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MD
Process specialist at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Good features with responsive support but there are limitations for the business architecture

Pros and Cons

  • "This is a useful tool for IT people who need to design their solution architecture."
  • "This solution has some limitations from a business perspective."

What is our primary use case?

I am using Sparx for narrow purposes. I am not doing any exports and am mostly designing in the Model pipe in ArchiMate. 

My skills are not widespread.

What is most valuable?

ArchiMate is a good feature. 

This is a useful tool for IT people who need to design their solution architecture.

There are other features that would be good for Architecture.

What needs improvement?

The interface is not as fancy as it is in some other software solutions. 

Some of the features may be fine but I prefer a different type of interface.

Sometimes, it's difficult to read the text when you are presenting. The text is not very large or easy to read. It needs a zooming option. 

The user interface could be better, it needs improvement.

This solution has some limitations from a business perspective.

In the next release, I would like to see multi-language support.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for one year.

We are using version 15. Currently, the latest version is 16.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is fine. 

I spoke with someone from Australia and they responded and tried to resolve the issues.

They spoke of the features and the plan to resolve the issues but didn't really acknowledge my suggestions on how to improve the user interface and make it better for the users.

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

Previously with another company, I was using ARIS.

Enterprise Architect is strong for them. UML is a very good solution for its purpose.

They were able to generate the codes. They were presenting me with the ability to transform BPMN to BPAL notations, convert, and then somehow enrich the BPAL notation to create an executable code from that. It's a useful tool for coding.

What other advice do I have?

To my knowledge, we plan to continue the usage of this solution. It is the decision of the company and they have decided to continue using this product for specific purposes.

My recommendation for this product really depends on the purpose. I am more on the business side, and for business purposes, this product has some limitations. 

The user experience and presenting it is challenging. This solution is not fancy, as in other products. However, it is a useful tool for IT people who need to design their solution architecture. 

It depends on the purpose and orientation of the designer. 

If the designer is IT, it's good because I have heard it from many people with an IT background that this is a kind of baseline that they need to use for UML design, and also for details and for architecture, is good.

This is also good for Enterprise Architecture because it has ArchiMate. While there are many good features, there are better ones available in the market.

I have only read about them, so I cannot accurately compare.

It is difficult to rate this product, as everything has a purpose. If for example, I was in IT, I would rate it a nine out of ten, but from the business side, for me, I would rate it a four out of ten.

As an overall general rating, I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
AH
Software Architect at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Practical and user-friendly with good documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "It's a very practical solution. You don't need to do an advanced course to start using this tool."
  • "Sparx can be a bit slow. If you are trying to design software architecture, sometimes we run into issues and need to refresh."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for modeling. We've tried to map a set of fields and we have and combined it with the processes of the company.

We wanted something that included all of the shapes represented in the software architecture solutions of our company. We created near 2,000 products that we have in the company. We used this product, as well as HOPEX, which we also bought, to represent the software architecture of our solutions and the mapping within the processes of the company.

What is most valuable?

If you compare the price of MEGA HOPEX with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, Sparx is cheaper.

It's a very practical solution. You don't need to do an advanced course to start using this tool.

It offers great intricacy. You can really do many kinds of models. You don't have to design certain designs in another tool. It even allows enterprise architecture to be modeled within it. 

The solution is very user-friendly. When you draw a diagram to model the architecture, it's very flexible. If you have a double standard, you can use the tool. You can use UML Ultimate if you like. If you have a different set of standards for certain models, you can put those in. 

The documentation and the articles they have on offer are pretty decent.

What needs improvement?

Sparx can be a bit slow. If you are trying to design software architecture, sometimes we run into issues and need to refresh. HOPEX also occasionally needs to be refreshed as well, actually.

The product has a unified view or a unified database with some limited functionality in the models. In the same database, it can create some problems. I don't know if the problem is that maybe there is a communication issue or we just have too many models in the company. When we're starting the scaling it started to become less capable. We've had trouble with access on the corporate usage level.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using this solution around 2018 or 2019. It's been a few years at this point.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm not sure how well this product can scale. We have a lot of models and it seems we have reached our limit. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The solution does seem to offer helpful documentation. 

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

We are using both Sparx Systems and MEGA HOPEX. Our organization bought both solutions. 

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

Sparx is less expensive than, for example, HOPEX. 

We have a server license for the product.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We work with both Sparx and HOPEX, and therefore we can easily compare them. Sparx, for example, is less expensive. However, it can run slow sometimes and needs to be refreshed. HOPEX sometimes has the same issue in terms of needing an occasional refresh.

