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EA User Group London 2017

This article provides some 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.

As shown on the agenda below, the day started with a keynote followed by 5 sessions, each time with a choice between 3 topics.

EA User Group London 2017 presentations agenda

Below is a feedback on some of the presentations I followed on that day.

Keynote: Innovation Needs Models

The keynote this year was run by Peter Lieber, from Sparx Systems Central Europe (Austria).
Peter shared his experience and recommendations when introducing a modelling approach within a project or company:

  • To start with, a modelling language (e.g. UML, SysML...) and a tool (EA) must be chosen. A method is paramount to structure the modelling approach and processes. The final item to consider is the existing and progressing experience.
    • It is important to highlight that a tool and language like EA + SysML are not sufficient as the methodology is mandatory to enable a modelling approach. Having no standards for the methodology, it needs to be defined according to the context.
    • The need for a modelling tool such as EA is required to achieve productivity.
  • Some useful feedback on failed and successful modelling scenarios were illustrated:
    • A successful modelling experience requires an iterative approach where reachable targets can be completed as the teams make progress.
    • An example of a failed case was given where a complex target was defined and once completed, a lack of acceptance and internal support led to a progressing drop in the related actions.
    • Another example involves the wrong idea that using everything e.g. all diagrams types from UML is the target. Resources and the team's involvement are often completely gone before getting any visible output.

Peter then focused on safety relevant systems e.g. trains, cars, aircrafts, medical MRI, etc. involving both complexity and safety. Safety is often subject to standards such as ISO 26262 for Road Vehicles Functional Safety. Looking at the challenges that need to be solved based on the ISO26262 standard, the modelling approach is considered to be the only sustainable option. This is supported by the fact that modelling makes it possible to maintain elements (e.g. requirements, components) and models (diagrams) that are all connected via traceability, coined as the model intelligence.

Where traceability is achieved with the tool, additional issues need to be addressed with the modelling methodology, e.g. a process to define in what order should one go about working on the model, what diagrams need to be used and for which purpose, where do elements and diagrams need to be stored, etc.

To enable adoption by Systems Engineers, the chosen language (SysML, UML) can be extended e.g. via a UML profile and its stereotypes. For instance the ISO 26262 ASIL levels (Automotive Safety Integrity Level) can be implemented in the system's model blocks through a range of colours.

Where diagrams are not always appropriate, details can be extracted and published through the means of Excel documents, e.g. via a Decision Matrix.

The final idea covered by Peter is to use Enterprise Architect as a platform that provides:

  • links with other tools such as DOORS to exchange requirements,
  • UML profiles and custom toolbars,
  • automated scripts,
  • running simulation and validation,
  • publish models via the Reusable Assets Service,
  • document generation.

Automated tests solution for add-ins and scripts in Enterprise Architect

My presentation was aimed at introducing an automated tests solution for EA automation scripts and add-ins, based on a personal project that I worked over the past months.

Since 2015, I maintain and share a free utilities add-in: eaUtils (www.eautils.com). It is aimed at saving time in specific scenarios involving sorting a wide array of elements within the model, or generating the alias value for elements according to their layout in a diagram.

The enhancements that I identified throughout the time, in addition to the feedback and requests received from users led to an increasing complexity level. Even if eaUtils is published as a free tool, a good level of testing and quality is required for the target users. Time consuming tests prompted the need for an automated tests solution with the following objectives:

  • Save time.
  • Define and run tests on my add-in in EA, moving away from manual tests.
  • Spend time improving tests rather than running them.

I came up with the following business class diagram to define the test structure:

eautils addin sparx enterprise architect automated tests structure

Moving to the design, I created an XML Schema model and generated the XSD file with EA to structure the XML test definition files. Having implemented a first working version of my automated tests in eaUtils, I could use it as illustrated below:

  • Run an addin feature with associated settings to generate the test data for a new step. This function prevented me from manually build the XML file which would have been time consuming.
  • Enable the automated tests module as the eaUtils developer, and run in on a test EA project.
  • Review the results via the generated sequence diagrams.
  • Fix any bug in case there's a failed test and repeat this process.

sparx enterprise architect addin automated tests process

The following illustrates the EA test project structure with packages that contain data sets, test step elements, and the automated tests execution process (load the tests description from the XML file, and for each step, load the settings, call the add-in method with the provided parameters, check the post conditions, and generate the results).

sparx enterprise architect addin automated tests run eautils

Generated sequence diagrams are aimed at reviewing results and keeping a history of run tests. Here is an example:

eautils addin sparx enterprise architect automated tests results

I ran eaUtils addin automated tests in Enterprise Architect via the first part of my demonstration, having only as a demo effect a spilled glass of water which did not reach my laptop. Thankfully no IT related demo issue.

