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Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

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: September 2021

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Customers

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Archived Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Reviews (more than two years old)

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MK
User at a tech services company
Real User
The business process management tools and architect help to make work easier

Pros and Cons

  • "Some of the business processes are very easy to compare when you have the diagrams."
  • "I think that collaboration can be better."

What is our primary use case?

We used this solution to implement a turn-key, ERP project. I was the system architect for this project.

How has it helped my organization?

As a business analyst, I am responsible for the requirements and arrangement. This solution makes my work very easy. Some of the business processes are very easy to compare when you have the diagrams.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the Business Process Management and the Architect.

What needs improvement?

I think that collaboration can be better. It isn't bad but it can be improved. It would be nice if you can have interaction with other users, in a community of some sort, where you can have a discussion and frequently asked questions. It would be best if you don't have to send a text and wait for a measurable time before getting a response.

Some of the attributes do not exist for models, and you have to customize in order to have them. They are supposed to be standard attributes.

The entire interface can be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since 2016.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think that it is a mature tool, and it's fairly stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We found it very difficult to scale this solution.

We're not sure if it was a limitation with the client security, but we had some problems. I don't think that Sparx is non-scalable, but maybe it can try to adapt to different clients.

How are customer service and technical support?

I am satisfied with the technical support. I have not encountered any problems, so I think that it is one hundred percent.

How was the initial setup?

I found the setup to be simple, but it may be because I am used to the environment. It was implemented as a turn-key project over approximately six months, with the total project being about a year in length.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for somebody implementing this solution is to make sure that they utilize it to its full capacity so that they can draw the greatest value out of it. This product can provide the user with a number of solutions, so one has to make sure that they exploit all of the benefits.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Endre Domiczi
Owner & CEO at mentorITe
Reseller
An extensible solution with helpful webinars and good tutorials to learn from

Pros and Cons

  • "I like that there is support for software patterns."
  • "It would be nice to have it supported on the Linux operating system."

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.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Reseller.
Learn what your peers think about Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2021.
542,029 professionals have used our research since 2012.
PU
IT Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Supports multiple modeling languages like ArchiMate for database design

Pros and Cons

  • "Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect supports multiple modeling languages like ArchiMate for database design, software lifecycle visualization, and team management."
  • "There used to be that feature in ArchiMate Modeling of Enterprise Architect called inherited relationships. Now it's gone."

What is our primary use case?

In my company at the moment, many people have difficulty in using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. It is not easy for someone who is not experienced with the platform. It's not the correct level for our requirements. 

You cannot just open and start Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. This is the entry barrier for inexperienced users. From the perspective of inexperienced users, the product needs improvement.

What is most valuable?

It supports multiple modeling languages like ArchiMate for database design, software lifecycle visualization, and team management. Merging all of them is a great feature.

What needs improvement?

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is okay. I don't see anything that can be improved at the moment. For me it's perfect.

There used to be that feature in ArchiMate Modeling of Enterprise Architect called inherited relationships. The tool used to be equipped with this functionality of showing those relationships and now it's gone. It would be nice if it comes back.

I would like to see Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect more user-friendly and intuitive. This would be great. The product is okay for the experienced user, but for the entry-level people, it's somehow hard. They cannot start without one hour of introductory training.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect since 2004.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I had some problems in the past when we had 50 concurrent users and it was based on the Oracle database. Because it was based on the Oracle database, we had some issues with performance. I don't know if it was the problem of Enterprise Architect or the wrong setup of the Oracle database. I did encounter some issues with the installations of that site for 50 concurrent users.

Right now we are just starting. It will be probably something around 10 users but not concurrent. For concurrent users, maybe there will be around five. For the main users, it will be about 10. The others are some roles like business process modeling experts, database experts, and solutions architect. In total, there will be three types of main user roles.

How are customer service and technical support?

With our current project, we don't need technical support. In the past, I had some experience with the technical support team. It was okay. We had some programming issues that were solved. The response time was pretty good.

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

Aris was our previous tool. It was not extensively used but we decided to go with Enterprise Architect. In my work, sometimes I used Aris combined with Enterprise Architect. Aris was for business processing and Enterprise Architect was for mainly IT architecture.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect for the inexperienced user is non-intuitive.

What about the implementation team?

I did the setup on my own based on the knowledge of the customer organization. I was supported by the external company that is experienced with the tool. I used different models for that.

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

I would advise anyone to find a good partner for guiding the methodology of modeling. Maybe some technical support is required if you need the integration of your tool.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In this project, Aris was the main competition.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect an eight out of ten. It's pretty good, but it's not that intuitive for the beginner user.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Charles  England
Solutions Architect at NT Health
Real User
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.

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

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

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 are customer service and technical support?

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

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

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.
Olaf Kruidhof
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.

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

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

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."

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.

How has it helped my organization?

It has provided a single repository for all architecture work. Then, the models can be shared between the architects and other information management users. 

What is most valuable?

It is customizable, which allows it to be tailored to our environment. It provides several template frameworks. We can customize them based on control parameters to be used by all staff. 

What needs improvement?

It is weak in regards to data modelling. It does not provide logical or physical data modelling or the ability to migrate from conceptual to physical and back. It is limited in its reverse engineering capabilities. It uses a UML-based modelling technique which does not provide sufficient control of metadata and standards.  

There was no way to implement data integrity and referential integrity constraints. I do not even think it has the domain concept. It does not provide the package concept, so model elements can be inherited by other model elements.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MJ
Software Architect at Achilles Information Limited
User
Can reference and link to components from any diagram

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."

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.

How has it helped my organization?

It has not improved our organization mainly due to the poor diagramming capabilities within the product, which are outdated and look like Visual Studio 2005. As a result, our architecture team constantly reverts back to Visio diagramming (and Visio's inability to reference defined artifacts).

What is most valuable?

  • Its ability to reference and link to components from any diagram.
  • The vast number of frameworks supported to get started with modelling.

What needs improvement?

Improve the following:

  • Report builder
  • Diagramming capabilities
  • Connector routing and layout algorithms
  • Inconsistent UI elements must be tidied up with the toolbox gaps removed.
  • Alignment and button sizes need to be made consistent. 

Recommended features would include:

  • A refreshed diagramming canvas (even outsourced to a third-party diagramming vendor, if necessary).
  • Replace built-in report writer with direct integration to Microsoft Word.
  • Improve dashboard "Getting Started" guidance to direct modelling activities according to "what" I wish to achieve, e.g., "I wish to generate a Platform Application Map," and all the most appropriate/popular types of diagrams are made available.
  • Improve support to intuitively generate hierarchical navigation diagrams.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user821961
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."

How has it helped my organization?

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.

What is most valuable?

I like to use this system, it is a handy tool for visual modeling that provides opportunities for analysis, design, and support of models using ArchiMate, UML. 

The system provides powerful tools for obtaining reports and documentation. 

There is a good community of users of this system, providing the opportunity to learn and share knowledge.

What needs improvement?

I would like the system to more "intellectually" build a scheme, place icons, and connect lines on the schemes.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good.

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

ARIS Business Architect, ARIS Business Designer. 

