the button while dragging the element to the target package. Once the mouse button is released, the element is moved to the selected package. It is the same process as moving files using the Windows Explorer.

However when the project contains numerous packages, diagrams and elements, this process can be cumbersome. Hence the easier option is to cut and paste the element from within Enterprise Architect Project Browser : run a right click on the element to move and select Copy/paste > Cut or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-X. Then select the target package and run a right click > Copy/paste > paste, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C.

This hint may sound obvious however users are often unaware of the availability of the cut/paste and copy/paste features in the Project Browser.

Early this month, I published a script to sort elements from a selected package by the alias name. This article provides another project browser script that finds and selects the classifier for an instance or a class attribute, or the property type for a SysML port or part.

sparx-enterprise-architect-project_browser_script_sortbyalias_running result

Thursday, 24 April 2014 11:33

Enterprise Architect 11 released


Sparx Systems released yesterday the new version 11 of Enterprise Architect (Build 1105). The version is available to download from the "registered users" section of Sparx Systems web site.

This article provides a summary of the main enhancements.

Full details of the next London Enterprise Architect User Group EAUG event on May 16th have now been published.
The John Lewis Partnership is providing the venue for a full day of presentations, workshops and a "speed dating" session for Enterprise Architect Extension providers at their stunning purpose built conference location alongside the River Thames.


I will co-animate a presentation on the available alternatives to set up a shared EA repository to work in a collaborative environment.

Based on the great value that this event delivered last year (see the London EAUG 2013 feedback article), tickets have been selling already - even before the line up was published!
Just £50 guarantees your place. To book now, please visit

Full programme details are available here:


  • This script has been updated on the 1/09/2014 to resolve the case where elements in the package have an empty alias.
  • Features from this script have been enhanced and are now maintained in eaUtils Sparx add-in; please click here for more information.

I recently imported a number of requirements in my Enterprise Architect project with the following details: title, reference (stored in the requirement's alias), and description. By default Sparx Enterprise Architect sorts requirements within a given package by the element's name in the alphabetical order. When a package contains various types of elements (e.g. classes, interfaces, use cases, etc.), each group of elements from the same type is sorted separately.  

Going back to my requirements, I needed to sort them by the alias value e.g. REQ-TEST-001, REQ-TEST-002, REQ-TEST-003, etc. On the following screenshot, I illustrated on the left hand side the default sorting order in Enterprise Architect project browser, and on the right hand side the list of requirements in the desired alias order. 

sparx enterprise architect project browser sort by script

This article explains how to create and use an Enterprise Architect Project Browser script aimed at sorting elements from a selected package by the alias name. An additional script is provided at the end of the article to sort elements by a dedicated Tagged Value called "SortingOrder".

Thursday, 20 March 2014 08:22

Enterprise Architect 11 RC1 available


Sparx Systems has made available its first release candidate of the upcoming Enterprise Architect version 11.

The list of enhancements and additional supported standards supported in Enterprise Architect 11 is available from

enterprise architect hint on project transfer error EAP to DBMS

I recently had to transfer an Enterprise Architect project from a local EAP file to a MySQL database for sharing purposes. To do so, I opened the menu Tools > Data Management > Project Transfer, and selected the option "EAP to DBMS".

I came across a Lost Connection error: 

[MySQL][ODBC 5.2(w) Driver][mysqld-5.6.-16]Lost connection to MySQL server during query [Select * from t_document] field: docdate.
Press OK to continue to next row (this record will be lost). Cancel to abort.

As I thoroughly documented the BPMN activities within business processes using Enterprise Architect Linked Documents (build-in Word processor), I assumed that all these linked documents involved a rather large amount of data, leading to such error.

Update 2/11/2015: this hint also works with the following error message.

[MySQL][ODBC 5.1 Driver][mysqld-5.6.27-log]Got a packet bigger than 'max_allowed_packet' bytes. Context: select * from t_image

This article explains how to fix it.


