As a long-time Sparx Systems partner and authorized reseller, EA Principals is pleased to explain a major extension to the traditional Sparx Enterprise Architect (EA) tool: Prolaborate. Prolaborate is an information space based on a repository managed by Sparx EA.
Prolaborate allows for faster and better controlled access to the management information. It speeds up the processes of data collection in the repository, its distribution, and obtaining feedback on what and how it is planned to be delivered.
Based on the above, it also improves the process of building the concept of new solutions and modifying the existing ones through continuous access to up-to-date information. It enables a feedback loop between what we already know and what we lack in order to go further, all with minimal effort.
From the end-user perspective, it does not require any installations nor configuration - you just start the browser, log in and got to work!
Note that Prolaborate is not a separate and autonomous repository of project knowledge - it is based on the knowledge that is handled while working in Enterprise Architect (EA). Any changes to the diagrams are still being made in EA. Thanks to this, no additional synchronization mechanisms are required - work in EA and Prolaborate is always based on the same up-to-date information.
The main features of Prolaborate are:
  • The ability to decide on the scope of shared information without losing data consistency in the analytical repository managed by EA.
  • It presents information contextually, in a way that is understandable and expected by stakeholders and participants of projects implemented with the use of this information exchange platform.
  • It allows you to analyze and both build conclusions and search for conclusions based on often very complex areas of information.
  • It offers mechanisms that facilitate the cooperation of various groups of stakeholders.
  • It supports an agile approach and allows Sparx EA to compete more strongly with other key market players in the Enterprise Architecture tool market.
  • It eliminates delays caused by classic documentation in MS Word, MS Excel, or other static knowledge repositories - everything is dynamic here!
So, what is this new quality introduced by Prolaborate about? For EA users, it seems to be obvious. The fact that EA is a great and very versatile tool is its greatest advantage, but also its disadvantage. Getting to know all the functionality takes a lot of time and requires a lot of effort. Prolaborate eliminates this barrier and allows you to start working almost immediately with Sparx EA data. No more tedious hours to learn all the nuances of how EA works before productivity with the tool can start. At the same time, we do not lose what gives EA great value - openness, versatility, and flexibility at one of the lowest price points in that market area!
It is therefore a WIN-WIN. We still have access to a highly qualified tool, with a huge number of tools, capabilities, functions, and amenities - and a world of highly specialized people. Until now, this knowledge was “locked” in an ivory tower that required a great deal of specialized knowledge to fully manipulate. Although valuable, however, it was not available to the majority of potentially interested users.
Prolaborate allows Sparx EA users (there have been over 850,000 licenses sold worldwide) now to maintain its knowledge base in its present shape while giving practically unlimited access to useful points of view and perspectives sought by various stakeholders for projects implemented based on this knowledge base. We get a wealth of various types of new dashboards, charts, reports, and discussion tools. In addition, we can use matrix visualizations to show relationships between complex information sets.
Using the Impact Analysis tool, we can now look for answers to more questions. For example, we can now look for dependencies between selected elements of the business domain description and the components of the application domain supporting them. We can see the process with one click based on what information at the input is carried out and then, with another click, go to the data model and assess whether it is optimal from the perspective of the implemented project. Then we can report any comments and wait for information in our mailbox about new actions taken.
And all this with minimal effort, thanks to the dispersion of responsibility for collecting and updating information in the repository and to easy access to this information via a web browser. Behind this whole information engine is still a repository with EA as a CASE tool, but the difference is that today experts can work on the most up-to-date information while maintaining their perspective and dealing with often very complex processes. Such processes may be supporting work on the strategy, business domain description, architecture modeling logical or even the entire application ecosystem. At the same time, though, they do not lose their insight into the data model, allowing the analysis of multidimensional perspectives and views of the above information.
Finally, it is enough to share conclusions through Prolaborate and interest them to decision-makers and other people who have an impact on the life and development of the company. Only this and THAT much!
It wasn't that easy to use Sparx EA without Prolaborate! Today, life in the Sparx EA ecosystem just got much easier with vastly more valuable outputs! EA Principals is also a partner with many other excellent EA and BPM tool companies and is also reporting on them more and more in this and future issues of this newsletter.
Authored by Jacek Woynarowski, Sparx EA Expert and EA Principals Consultant


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