Sparx EA is better suited for small and medium-sized companies, cheaper and easier in terms of training. It is better suited to modeling on ArchiMate 3.0 notation.

How was the initial setup?

Easy.

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

Pricing and licensing are suitable even for small companies.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend connecting to the Sparx EA community.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user789921
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

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 how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user792948
Data Architect with 501-1,000 employees
User
The database management area was not usable

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."

    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. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    Not really.

    Unfortunately, only one of our solution architects was using this in the end, as the others resorted to Vision because it was more user-friendly. I ended up buying an Idera licence for ER/Studio and using that instead.

    What is most valuable?

    I struggled with most of the features for this tool, as did the rest of our architecture team.

    What needs improvement?

    The database part needs to be more like ERwin or ER/Studio. 

    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.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    MichaelSukachev
    Enterprise Architect at Teranet, INC.
    Real User
    Top 5Leaderboard
    Provides adaptability to the modeling needs of different departments

    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 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.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We adopted Sparx EA more than six years ago. Before that, all models were created in MS Visio and were maintained independently without any tractability. That led to insufficient incomplete impact analysis and incomplete solutions. With Sparx EA, models became a maintainable and reusable asset of the corporation. Correct impact analysis became a matter of minutes. As a result the quality of solutions drastically improved. Not mentioning that all employees in any department can now clearly understand business processes with all related applications and infrastructure at any level.

    What is most valuable?

    • Great adaptability to modeling needs of all organization departments: Business, Architecture, Software Development, and Systems Support.
    • Kind of all-in-one solution (in a good meaning of it), through support for many standard modeling notations used in most of domains of the IT/IS. The list of supported notation grows constantly.
    • Effective for Enterprise, Solution, and Software architectures.
    • Ability to maintain cross-references for all models in all levels - great tractability.
    • Versioning for all elements.
    • Very attractive pricing and simple licensing model.
    • Good set of the add-ons that grow and improve.

    What needs improvement?

    The elements of the modeling sets can have better customization and visual representation. It would be great to have a mobile version.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We did not encounter any issues with stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    With very large projects, the loading time can become a bit longer, although not to the extent of becoming a great concern.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate the level of technical support as "not bad". But I did not need to use technical support too much.

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

    MS Visio was used for tractability and maintenance, and many other concerns, were the reasons that we switched.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was very easy. After that, by following the best practices from the Sparx website, it is easy to organize the whole modeling process with versioning. You have the ability to reuse existing elements/projects and create customized project templates.

    What was our ROI?

    In my opinion, there is a great ROI on a product like this.

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

    Pricing and licensing is very attractive, simple, and straightforward.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated other options such as Rational Software Architect, Visual Paradigm, and Altova UModel.

    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.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user603426
    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 is most valuable?

    The RTF document generator and profiles.

    The RTF document generator allows me to focus more of my time on architecture and less on word processing. I can produce up-to-date reports anytime at the push of a button and that is a (huge!) time saver.

    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.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Various groups within the enterprise can now have access to a centralized and standardized repository.

    What needs improvement?

    Truth be told, like most products of its kind, it is not always an intuitively easy tool to use. In fairness, it is very hard to enable a non-expert user to do complex things in a totally easy intuitive way and I don’t know any tool that is intuitive.

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

    But if you want to create a well-structured, multi-layered, traceable model that can auto generate all kinds of documents, then you will need some expertise in both architecture and the tool.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used this solution for six years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No, and I’ve worked on repositories with well over a hundred users.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Excellent, not only do I get quick responses, but their people are well-equipped to handle complex and leading edge issues and questions.

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

    I have used other tools (DOORS, Rational, etc.), but always found them more limited, clunky, and expensive.

    How was the initial setup?

    Very straightforward.

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

    It’s the best deal in town, by far.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I’m always keeping my eye on the tool landscape and there are a lot of good tools out there. But for the money, breadth of scope, depth of features, add-ons, customizability, and capabilities, it still ranks number one.

    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 can help you with formatting, spell checking and all kinds of other things to help create, organize, edit, modify and manage your information but if you know nothing about the law or writing legal contracts, MS Word isn’t going to provide you with that expertise.

    Have good people lead the use of the tool.

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

    It's like a repository. So far, we use it only for Information Modelling.

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Repository.
    • Reuse of objects
    • Making fewer mistakes in models (i.e., naming objects, attributes, etc.).

    What needs improvement?

    It would be great if we could decrease the use of different parts of the Toolbox. By doing so, forcing temporary consultants to use our Profile and no other items from other toolboxes.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Personally: Three years. The organization: about seven years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    So far, no. We use the local database. In the future, we have to start using a central Database (Cloud?).

    How are customer service and technical support?

    From 1–10: Nine (fast response).

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

    Word (Microsoft Office), Visio.

    How was the initial setup?

    Complex, because we used a profile.

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

    No clue…Licenses are pretty low cost compared to, for example, ARIS.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    My colleague did this before I started using EA. Dunno exactly, but I thought about Bizzdesign, ARIS, and one or two other products.

    What other advice do I have?

    For the initial setup, get people with good knowledge from Sparx EA .

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

    What is most valuable?

    Ability to model and create view under same roof. The ribbon style editor coupled with capability to manage requirements, design and delivery in the same application simplified my life tremendously.

    How has it helped my organization?

    All requirements management is now moved to EA.

    What needs improvement?

    The templates for documentation should be enhanced to include complex documents such as template RFP, or Non functional requirements template. Currently, eixsting template documents are based on diagrams and needs to be combined and customized.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    1 year

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Excellent.

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

    I was previously using Microsoft Visio and PowerPoint for creating visual models.

    How was the initial setup?

    Very easy.

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

    The pricing for ultimate version is steeply high. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user526653
    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 is most valuable?

    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.

    Customized profiles allow you to create entities that are custom engineered to your organization. Do you want to separate non-functional requirements into two types, say high and low priority, with each one having custom tags such as owner, why needed, history, date needed and authorizer for the high priority you can have it all built in to a tool set.

    How has it helped my organization?

    In one organization, 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 of fuss by sharing the repository instead of having to e-mail diagrams or search through SharePoint to find the right diagram. Its easy to bookmark a diagram in a repo so someone else can open their EA client and quickly find and even modify it directly, if appropriate

    What needs improvement?

    Sparx EA has always had one strong negative that has kept it from dominating the market ( not counting the fact that the big guns can out market Sparx).

    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.

    I've even seen reviews of the product by people who worked with it in which they complain that it can't do things that it most definitely can do(e.g. I've seen it referred to as an exclusively single user tool).

    Yes there are courses available but it's counter productive to teach everyone everything, don't confuse a business analysts by teaching him about class diagrams and document templates, don't teach a programmer how to create BPMN diagrams.

    The webinars and videos help , there has been big improvement in the reference material that Sparx has made available.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Six years

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Very very rarely.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Very good.

    Technical Support:

    Very good although there is no phone support.

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

    I actually used a tool called TCC, Together Control Centre many years back which was very similar. It was created by Peter Coad of the (Coad-Yourdon methodology).

    Unfortunately, some ruthless venture capitalist got control of the companies and tore it to pieces trying to make it a do all be all tool ("It's a floor wax - its a dessert topping").


