Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Review

Ability to ingest external artifacts with added metadata coupled with UML based modeling is moving the organization to a more digital way of working while preserving legacy artifacts.


What is our primary use case?

Architecture Design (component, deployment), Reference Architecture (enterprise, technology) and Solution Management (external artifacts) accessible globally to all of IT via AWS cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Improved cross-functional team collaboration. Dynamic visual activity models improved communication and understanding with the business. Shared repository enabled reuse of model elements by users. Established a well-defined structure to manage whole solutions. Ability to ingest external document artifacts became a viable alternative to SharePoint. UML based modeling enable model-first approach in lieu of document-first approach to solutioning (alternative to Microsoft Office - Word, Excel, Visio, Powerpoint) 

What is most valuable?

Version 14 menu organization is much better. Ability to ingest external artifacts with added metadata coupled with UML based modeling is moving the organization to a more digital way of working while preserving legacy artifacts.

What needs improvement?

A better deployment model for the enterprise without relying on HKEY_CURRENT_USER in the registry.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable. Rarely a crash.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In general, performance and scalability is solid. There are times when communication to the shared repository in AWS would be inconsistent, but I think that was due to the corporate network connection

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer service / technical support is via email only so is constrained to 24 hour turnaround. Otherwise good responses. 

Which solutions did we use previously?

The Solution Architect team used a combination of Visio (UML), Word (Document Templates), Excel (Requirements) and SharePoint (Repository). Sparx replaced all of this while retaining all of the prior tool features and enabled cross-functional team collaboration for solutioning.

How was the initial setup?

There was a learning curve to deployment constrained by needing to install as the user until we figured out how to deploy using MSI scripts, elevated privileges and a standard REGEDIT file containing a Sparx configuration.

What about the implementation team?

Implementation using in-house team.

What was our ROI?

We gained 10 - 20 percent improvement to productivity (measured by time to complete solution) and improved quality (measured by reviews)

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

Setup a shared RDBMS repository (SQL, Oracle, etc.), acquire shared license keys and deploy using MSI scripts.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Considered Visio Professional (has a repository), ArchiMate (too high-level), Rational (too costly)

What other advice do I have?

Establish best practices for solutioning including standardized stereotypes. Drive adoption using a hybrid approach of modeling and ingesting external documents since not everyone will learn to model equally using UML.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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1 Comment
J.A. LinnerudUser

We are using Sparx EA for information modelling, internationally in national statistical organisations and nationally in different government domains.

13 February 19
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