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Tuesday, 10 November 2015 00:00

eaDocX 3.7 available

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eadocx 3.5
eaDocX 3.7 has just been released with a number of new features, usually in response to user requests according to eaDocX.

Sparx EA RTF Model and Master documents support

Before switching to eaDocX, users may have already produced documents using the built-in Sparx Systems EA RTF generator, having defined master documents or model documents.

eaDocX 3.7 can now use those master and model document definitions to create eaDocX documents. This enhancement lets users work with existing EA RTF documents and super-charge them with eaDocX by applying all the benefits of Word formatting.

To achieve this, users simply need to open eaDocX inside EA, and then add an EA master or EA model document definition as a Document section.

As with any other EA content, eaDocX will automatically give the option to format the contents of the model document or master document exactly as required. eaDocX looks at the elements, packages, matrices and diagrams that have been included, and presents a full set of Word formatting options. For more information, see the eaDocX Help here.

Alongside the model or master document content, eaDocX makes it possible to add other sections of different types, including:

  • Excel spreadsheet ranges and charts generated from the EA project data
  • Element reports
  • Cross-reference reports
  • Diagrams with their contents (or just the contents of a diagram)
  • Contents based on a Model View
  • and more...

... all updated with a single click and delivering real insight into the model.

Use the EA RTF documents that have already been created, and take them to the next level with eaDocX.

Quick documents from EA RTF Model Documents

To create a new document from a Sparx EA RTF model document, simply right-click and select eaDocX | Quick Document. eaDocX will create a Profile based on the contents of the model.

Internal documents

When eaDocX documents are generated, they are just Word documents with an embedded eaDocX Profile, saved on a disk somewhere.

But when an Enterprise Architect project involves many documents and lots of authors, knowing where all the documents are saved can be a problem. So some people started to save the documents in SharePoint, and that made things even worse, especially when someone 'tidies-up' sharepoint, deleting all the document's references.

So, eaDocX has the option to save Word documents inside the EA project, provided version 12 Build 1215 or greater is installed. This feature uses a new Sparx API which squishes the document and puts it into a table. As a result this will make the model larger (in MB) but performance with EA doesn't seem to be affected as it adds a single row to one table for each document. This feature helps in preventing lost documents.

HTML Generator Model View documents

As mentioned in the release of eaDocX 3.5, eaDocX also generates HTML. This generator is the basis of eaDocX Collaboration Edition which has been made available as a stand-alone feature. A 'save as HTML' option is available from the file menu. Compared with Sparx EA HTML Export, the number of generated files is greatly reduced:

  • one HTML file for the document,
  • one for a CSS, derived from the settings in the word document
  • and files for each of the diagrams.

That's it! Avoid generating thousands of files as with Sparx EA HTML generator.

Diagram Sizing

Generating diagrams in a document can sometimes be annoying e.g. when the diagram is too large, eaDocX prints the diagram on one page and its figure number in the following one. When the diagram is printed with the Landscape mode, this means the figure number is printed on a blank page. eaDocX 3.7 provides two additional Document Settings | Diagram Settings:

  • Maximum Diagram Height (Landscape)
  • Maximum Diagram Height (Portrait)

Experiment with these values so that the diagram and its figure number will fit neatly into the page. Default values cannot be set for this as the header, footer, fonts and page size make this too hard to calculate reliably.

Diagram Filters

Filters have initially been added on diagrams for a customer who had a lot of diagrams in a document, and wanted to print them ALL as 'Diagram+contents'.

Diagram filters act like a Profile for diagrams, where users can define a filter for example to "print all diagrams of stereotype Viewpoint as diagram+contents" or perhaps "do not print any diagram of stereotype private". This can save a lot of time in setting-up complicated documents.

Diagram Filters can be set via eaDocX Document Settings. In the following screenshot, Use Case diagrams with the stereotype "Doc" have the following filter set: print the diagram and all contents.

eaDocX Diagram Filters

More information on Diagram Filters is available from eaDocX help.

Matrix Report cell notes

The eaDocX Matrix Report lets you populate the cells of the matrix with either some symbols, the connectors name or the connector stereotype. Conditional Formatting can also be defined.

eaDocX 3.7 lets you add the connector Notes field to the cell. This seems like an unusual thing, which is why we didn't do it before, but someone is using the connector.notes to hold detailed information about the connector, which looks great when displayed in the cells of a matrix. Just select 'notes' from the options in Options | What to print in each cell.