    How was the initial setup?

    Straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    In-house ( mostly myself)

    What was our ROI?

    Always hard to say because it depends how you measure it but 20% or more is quite feasible.

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

    Use floating licenses strategically.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Power Designer, Corso, Rational,BIZZDesign

    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 using it as a fancy version of Visio which is like buying a Porsche to use for storage space.

    Also focus your learning on what you will be doing with the tool ( i.e. if you will be creating requirements models don't waste time learning how to auto generate documents).





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

    • Data Modeling (conceptual modeling)
    • XML schema design
    • We use it to develop and maintain the Enterprise Conceptual Model, migrated from erwin a couple of years ago.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We used Sparx EA to document CCAR data lineage in response to an OCC MRA filing.

    What needs improvement?

    • Greater OMG UML and XMI compliance
    • Better reporting

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution for five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No problems with stability. It is a rock solid product, unlike erwin, which was unstable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no issues with scalability. It handled increased volume easily, unlike erwin.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I would rate technical support as OK. The forum was great. The actual support was only so-so.

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

    We used erwin. Erwin was unstable and didn't handle the model as the size grew.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward.

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

    The Corporate Edition, or one of the bundles, is the way to go. You don't save that much going with the personal or profession editions.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated MagicDraw.

    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.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Consultant
    Supports modeling standards such as UML, BPMN, and ArchiMate.

    What is most valuable?

    • Open API, published database schema
    • Report generation: Makes the tool easy to configure and easy to extract analytics/reports
    • A large community with many examples and modeling standards supported, including UML, BPMN, and ArchiMate

    How has it helped my organization?

    I have used the BPMN modelling, reporting, and analytic capability with a number of clients to document their business processes. These have been used for staff training, change management, and regulatory reporting.

    What needs improvement?

    The tool lacks an interactive web interface. The HTML generated is static. Users can’t add comments, run reports, or query the generated HTML via a web browser. To do this with the out-of-the-box capability, users need to install the Sparx Windows client.

    However, you can configure the generated HTML to invoke web services that you can code using the open API. The open API provides reporting and querying via a web browser. This is something that I have done for clients.

    (Update on above comments: Sparx has just released an interactive web interface - see their site for

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for 14 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no stability issues. The product uses a client-server model, so any issues would be due to the RDBMS that you deploy.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were scalability issues. The HTML generation with very large models, over 4000 diagrams, can be problematic. It will take several hours to generate.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Sparx Systems provides tools and web/email-based support for licensed users. They are responsive, with queries typically answered within 24 hours.

    They rely on a global network of third-party partners who provide local professional services. I can provide this in the UK. There is also a very active community that can answer most of your questions.

    Technical Support:

    Technical support is good, with the limitations mentioned regarding customer service.

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

    I’ve used many solutions over the years. I tend to come back to Sparx because it is the best value for the money.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is simple. There are some advanced options related to source control and WAN optimization/cloud service (HTTP connectivity; not Sparx in the cloud).

    However, the most complex consideration when setting Sparx up is how to structure the model to address your business requirements. This is key because the tool has no out-of-the-box model structure. You need to define it.

    What about the implementation team?

    Sparx does not have a professional services team. They rely on a global network of partners. Medium/large organisations should engage one of these partners or bring in an experienced contractor, such as myself, to help them set up their model.

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

    It has very competitive pricing/licensing. Spend the money you save on experienced support when setting up your model.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have run tooling RFPs comparing BPM tools such as iGrafx, Aris, ADONIS, and Sparx. (Sparx was already being used by solution architects.)

    We chose Sparx as it was the incumbent tool within the organisation. It was significantly less expensive than the other tools.

    What other advice do I have?

    Get experienced help with the setup/configuration of your model so it can fully meet your business requirements.


    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user466647
    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 is most valuable?

    We use it mainly for business process modelling, data modelling, and requirement specifications.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We have three licenses being used by a team of project managers. We can work collectively instead of various people doing the same thing.

    And we can generate up-to-date documentation for our customers.

    What needs improvement?

    We would like to see improvements in the documentation generator: templates, styles, and content.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for five years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    I have not encountered any deployment issues at all. We know how to configure databases from other projects. I think this can be the most difficult thing for others.

    For me, it would be better if we could use the 64-bit version of ODBC.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have encountered any stability issues very rarely. It happened some time ago; the whole OS crashed after a specific set of steps being performed (repeatable). I do not see this in the current version.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We use it in a small environment, so I can't say too much about scalability. We also used the Lite version for our customers and we liked it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Customer service is very good. We've been obtaining offers fast. However, it looks like we need to renew our licenses soon - and have no any information from the vendor.

    Technical Support:

    I have never used technical support.

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

    We previously used rational tools (Rose, RSA and some other rational tools as well). This product is much cheaper and enough for our needs.

    How was the initial setup?

    Initial setup was not complex. As mentioned, people installing the database server version (the only one that makes sense for us) can have some difficulties.

    What about the implementation team?

    An in-house team implemented it.

    What was our ROI?

    I don't know specific numbers, but just one project is enough to generate profits. We have about 20 projects a year.

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

    I recommend buying higher versions; I mean versions with more options than the simplest one. We do not use flexible licensing, but I'm sure for big installations, flexible licensing makes sense, while for small ones, fixed licensing is ok.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Before choosing this product, we did some research. We had been using Rational and PowerDesigner from Sybase (now SAP), and we tried Embarcadero.

    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.

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

    Valuable Features

    There are many, but the most important is traceability, and having the option to quickly drill down from a birdseye view to the little details, and back.

    Improvements to My Organization

    I can create requirements, draw all kinds of UML diagrams, link it all together and produce nice PDF reports and charts for the stakeholders. We even quit using JIRA and perform issue tracking with a nearshoring team of 10 people directly in Sparx.

    Room for Improvement

    Once you know the tool, there is not much left that I miss. It lacks some collaborative functions like sending emails when a status changed. But I can perfectly live with that, by using Discussions and Model Mail in EA. Another thing is the locking of diagrams etc., which is important when working in a team. This can be a little bit cumbersome. But here I also have found a nice workaround, so again, I can perfectly live with that.

    What I miss is a way to hide stuff that I don't need, so that all the windows and views are not clustered with unnecessary stuff. That would also be nice for new team members, so that they are not lost so many times.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for four years.

    Deployment Issues

    We've had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues

    It is very stable. It only doesn't like when it loses connection to the database repository, but even after a forced reboot, I have never lost any data.

    Scalability Issues

    We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I only used it a few times, when I forgot passwords or license keys. The support was always fast and excellent.

    Initial Setup

    I always compare EA with a lovely beast. It seems very complex at the beginning, because it provides you with all options in all places, but once you realized that you don't have to use it all, and you know your workflow, it just works perfectly.

    Implementation Team

    We did it in house. It is a simple installation. Also, setting up the key store for managing the floating licenses is no rocket science.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    The price for such a tool is very fair. You can choose between different versions depending on your needs, and you can scale up any time later. There is a free trial (30 days), and a free version of EA to view the model. This is perfect for stakeholder to see what is going on.