 Sparx webinar Feb 2014 How to Design a Geodatabase with Enterprise Architect

Sparx Systems next webinar on "how to Design a Geodatabase with Enterprise Architect" will take place on the 25th of February at 10pm (UK time), and on the following day at 9am (UK time). This webinar will demontrate the integration of Enterprise Architect with Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc.) ArcGIS 10.0 suite of tools via its free UML Profile.

Sparx Systems introduces the initial context, prompting the need of designing geodatabases with a modelling tool such as Enterprise Architect:

The proliferation of location based services in banking, finance, energy, health, entertainment and many other industries, makes geographic data more valuable than ever! To store and manage geographic data, many organizations rely on Esri's ArcGIS geodatabase. How can you now leverage state-of-the-art modeling tools to design and document these geodatabases, and facilitate their integration with other enterprise systems?

Ben Constable, Senior Analyst at Sparx Systems, will cover the following topics:

  • Design an ArcGIS geodatabase from scratch
  • Validate, document, search and trace your design model
  • Auto-generate and reverse engineer geodatabase schemas

Note: Esri's ArcGIS is a geographic information system (GIS) for working with maps and geographic information. It is used for creating and using maps, compiling geographic data, analyzing mapped information, sharing and discovering geographic information, using maps and geographic information in a range of applications, and managing geographic information in a database.

Registrations are currently open from the following link:

Wednesday, 05 February 2014 08:09

Enterprise Architect 11 beta

sparx enterprise architect 11 beta

Sparx Systems has announced the beta release of Enterprise Architect 11, which maintains the current pace of a new major release each year.

Enterprise Architect 11 beta is available as a 30 day trial to all, or as a full beta version to all registered users via the dedicated section from Sparx Systems official site.

Sparx has announced the release of several new enhancements and additional supported standards in EA v11 on its dedicated page:

A colleague recently enquired about a simple way to run a batch import of several XMI files into an Enterprise Architect project. The client's project required importing a rather large number of XMI files, created from various Enterprise Architect projects via the standard XMI export (note : each file store an extraction in the XMI format from a selected part of the modelling project). Having to import each XMI file is too cumbersome, and Enterprise Architect's existing "Batch XMI Import" is limited to controlled packages i.e. involving a VC repository like SVN set up with the current project.

This article explains how to create in your Enterprise Architect project a VBScript that can import a batch of XMI files, located on a local or networked drive, within a selected package from the browser.

Important : this script is intended to easily run a one-off import of a large number of XMI files into a single target package of an EA project. 


A new webinar from Sparx Systems is scheduled on the 17th and 18th of December to accomodate time zones. This webinar will introduce the topic of software engineering using Enterprise Architect, including:

  • Configure Enterprise Architect to write, debug and compile software
  • Generate source code from a package in Enterprise Architect
  • Synchronize changes between the model and code

Registrations are available at :

sparx webinar Setting up a Team Modeling Environment

I attended on the 7th of November a webinar from Sparx Systems about setting up a team modelling environment with Enterprise Architect using a centralised DBMS. This webinar was presented by Scott Hebbard, Communications Manager at Sparx Systems. It involved a step by step demonstration to cover the following topics:

  • create a DB schema for the shared Enterprise Architect project with the chosen DBMS product (e.g. MySQL);
  • create and configure the ODBC settings to access the database;
  • initialise the project with Sparx base or an existing project;
  • enable security and define groups, users, and permissions;
  • use Enterprise Architect "Model mail" to enable communication throughout the team;
  • define project tasks, resources, and manage them via a Gantt diagram;
  • manage project literature using the Enterprise Architect Team Review.

This article provides highlights from this presentation and the Q&A session between Sparx and the audience.

When working onto a diagram in Sparx Enterprise Architect, a contextual toolbox is displayed and available to use. A contextual toolbox means that the displayed toolbox matches the type of the opened diagram. For instance if a UML class diagram is created or opened, the Class toolbox is displayed, providing access to classes, packages, interfaces, etc.
Enterprise Architect makes it possible to change this toolbox via the Toolbox's "More tools" menu :

sparx ea more tools

Note : once this class diagram is closed, the toolbox selection is lost, i.e. the contextual toolbox (class) will be displayed next time this diagram is opened.

