Sparx Systems will shortly release Enterprise Architect version 10. An overview of the main features is available from the following link: http://www.sparxsystems.com/products/ea/10/index.html.
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 (note: as a beta version, the features shown in this article may be modified when the final version is released). The features highlighted in this article are:
- Improvements carried on the "Insert Related Elements” feature, aimed at adding to the diagram, the elements that are associated with the selected element.
- “Diagram Search Box” new feature.
- “Textual Overlays" new Relationship Matrix feature e.g. to apply CRUD properties on existing associations between elements.
- Accessing views from EA menu to add them in the workspace has been modified; the “View” menu no longer lists all possible EA views, but instead they’ve been re-allocated throughout the following menus: Element, Diagram, Project… whilst leaving some of them in the View menu.
- An improvement has been carried in the QuickLinker when creating aggregation links.
« Insert related elements » feature improvement
Sparx Systems has significantly improved the "Insert Related Elements" feature as illustrated in the screenshots below.
Insert Related Element feature comparison between versions 9.3 and 10 beta
In version 10, EA dynamically displays the element types and the connector types derived from all the elements related with the selected element. EA also displays the list of all elements found based on the criteria selection (element and connector types). Criteria from the previous EA version are also available: link direction, relationships levels, namespace, etc.
Thanks to this significant improvement, EA lets you refresh the list of related elements after a new selection of connector types and/or element types, before selecting if required the elements that you’d like to add to the active diagram.
Compared with the current version, "Insert Related Elements" has become much more efficient to use:
- EA lets you select one or several element types instead of a single one.
- EA lets you select one or several connector types instead of a single one.
- The element and connector types that are not covered by the related elements are no longer displayed, shortening the time to select the right criteria.
- A preview of the related elements based on the current criteria is displayed. Then EA lets you choose individually the elements to be added on the diagram.
Diagram Search Box
EA Diagram filters, previously covered in my tutorial Discover and use EA Diagram Filters, have been used to provide a diagram search facility. This new feature lets you search throughout the elements from the opened diagram e.g. when it contains dozens of classes, components, etc. Once a search term is entered, all the elements which name doesn’t match are automatically greyed out.
In the following example, all elements from the diagram including notes are greyed out except those which title contains the search term "use case":
Textual Overlays on the Relationship Matrix
“Textual overlays” is a new feature available in the Relationship matrix that lets you apply properties defined in the overlay on existing associations between elements.
For instance a “CRUD overlay” can be created to represent Create, Read, Update, and Delete access on associations, for instance to define the following:
- Create operation access on Class3 for the association between Class1 and Class3
- Update operation access on Class3 for the association between Class5 and Class3
To achieve this, EA uses “tagged values” to apply overlay properties on associations between elements. The following screenshots illustrate the creation of the CRUD overlay, a relationship matrix with associations for which this overlay has been applied, and an association’s properties with the overlay Tagged Value.
Access to the views to show/hide from EA workspace
In the current version, the list of views to display or hide from EA workspace such as Notes, Element Properties, or the Project Browser, can be accessed from the View menu. Those views have been re-organized in version 10 throughout the following menus: View, Element, Project, and Diagram. For instance the Diagram menu provides access to all views that are related with diagrams: diagram toolbox, diagram filters, pan and zoom.
This new distribution should make it easier to find these views.
Creating aggregations with the QuickLinker
The last improvement covered in this article is about the list displayed when the QuickLinker is used to create a new element associated with an aggregation or a composition.
With the new version, EA clarifies the aggregation direction i.e. either from an existing Part to the Whole (the new element), or from the existing Whole to a new Part.
This preview about the next version of Enterprise Architect reveals a number of improvements on the tool usability, making it even more efficient using Sparx Systems UML, BPMN and SysML modelling tool.
Additional features and improvements that haven’t been covered in this preview are also expected: SysML 1.3 support, UML Profiles helper, Android application debug and visualization, etc.