    Other Solutions Considered

    I really tried hard to find the best solution that suits all needs. JIRA/Confluence, and many UML tools like Magic Draw. The only tool that comes close is Visual Paradigm. After some time evaluating, I chose EA, because it gives me the freedom of writing SQL queries, and I can create backups of the whole model very easily. Also, the concept of floating licenses is very nice if you work with different external teams.

    Other Advice

    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 element, click "Find in Diagrams" and see this element in context. We even do all time reports in EA, directly on the Issues, Requirements etc. The hidden power of EA comes with its "Tagged Values". We are doing scrum, with sprints and retrospectives etc. all in EA without any additional extension or third party tool.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    Business Owner at a program development consultancy with 51-200 employees
    Vendor
    It's intuitively easy to use and produced some nice reports.

    Valuable Features:

    Initially, I used the temporary license for capturing some initial requirements on a new project restricting my use to the Desktop Edition. This worked very well and was intuitively easy to use and produced some nice reports.

    Room for Improvement:

    We have a long way to go on the new project and we are resource limited. The learning curve might be substantial for what I'm up against. I'm point lead on integrating and using this tool in the new project and supporting the other team members plus our management lead.

    Use of Solution:

    I've read about the product a lot, but very little experience outside of requirements capture.

    Deployment Issues:

    We've had no issues with deployment.

    Stability Issues:

    We've had no issues with stability.

    Scalability Issues:

    We've had no issues with scalability.

    Cost and Licensing Advice:

    After reading about the differences in the Editions, I determined that we really need the Systems Engineering Edition to handle project versions and use UML for more than just software, plus auditing, and requirements tracing, etc.

    Other Advice:

    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 that deficiency by providing various scenarios along with examples just a thought.  Also, that company is using old servers that are about to be replaced mid-summer, so I cannot use their equipment to setup a database backed project. However, I have installed MySQL on my local machine and have set it up for use with the project I'm working on for them. I've been thinking about using Amazon AWS to setup a cloud based solution for them, but don't have the time for this right now.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user426435
    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 is most valuable?

    Modelling and project-actual-state document generation. It is, as always, the most critical need of every project. Due to the presenting concept and impact analysis, this is a good tool.

    How has it helped my organization?

    My organization didn’t manage to take advantage. It needs a ‘critical mass’ of users and understanding to generate benefit, but here we failed.

    What needs improvement?

    There is some room for improvement in the presentation and graphics. I know the power of Sparx EA is describing ideas and modelling but facilitating presentation of models need some ergonomic improvements.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We had no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Technical Support:

    We didn’t have any cases to call for support, but we enjoyed the activities being performed and invited to – webinars and educational videos.

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

    There were some applications being used for business process and system documentation – every department with its own. Slowly, the need for a more powerful tool became obvious, and at the time, one of the requirements put on the table was to unite different departments documenting efforts. After some evaluation, we came to the conclusion – in the IT and telecommunications areas, that usual written documents concerning systems and their design, start to become outdated at the moment of being published. Supporting models that can somehow automatically generate documentation was the real thing. Besides the impact analysis from models appear to be natural activity and the result is actual at the moment of generation. According to us, Sparx EA was ideal for this need.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup topology was - central repository, shared keys, version control system, domain controlled users.

    What about the implementation team?

    A vendor performed the initial deployment. An instructor from Sparx introduced us to the product capabilities. They performed the deployment and tuning of the common storage and wrote the client installation script. they then supplied it to the infrastructure administrators and provided instructions.

    What was our ROI?

    Return of Investment is hard to evaluate. We expected the supported systems to achieve a reduction in time for analysis and documentation and change due to a better understanding and reduced risk. The calculation in m/h are not performed due to coinciding structural changes and loss of focus on ‘Sparx project’.

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

    Enterprise – this is most suitable licensing scheme for medium to large companies.

    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.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Francis Pascual
    Systems Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Support for UML diagrams is good.

    Valuable Features:

    • Support for UML diagrams – use cases and behavioral model
    • Logical models
    • Excellent documentation templates, like what you see is what you get

    Improvements to My Organization:

    Team collaboration. It’s like the Microsoft TFS equivalent for architecture.

    Room for Improvement:

    It has everything spanning from project management to reverse engineering code to test cycle management, and I believe you can link them all together. Its side effect is the complexity of getting it all together in this one tool. 

    I would probably separate the testing, PM and code reverse engineering features as an add-on feature rather as part of one tool.

    Deployment Issues:

    There have been no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues:

    We have had no issues with the stability.

    Scalability Issues:

    We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    Other Advice:

    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.

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

    Valuable Features

    • Easy drag and drop
    • Reuse the old copy
    • Quick changes with minimal efforts
    • Anyone can work on the same file
    • File is small in size.

    Improvements to My Organization

    Large diagrams for hardware infrastructure, HA environments, Integrated Solution view, etc all help different teams to understand the scope of projects.

    Room for Improvement

    Should be on the cloud so that its flexible for making changes and managing different versions. Anyone from a team can work on a copy with project shared user for quick delivery, but there are license limitations that should be based on the number of running threads and not on a per-user basis.

    Use of Solution

    We've used it for the last 10 years.

    Deployment Issues

    Installation will be challenge for quick and one time use, some time the code not sync due to some issues,

    Stability Issues

    There have been no issues with the stability.

    Scalability Issues

    We have had no issues with scaling it for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I haven't had to contact technical support.

    Initial Setup

    It's straightforward, but too much configuration is required with SVN or local code.

    Implementation Team

    Westraightforward, but too much configuration is required with SVN or local code.

    Other Advice

    If the project life cycle is delivered through some standard ICONIC process E2E then Sparx will help a lot for artifacts.

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

    Valuable Features

    The document generation tool. The ability to define templates based on our corporate documentation standards and automatically generate documents at a click of a button is such a productivity booster.

    Improvements to My Organization

    I don't know where to start. I've used Sparx at one organization and was subsequently primarily involved in the adoption and implementation of EA at another organization.

    We transformed the tooling from a mis-mash of Gliffy diagrams, web-sequence diagrams, and some Aris for capturing requirements. We have implemented standardized EA models aided by templates. It increased the productivity due to ease of use. It provided a uniform tool from requirements analysis to technical design specifications used across teams. We have more complete models that are published and accessible, they reflect changes in real time. Links across components aids in impact assessment.

    Room for Improvement

    Repository integration. SVN based repositories can be a pain to merge changes. The database based repository can become slow.

    Use of Solution

    I've used it for approximately eight years, but only about three years extensive use.

    Deployment Issues

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues

    We created a database repository. Adding users and growing the model did add a fair amount of latency.

    Scalability Issues

    We have had no issues scaling it/

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Customer Service:

    I've not had to use customer service.

    Technical Support:

    I've not had to use tech support. The online help, forums and tutorials were sufficient to solve the problems that I encountered.

    Other Solutions Considered

    I have evaluated various tools - IBM Rational Software Architect, briefly played with SyBase Power Designer and Archi. I found them difficult to use, a steeper learning curve, or they did only a portion of the modelling.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    MIS Specialist at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Any changes or buss requirements are modeled first and then implemented. ​​

    Valuable Features:

    Easy and intuitive way of creating diagrams, reverse engineering tools for Java and databases. It also provides a centralized RDBMS repository for all models with automatic element level locking.