In some cases, it can be useful to display additional toolboxes for any type of diagram. Enterprise Architect makes it possible via the option More tools > Set Toolbox Visibility, where it lets you enable additional toolboxes:

sparx enterprise architect visible toolbox pagesIn the example below :

  • A use case diagram has been opened, hence the use case toolbox is displayed.
  • The requirements toolbox has been enabled via the Set Toolbox Visibility command (see previous screenshot), so it is displayed below the use case toolbox:

sparxsystems enterprise architect toolbox default


Sparx Enterprise Architect is a great tool to produce and organise your models using UML, SysML, BPMN or other modelling languages or notations.

In some cases, the default rendering of elements on certain types of diagrams lack of attractiveness, prompting the need for a suitable colour scheme and font.

This article deals with two topics :

  • Highlights the strength of Enterprise Architect as a modelling project versus that of a drawing tools;
  • Applying visual styles onto elements to improve the look and feel of your diagrams.


sparx enterprise architect diagram visual styles

As an Enterprise Architect user, you may have had the need to apply several times more or less the same set of elements on a given diagram, leading to numerous uses of copy and paste as new.

The "copy and paste" feature on a selection of elements, including their associations and layout works ok, but there could be a more suitable way to go about this. Given a context where we have our set of elements i.e. a pattern of modelling elements available from one or several diagrams within our model, we need to apply them several times onto a new diagram. Once the new diagram is created, the elements that need to be duplicated aren't available from this blank diagram. Hence the diagram that contains those elements has got to be opened first, followed by a selection on the elements of interest, copied to the clipboard (Ctrl+C). Then the newly created diagram needs to be displayed again so the paste as new command can be executed (Ctrl+Maj+V). We also need to ensure that any specific element or information, e.g. an activity description or a child composite diagram and its sub-elements, mustn't be re-used, hence they need to be deleted.

Enterprise Architect makes it possible to re-use a set of elements, their associations, any notes, and their layout on the diagram by creating UML patterns. Similarly to the use of design patterns (GoF), the aim is to define a set of elements that can be applied for modelling purposes.

This article describes the use of UML Patterns in EA.

enterprise architect user group EAUG germany 2013

The next Enterprise Architect User Group will take place in Nürnberg, Germany on the 8th October 2013. As a local EAUG event, most sessions will be given in german, however there will be a talk in english for each slot. Here is the current agenda for the english speaking sessions :

  • Togaf with EA
  • How to use EA for all project aspects
  • How we overcame the technical and organisational hurdles involved in deploying EA in a large, complex legacy environment
  • EA for project managers
  • Making MDGs work for you

The complete and up to date agenda is available from Lieber Lieber web site. You can order your ticket from their web site at a cost of 115.43€ inc VAT.

The EAUG will finish with a "chill out session" at the bar with the speakers, which will be useful to have time to spend with the EA community and speakers.

Further information is available from

When creating classes in EA without the need to define any attribute or operation, the class is rendered without any compartment. This rendering can be an issue for some users, and as such EA lets you change that through the element's display properties in a given diagram.

To do so, right click on the class from your diagram, select "Feature and Compartment Visibility", and enable "structure compartment". You should get the result illustrated as follows:

use of structured compartment in ea

This is a limited solution since it only works on the current diagram, and EA doesn't let you apply this option onto a selection of classes.

The "Properties" view can be used to review or update a number of properties for an element, such as a class, interface, use case, actor... that has been selected from the current diagram or the Project Browser. These properties include the name, alias, stereotype, etc.

This view also gives you access to a number of shortcuts from the toolbar, illustrated in this article.

Sparx Enterprise Architect Properties shortcuts view

Tuesday, 04 June 2013 21:41

EA User Group London 2013 feedback

ea user group

I went to the first EAUG (Enterprise Architect User Group) on the 15th of May, where around 100 people from the EA community of users and experts gathered in London.

