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Update of Sparx's Enterprise Architect Platform Based on UML 2.4.1

The recently released update to Sparx Systems' Enterprise Architect stands out from previous releases because, among other things, it allows users to work with multiple diagrams, tools and views simultaneously.

Version 9.3 of the popular modeling, visualization and design platform lets users to simulate complex application behaviors, including nesting and called behavior, while displaying views of elements and relationships between those behaviors. But one of the most noteworthy upgrades in this version is its ability to display multiple diagrams and model views at the same time -- so-called floating and dockable diagram views -- for easier comparisons, review searches and reference model data, the company says.

This feature also lets users easily move elements of one diagram to another; to develop Working Sets that can contain the layout of active floating views; Global Working Sets that can be shared among other users of the model; and the ability to "edit one diagram while referencing source code, requirements, search results or a Linked Document in a separate Floating View."

Sparx Systems is also touting this version's Testpoint Management Facility, which provides a model driven approach that clearly separates the concerns of testing and implementation of code base. "This means you are not forced to rebuild the application every time you make a change to the test condition," the company wrote.

Enterprise Architect 9.3 is based on UML 2.4.1, the latest "dot" release of the OMG's (Object Management Group) widely used Unified Modeling Language specification. The UML, which includes a set of graphic notation techniques to create visual models of object-oriented systems, has become an industry standard.

The UML is also a critical brick in the foundation of the OMG's Model Driven Architecture (MDA) spec. As the OMG says on its Web site, MDA "unifies every step of development and integration from business modeling, through architectural and application modeling, to development, deployment, maintenance, and evolution."

This release of Enterprise Architect also supports the latest version of ArchiMate, the modeling language for enterprise architecture (EA) released earlier this year by The Open Group. Developed by the ArchiMate Forum within the Open Group, ArchiMate 2.0 is more aligned with the TOGAF Enterprise Architecture. The purpose of this alignment, the organization has said, is to enable enterprise architects using the language to improve the way business and IT stakeholders "collaborate and adapt to change."

TOGAF, which stands for The Open Group Architecture Framework, is a framework that lays out a method for developing EA. It comes with a set of supporting tools, called the TOGAF Resource Base, but at its heart is a description of a step-by-step approach to the process called the Architecture Development Method (ADM).

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance author and journalist based in Silicon Valley. His latest book is The Everything Guide to Social Media. Follow John on Twitter, read his blog on ADTmag.com, check out his author page on Amazon, or e-mail him at john@watersworks.com.


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