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Friday, 29 December 2023 10:07

Prolaborate 5.2 overview

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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.

[French version]

Multi-Factor Authentication

Prolaborate Identity and Access Management (IAM) now supports most MFA authentication applications such as Microsoft or Google. In addition to the current user authentication (Active Directory, SSO, internal), this is an additional step to strengthen access control through third party solutions.

Once authenticated, the MFA configuration process can be launched:

Prolaborate MFA OTP authenticator

I scanned the QR code using my chosen application, Microsoft Authenticator:

prolaborate mfa otp code

A new account has been created which let me provide the code from Ms Authenticator to complete the configuration:

Prolaborate Multi-Factor Authentication setup

From then, the authentication process involves an additional step with the multi-factor authentication.

prolaborate mfa authentication

Note: the administrator can enforce this feature for all users through Prolaborate General Settings, or for specific accounts with the User Management.

Version Explorer

Versions Explorer is a new Prolaborate feature that allows users access multiple versions of a model. It requires setting up an EA database for each state of the model repository and configure it in the Pro Cloud Server.

Setting up a test was simple:

  • A new EA repository with an initial state of a class diagram was created within a QEAx file with EA 16 (QEA/QEAx files are SQLite databases introduced with Enterprise Architect 16).
  • The QEAx file was duplicated as changes were carried in the model for each version, state of the model.
  • Once the current model and previous states were available in separate QEAx files, these needed to be configured in the Pro Cloud Server (PCS).
    • Using QEAx files (SQLite) was the easiest way to run a test as it didn't require creating databases within a DBMS such as SQL Server. QEAx files must be copied to a dedicated folder (\Sparx Systems\Pro Cloud Server\Service\Models) so they can be configured in the PCS client application. 
    • The alternative approach involves creating a database for each state and transfer the full model repository details e.g. using XEA import/export in EA.
  • Below is the PCS configuration:

prolaborate version explorer sparx pro cloud server configuration

  • Version Explorer must be enabled in the Prolaborate repository to configure each state of the model.

prolaborate_version explorer configure versions

  • Once configured, a menu is available for a diagram or an element to navigate between each state.
  • Current diagram state:

prolaborate version explorer diagram current state

  • Transition diagram state 1:

prolaborate version explorer diagram transition state

  • Transition diagram state 2:

prolaborate version explorer diagram transition state

  • Transition element state:

prolaborate version explorer element transition state

Note: as illustrated above, this feature provides a convenient way to browse between different states of a diagram or an element. Prolaborate Version Explorer is not intended to run "diff" comparisons.

Custom elements icons and default Analyzer colors

Elements in Prolaborate use the same icons as in Enterprise Architect.

Example with classes and enumerations in Prolaborate Browser:

Prolaborate Browser

These icons can be changed in Prolaborate Modelling Languages menu, as an additional customization to replace EA specifics. Available for built-in languages (e.g. UML, SysML, BPMN or ArchiMate) or a custom MDG technology, a new "Custom Icon and Color Configuration" action is available.

prolaborate custom icons configuration modeling language

prolaborate custom icons configuration modeling language

In the example below, a new icon has been uploaded for UML classes, and a default color set for the Analyzer view (discussed in this section):

prolaborate custom icons configuration modeling language

Once saved, the new icon is visible for the UML classes as illustrated below in the Browser:

prolaborate custom icons browser

Opening Prolaborate Analyzer visualization graph from a diagram, the custom default color (orange) is applied:

prolaborate custom colour analyzer

The colour and size can be changed for this graph:

prolaborate custom colour analyzer settings

Dynamic charts global field

Introduced in Prolaborate 5.1, dynamic charts is a useful feature to reduce the number of required graphs as their content can be updated dynamically by changing the tagged value e.g. show applications by Domain, Vendor, etc. In Prolaborate 5.2, a new field is available on the dashboard to update all graphs in one go, provided they are all related to the same element type or stereotype.

In the example below, 2 graphs show the applications by lifecycle state (percentage vs number of applications).

prolaborate dynamic graph dashboard lifecycle state

Graphs can be updated individually via the drop-down field in the top right corner, or globally by selecting a new value in the field at the top of the dashboard (next to Edit). Selecting the value Vendor automatically updates the graphs.

prolaborate dynamic graph dashboard vendor

Note: more information is available from the previous article about Prolaborate 5.1.