    Improvements to My Organization:

    EA is just a tool and can't help you in any way, unless proper government process is enforced. In order to set-up sustainable gov. processes you have to have clear understanding between business and IT. As we all know IT doesn't speak the business language and business is not able to keep up with IT. We have exchanged "language" for picture (diagrams) and the result was awesome. Understanding now is more clear and and straightforward. EA helped us to express our IT vision in conceptual and logical models which are easy to explain to top management. Any changes or buss requirements are modeled first and then implemented. 

    Room for Improvement:

    EA has its weakness as well. Security model for rdbms repository is very basic. You can't restrict users or groups to certain part of models and due to this limitation sharing with external companies is possible via xmi only. Performance of remote rdbms is nightmare and the reason is that every link and every attribute is separate sequential insert/update to db. In our case speed is 10-15 inserts per second! Model with couple thousand links just take forever to upload. Workaround is to host EA and db on one citrix physical machine what comes with additional cost. Have guys from Sparx heard of "batch insert mode"? 

    Other Advice:

    There is plenty room for improvements, but overall for most of the time we use basic functionality which just works.

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

    Class diagrams, component diagrams, and sequence diagrams. In our organization, we use Sparx EA for low level architecture which connects to the enterprise architecture. We use it to document information models using class diagrams and object models, solution/domain architecture using component and sequence diagrams.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The communication amongst several parties using common language and using a repository.

    What needs improvement?

    1. Could have better reporting functions
    2. Performance could be improved when the file based repository size increases
    3. Would be nice if it takes excel inputs for creating a list of objects and maybe even relations.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've used it for three and a half years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Stability is sometimes an issue when it comes up with synchronization errors and does not give any specific message as to the reason behind it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Scalability becomes an issue as long as we are working on file based repository.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer service has been good whenever I contacted them.

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

    I used Rational Rose for UML modeling before this. Currently, I use Software AG's ARIS for enterprise architecture and Sparx EA for information modeling and solution architecture. Sparx does not have the depth that ARIS provides but I like the flexibility and ease of use , despite its lack of reporting and import capabilities.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    In-house and independent installations usually, so far.

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

    Currently, it is only used as one of the several tools and is still being discussed about the capacity in which we should use this tool.

    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.

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

    Valuable Features:

    UML modelling, XML generation import/export, design patterns, automated generation of documentation, XMI import/export. Benefits to the business accrue from adoption of model-driven architecture principles and practices. The tool and its features make application of these principles productive, efficient and shared by the architects community, thus helping achieve the benefits in practice

    Improvements to My Organization:

    Shared models capture digitally fundamental knowledge about the business and its representation in ICT systems. Tooling makes this knowledge shareable, reusable, validated, rigorous, open and  turns it into a common asset of the Company rather than an arcane informal insight of a few individuals. Helps communicate with vendors and quickly bring new hires or new project members up to speed on projects

    Room for Improvement:

    In truth we are still using an older version of the product, and we are aware of a number of improvements that have been made to it since. We feel that compatibility with other MDA modelling products, particularly open source such as Visual Paradigm, Modelio or Capella is an area of improvement, as well as better integration with Integrated Development Environments. We would benefit from better support of REST web services and JSON. However we would not encourage ‘bundling’ Enterprise Architecture with IDEs: we prefer Sparx Systems to specialize in building the best modelling tool and features, but allowing a wide choice of IDES. The fundamental reason for this is that we cannot and do not wish to enforce the use of a single tool on all our partners: we want to be able to use a single model, not a single tool

    Use of Solution:

    We've been using it since 2010/11.

    Deployment Issues:

    We've had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues:

    We've had no stability issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    We've been able to scale it to our needs without issue.

    Customer Service:

    We have had very little, or no, need for customer service, which we count as excellent digital customer service level is delivered through the online tools and the forum.

    Initial Setup:

    It was in fact straightforward, which was one of the determinants for selecting it.

    Implementation Team:

    Implementation and training was done in house under control of an experienced MDA practictioner. We did in fact train our partners.

    ROI:

    Depending of what items enter in the computation of ‘return’ the ROI can be estimated from high to very high, productivity gains measured in either shorter lifecycles or headcounts of personnel required to build effective models.

    Other Solutions Considered:

    We have evaluated other products both before and after the adoption of Enterprise Architect. We selected EI as the best quality/price to ease of learning and use. 

    Other Advice:

    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.

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

    Valuable Features

    The possibility to use a common architect repository with a standard SQL server. Working with Archimate standards on the new open group Archimate Exchange format (XML) that allows us to use Archi for distributed archimate modeling in every important project and import those Archimate model to the common Sparx based repository and building a reference architecture for the whole company.

    Improvements to My Organization

    Now for the first time we have a complete reference architecture repository to build different target architecture for every large program and projects.

    Room for Improvement

    Sparx is built by software tech-guys for software tech-guys. Its not an everyday architect or other office-worker mostly loved tool. It has an inconsistent menu structure as some functions are context aware, but it's nearly impossible to remember where to find them next time you are looking for them. It's not like an office tool, but it's not even like some software development tools, just another animal.

    Use of Solution

    We did an overall comparison of several Archimate tools during fall of 2015, and since December 2015 we have been implementing this feature for our architect community. We're also using the Archimate plugin 3.2.1.

    Deployment Issues

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    Stability Issues

    As we were selected floating licenses we was required to install a license server with two license-services, one for Sparx EA and a separate for the BEASI plugin. As those services have different techniques i.e different time-outs, we are having a problem with VPN users losing licenses for the BEASI plugin and that requires a Sparx restart to get back those licenses.

    Scalability Issues

    We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    I have not used Sparx support yet, but I have e-mailed BEASI support a lot and they have got a fairly good response time. It has room for improvement for both installation manuals and tips & tricks for Sparx and especially for BEASI.

    Implementation Team

    Implemented by ourselves with e-mail support from Biner AB who sold us the products.

    ROI

    With at least 10 architect working with this toolset, we should get ROI within first year, as we think we can make better assumptions on large projects and programs architecture footprint on the current real-world environment

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    As I said about the license services before, this was and still is a major concern about the stability of the product, mostly a BEASI plugin concern,

    Other Solutions Considered

    We were comparing to BizzDesign Architect, Orbus-software and others, but as we still are a rather immature architecture community, we will start small and when we can deliver business benefits we will make a new tool comparison, after a year or so, in 2017. So the main reason for Sparx & BEASI is the low-price and thanks to Beasi a full Archimate support, the inbuilt Archimate support in Sparx is not reaching.

    Other Advice

    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.

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

    The way one can set up relationships between components. When doing architecture this helps to determine impact on the IT landscape when components are removed, moved and changed.

    For software architecture the UML components are a great help. It also helps when creating code from the diagrams.

    How has it helped my organization?

    From an architectural point of view it is easy to define the application landscape and maintain the relationships between components. This helps when the current state application architecture is considered especially by architects new to an organisation. It also assists the embedded architects to design the future state architecture more effectively.

    What needs improvement?

