Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Review

We have a complete reference architecture repository to build different target architecture. It has an inconsistent menu structure as some functions are context aware.


Valuable Features

The possibility to use a common architect repository with a standard SQL server. Working with Archimate standards on the new open group Archimate Exchange format (XML) that allows us to use Archi for distributed archimate modeling in every important project and import those Archimate model to the common Sparx based repository and building a reference architecture for the whole company.

Improvements to My Organization

Now for the first time we have a complete reference architecture repository to build different target architecture for every large program and projects.

Room for Improvement

Sparx is built by software tech-guys for software tech-guys. Its not an everyday architect or other office-worker mostly loved tool. It has an inconsistent menu structure as some functions are context aware, but it's nearly impossible to remember where to find them next time you are looking for them. It's not like an office tool, but it's not even like some software development tools, just another animal.

Use of Solution

We did an overall comparison of several Archimate tools during fall of 2015, and since December 2015 we have been implementing this feature for our architect community. We're also using the Archimate plugin 3.2.1.

Deployment Issues

We have had no issues with the deployment.

Stability Issues

As we were selected floating licenses we was required to install a license server with two license-services, one for Sparx EA and a separate for the BEASI plugin. As those services have different techniques i.e different time-outs, we are having a problem with VPN users losing licenses for the BEASI plugin and that requires a Sparx restart to get back those licenses.

Scalability Issues

We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

I have not used Sparx support yet, but I have e-mailed BEASI support a lot and they have got a fairly good response time. It has room for improvement for both installation manuals and tips & tricks for Sparx and especially for BEASI.

Implementation Team

Implemented by ourselves with e-mail support from Biner AB who sold us the products.

ROI

With at least 10 architect working with this toolset, we should get ROI within first year, as we think we can make better assumptions on large projects and programs architecture footprint on the current real-world environment

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

As I said about the license services before, this was and still is a major concern about the stability of the product, mostly a BEASI plugin concern,

Other Solutions Considered

We were comparing to BizzDesign Architect, Orbus-software and others, but as we still are a rather immature architecture community, we will start small and when we can deliver business benefits we will make a new tool comparison, after a year or so, in 2017. So the main reason for Sparx & BEASI is the low-price and thanks to Beasi a full Archimate support, the inbuilt Archimate support in Sparx is not reaching.

Other Advice

I think the open source tool Archi is better as an Archimate modeling tool but its only a single user tool, whereas Sparx is multi-user tool with its support of a central db-server for a company architecture repository.

The combination of Sparx and BEASI is good if you need multi model features and a 100% Archimate function tool, otherwise I think there are better tools, but of course it's more expensive than other Archimate tools out there.

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

It seems your problems are not with Sparx EA, but rather with the BEASI plug-in. Do you think it is fair to downvote sparx for the stability of one of its partners?

17 October 17
SteenJensenReal UserTOP 5LEADERBOARD

Hi The review was for the whole package at 2015
Early 2017 we abandon Beasi plugin as Sparx EA 13 had Good support of Archimate and now with 13.5 we also using full support för Archimate Open Exchange 3.01.
The critisism is still valid for user interface and how funktions are spread in diffrent menues and properties.

17 October 17
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