We find Sparx to be more useable as well. It's less technical.

What other advice do I have?

We are customers and end-users. We don't have a business relationship with the company.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We are very happy with the product overall. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
552,136 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Paul Parisi
Enterprise Architect at Mobiliser
Consultant
Top 5Leaderboard
It allows us to validate design changes and give an indication of the code before speaking with developers.​​ Collaborating on a medium to large model resulted in significant performance problems.

How has it helped my organization?

Allowed us to validate design changes and give an indication of the code before even speaking with developers. It also allowed the architects to reuse work done by other projects or by other architecture specialities. It is more structured than tools like Visio making it easier to build accurate diagrams.

What is most valuable?

  • Ability to manage a meta-model that support a single source of truth for models
  • Ability to capture concept thinking diagrams (referred to as white boarding)
  • Reverse engineering capabilities
  • Collaborative functionality
  • Ability to trace through from a requirement statement to impacted logic was extremely powerful to us

What needs improvement?

Collaborating on a medium to large model resulted in significant performance problems, in some cases critical issues. It did not include sufficient flexibility for architecture work targeting business stakeholders. Very much a tool focused at application architecture despite having functions covering higher architecture domains.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for eight years in total, and five on a daily basis.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had some stability issues but these varied version by version.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability issues limit us from expanding the use of the tool.

How are customer service and technical support?

Initially this was excellent in early versions. The growth of the product has changed as the company has grown. We were not able to get resolution to scalability issues in reasonable timeframes for versions nine or 10.

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

IBM's tools and a number of other tools primarily UML focused. In v7 Sparx was miles ahead of the competition, fast, flexible, priced affordable.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward for single use, but for collaborative use it is slightly more complicated.

What about the implementation team?

In house team. If you're thinking of scaling it up I would recommend linking the commitment to pay for the product to demonstration of the tools ability to support the team size and use you are proposing and ensure contracts are in place with tight SLAs if issues occur.

What was our ROI?

It's impossible to tell, as the tool has helped to swing decision making in a few high level business meetings but mostly considered a tool to improve the efficiency of architecture.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The current market landscape is changing. The recent work I've done with Orbus IServer to be a serious contender.

What other advice do I have?

Be realistic about what you team can achieve. In a single use situation there is little advise needed but if you are intending to deliver it into an organisation, ensure that

  • The way it will change how you work is possible (considering people and processes)
  • The cost is reasonable
  • The competition has been assessed using a POC not marketing ware (e.g. Orbus)
  • The training impact is understood (The tool is not trival to use)
  • The business view is not ignored. In my experience this tool does not remove the need to render information for a business audience separately and neither does tools like Orbus.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Edward Nicholson
Director at Intelligent Enterprise Products
Real User
Comprehensive capabilities, configurable, and reliable

Pros and Cons

  • "The features I find most valuable is the ability to create a document and then put it into a OneCare artifact."
  • "The areas of improvement should be focused on utility service such as producing better graphics, perhaps having a wider image library set and producing better models for working directly with customers."

What is our primary use case?

My company is a leading software team. I tend to get brought in early stages for understanding and identifying problems. I look through what the customers are actually doing and I tend to move on into the system's analysis and architecture to see whether there are opportunities for interventions and gaps.

What is most valuable?

The features I find most valuable is the ability to create a document and then put it into a OneCare artifact. This feature allows me to share the visual I bring about with other communities that are not system analysts because not everyone can afford to have a copy of Enterprise Architect. 

Additionally, the solution operates well as a whole and has very comprehensive capabilities.

What needs improvement?

The areas of improvement should be focused on utility service such as producing better graphics, perhaps having a wider image library set and producing better models for working directly with customers. The solution does not provide things like shadow effect and 3D computer graphics instead of 2D.

More polishing on the presentation should be included in the next release. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this on a regular basis for the last four years. For the additional six years, I have used the solution in intervals as I needed.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Initially, I found the stability of this solution reliable until there was an unexpected access crash leaving an LDB that prevented me from accessing my database, even after deleting the LDB file.  I had to use the previous version to solve the problem which I had to work on for two days.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I find the solution very configurable. I could go in and change the format for export. I brought products into the ArchiMate from EA and the other way around. They seemed to work because they store them as common components.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support team have been very good at responding and coming back quickly with a query.

