Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Review

An extensible solution with helpful webinars and good tutorials to learn from

What is our primary use case?

I primarily use this product for teaching at the University in Bali. I use it to teach project modeling, sometimes it is used to illustrate code, reverse engineering, code generation, and nowadays systems modeling. Some simulation, as well, but it's not really mainstream.

I know that this solution is also good for business modeling. However, I do not do that as much because I am involved in embedded systems, and these days people talk a lot about IoT. 

How has it helped my organization?

The company uses this for their own modeling, and perhaps for their processes, as well. Prior to using this application, people were creating PowerPoint slides with any flow that they wanted. This solution looks for consistency and performs checks on the model. In this way, the quality of the documentation has improved.

What is most valuable?

I like that there is support for software patterns. The reverse engineering part is a feature that I like. Not so much the code generation, but the reverse engineering and also that it can be extended.

You can extend Enterprise Architect by using JavaScript to extend the tools. I like the ability to make metamodels and some kind of domain-specific language.

There is something called Agent-Oriented Modeling and a student for which I was a silent supervisor created an extension for this in his Master's thesis. He was able to extend the tools by scripting.

What needs improvement?

The platform has support for Windows and Mac, but not Linux. It would be nice to have it supported on the Linux operating system.

The product is quite heavyweight, but if you want to do many things with it, it's like a Swiss Army Knife.

If they move in the direction of a cloud-based version then I think it is a good idea because people do not want to install so much software. I have seen it with several IDEs, where it is easier to use cloud versions instead of keeping local versions up to date.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think that stability is very good. I had models made in one version, and when I updated, it still worked. I didn't have to do any hacking in order for the new version to process the models made in an earlier version. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I was using this product for teaching, without a real team effort, so with respect to the scalability, it is hard for me to tell. It seemed ready, but I don't know how many people could work together on it. I don't think that it is realistic to say that you want one hundred people to work on the same model. If it is that big then you should chop it up into smaller pieces.

How are customer service and technical support?

When I contacted them they usually answered within a day, so it's quite good.

I think that they have support elsewhere, but it seems to me that my answers were coming from Australia. It was quite convenient because I would send something in the afternoon, and by the time I woke up the next day, they had already been working on it.

Overall, I was very happy with the technical support.

How was the initial setup?

It starts just like everything but before people become productive they have to do several things. I performed the setup in a virtual environment and there was no problem with it. Sometimes, license key management is a pain, but I think that is the case with many products. Especially with these so-called "floating key management" systems. 

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody who is implementing this solution is to take advantage of the good webinars that they have. Go through the example tutorials because they have a lot of them, before embarking on your own.

I don't know how their courses are because I did not feel the need to use them. However, because I have used a lot of UML and modeling tools, I may not be the typical user.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which version of this solution are you currently using?

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
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