    The UX/UI seems a bit dated and clunky and I would like to see a refresh of this. The application UX does not align to the newest design principles one can find on the web these days. It might also be time to adapt EA to work in a mobile environment (tablets not phones). The Information architecture aspects of the product is also not as strong as it can be but still offers good value for money.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using it for two years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We have had no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We have had no issues with the stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I personally have not used any of the customer service offered as I have been able to resolve most of my problem via the online help and FAQ’s. I have found the online help to be extremely detailed.

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

    I have used MS Visio (various versions) before and have found that EA provides a far better documentation environment. It is definitely easier to keep diagrams ordered and filed away in EA than with Visio.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was quite easy. The installation instructions and database setup is straight forward.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was an easy install for our in-house team.

    What was our ROI?

    We never determined the ROI on the product but the documentation we have available at our fingertips is priceless.

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

    Pricing is available on the website and very reasonable for a product of this nature. I have even acquired the product myself in a personal capacity at home for little side IT projects I do after hours.

    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.

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

    • UML (Class diagrams, Use cases)
    • XML schemas
    • ArchiMate
    • BPMN templates

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Conceptual, Logical and Physical Data models transformation to database design which gave us the benefit of no hand crafting of code, and it can be published as HTML or as a Word document.
    • BPMN process models benefits us as things can be copied and pasted into PowerPoint presentations and HTML
    • ArchiMate models which helps in the publishing of HTML models for users without Sparx

    What needs improvement?

    Check in/check out functionality would support better team working around a common repository.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've used it for six years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We have no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product has been very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There have been no issues scaling it to our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have had to seek a little support from Sparx directly (licencing options) as I mostly find that forums answer my questions.

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

    I have used more expensive modelling tools such as Rational Rose, Provision, PowerDesigner, and Visio. Sparx EA beats all of these hands down on a cost/benefit analysis.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's very easy to set-up. A shared repository with floating licences takes more effort but is not complex.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it in-house and I would advise that your Spax administrator is trained.

    What was our ROI?

    ROI is difficult to quantify but the tool will typically pay for itself in the first project.

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

    The cost of licensing is never an issue (circa US$199 per seat) and offers incredible value for the features it contains.

    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.

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

    Valuable Features

    As an analyst (i.e. IT Business Analyst, or Requirements Engineer), I’m in charge of the correct understanding of the clients’s requirements expressed in a very variable way, and for capture of these requirements in a structured Requirements Model. Afterwards, Requirements must be translated into an Analysis Model (Domain Model & Use Case Model). This work is done using the UML capabilities of the tool, with the added values of the Relationship Matrix and Traceability tool for a better control on the entire models.

    The Reporting tool is easy to use, but it's considered as just a communication tool. The prioritization of use case development has to be done before workload estimation and planning. In the Inception phase, the Project Management/Metrics tool/Workload estimation tool is very valuable in order to dress an initial planning.

    Improvements to My Organization

    When modelized, the scope of any developed application is clear for both the Client and the Development Team. The thing that is going to be developed and present in the application is known from the beginning of the projet. Afterwards, any further requirements can be seen through the already existing models and the impact is easily visible.

    Room for Improvement

    We miss an integration tool like ARCSeeker which is intended to register elicited elements in a Common repository with all their associations (this was removed last year). This feature helps for further integration of all Projects developped, with a better cross domain understanding.

    Use of Solution

    We've been using it since January 2007, so approximately nine years.

    Deployment Issues

    We didn't experience any deployment issues.

    Stability Issues

    We've not had any issues with the stability.

    Scalability Issues

    We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    Very good. Any submitted question is quickly answered. The Help Online and white papers, webinars, and user groups are very valuable.

    Initial Setup

    It was straightforward as support had been requested for installation, and users had been registered for a short term classes.

    Implementation Team

    The initial setup was done with the help of their support teams, and all subsequent ones were done in-house.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    All I can say is that the tool is known for being cheap. Depending upon the community usage in your company, Floating Licences can be valuable for a large user group.

    Other Solutions Considered

    It was a matter of price and quality! Other solutions were offering “better integrated tools”, but our goal was the UML for analysis purpose and Sparx EA proposed all the required features for a good price, and continuity and quality of support.

    Other Advice

    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.


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

    Valuable Features:

    • ArchiMate
    • UML

    Improvements to My Organization:

    Our clients have used EA to document the architecture for enterprise architecture as well as for software architecture. The architectural blueprints in Sparx EA acting as key reference repository for the transformation projects. 

    Room for Improvement:

    Sparx EA has limited visualization capabilities compared to leaders in this segment. The Sparx EA lacks portfolio Management capabilities. 

    Use of Solution:

    I've been using it for more than two years.

    Deployment Issues:

    We have had no issues with deploying it.

    Stability Issues:

    There have been no stability issues.

    Scalability Issues:

    We have had no issues scaling it as needed.

    Initial Setup:

    It was straightforward.

    Implementation Team:

    We did it in-house.

    Other Solutions Considered:

    We have evaluated other products from competing vendors. Sparx EA has cost advantage over competing tools in the market.  

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

    What is most valuable?

    There are many of them. I like the graphical appearance of the elements. It is easy to group them and see the relations between them. The most valuable part is the code engineering, both for databases and source code. Using it, I can see the relationship between tables or classes.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I am the only user of EA as I am a system designer. I use it to make reports from it and what I give to the developers. I am sure that the process of the developing of our product is faster and more secure through using Sparx.

    What needs improvement?

    I think the project management part should be easier to use. I would like to give only people and times to an element, and I would like to see a simple list - name of the element, name of the resource and time and it would be fine to export the result into Excel.

    For me the other problem is that the reports to HTML do not appear in the newest browsers.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for three months. I used one of the earlier version four years ago for half year.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    I had no issues installing it.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I have had no issues with running it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have not scaled it as I am the only user in the company.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I've never needed to contact them

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

    I have used Sybase Power Designer for database design, but I think Sparx is more comprehensive.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was easy for me. The EA Example project was very useful. However, when I encountered a specific question it was difficult to find the right answer on the Sparx website.

    What about the implementation team?

    I implemented it by myself.

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

    Outside of the diagram and project repository at an affordable prices the actual features included UML and re-engineering to build up documentation on existing code bases and databases for my clients. Later it became the ability to customize and support client and industry frameworks – the tools coverage. Now it is being able to support Enterprise level Architecture across all the domains from business to technology.

    XMI Import and Export – allows for rapid extraction of model fragment to support reusable assets and model element transfer to other tools & platforms.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Using the products scripting and namespace management has allowed for the expression of business models (level 1 - 4) for a government agency that provided a ‘tipping point’ for enterprise architecture acceptance. The span of coverage and consistent traceability for view point presentation allows client teams access to continually maintained building block catalogues and alignment with the business models.

    What needs improvement?

    More control over diagram layout and stylization and the use of layout templates to allow for consistent model view presentation to consumers. This would include improved control of generated HTML views and SVG products and enhanced shape management.

    Tagged value and stereotype management – these two UML features offer a lot of control and flexibility over model element treatment and provide benefit to power users.