I summarised in this article a selection of talks I attended:

  1. "Modeling Software Intensive Systems" by Doug Rosenberg from ICONIX, hinting the concept of SwissML (SysML + UML) to reach the same amount of specifications for both software and hardware blocks of an embedded system. Doug discussed about the incompatibility of agile software development processes in a context where the delivered software is not the final product, but part of a system that encompasses software and hardware blocks, alongside safety and security risks associated with any possible bug.
  2. "SysML with EA" by Roman Bretz from Lieber Lieber GmbH who shared his experiences on clients projects where SysML modelling language and EA were used.
  3. "User Story : EA usage at EVRY" by Knut Paulsen from EVRY who explained how EA was used in his company, involving specific developments of EA Add'Ins such as a document generator and an Excel import/export tool, both tailored to comply with the adopted methodology.
  4. "User Story: How to do less work, have more fun and become (a bit) famous doing it" by Ian Mitchell from Ability Engineering, who shared his experience as a BA on large project at the European scale, leading to a number of advices and point of views to take into account!

Sparx Systems ran a webinar last week to demonstrate Enterprise Architect traceability features i.e. to find how our model elements and diagrams are interconnected with each other. This is paramount in modelling where we don't only intend to define a visual representation of a more or less complex concept, but we also need to build a centralised project information repository.

The "usual features" like the Relationships Matrix or the Traceability view were included in the webimnar, as well as examples of the types of links between elements such as realisation links from use cases to requirements.

I discovered the Context Filtering feature that's available on the currently displayed diagram : to enable it, simply right click on a blank part of the diagram, and enable "Context Filtering", or click on the icon on the diagram toolbar.

 sparx enterprise architect context filtering

Click on Read More to see an example illustrating this feature.

Thursday, 16 May 2013 09:12

EAUG London 2013 : a success

Coming back from my first EA user group, I've been very pleased with the experience. I'm already looking forward to next year's session!

On arrival, I collected my badge and marked down the sessions I was going to attend. Only "down side" was the spelling mistake on my badge, but after all "Guillaume" is tricky to write and even worse to pronounce when you're not French, never mind ;)

First of all, this was an opportunity to meet in person members of the EA community, which is a change from the on-line forums, community site, and other LinkedIN groups dedicated to EA. I also very much enjoyed as a UML/SysML/EA enthusiast participating to talks and debates that purely deal with Enterprise Architect tool and other modelling aspects. This is a change from previous IT events where yet interesting technical talks hardly impacted my daily tasks and concerns.

I heard some very interesting discussion over the impact of Agile techniques on software embedded in intensive systems via Doug Rosenberg's talk. Feedback from the other speakers on EA, SysML, and UML based on their past project experiences prompted some very useful ideas as well ("harvest the existing information into EA" as suggested by Ian Mitchell). I was also impressed with the extensive use of EA API by some companies.

I will shortly release articles to provide more detailed feedback from London 2013 EAUG.

EAUG badge



Friday, 19 April 2013 11:13

New and Improved Sparx EA Community Site

sparx community website

Sparx released this week a new and improved version of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Community Site.

Sparx has announced the following : "In addition to making it easier to contribute, search and share material, we have added new functionality for connecting to social media, rating articles and subscribing to content via RSS.
We would like to thank all those that contacted us with feedback, as much of the redesign in response to your valuable comments and requests. We also welcome ongoing feedback as we continue to improve the user experience."

Visit Sparx EA community website on

ea user group

The Enterprise Architect User Group will be hosting its second User Group Event on the 15th of May 2013.

The event is being held in Central London for a registration fee of £50.00 per person + Vat. The agenda for the day provides a number of sessions split accross the following event tracks:

  • Track 1 - Setting up projects for success with EA
  • Track 2 - Project Delivery with EA
  • Track 3 - Implementation & lessons learnt

This will be the first time that I'm going to an EAUG (Sparx version of the Java UG!), and I've already made my choice for the sessions to follow (SysML, BPMN2, user story, collaborative use...). I'm also keen on meeting other EA users, especially as I've had many exchanges via the Sparx forum with some of them for the last couple of years.

More information is available from


This page provides a selection of hints and tips for your daily use of Sparx Enterprise Architect. Various articles are also available via the EA hint tag.

Please do not hesitate to contact me via email (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you're looking for additional hints, or if you have any that you would like to share so I can add them onto this page.