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

I previously used to work on Salamander but it did not add on what I already know. I was also recently teaching Visual Paradigm and ArchiMate.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward to run as a single user on a single machine. There might have been an issue around installing access to the image library on the cloud environment. I think it was just a patch version that I needed to get to fix the issue.

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

The licence has a costly upfront fee which gets you access. You have to pay an annual maintenance fee, which is less.

I think the pricing is justified because I use it very often. 

What other advice do I have?

I would certainly recommend this solution if you are a serious business or a system architect, who are modelling complex systems. You will already be aware of the product and you will know what it could do for you.

I rate Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect an eight out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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MH
Director, Strategy and Consulting at a university with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
A stable, scalable, and affordable solution with profiles and ready-made templates

Pros and Cons

  • "The profiles and ready-made templates are an extremely helpful feature. This is one of the biggest features that I find very useful in Sparx."
  • "The UI is a little bit outdated. It should be more fresh and clean."

What is our primary use case?

We use it for model-based system engineering (MBSE).

What is most valuable?

I think having some of the profiles and ready-made templates is an extremely helpful feature. This is one of the biggest features that I find very useful in Sparx.

The documentation and the help center within the tool are very helpful as well. They are written in much simpler terms. The examples are very clear, and the video tutorials are there. You can find a lot of video tutorials that can definitely help you to understand how to do certain tasks that you want to accomplish in Sparx.

I think it's very stable and scalable as well. It is also an affordable solution.

What needs improvement?

The UI is a little bit outdated. It should be more fresh and clean.

The other thing that I would really love to see improve is the roadmap capabilities. They advertise that you can use Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect to do roadmapping, but I don't think that this is really accurate because the roadmapping capabilities are very basic and you can't really do a lot with them.

Also, the Veeva Forms Management capabilities, which are built-in, could be improved. They are okay, but they could be much better as well.

I would love to see more emphasis on Agile product development within the tool itself. So, if I am managing an Agile project or a scrum project, I would love to be able to plan my sprints within the tool and manage user stories, use cases, and test cases within the tool itself without the need to use any other tool.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect for approximately two years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is a very stable product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable solution, and we currently have three system architects who use it.

We hope to increase usage in the future. We are a consulting company, and if we got a project that required the use of any of the features available in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, then it would be the tool that we will be using.

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

We used MagicDraw and switched to Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect because it has a better UI and also has profiles and ready-made templates.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward; very easy. It took a very short amount of time, and we were able to have things up and running in less than a day.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented it myself.

What was our ROI?

We absolutely feel that Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect provides a good ROI.

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

We have an annual license, and it's very affordable.

What other advice do I have?

It's a very good starting point and a very affordable solution with a lot of features. I would rate it at nine on a scale from one to ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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DS
Solution Architect at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Easy to use, very stable, works with different standards, and has an incredible repository of artifacts

Pros and Cons

  • "Its ease of use and the breadth of the toolkit are most valuable. It has an incredible repository of artifacts to work with, and they're all cross-referenced. It works with a whole bunch of different standards. It works with BPMN, which is Business Process Modeling Notation, and it also works with something called TOGAF, which is the Open Group Architecture Foundation. There are different layers when you're dealing with architecture. There is the user interface, application, data, data servers, and all that kind of stuff. You have the infrastructure, hardware, and software layers, and then you have the application and business capability layers. You can model a business process and decompose it into all of the applications, data, and hardware to support it."
  • "They should make the Save button easier to find. A simplified user interface for a lighter user would probably be useful. I am not sure if such an interface is already there."

What is our primary use case?

We are building it right now. We first have to build a repository and the tool, and then we have to develop the training for different types of users. We are using its latest version.

What is most valuable?

Its ease of use and the breadth of the toolkit are most valuable. It has an incredible repository of artifacts to work with, and they're all cross-referenced. 

It works with a whole bunch of different standards. It works with BPMN, which is Business Process Modeling Notation, and it also works with something called TOGAF, which is the Open Group Architecture Foundation. There are different layers when you're dealing with architecture. There is the user interface, application, data, data servers, and all that kind of stuff. You have the infrastructure, hardware, and software layers, and then you have the application and business capability layers. You can model a business process and decompose it into all of the applications, data, and hardware to support it.

What needs improvement?

They should make the Save button easier to find. 

A simplified user interface for a lighter user would probably be useful. I am not sure if such an interface is already there.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. Right now, we've only got a hundred books, but we want to have hundreds of thousands of books. There are only three of us using it in our architecture group, and then there are probably 30 other architects in other parts of the company who are using it.

