Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Review

​Various groups within the enterprise can now have access to a centralized and standardized repository

What is most valuable?

The RTF document generator and profiles.

The RTF document generator allows me to focus more of my time on architecture and less on word processing. I can produce up-to-date reports anytime at the push of a button and that is a (huge!) time saver.

The profiles allow me to customize the tool to the corporate environment instead of the other way around saving huge amounts of time and energy on trying to turn dozens of individuals into TOGAF, ArchiMate or Zachman experts, or even Sparx EA experts.

How has it helped my organization?

Various groups within the enterprise can now have access to a centralized and standardized repository.

What needs improvement?

Truth be told, like most products of its kind, it is not always an intuitively easy tool to use. In fairness, it is very hard to enable a non-expert user to do complex things in a totally easy intuitive way and I don’t know any tool that is intuitive.

If you just want to create some diagrams with shapes and arrows, then use Visio.

But if you want to create a well-structured, multi-layered, traceable model that can auto generate all kinds of documents, then you will need some expertise in both architecture and the tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?


What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, and I’ve worked on repositories with well over a hundred users.

How are customer service and technical support?

Excellent, not only do I get quick responses, but their people are well-equipped to handle complex and leading edge issues and questions.

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

I have used other tools (DOORS, Rational, etc.), but always found them more limited, clunky, and expensive.

How was the initial setup?

Very straightforward.

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

It’s the best deal in town, by far.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I’m always keeping my eye on the tool landscape and there are a lot of good tools out there. But for the money, breadth of scope, depth of features, add-ons, customizability, and capabilities, it still ranks number one.

What other advice do I have?

Carefully evaluate any tool before you buy it, as their product sheets and PowerPoints always look good.

Even more important, beg, borrow, or steal one person who is really an SME with the tool, but be careful, if you don’t have an SME how can you evaluate candidates? My advice, don’t rely on a big consulting firm as many of them hype up their “experts”. Hire your own rock star on staff/contract and if he doesn’t measure up, hire a new one.

Also, and this goes for any tool, don’t count on the tool to be a substitute for qualified modeling expertise. Think of it as MS Word in a legal firm. It can help you with formatting, spell checking and all kinds of other things to help create, organize, edit, modify and manage your information but if you know nothing about the law or writing legal contracts, MS Word isn’t going to provide you with that expertise.

Have good people lead the use of the tool.

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