Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Review

In the Inception phase, the Project Management/Metrics tool/Workload estimation tool is very valuable in order to dress an initial planning. We miss an integration tool like ARCSeeker.


Valuable Features

As an analyst (i.e. IT Business Analyst, or Requirements Engineer), I’m in charge of the correct understanding of the clients’s requirements expressed in a very variable way, and for capture of these requirements in a structured Requirements Model. Afterwards, Requirements must be translated into an Analysis Model (Domain Model & Use Case Model). This work is done using the UML capabilities of the tool, with the added values of the Relationship Matrix and Traceability tool for a better control on the entire models.

The Reporting tool is easy to use, but it's considered as just a communication tool. The prioritization of use case development has to be done before workload estimation and planning. In the Inception phase, the Project Management/Metrics tool/Workload estimation tool is very valuable in order to dress an initial planning.

Improvements to My Organization

When modelized, the scope of any developed application is clear for both the Client and the Development Team. The thing that is going to be developed and present in the application is known from the beginning of the projet. Afterwards, any further requirements can be seen through the already existing models and the impact is easily visible.

Room for Improvement

We miss an integration tool like ARCSeeker which is intended to register elicited elements in a Common repository with all their associations (this was removed last year). This feature helps for further integration of all Projects developped, with a better cross domain understanding.

Use of Solution

We've been using it since January 2007, so approximately nine years.

Deployment Issues

We didn't experience any deployment issues.

Stability Issues

We've not had any issues with the stability.

Scalability Issues

We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Very good. Any submitted question is quickly answered. The Help Online and white papers, webinars, and user groups are very valuable.

Initial Setup

It was straightforward as support had been requested for installation, and users had been registered for a short term classes.

Implementation Team

The initial setup was done with the help of their support teams, and all subsequent ones were done in-house.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

All I can say is that the tool is known for being cheap. Depending upon the community usage in your company, Floating Licences can be valuable for a large user group.

Other Solutions Considered

It was a matter of price and quality! Other solutions were offering “better integrated tools”, but our goal was the UML for analysis purpose and Sparx EA proposed all the required features for a good price, and continuity and quality of support.

Other Advice

The main thing is that any project is documented, and a project review is performed. You also need to make sure that the change requests are handled in a right way.

Stick to your business and your own needs and have a method. Sparx EA is just a tool, and you’re the boss. The tool just helps you to get all the puzzle pieces ordered in the way you want.


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