The second part of my presentation covered the next step forward by making this solution available for other add-ins and even scripts. There are numerous EA automation scripts and add-ins out there. Most of them are specific to a project and therefore not shared with the community, whilst the remaining ones are released as open source, free, or commercial tools. Note that EA add-ins are listed by Sparx Systems on their third party extensions page.

In order to integrate this automated tests solution with other addins and scripts, I selected the following candidates:

  • hoTools add-in, an Open Source project maintained by Helmut Ortmann. An Open Source project was paramount so I could access and amend the C# code as part of this study (with the help and support of Helmut).
  • EA scripting library shared by Geert Bellekens.
  • A selection of scripts defined for a client: Lock Package and a Teiid virtual DB schema DDL import.

The tasks that followed were:

  • Extract a generic library from eaUtils automated tests into a new C# project: eaTests.
  • Update eaUtils add-in to use eaTests generic library.
  • Update hoTools add-in to use eaTests.
  • Define a new add-in to tests scripts.

eatests

As a result I successfully ran tests on one hoTools feature, a script from Geert, and 2 of my scripts. These were illustrated in the second part of the demonstration.

This study has led to a new solution called eaTests that has a dedicated site (www.eatests.com). The foreseen enhancements for eaTests library are mainly linked to the type of tests to carry on post conditions.

Replacing existing solutions with Enterprise Architect and extending function with custom MDGs

interserve eaug London presentation

Graham Williamson from Interserve, a major construction company with 85,000 staff worldwide, shared his experience on using Sparx EA to define Enterprise Architecture models, custom ArchiMate 3 stereotyped elements, and EA model validation.

The aim of an Enterprise Architecture was to move away from paper-based processes and achieve a digital construction. The audit of existing services, locations, customers, processes, applications, data, and technologies quickly led to the need of a modelling tool. Sparx Enterprise Architect successfully fulfilled this need, delivering the following:

  • Custom meta model
  • Flexible modelling
  • Archimate 3 support
  • UML profile and stereotypes support
  • Model search based on SQL queries
  • Document generation
  • Automation tools
  • Low license cost

Graham shared the meta model via the selected Archimate 3.0 relationships and elements, followed by examples of Archimate 3 stereotypes to handle additional properties. All Interserve stereotypes were made available via a custom toolbox.

EA 13 Model Validation feature was used to make sure that relationships between elements were valid according to a set of rules.

  • Validation rules i.e. a list of permitted relationships first need to be set up in EA. To save time in defining them in the required XML format, a custom add-in has been created to provide a handy user interface (e.g. Archimate associations allowed between an Application Collaboration and a Meaning element).
  • The model validation is then run in EA for a selected package, displaying any error found.

Graham then talked about customizing EA diagrams to provide a suitable view for stakeholders:

sparx enterprise architect archimate example eaug london

It was interesting to see a practical use of Archimate plateau elements as illustrated below (definition from the Open Group: "A plateau represents a relatively stable state of the architecture that exists during a limited period of time").

sparx enterprise architect archimate plateau example eaug london

As relationships couldn't be connected to an Archimate plateau element whereas this level of traceability was expected, the solution involved custom searches based on SQL queries with results grouped by Plateau. Search results enabled Interserve users to review each Plateau or architecture state content.

Other used EA features included:

  • The relationship matrix to maintain links between plateau elements and other model elements.
  • Roadmap diagram for the transformation planning.
  • Heatmap and charts.
  • Traceability and insert related elements in a diagram to build the business capability model.

Using Enterprise Architect and SysML for the development of an In-Wheel Motor System

protean in wheel motor systems sysml sparx enterprise architect

I was looking forward to this presentation as I'm currently involved in an MBSE (Model Based Systems Engineering) project in the automotive industry for ISO 26262 safety compliance.

John Gladstone works for Protean Electric Ltd, a UK based company that develops in-wheel electric motor systems for hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric light-duty vehicles. John's presentation provided an interesting feedback on the challenges that have been addressed with SysML and Enterprise Architect models.

Project context

John opened a SysML BDD diagram to illustrate the project context.

  • The development of In-Wheel Motor systems falls under the scope of the ISO-26262 (Road vehicles – Functional safety), which requires the identification of Safety Goals
  • The In-Wheel Motor system must include safety mechanisms which integrity is fulfilled by Design and Safety Architecture models. Such mechanisms are intended to prevent hazardous events such as an unintended acceleration of the vehicle.

System behaviour

The system behaviour was modelled with use cases and sequence diagrams for the scenario details. In order to model the system behaviour when things go wrong, Protean team has invented an actor called the Gremlin.

As a result SysML sequence diagrams had the driver and gremlin lifelines as the actors, and the electric vehicle lifeline in the middle with all interactions.

