You can simplify Sparx Enterprise Architect MDG Technologies using Prolaborate. Prolaborate lets you create custom forms to cater to different users. You can choose the right mix of attributes to design user specific forms. This helps you to maximize relevance and minimize the information overload.This user guide will cover the following workflows:
The first and foremost setting to define are the set of Basic Attributes which you want your users to see by default. You can set the default basic attributes for
To do it, click on Menu > Modeling Languages and select any one of the options from the dropdown as shown in the screenshot.
Let’s select Artifacts. As you can see all the basic attributes of an element in Sparx Enterprise Architect are present here. You can pick and choose the attributes you want your users to see by default.
As per the configuration in the screenshot below, your users will see Name, Notes, Author, and BaseType for all the elements which have Type other than Connector.
In a similar way, you can configure the default Basic attributes for Connectors, Class Attributes and Class Operations.
Modeling Languages or MDGs form the core of Sparx Enterprise Architect. In the Modeling Languages page, click on Add New Modeling Language:
Please fill the form as per instructions below:
|Name||Enter the name of the MDG Technology|
|Description||Give a description explaining its purpose|
|Modeling Language File||Upload a valid MDG Technology file. Please use Edit option if you want to upload an updated MDG file as you cannot add the same MDG technology file again.|
|Status||Do not change it unless you don’t want this to be used anywhere in Prolaborate.|
|Attributes of Base Stereotypes||If this setting is enabled, MDG Technologies of Base Stereotypes needs to be present already inorder to add the current MDG. For example, if you have a MDG file based out of BPMN 2.0, BPMN 2.0 needs to be preset already in Prolaborate and only then you can upload your MDG file.
Disable this setting if you don’t want to bring in inherited attributes to the form. Please note this cannot be undone.
|Technology Attributes Group||If this setting is set to Show, Technology Attributes will be visible in Properties Window of all the Stereotypes in this MDG. Disable this flag if you think your users need not see the Technology attributes. This can be changed later.|
|Inherited Attributes Group||If this setting is set to Show, Inherited Attributes will be visible in Properties Window of all the Stereotypes in this MDG. Disable this setting if you think your users need not see the Inherited attributes. This setting will be applicable only if “Attributes of Base Stereotypes” setting is enabled.|
Once you have filled up all the details, click on Add Modeling Language.
In the upcoming section, we will see how these settings impact the Form Configuration of Stereotypes in the MDG.
Different kinds of forms can be created for the same stereotype using Profiles. A profile will have a specific form configuration. It helps you create multiple views which you can switch as per your requirement.
To add a profile, click on Manage Profiles on a Modeling Language.
List of Profiles popup opens up which shows the all the profiles that are present already. There will be a Default Profile present by default if you are opening it for the first time.
Click on Edit icon in the popup and Edit Profile page will open. This page will list all the stereotypes, Elements and Diagrams, belonging to this MDG (In this case, it is BPMN 2.0). You cannot change the toggles related to Attributes from a profile which you have already created. You need to create a new profile if you want to change them.
If you think there are too many items in the EA Repository Browser and you find it hard to traverse the browser, you can hide few stereotypes which you don’t use regularly. Click on the eye icon to hide stereotypes from the Repository browser. This setting will depend on the Application Modes > Stereotypes setting explained in subsequent section.
Before we see how to customize the form of stereotypes, let’s see how the 3 toggles, which we saw while adding a new modeling language, impacts the form configuration of Stereotypes. Click on Form Designer of a Stereotype.
If you had set this setting to Show, the Technology Attributes for all the stereotypes (named as BPMN2.0 :: Activity Attributes for Activity) will be set to Show and all the users of Prolaborate will be able to see these Attributes when opening an BPMN2 Activity.
The inherited attributes will be shown in the Form Designer only when you set this setting to Include. If you notice the screenshot below, the stereotype Choreography Model has been inherited from Collaboration Model and so, the attributes of Collaboration Model have been added here.
If you had set “Inherited Attributes Group “to Show, the Inherited Attributes section (named as BPMN2.0 :: Collaboration Model Attributes) will be set to Show and all the users of Prolaborate will be able to see these attributes when opening an BPMN2 Choreography Model.
In this section so far we have seen default form configuration based on settings. Now, we will see how to customize the form further as per your requirements.
Once you are done, click on Save in the Form Designer and Update Profile in the Edit Profile page.
Custom attributes section in the Form Designer page shows you the list of attributes that are created by you and your peers. You can drag and drop custom attributes to the form as well.
To create a new custom attribute, click on Manage Custom Attributes in the Custom Attributes section to bring up the List of Custom Attributes.
Click on Add and below form will open up. Select the Attribute Type as EA Custom Attribute, fill in the details as required, and click on Save. For help on Tagged values, please refer to the Documentation from Sparx Systems website.
You can even customize the form of Attributes of a Class. Open the currently active Profile of Prolaborate MDG and select UML::Attribute. You can edit it in a similar way as how you edit a stereotype.
Form of Operations of a Class can also be edited in a similar way as above. Select UML::Operations and you will see its form as below.
If you want to preview the changes made in a Profile, you can do so from a single view rather than by going to the form designer of each stereotype. Click on Preview icon from the List of Profiles popup. Select a Stereotype to view how it has been configured.
Please note the changes are same as what we did in the earlier section.
If you want an additional profile without altering the default, you need to do the following:
Click on Add Profile in the List of Profiles popup and Add New Profile page will open. Fill the details, configure stereotypes and their forms as described above.
You can set the Application Modes in the Modelling Languages page.
Application Modes for Stereotypes help you in controlling the visibility of Stereotypes in the Repository browser.The application modes available are
Application Modes for Tagged Values help you control the visibility of Tagged Values in the Attribute panel.The options available are
Now that we are done with the configuration, let’s see how it has impacted the form of a Stereotype (Say Activity). Please check the groups, attributes, the custom attribute. This is how the form will show up for all the users in your organization.
We have successfully completed configuring a form.
Edit and Delete options are available under the Configure button in the Modeling Languages page.
If you have made some changes in the MDG file after you have uploaded in Prolaborate, you can just use the Edit option and upload the updated MDG file.
Click on Manage Custom Attributes from Modeling Languages page to see the list of custom attributes.You can do the following from this page:
Please check out the following video tutorial on Modeling Languages: