Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Overview

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is the #1 ranked solution in our list of top Architecture Management tools. It is most often compared to Visual Paradigm: Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect vs Visual Paradigm

What is Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect?

Sparx Enterprise Architect is a platform that accelerates and integrates software, business and systems development. Twice winner of Jolt and multiple SD Times Awards with an installed base of 580,000 + licenses, supported by 230 partners in 160 countries. From requirements to implementation and beyond, Sparx Systems' Enterprise Architect is a fully featured tool suite that lets you model, design, simulate, prototype, build, test, manage and trace from vision to solution.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Buyer's Guide

Download the Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: April 2021

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Customers

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Solutions Architect at NT Health
Real User
Top 10
Ability to use a single shared repository and defined languages has helped my organization

What is our primary use case?

I've used it in six organisations over 10 years.

How has it helped my organization?

Ability to use a single shared repository and defined languages, using both ArchiMate as the modelling language and the business language based on the repository contents.  It’s easy to deploy in a small workgroup.

What is most valuable?

Ability to either offline with replication, documentation, HTML reporting The strength of the modelling and analysis tools. 

What needs improvement?

Documentation generation needs significant improvement. More rigorous support of the ArchiMate rules would be a great improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
RS
Senior Technology Architect at BearingPoint
Consultant
I consider the Open DB and flexibility to be valuable features

What is our primary use case?

(Enterprise) solution architecture.

How has it helped my organization?

(Enterprise) solution architecture creation.

What is most valuable?

Flexibility Open DB.

What needs improvement?

Look and feel.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Learn what your peers think about Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: April 2021.
479,894 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Director Enterprise Architecture at Stanley Black & Decker, Inc.
Real User
Top 20
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.

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.
Enterprise Business Architect at European Commission
User
It traces business needs and analyzes information. It should be made Windows compatible.

What is our primary use case?

I use this enterprise solution to trace business needs, analyze information, and for implementation in an international government environment.

How has it helped my organization?

Sparx System Enterprise Architect has improved the communication aspect between our architects.

What is most valuable?

I have found the Meta Model tuning feature useful as it provides me with an overview of all my work needs.

What needs improvement?

It should be made Windows compatible.  It should have a more appealing UI with zoom in and zoom out features.  It needs improvement on the communication part to stakeholders.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
IT-Consultant at DXC
User
We can easily use it with our new customers

What is our primary use case?

It is the perfect tool.

How has it helped my organization?

We can easily use it with our new customers.

What is most valuable?

Its most valuable feature is the Zachman Framework.

What needs improvement?

The reporting needs improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.
GM
Data Architect at Élections Canada | Elections Canada
User
Provides a single repository for all architecture work. Weak data modelling abilities with insufficient control of metadata and standards.

What is our primary use case?

This solution is the design tool for all enterprise architecture work. It is used to depict the current situation, as well as the future platform, and discuss the gaps required to implement the future platform.

Pros and Cons

  • "Provides a single repository for all architecture work."
  • "Customizable and tailored to the environment. Several template frameworks are provided."
  • "Weak in regards to data modelling. No logical or physical modelling or migration from conceptual to physical."
  • "Insufficient control of metadata and standards."
  • "No way to implement data integrity and referential integrity constraints."
MJ
Software Architect at Achilles Information Limited
User
Can reference and link to components from any diagram

What is our primary use case?

Cheap and affordable tool to generate architecture artifacts. This is a well-known vendor whose tool has been used by at least two colleagues on my team.

Pros and Cons

  • "Its ability to reference and link to components from any diagram."
  • "Inconsistent UI elements must be tidied up with the toolbox gaps removed."
INLINE Technologies at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Real User
Provides clear roadmaps for IT development, helps keep systems documentation current

Pros and Cons

  • "Using Sparx Enterprise Architect allowed my customer to detail and make the company's IT strategy visible and accessible to all. The system provided clear roadmaps for IT development and helped to keep up-to-date documentation of systems and processes."
  • "The system provides powerful tools for obtaining reports and documentation."
  • "It is a handy tool for visual modeling that provides opportunities for analysis, design, and support of models using ArchiMate, UML."
  • "I would like the system to more "intellectually" build a scheme, place icons, and connect lines on the schemes."

What other advice do I have?

I recommend connecting to the Sparx EA community.
Partner with 11-50 employees
User
Simplified our task at maintaining architecture information and traceability with requirements

What is our primary use case?

Standards development for OMG - IEPPV, EFFRA, SOPES, IEPPS Product development - ASMG implementation of the IEF framework Client EA activities - for multiple federal and provincial agencies

How has it helped my organization?

Simplified our task at maintaining architecture information and traceability with requirements.

What is most valuable?

Large variety of profiles and frameworks available out-of-the-box without the need for customization, and not locked into one way of doing architecture. Huge advantage as one works the architecture between business and technical communities.

What needs improvement?

Document Report generation More challenging than other tools to maintain documents and document versions for an architecture board review.

For

Data Architect with 501-1,000 employees
User
The database management area was not usable

What is our primary use case?

Solution architecture and design, however the database management area really was not usable. I could not even send in a DDL to reverse engineer it. Also, adding referential integrity to existing fields from a reverse engineered database resulted in duplication of keys.

Pros and Cons

    • "It really did not work for logical modeling. The look is very old-fashioned. You can't make the diagrams easy on the eye, so we ended up drawing them again in Visio anyhow."
    • "I struggled with most of the features for this tool, as did the rest of our architecture team."
    • "The database management area was not usable."
    Enterprise Architect at Teranet Inc.
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Provides adaptability to the modeling needs of different departments

    What is our primary use case?

    Creating diagrams and sets of reusable artifacts using UML, Arhimate and other notations. Using diagrams and artifacts to generate documentation.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Ability to maintain cross-references for all models in all levels - great tractability."
    • "The elements of the modeling sets can have better customization and visual representation. It would be great to have a mobile version."

    What other advice do I have?

    Plan and organize your elements and models using the best practices from the beginning and create customized project templates. That will benefit you greatly afterwards.
    Enterprise Architect
    Real User
    ​Various groups within the enterprise can now have access to a centralized and standardized repository

    Pros and Cons

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

    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…
    medewerker e-diensten at a government with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    It's like a repository. So far, we use it only for Information Modelling.

    Pros and Cons

    • "It's like a repository. So far, we use it only for Information Modelling."
    • "It would be great if we could decrease the use of different parts of the Toolbox."

    What other advice do I have?

    For the initial setup, get people with good knowledge from Sparx EA .
    Senior Solutions Architect at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    The ribbon style editor coupled with capability to manage requirements, design and delivery in the same application simplified my life tremendously.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Ability to model and create view under same roof."
    • "The templates for documentation should be enhanced to include complex documents such as template RFP, or Non functional requirements template."
    Consultant with self employed
    Consultant
    It allowed teams and team members all over the world to collaborate and sync up on specific detailed parts of the solution or model easily with a minimum fuss.

    Pros and Cons

    • "Automated document generation is a real time saver, no more cut and paste, no more keeping track of which diagrams are in which reports, no more last minute update panics. Just click a mouse and you've got an up to date report."
    • "Its best features are not intuitive or easy to learn. Most companies I have worked with, when I see what they are doing with it , are not using more than 5% of what they could and should be doing with it."

    What other advice do I have?

    Take the time to learn the features well - it will pay off. I have been using it for six years and I am still learning new ways to leverage its features - not because of new versions but because of gaining an even greater understanding of the tool and how it works. The number one recommendation I have about using this tool is to invest some time to understand how to use it properly. Most people will use MSWord or Excel by just diving right in and using it and learning as they go, tinkering here and there and that approach works fine. Do not use this approach with Sparx EA, you will end up…
    Data Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Valuable features include data modeling and XML schema design.

    Pros and Cons

    • "We use it to develop and maintain the Enterprise Conceptual Model, migrated from erwin a couple of years ago."
    • "We use it to develop and maintain the Enterprise Conceptual Model, migrated from erwin a couple of years ago."
    • "Greater OMG UML and XMI compliance"

    What other advice do I have?

    Just get it. My elevator pitch was that it is cheaper than Visio and it provides a common tool and repository for all your development needs. Amazing solution for its price, but has its flaws.
    Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Supports modeling standards such as UML, BPMN, and ArchiMate.

    What other advice do I have?

    Get experienced help with the setup/configuration of your model so it can fully meet your business requirements.
    CEO at a tech company with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    A team of project managers with three licenses can work collectively instead of various people doing the same thing.