How are customer service and technical support?

My colleague is dealing with technical support. 

How was the initial setup?

One of my colleagues did that. I am not familiar with the setup, but I know it is pretty elaborate because, like anything, you got to configure it the way you want. The more robust the tool, the more configuration it usually needs.

What about the implementation team?

In terms of the software solution, it doesn't take a lot of maintenance. It is like building out a library.

What other advice do I have?

I would advise others to understand their needs and find a tool that really meets their needs.

I would rate Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect an eight out of ten. It is a very strong tool, but I don't have enough comparison points to give it a higher rating.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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LZ
consultant at Government of Saskatchewan
Consultant
Cheaper than most similar tools

Pros and Cons

  • "I like Sparx's BPM features and the way it lets you create the diagram."
  • "When many users are accessing the system at the same time, Sparx slows down. It can't easily support a large team."

What is our primary use case?

We use Sparx to design the whole enterprise architecture, from the highest level down to the physical level, and to generate those XML messages. Also, we generate the DDL for the database to support DevOps. 

How has it helped my organization?

In the beginning, I didn't have any training. I just wanted to try, but I spent two hours and I couldn't do anything. I clicked here, then clicked there—it didn't work. Eventually, I learned how to use it, but in the beginning, it wasn't very straightforward. Usually, because of my computer experience, I can do things by intuition. So if you do not get training, read the user manual, or Google how to use it, then it's hard to do anything. With some other tools, you can immediately do something, but I had to take some time with this one.

What is most valuable?

I like Sparx's BPM features and the way it lets you create the diagram.

What needs improvement?

I check the Gartner report pretty regularly and I see that Sparx keeps on going down in the rating. The Sparx EA needs to catch up. I believe the one reason is the strategic architecture. Also, other tools might work better for those high-level executives for whom the quality of the diagram is very important. Sometimes these little differences set a product apart. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Almost about 10 years, I think. Yeah.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sparx is very reliable. And it's integrated with ServiceNow via the cloud, so you can share info and store everything inside the Sparx EA. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When many users are accessing the system at the same time, Sparx slows down. It can't easily support a large team. I'm a contractor and for my latest contract, there are 30 architects and 20 business analysts.

How are customer service and support?

Sparx support isn't very responsive. 

How was the initial setup?

The Sparx setup wasn't complex.

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

The license I use is on-premise. We haven't gone to the cloud where we have to pay monthly or something like that. Sparx is cheaper than most similar tools. 

What other advice do I have?

I rate Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect nine out of 10. I recommend it, and I also go to other organizations and train their employees how to use it.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Anuj Shahi
Enterprise Architect at CCandC Solutions
Real User
Top 5
Economical, easy to use and deploy, and approved by the Open Group, but the support can be improved

Pros and Cons

  • "It is an EA tool that is approved by Open Group. It is in the tool register of Open Group."
  • "Their technical support is not good in India. I wrote to them because I had a question, but I never got an answer. So, I just left it behind."

What is our primary use case?

I use it to demonstrate Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) and architecture repository. I also demonstrate the document generation facility of the tool. It has got a plugin named BRC, binary enterprise architecture system integration, and I use that to show to my participants' diagram-driven architecture, gap analysis using diagrams, work package creations, and architecture roadmap creation. 

It is a desktop solution. I have purchased the desktop version.

What is most valuable?

I like it because it is very economical. Price-wise, Sparx EA is very low cost. 

It is easy to use. Connecting entities is very easy in this.

It is an EA tool that is approved by Open Group. It is in the tool register of Open Group. 

What needs improvement?

Their technical support is not good in India. I wrote to them because I had a question, but I never got an answer. So, I just left it behind.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for the last three years for my class.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not used it for large projects, but I have asked Sparx people whether it can have multi-faring and configuration management, and they said yes. 

I am the main trainer of my organization, and I am the only one who is using it.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support is not good in India. It could be better. I wrote an email to the support, but I didn't get a response. I did not call them and pursue it too much because my need was not professional. My need was more education-based. It is good for my use, and I'm able to fill the time in my class with topics. 

How was the initial setup?

It is easy to install. You just execute an MSF file, and it is implemented quickly. It took a maximum of three minutes.

What about the implementation team?

I did it myself. I did not take the help of any technical team of Sparx EA.

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

It is very economical and low cost. You have to pay for a one-time license, and it is active forever.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution. I would rate it a six out of 10.

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