    Needs support for Executive level diagramming for rolling up details back to concept.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using it since 2001.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We had no issues with the deployment.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The only stability concern I encountered was it not recognising that my laptop has limited resources especially as diagram complexity increases.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    My personal experience is that Enterprise Architect has a large user community that shares well. As well the direct line support from Sparx Systems is consistent; product knowledgeable; seems to be acceptably responsive and works to resolve the identified issue.

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

    I have used many computer assisted software engineering a model driven architecture tools including some I developed for military application. The list includes Excellator, Uniface, Power Designer, Oracle Designer, Rational Rose, and Software through Pictures, System Architect, Protégé, Microsoft Visio, Eclipse, Visual Studio, and Oxygen.

    I use this because of it's low cost per seat, ease of use, MOF/UML based namespace control, high level of standardized notational support, and portability.

    How was the initial setup?

    Very straightforward – download executable, select repository type, apply the license, and go to work.

    What about the implementation team?

    Implementation is straight-forward but if this is for a group or large community then having an experienced database administrator and support resources in stewardship roles definitely help. Implementation of product like Sparx Enterprise Architect into Enterprise level Architecture practises usually warrants the establishment of principles practises and procedures to provide governance and support expected results. Tools are only what you make of them.

    What was our ROI?

    My ROI was well within the acceptable range for a small engineering firm.

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

    Initially we were able to deploy to 15 end users for less than $5,000. Use of floating licensing provides for acceptable coverage at a lower per user cost.

    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 areas that have been implemented around a Sparx based tool set.


    The diagram above demonstrates the product’s ability to support Governments of Canada Strategic Reference Model (GSRM) Services Integration and Accountability Model (SIAM) resulting from GRSM Service Pattern Analysis.


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

    Valuable Features

    Support for different modeling standards in one package allows to have one tool for many roles.

    The underlying data model that supports the models allows exposing architecture data to people who don't need or want to see diagrams.

    Improvements to My Organization

    We used Sparx as a central repository for architecture models. Subsequently used on project delivery as a reference and during strategic planning.

    Room for Improvement

    A full SaaS version would be very helpful. Also, I would like to see more investment in Archimate notation. Right now it is still geared mostly towards UML.

    Use of Solution

    I've been using it for five.

    Deployment Issues

    We had no issues deploying it.

    Stability Issues

    In a database-server deployment there are performance/locking issues when multiple users make changes simultaneously. We had to establish processes to facilitate coordination of concurrent work.

    Scalability Issues

    We had no issues scaling it for our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    It's email only support, and they have a long turnaround.

    Initial Setup

    It's very easy.

    Implementation Team

    We implemented it ourselves with no major problems or delays.

    Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

    Value is the key driver. The product is inexpensive and offers rich functionality. They offer concurrent licensing scheme which is very attractive from cost perspective.

    Other Advice

    In a multiuser environment, you can't really go around the need for process to control access. Otherwise the quality of information will suffer.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    IT Consultant at a non-profit with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Consultant
    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.…

    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.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We used a vendor team.

    What other advice do I have?

    Development for simplifications, host tutorial and case studies.

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

    What is most valuable?

    • Teamwork support
    • Price policy
    • Support of many modelling languages
    • Documentation generation incorporation

    How has it helped my organization?

    From the island of non managed analysis and design information to shared repositories with templates. It has helped us with real MDA and code generation directly into Visual Studio.

    What needs improvement?

    • A service over repository is more then needed. At least a read only service for JSON or SOAP endpoints
    • To be able access models or element from custom apps or scripts on the server side
    • The web interface which can show project tree with the model should be better

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've been using it for at least eight years, since v7.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    We've had no deployment issues.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    MS Office integration works only with local .eap repository files, not with our Postgres repository. Half a year ago they promised to fix this bug, but still no improvement.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We've had no issues scaling it to our needs.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    It's sufficient.

    Technical Support:

    It's sufficient.

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

    Rational - no DB repository and it needed to be merged among the team members as XML files via external versioning system. Documentation, requirements, development all needed to be bought as separate tools which was too expensive. It crashes when a project (repo in files) is really big. There's no possibility to merge in real time and this can last hours, and often crashes.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did it in-house.

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

    It's sufficient, nothing to change with the pricing.

    What other advice do I have?


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

    Valuable Features

    • It's generic-ness as you can batch edit objects
    • Connectivity to all kinds of office documents because you can reuse your consisting work and link external documents
    • Detection of requirement holes because large projects tend to be planned badly
    • Completeness as because we do not need to use other tools

    Improvements to My Organization

    It improved our requirements by closing holes. It also, provided visualization features to translate requirements to a non technical language.

    Room for Improvement

    Personally, I had a hard time of learning how business modeling works, and simultaneously learning a new tool. I would like beginners tips, pointing you to important features and navigating you around common pitfalls.

    Use of Solution

    We used the trial version for 30 days.

    Deployment Issues

    We did not use the deployment feature.

    Stability Issues

    The program did not crash once. There was one issue while batch editing objects.

    Scalability Issues

    We had no issues scaling it to our needs.

    Customer Service and Technical Support

    We reported one problem but never received an answer.

    Initial Setup

    The setup was straightforward.

    Implementation Team

    I did it myself.

    ROI

    We have a positive ROI and will probably be buying it.

    Other Solutions Considered

    We are still in the evaluation phase.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user181878
    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 is most valuable?

    In terms of product features, I'm very happy with the support for UML 2 diagrams, Archimate, TOGAF and the collaboration capability using a RDBMS back-end. Because EA supports multiple models, the whole architecture team can collaborate using the same tool and develop our models from requirements to deployment on a shared repository.

    What needs improvement?

    The user interface could be more intuitive and support for a Mac, iOS or at least a browser version would be very welcomed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using Sparx EA for the last five years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    I did not take part of the deployment but I am also not aware of any significant challenges.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I've had some issues when using a NFS backed but it was on an older version of the product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We've had no issues scaling it, but I need to caveat that I've only experienced working with teams of up to 10 colleagues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    I've never had the need to contact them directly.

    Technical Support:

    I've never had the need to contact them directly.

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

    I've used MS Visio before, but the tools are not really comparable.

    How was the initial setup?

    I did not take part of the deployment but I am also not aware of any significant challenges

    What about the implementation team?

    The deployment and implementation was done by internal IT.

    What was our ROI?

    It's hard to calculate the ROI on a product that is used within a function that is a cost center, but it's fairly easy to acknowledge that EA has paid itsef many times over in terms of hours saved for the team.

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

    The setup consists of a team license hosted on a network share and a RDBMS back-end. EA is installed locally on the desktops of the users.

    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.

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

    • ArchiMate - motivational modeling for requirements management
    • ArchiMate - business modeling
    • Achrimate - information system modelling
    • UML - data modeling and use case modelling
    • BPMN - business process modelling

    How has it helped my organization?

    It is now based on business drivers, goals and requirements, and linked to business and IT functions. This results in traceability and alignment with business objectives.

    What needs improvement?

    • Modeling could be more user-friendly
    • ArchiMate - support for derived relations
    • Define features and attributes as separate components
    • More flexible document generation features

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it for around four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Not in the more recent versions.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues encountered.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    We had no issues and questions were answered satisfactorily.

