Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Review

Cost-effective, flexible, adaptable, and supports publishing reports to Confluence

What is our primary use case?

I was using this solution to document a Business Architecture, and including BPMN 2.0 Process Models that were then used to create Process Design documents. We were running V13.0 in an internal network with the then third-party product, and Prolaborate. The implementation of Prolaborate was in a test environment and this became an increasingly frustrating problem.

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to produce a range of Process-based reports that were published to Confluence reports, as well as our Business and Processes Architectures, for use by a large internal program. The Business end-users and external vendors seemed happy with the outcomes, although some members of the program management team struggled to understand the importance of these documents. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the flexibility and adaptability of Sparx Enterprise Architect. However, these aspects come at a cost of complexity in configuration and management of customization. 

What needs improvement?

Using EA involves a steep learning curve if you want to understand its capabilities and functionality.

Providing more detailed information about how to configure and adapt EA for consumption by users with less technical knowledge or experience would be helpful. Plus, provide online training that covers the basics of as well as more advanced topics. An introduction on how to do the basic configuration for the non-technical users would also be of benefit.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for twelve months.

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

I was employed on contract by this company, but I had previously used Orbus iServer for Process modeling and developing Business and Enterprise Architecture artifacts. This company had previously used Visio

What about the implementation team?

You can search for Business and Process Architects, who have limited technical expertise, and that can be a challenge. In that sense, we were very lucky to have a fantastic team of consultants, who had vast experience and knowledge in how to configure and adapt to meet our needs. They were also able to give us guidance when we were going down the wrong path.

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

In terms of cost, Sparx EA is probably one of the cheapest tools I have ever used. However, study the most important versions of EA before you buy it. I'd also recommend that you buy the edition up from the version you think you need, as we found that was an issue in our early days.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I wasn't involved in the selection and acquisition process. Since I began in this role, I have been working with SaaS products, such as Signavo's suite of products. In my view, these products are far more usable than client-server products, in terms of getting projects underway and using them in workshops. However, I think that they are not as versatile and functional as products such as EA, although they are rapidly catching up with desktop products.

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