Modelling needs

Another BDD diagram was used to illustrate a complete view of the modelling needs for a motor system:

  • An architecture framework to comply with architectural integrity via consistency, completeness, and correctness as per the ISO-26262 standard needs.
  • The system is described by the architecture and modelled by SysML practitioners who use SysML modelling language, a semi-formal notation highly recommended by the ISO-26262. 

Understand SysML

John shared his recommendations on the literature to read about SysML, including:

  • SysML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Systems Modeling Language from L.Delligatti
  • SysML for Systems Engineering from Jon Holt and Simon Perry (Simon attended this EAUG)
  • A practical guide to SysML from S.Friedenthal and A.Moore

Architecture Framework model

The structure of the framework model was described as follows:

  • It defines a number of viewpoints (perspectives).
  • It is implemented using an MDG Technology that contains SysML stereotypes, toolboxes, and custom model searches.
  • It is defined in the model repository alongside a Design Model.

Process and methodology model

Guidelines and diagrams describing the process to follow according to the methodology have been defined for each viewpoint.

Example model

To help understanding and improving this modelling environment with frameworks, processes and a methodology, an example model has been defined. This worthwhile exercise is based on an example system:

  • Sufficiently defined to understand a practical results from the existing frameworks and processes.
  • Not in scope of a motor system so nobody can argue about the details.
  • Introducing fun: Protean chose the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek series as the system. This led to system elements such as an antimatter reactant injector and storage pod, a warp nacelle, etc.  

Final topics

Remaining covered topics included:

  • The need of a glossary of terms to enforce using the right vocabulary the system or ISO standard.
  • Generate documents from the models to minimize overheads.
  • Structure the models with a library of elements (e.g. blocks, use cases, requirements...) and views/perspectives.

Sparx EA community of users

Throughout this 2 day event, I had the opportunity to meet great people. It was very interesting to share ongoing work and questions around EA, whether the context applied to software projects involving analysis and design, systems engineering with SysML and MBSE, or enterprise architecture with UML or ArchiMate. It was very nice catching up or meeting users that I know via Sparx forum or other online means throughout the year, giving an opportunity for a face to face discussion.

EAUG events are aimed at making the large community of EA users meeting up, gain valuable knowledge, and create new opportunities.

I'm looking forward to next year's EA User Group.

Published in News

Enterprise Architect User Group

London 2017; 18th - 19th May

EA User Group - London 2017The London

2017 meeting of the Enterprise Architect User Group sees a shakeup to the agenda in the form of an additional day being added to the roster. In additional to the traditional presentation day of User Stories, How to's etc the extra day added to the event is taking the form of a training day.

The training day adds to the event a selection of six, three hour training sessions on a variety of subjects from BPMN to TOGAF and Model Curation.


Location

Code Node, 10 South Place, London, EC2M 7BT

Get Directions

EA User Group - London 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Agenda; Thursday 18th May

EA User Group - London 2017

You can find information on these training sessions over at the EA User Group website.


Agenda; Friday 19th May

EA User Group - London 2017

You can find a synopsis for each of these presentations over on the EA User Group website.


How to buy your tickets...

Tickets for the event are available directly from the EA User Group website and are priced as follows:

  • Full two day event ticket; £550.00 +Vat
  • Friday only ticket; £75.00 +Vat

EA User Group - London 2017

Published in News

Save the Date: 21.2. – 22.2.2017

csm EA best practice 62030bd7dfEnterprise Architect 13 is full of new functionalities that we would love to show and explain to you. So, for the first time ever, we will be presenting EA 13 as a combination of numerous Workshops in a two-day format. We're looking forward to seeing you there, and to showing you how to use the new EA 13 to your advantage!

This event caters primarily to German-speaking users; therefore, please be aware that all presentations will be delivered in German.

For more details, please visit the Sparx Systems Central Europe website: http://www.sparxsystems.de/ea-practice-days/

Published in Events

The final Enterprise Architect User Group event in Europe for 2016 will be held on November 11th at the Folksam, Bohusgatan 14, 106 60 Stockholm.

Tickets available now for the upcoming Swedish Enterprise Architect User Group, full schedule published with presentations based on separate User Story and Technical tracks

agenda updated stockholm nov 2016

 

eausergroupFor just €75, join with other Enterprise Architect users for the last European User Group Event of 2016. Presentations will be in English and Swedish.

Meet other users, and share practical insights, advice, experience and inspiration.

Full event information, including directions to the venue, agenda and presentation abstracts, plus links to buy tickets are available now at www.eausergroup.com

Published in Events
Wednesday, 06 July 2016 03:33

User Group Attendee Profile: Rasheed Amzart

Following the recent EA user group meeting in London, we took a moment to interview attendee Rasheed Amzart, an Enterprise Data Architect with the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). Here he details his recent work and his impressions on EA and user group meetings.

