Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Review

Great pricing with an easy initial setup and a comprehensive toolkit

What is our primary use case?

We're doing enterprise architecture work primarily. In one case we're looking at enterprise data modeling. In another case is mostly business architecture.

How has it helped my organization?

We haven't used the solution long enough to make any observations in terms of the product improving our company's functions. It's too soon to tell.

What is most valuable?

For us, the solution is evolving still.

I find it performs as well as other solutions that I've used, like QualiWare's Rational System Architect. It performs quite well.

For the most part, we find that it is remarkable how inexpensive it is.

Overall, the solution offers very good packages.

The initial setup is easy.

What needs improvement?

The presentation graphics need to be improved in future builds. It's primarily an architecture tool. Therefore, it's using certain formulas, and they aren't really very useful in terms of presentation graphics for executives. It's an ongoing issue. You do some kind of diagram, you then have to convert it into a Microsoft PowerPoint in order to get a certain look and feel. Otherwise, the design is just too obscure for executives to understand.

The product needs better tools for defining report templates. Sparx will generate automated reports based on whatever you select from the repository. It has this templating tool that's very flexible, however, I can't get the damn thing to work properly. It's just not very user-friendly. It's almost like a programming language. That's the thing that we keep coming back to tech support with to say, "What are we doing wrong?" If they offered a better report generating front end that will let someone quickly and easily configure what they want in their reports, that would be very useful.

For how long have I used the solution?

I'm pretty new to the solution. I've used the solution for a little under a year at this point. It's likely been ten or 11 months so far.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While the solution has crashed a few times in the past year, I wouldn't describe it as unstable. There aren't really bugs or glitches on it. Mostly, it's fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I can't speak to the level of scalability of the product. The user community for our purposes is quite small. We haven't tested scaling it with larger user groups. However, it's not the type of tool you would role out to a larger community anyway. Therefore, from a performance scalability perspective, it's hard for me to comment.

That said, from a functional scalability perspective, it's packed with all kinds of features. Your enterprise architecture approach could certainly scale up to accommodate more and more of the types of analysis you'd want to perform.

We have two teams that use the solution. In one case, there are three people using it, and in another case there are seven.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've used technical support in the past.

We've needed them for a few little obscure things and things just that are quite annoying to figure out. They've always been there and they're quite good.

We're quite satisfied with the level of assistance we receive. I would rate them at a perfect ten out of ten.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Personally, I've used a lot of different solutions, and a lot of different kinds of case tools. However, in both my client environments that we are presently using, we presently implemented Sparx and they had nothing like this before. This is really an eye-opener to them and a new kind of field for them to go into.

How was the initial setup?

We found the initial setup to be very straightforward and simple. It's not complex at all. A company shouldn't have any trouble with the deployment process.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is excellent. It's very inexpensive.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer and an end-user.

We're using the latest version of the solution.

We use different deployment models, including cloud and on-premises.

It's an excellent entry-level tool. I say entry level as case tools are typically a very expensive proposition to bring into a business, and not necessarily because of their licensing costs or their implementation costs. It is more the training costs of the individuals to start working and thinking in an architectural way and then using tools like this in a consistent and productive manner. You need a methodology investment and you need training investment, and then you need a setup investment for the actual enterprise architecture program or practice that you're going to work with.

The tool itself is comparable to a bunch of others. However, it's not as expensive as most. It's in fact so cheap that last year, due to delays related to the COVID lockdown, I ended up buying a license for myself. It's that inexpensive. It cost less than Microsoft Word. It's an excellent way for a company to start or an organization to start using an enterprise architecture discipline. However, it's not an end-to-end solution. It could be an end-to-end solution. It just involves training of resources and change management for different processes and for governance and all this. A lot of companies just either don't realize that at all or aren't prepared to make the investment outside of the cheap license.

I would rate the solution eight out of ten.

It offers a comprehensive toolkit that it provides very good capabilities. The kinds of coverage that it gives to enterprise architecture tasks are great. The diagrammatic flexibility that it has, the methodological flexibility, and diagrammatic flexibility are also very helpful. It can support lots of different metamodels that will allow you to implement different enterprise architecture methods. It'll diagram them all. It does a very good job of allowing you to structure your environment so that you can support lots of different kinds of analysis across domains of enterprise architecture. It's very flexible in that sense. For these reasons, I give it fairly high marks.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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