The Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect (Sparx EA) tool is a highly developed software with many functions supporting the practice of Enterprise, Systems, and Solution Architecture. Unfortunately, along with this multitude of functions, it is very difficult to use some of them. Fortunately, though, there were many solutions on the market replacing some of the more complicated features in Sparx EA.
One such functionality is the documentation generator, which can be endlessly complicated and end up causing hundreds of hours of additional work to print out results from some Sparx EA models. This is unfortunate when an excellent alternative to Sparx EA’s native functionality exists: eaDocX.
The eaDocX solution is an add-on that allows you to generate documentation in a much more streamlined way based on prepared document templates and configuration files in Sparx EA. The difference between the built-in generator and eaDocX is that eaDocX is an application dedicated to intermediate users for whom a quick and good-looking final effect is important, -- it requires no tedious and time-consuming work to prepare customized document templates for Sparx EA models.
There are many such solutions that facilitate work in EA. this is possible thanks to the open architecture of Sparx EA. Unfortunately, too few people know about such plug-ins, so contact EA Principals for more information and possible assistance to get these time-savers onboarded for you. That said, many Sparx EA users say it is much easier to customize for certain functionality (even if it is imperfect, often requiring extensive work arounds when errors persist) than to go through a multi-month-long procurement process held up mostly by security reviews. [There has to be a better, more streamlined way to onboard COTS plug-ins to tools like Sparx EA…]
Customized Modeling in Sparx EA is often necessary to meet the local guidelines and/or requirements of certain stakeholders. This often ends with overengineering. Sure, there is a certain level of customization needed to better meet users' expectations. However, after crossing a certain limit, the models become too complicated and difficult to maintain. In addition, any issues related to their use, such as for the preparation of documentation based on them can become a daunting challenge.
Hence, such models and methodologies must be properly managed in order not to lose the original possibilities pre-packaged in the tool. The goal of modeling, after all, should be to build a richer information channel to improve communication. Overly sophisticated and complicated modeling mechanisms, though, often lead to lower utility of the models for a wider group of recipients.
Proper positioning of the model and the methodology that governs it takes time and a lot of experimentation to find the golden mean and the right balance between what EA can be used for and what it should actually be used for. An additional issue to consider is how much information from the model should end up in the documentation. Sometimes it is enough to focus on the final conclusions because building the whole story from the model may be too much effort -- it may simply not pay off. The 'less is more' principle applies here.
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