The ATOC also recently published a case study with Sparx Systems partner Dunstan Thomas.

rasheed amzart

 

Full Name: Rasheed Amzart

Job Title: Enterprise Data Architect

Organization: Association of Train Operating Companies

Attended the London user group meeting in May 2016 (have you attended any others?): Yes. I attended the User Group Meeting in 2015

How long have you been using Enterprise Architect (EA)?
Approximately two years.

How is EA deployed where you are? (EA versions, floating licenses, repositories, cloud, etc.):

  • Version: 12.1
  • Floating licences
  • Central repository
  • Cloud based

What are you working on at the moment?
Developing a number of logical ‘as is’ and ‘to be’ data models and a number of supporting documents, such as business process maps and models.

What have the challenges been?
Knowledge Acquisition has been shortcoming due to poor documentation

How has Enterprise Architect helped you and your team?
Yes in a number of key areas, requirements, system modelling, business modelling and data modelling. This has enabled the various project teams to work on a single platform and share areas of expertise and data and so help reduce the number of silos within the organisation.

What do you like about your job?
Being the Enterprise Data Architect has given me the opportunity to engage with a number of departments within my organisation and to help a more holistic view of the complex architecture systems using various types of system and data models.

What functionality would you like to see Enterprise Architect support in the future?

  • A quick browser based web client would be extremely helpful.
  • The ability to undo any action carried out within EA.
  • Ability to generate reports ie attributes, elements etc.

Is this your first User Group Meeting? No

Did you enjoy your time at the User Group meeting in London? Yes very much.

What have you gained from it? I have been able to liaise with other users and share idea and also gain new knowledge and tips which I feel will improve my productivity.

Would you recommend user groups to other people in your role? Yes.

Published in News

nl eauc 100616

 

16 quality presentations across 3 topic streams, including keynotes from IATA, Schiphol Group, The Future Group, with a preview presentation on Enterprise Architect 13 Beta from Sparx Systems COO Tom O'Reilly.

 

Calling all Enterprise Architects, Software Designers, Business Analysts and Business Process Analysts! Attend the Dutch EA User Conference event at Schiphol on June 10th 2016 for a day full of information exchange on the usage of Sparx Enterprise Architect.

 

The full event program has just been finalised (see attached PDF above), with various keynotes and presentations from international speakers like Geert Bellekens, Ian Mitchell and Rodrigo Nascimento but also Dutch speakers who have successfully applied EA solutions from such organisations as Enexis, NS, VZVZ or UMCG.

 

Download the attached event schedule (PDF Link above) and visit the event page at www.eausergroup.com for more information and to reserve your space.

Published in Events
Thursday, 14 April 2016 13:21

EA User Group; London - Agenda Confirmed

The EA User Group returns to London this May

On the 17th May the annual London meeting of the Enterprise Architect User Group will be happening at Skillsmatter's Code Node venue.

The final agenda has been confirmed today and we've got a great day lined up...

Agenda

Tickets

Tickets are available from the EA User Group website at the price of £65.00 +Vat per person.

Published in Events
Tuesday, 12 April 2016 02:47

UK EA User Group in London May 17

codenode1The Enterprise Architect User Group Steering Committee and supporters are running another popular event in London.

 

Over the past few years, the London event has been hosted in a variety of locations, with the 2013 event dubbed by Sparx partner Ian Mitchell as "Probably the largest collection of Sparx EA talent ever assembled", at a venue likened to the Starship Enterprise!

 

The 2016 event is warming up to be just as important, with a series of 17 minute TED style talks - for short, sharp, focused modelling ideas and EA anecdotes, but also a number of 40 minute extended presentations giving time to investigate larger topics in more detail.

 

For more details, including agenda and venue, please visit the EAUG website.

Published in Events

Hippo Software has announced the first Enterprise Architect User Group being held in Scotland, the long standing Sparx Systems Global Partner will be hosting the event on the 8th of June.

Thistle Logo

When: Wednesday 8th June 2016 9.30am - 4pm

Location: Mercure Livingston, Almondview, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 6QB

Details and Registration: Visit the Hippo Software website

Published in Events

The next EA User Group events are scheduled for 17th September 2015 in Paris and 18th September in Brussels.

For just €75, attend either of these events and get instant access to all the presentations from both!

Our sponsors:

EAUG Sponsors

EA User Group Paris

VISEO will host the first EAUG in France on Thursday, September 17th 2015.

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

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.

You can view the agenda for the day here.

 

EA User Group Brussels

EA User Group BrusselsThe next English speaking Enterprise Architect User Group event will be in Brussels on September 18th 2015, sponsored by ACV-CSC.

This conference will provide an opportunity to discuss many aspects of Enterprise Architect and its use. We are currently appealing for speakers to make this a memorable day.

The preliminary agenda for Brussels is available here.

 

BOOK NOW

Published in Events
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