    What other advice do I have?

    For others and for us: we'd like to buy the product along with courses or access to courses about specific parts of working with projects. We'd like to have a dedicated BPMN2 course, for example, that is prepared with the use of Sparx tools.
    Senior Solution Designer at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    I can create requirements, draw all kinds of UML diagrams, link it all together and produce nice PDF reports and charts for the stakeholders.

    What other advice do I have?

    Just be prepared that at the beginning EA will overwhelm you with all its options. It is very hard for example to create your first nice looking report. But if you don't give up too early, EA will pay off on the long run. When I confronted the developer team that I plan to switch from JIRA to EA, they were not really happy. But now, after a short while, they love it because they immediately see changes, have access to all the diagrams (ERDs, Sequence Diagrams etc.). They now always have the big picture (I'm using mind maps, for example), and wherever they are, they can simply right-click an…
    Business Owner at a program development consultancy with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    It's intuitively easy to use and produced some nice reports.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are adding more requirements to the project as time goes by. I've added a number of Use Cases, but this is not mature enough to do any project estimation (Yet). I have added some packages that support project life cycle and project roadmap. I'm going to next add tasks related to implementation of the requirements as an initial way of getting the PM side of things with a Gantt chart that makes sense. The tutorials are a little thin for doing this, and I could find no examples that were provided for ideas. There is just so little documentation on the PM side of things, but Sparx could address…
    Software Development at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Due to the presenting concept and impact analysis, this is a good tool.​

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a great product, but it needs intelligent users. This appears to be its weakness so it is absolutely obligatory to invest some time in education. Modelling, UML, BPMN, and SysML require an abstract way of thinking. It is not achieved on fly. To keep the team of keen contributors – they are those who involve the rest.
    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.

    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…
    Systems Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Support for UML diagrams is good.

    What other advice do I have?

    I really don’t have a basis for comparison with any other product like I-Server or Abacus Evolution. For what Sparx EA can offer, it’s the best tool that we had.
    Enterprise Architect with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    ​Large diagrams for hardware infrastructure, HA environments, Integrated Solution view, etc all help different teams to understand the scope of projects.

    What other advice do I have?

    If the project life cycle is delivered through some standard ICONIC process E2E then Sparx will help a lot for artifacts.
    Integration Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    It automatically generate documents at a click of a button, which is such a productivity booster.​
    MIS Specialist at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Any changes or buss requirements are modeled first and then implemented. ​​

    What other advice do I have?

    There is plenty room for improvements, but overall for most of the time we use basic functionality which just works.
    Chief Architect for Order to Cash & Usage at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    For day-to-day modeling and solutions, it is a very good repository-based tool.​ It could have better reporting functions.

    What other advice do I have?

    It depends on the scope and the level of architecture that is intended to be done. For day-to-day modeling and solutions, it is a very good repository-based tool.
    Architecture and Innovation Officer, Corporate Strategy, Plans and Systems, Ferrovie dello Stato with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    ​Shared models capture digitally fundamental knowledge about the business and its representation in ICT systems.

    What other advice do I have?

    The tool is not a substitute for brains; it boosts the productivity of your thinking process, resulting in the very fast production of good models, but of bad ones just as easily, except that a good thinker can sport bad designs early before they become implemented disasters.
    Solution Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    We have a complete reference architecture repository to build different target architecture. It has an inconsistent menu structure as some functions are context aware.

    What other advice do I have?

    I think the open source tool Archi is better as an Archimate modeling tool but its only a single user tool, whereas Sparx is multi-user tool with its support of a central db-server for a company architecture repository. The combination of Sparx and BEASI is good if you need multi model features and a 100% Archimate function tool, otherwise I think there are better tools, but of course it's more expensive than other Archimate tools out there.
    Solutions and Integration Architect at a consultancy with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    For software architecture the UML components are a great help. It also helps when creating code from the diagrams.

    What other advice do I have?

    What are you waiting for! If you do not use EA in any of your architecture, BA or design teams you are falling behind.
    Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    ArchiMate models help in the publishing of HTML models for users without Sparx.

    What other advice do I have?

    Download a trial copy for yourself. You will need to understand UML, BPMN or ArchiMate to use the tool.
    IS Analyst at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    In the Inception phase, the Project Management/Metrics tool/Workload estimation tool is very valuable in order to dress an initial planning. We miss an integration tool like ARCSeeker.

    What other advice do I have?

    The main thing is that any project is documented, and a project review is performed. You also need to make sure that the change requests are handled in a right way. Stick to your business and your own needs and have a method. Sparx EA is just a tool, and you’re the boss. The tool just helps you to get all the puzzle pieces ordered in the way you want.
    Senior Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Consultant
    The architectural blueprints in it act as a key reference repository for the transformation projects. ​
    IT Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    The most valuable part is the code engineering, both for databases and source code.
    Practice Leader Architecture / Methodologist at Swift Fox Strategies Inc.
    Consultant
    XMI Import and Export allows for rapid extraction of model fragment to support reusable assets.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are looking for something to just get the job done that does not box you in, then this product is for you, if you are looking for something more, this product grows with you and can address your incremental needs. If you are looking for a rapid implementation repository for projects that can contribute to an overall enterprise approach I think this product greatly helps with the caveat that it is the basis of a buy and build up approach. Lots of add on lend to the enterprise solution. The above diagram was the basis as a context for architectural capability for a recent client it covers…
    Enterprise Architect, IT Director at a consumer goods company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    The underlying data model that supports the models allows exposing architecture data to people who don't need or want to see diagrams.

    What other advice do I have?

    In a multiuser environment, you can't really go around the need for process to control access. Otherwise the quality of information will suffer.
    IT Consultant at a non-profit with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    Top 20
    We've improved overall to some extent.​ UML analysis needs to improved.​

    What is most valuable?

    The business process management of Sparx is valuable.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We've improved overall to some extent due to Sparx.

    What needs improvement?

    UML analysis needs to improved.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using it for three years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There's a lack of diagrams available during deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We had no issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have been able to scale it to our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We haven't had to contact tech support.

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

    We previously used MAP.…
    Head of Systems Integration & System Engineering department at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Consultant
    It has helped us with real MDA and code generation directly into Visual Studio.
    Software Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    It has connectivity to all kinds of office documents. I had a hard time of learning how business modeling works, and simultaneously learning a new tool.
    General Manager at a manufacturing company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    I'm very happy with the support for UML 2 diagrams, Archimate, TOGAF and the collaboration capability using a RDBMS back-end.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a very decent product, but if all you are required to do is produce "box diagrams" then Sparx EA will be overkill.
    Senior Architect (Project) at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    We're now based on business drivers, goals and requirements, and linked to business and IT functions. However, modeling could be more user-friendly.

    What other advice do I have?

    Take into account it as a rather technical oriented product. It lacks a number of EA features such as ERM, PPM, APM etc. However, ArchiMate does provide some functionality in this field.
    Senior Enterprise Architect at a individual & family service with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Vendor
    Top 20
    ​Powerful tool with plenty of customization options. Requires learning and experimentation.

    What other advice do I have?

    Buy Peter Doomen's book "Fifty Enterprise Architect Tricks" book, join the Sparx and LinkedIn communities of experts.
    Senior Enterprise Architect at a transportation company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Offers full development life-cycle modelling yet does not support analysis of the models

    What other advice do I have?

    This is really just a modeling tool. Despite its name it does not really compare to to other “enterprise architecture” tools from companies such as Orbus, and Troux. That said the product offers full development life-cycle modelling in addition to some project management tie-ins.
    Enterprise Architecture Consultant at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Very stable although it lacks the ability to lock specific objects to specific users.

    What other advice do I have?

    Ensure you have fully reviewed your documentation patterns with the entire team.
    Infrastructure Expert at a computer software company with 501-1,000 employees
    Vendor
    Support for a Mac would be an improvement but I'm very happy with the support for UML 2 diagrams.

    What other advice do I have?

    It's a very decent product, but if all you are required to do is produce "box diagrams" then Sparx EA will be overkill.
    VP, Senior Business Analyst at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Product is very visual, but not intuitive

    What is most valuable?

    Use cases Requirements Test cases UML diagrams as sequence, class and others

    How has it helped my organization?

    Was able to create full specifications (BRD, FRD, Tech design documents), utilizing SPARX application.

    What needs improvement?

    Product is very visual, but not intuitive.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    1.5 years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We didn't deploy, as we didn't have connection to database environment for security reasons.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service: 10 out of 10. Emails were answered and phone…
    Buyer's Guide
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