    Technical Support:

    We had no issues.

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

    Before I used IBM Rational Rose. I switched because of my move from IBM to another employer.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was straightforward. It was very easy to setup a new repository from scratch. The tool offers sufficient flexibility to alter the structure.

    What about the implementation team?

    We've done it in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    The ROI is hard to express, as it's indirect and hard to quantify the benefits such as quality improvement. Based on personal productivity, the professional edition it has resulted in over an 100% ROI.

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

    It has low license cost in comparison to other tools. The floating user license works fine for us.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Other solutions were exclude based on pricing.

    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.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Michael Roytman, MBA Global Management
    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 is most valuable?

    • Available architecture frameworks
    • Ability to generate documentation
    • Forward and reverse engineering capabilities
    • Extensibility

    How has it helped my organization?

    • Documented operational processes of all business departments using Archimate 2.0 framework
    • Able to depict bottleneck areas - risky processes, infrastructure deficiencies, and opportunities to reuse strategic content
    • Visualization of the business was a major benefit

    What needs improvement?

    • Ease of customization to develop internal frameworks
    • Custom templates and diagrams

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used it over six years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    Multi-user, enterprise model sharing requires some IT help but overall the experience is pretty straight forward and positive.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No, it's a stable and mature product with good online and community support.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Running large and complex models (ours contained thousands of objects) does require a powerful machine with 8+GB of RAM.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    I did not need to use the actual customer service as there are a few books published by EA experts, and community answers are available as well.

    Technical Support:

    9/10, as most of the technical issues are quickly resolved.

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

    We switched from Rational Rose due to the extreme affordability of Sparx Enterprise Architect for the capabilities and quality of the solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    It's very easy and straight forward to setup, and so are the updates.

    What about the implementation team?

    It was all done in-house.

    What was our ROI?

    It's extremely high.

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

    The original setup was about half an hour of my time, and updates are in the 10 minute range. The network repository took a day to establish, configure and start using. Daily costs are negligible.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    • Rational Rose
    • Eclipse Modeling
    • CA Erwin

    What other advice do I have?

    Buy Peter Doomen's book "Fifty Enterprise Architect Tricks" book, join the Sparx and LinkedIn communities of experts.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user186219
    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 is most valuable?

    1. Modeling to the Open Group’s Archimate specification
    2. Model objects stored to a database for analytical purposes
    3. TOGAF and Zachmann frameworks reinforce method-specific content models, etc.

    How has it helped my organization?

    1. Sparx EA is used to capture the current state of technology systems as it pertains to the business infrastructure and application components, and how they combine to support the business needs and goals
    2. Similarly, it captures the planned state for projects that are delivering change
    3. Similarly, it captures the planned state for projects that are delivering change

    What needs improvement?

    1. The product inherently does not support analysis of the models. For example, to determine what business processes will be impacted by work on a specific server requires a person knowledgeable in the notation to manually perform the analysis.
    2. Documents generated from the product leave a bit to be desired.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Over one year

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    There are various add-on components depending on what features/version you buy. Trying to install all products as a non-admin did create challenges. Otherwise, installation with admin privileges was uneventful. Installation of the product’s database schema to the database was simple and the subsequent use of the database as a store for modeling data was easy.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No the product is generally very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No. This product is a desktop tool and generally would not have any scalability issues unless using a centralized service, such as a database server.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    No customer service has been needed in the one year of service.

    Technical Support:

    No technical support has been needed in the one year of service.

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

    Other solutions in earlier years. This product was an initial purchase for this need and did not replace any other product within this context.

    How was the initial setup?

    Installation was straightforward for all components and configurations.

    What about the implementation team?

    In house implementation.

    What was our ROI?

    The nature of this product did not justify an ROI but given a typical fully burdened rate for employee time, the sub-$1000 price tag is quickly recovered.

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

    List price for EA Ultimate Edition was just under $1000/seat perpetual license. Use of a shared Microsoft SQL Server as a repository adds approximately $2.00/day for all EA users based on the company’s negotiated license fee.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Archimate from the Open Group as well as other more robust EA products, both open source and proprietary.

    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.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user181890
    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 is most valuable?

    The UML modeling, Use Case Modeling, ability to import custom graphics and map to UML objects, document templates and generation. I would rate the solution as 9/10 as a "project team UML documentation" platform.

    5/10 as an "Enterprise Architecture" requirements platform. Mainly as it lacks the ability (or I lack knowing how to) lock specific objects to specific uses.

    How has it helped my organization?

    UML Use Case modeling with complete requirement statement generation.

    What needs improvement?

    I would rate EA as a 5/10 as an "Enterprise Architecture" requirements platform. Mainly as it lacks the ability to lock specific objects, object types to specific users or user groups.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have used it for over eight years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No. Have deployed in both standalone and team/shared repository environments.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No, the product is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No. We scaled to a team of about 8 people with no issues using SQL Server as the repository.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    I never interacted with Customer Service.. So that speaks to stability and usability.

    Technical Support:

    I never interacted with Technical Support. So that speaks to stability and usability.

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

    Yes, we used Rational Rose and we switched because of cost of prior solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    Very straight forward.

    What about the implementation team?

    In house - we have deployed this platform for numerous IT and Business Process teams.

    What other advice do I have?

    Ensure you have fully reviewed your documentation patterns with the entire team.

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

    In terms of product features, I'm very happy with the support for UML 2 diagrams, Archimate, TOGAF and the collaboration capability using a RDBMS back-end. Because EA supports multiple models, the whole architecture team can collaborate using the same tool and develop our models from requirements to deployment on a shared repository.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The user interface could be more intuitive and support for a Mac, iOS or at least a browser version would be very welcomed.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using Sparx EA for the last four years.

    What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

    No - Caveat: I did not take part of the deployment but I am also not aware of any significant challenges.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Yes. I've had some issues when using a NFS backed but it was on an older version of the product.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Availability - No, but I should caveat that I've only experienced working with teams of up to 10 colleagues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Customer Service:

    Never had the need to contact them directly.

    Technical Support:

    Never had the need to contact them directly.

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

    I've used MS Visio before but the tools are not really comparable.

    How was the initial setup?

    Straightforward - Caveat: I did not take part of the deployment but I am also not aware of any significant challenges

    What about the implementation team?

    In both cases, the deployment and implementation was done by internal IT.

    What was our ROI?

    It's hard to calculate ROI on a product that is used within a function that is a cost center but it's fairly easy to acknowledge that EA has paid itsef many times over in terms of hours saved for the team.

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

    The setup consists of a team license hosted on a network share and a RDBMS back-end. EA is installed locally on the desktops of the users.

    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.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user178515
    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…

    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 calls as well.

    Technical Support:

    Didn't use much, only twice and it was very good.

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

    I used Visio. No comparison, SPARX much better.

    How was the initial setup?

    Easy, because it was local. Network setup more difficult and costly.

    What about the implementation team?

    In house. Vendor not needed, which simplified our life.

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

    Prices are very affordable.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Rational Doors from IBM. Their product much more expensive and less agile.

    What other advice do I have?

    It takes time to learn diagram language, if you're not used to it. After a couple of weeks it becomes second nature.

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