Available hints:

  1. keyboard shortcuts
  2. display a default diagram upon opening an EA project
  3. display a diagram or an element's comments/notes in a note on the diagram
  4. use the "drag and drop" to create a realization link between a use case and a requirement
  5. organise a class' attributes and operations using stereotypes
  6. reset a text label to its default position
  7. filter the search on a package instead of the whole project
  8. use ctrl-c and ctrl-v shortcuts in the project browser to copy/paste packages
  9. create multiple connectors between elements using the Relationship Matrix
  10. reverse a connector's direction
  11. copy a diagram in the Clipboard without the frame

In order to factor a common behaviour between a given set of activities, there is sometimes a need to link a single activity diagram with several composite activities in Enterprise Architect. As a result a double click on any of those composite activities will open the same shared diagram. The benefit is to update a single activity diagram and its elements instead of updating the details of each composite activity diagram.

Prior to the current Sparx Enterprise Architect version (10), this could be achieved through a fastidious process.

Since version 10, EA lets you choose an existing and potentially shared/common diagram for a composite activity :

  • either via a right click on the activity from the Project Browser > Add > Select Composite Diagram,
  • or via a right click on the current diagram > New Diagram > Select Composite Diagram.

-> the pop-up window lets you choose an existing diagram from your EA project to set against the selected composite activity, as illustrated on the following screenshot.

partager un diagramme composite sparx enterprise architect

Thursday, 13 December 2012 19:30

Enterprise Architect 10 available now!

Sparx Systems has officially released the new version 10 of Enterprise Architect, UML, BPMN, SysML modelling tool.

EA v10 includes:

  • user interface improvements,
  • a new diagram search box,
  • a major improvement carried on the « Add Related Elements » feature,
  • "textual overlays" support added to the relationship matrix e.g. to manage CRUD access properties;
  • SysML 1.3 support and a SysML 1.2 to 1.3 converting tool,
  • UML profiles creation wizards,
  • Geography Markup Language and ArcGIS standards are now supported;
  • model simulation improvements,
  • supports debugging Android mobile apps.

Some of these features have been tested in the EA v10 beta preview article.

Thursday, 22 November 2012 21:04

Enterprise Architect V10 beta Preview

sparx enterprise architect v10Sparx Systems will shortly release Enterprise Architect version 10. An overview of the main features is available from the following link:

This article is intended to provide a preview of the improvements and new features that are expected in Enterprise Architect v10 following a test carried on its beta 2. The features highlighted in this article are:

  1. Improvements carried on the "Insert Related Elements”.
  2. “Diagram Search Box” new feature.
  3. “Textual Overlays" new Relationship Matrix feature.
  4. Accessing views from EA menu to add them in the workspace has been modified.
  5. QuickLinker improvement when creating aggregation links.

comparaison modeles EA via baseline

Using Enterprise Architect in a Team Environment often involves a version control repository like SVN (Subversion).

This article describes a way to compare the current version of a package in your model, which is controlled under an XMI file in SVN, with an older version of this package. This is achieved through the use of the EA Baseline feature.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012 22:19

Discover and use EA Diagram Filters (tutorial)

enterprise architect diagram filters tutorial

This article is intended to illustrate the advantages of using the Diagram Filters, functionality added in EA version 9. Two case studies based on my current experience illustrate the purpose of Diagram Filters:

1- to filter dependency connectors between provided and required interfaces on a UML Component diagram,

2- to show the differences between the specifications and two implementations through the use of UML State Chart diagram.

Saturday, 01 September 2012 23:14

Enterprise Architect v9.3 officially released

enterprise architect 9.3 de sparxsystems

Sparx Systems has officially released the new version 9.3 of Enterprise Architect with the following improvements:

  • Visualize multiple diagrams at one time (floating and dockable views)
  • Custom menu layouts
  • State machine table simulation
  • BPMN 2.0 support

commit monitor SVN EA

This article is intended to illustrate the advantages of Commit Monitor, an SVN monitoring tool, when used to control Enterprise Architect modelling projects shared using SVN repositories.