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Tuesday, 08 September 2015 00:00

Using the Database Builder to import EA DB Schema as enumerations classes

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sparx enterprise architect 12 database builder

Note : the french version is available here / la version française est disponible ici.

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...

Import all tables in Enterprise Architect

  • Open the menu Tools > Database Builder
  • Right click and select New Data Model:


  • Select the DBMS used, e.g. MySQL and confirm Ok
  • Right click on MySQL > Load
  • Right click on Connections > Add new DB connection
  • Open the new DB connection and select ODBC based datatype
  • Select an existing ODBC DSN (or create one) to the DB that stores the Enterprise Architect project where the schema needs to be imported
  • Right click on MySQL > Import DB Schema from ODBC
  • Click on Import and select all tables:

  • All tables, columns, primary keys, foreign keys, indexes, etc. have been imported.
  • Go back to the Database builder and open the Tables tabs: all tables are displayed. Selecting one of the tables provides access to all columns' details.

Generate the enumeration classes

The Database Builder let me achieved what I needed. Having all tables and columns stored in a single package, I wrote a simple script to perform the following:

  • create an enumeration class named EADBTableType
  • for each table:
    • create a literal value with the table name in EADBTableType e.g. t_attribute
    • create an enumeration class named after the table based on the following format: <table name>ColumnType e.g. t_attributeColumnType
    • for each column in the table:
      • create a literal value with the column name in the current table's enumeration class (e.g. Classifier in t_attributeColumnType)

Having executed this script, the following enumeration classes have been generated:

Transform enumeration classes to dotNet C# classes

The MDA model transformation can be used to generate C# enumeration classes for the above enums:

  • Right click on the package that contains all enums > Advanced > Transform Package
  • Select C# as the target, select a package, and click on Do Transform

  •  Having all C# enumeration classes created, and making sure the namespace is correct (e.g. create packages myaddin.common.enums), the code can be generated: right click on package > Code Engineering > Generate Source Code

  • The generated code can be used in Visual Studio IDE as illustrated below: