DT Consulting Newsletter – August 2014

Newsletter Enterprise Architect version 11 and Cloud Services

– by Phil Chudley

 

Introduction

This newsletter provides an overview of a major new functional enhancement in Enterprise Architect version 11, referred to as Cloud Services

What are Cloud Services?

Cloud Services allow Enterprise Architect Version 11 users to connect to centralised databases via HTTP / HTTPS protocol, rather than via direct LAN/Wan connections.

This means that it is no long necessary for EA users to install the necessary ODBC drivers and create connection strings to the databases. The connection strings are configured and used by the Cloud Services and the EA user just provides the necessary URL and login credentials in order to connect

This method of connection also provides a much faster response time to users who are connecting over long distances.

Cloud services also provide the ability, via OSLC to import / export Requirements to any other application that supports OSLC

The third aspect of Cloud Services is the ability to manage a centralised repository of reusable assets, this is referred to as the Reusable Asset Service (or RAS)

Cloud Services are illustrated below:

cloud services

 

Cloud Services Administrator

The Cloud Services are a separate download to Enterprise Architect and is available free of charge to all registered users of EA

http://www.sparxsystems.com/securedownloads/SparxCloud.exe

Once installed a separate Desktop shortcut is created. Initially no password is set and the configuration file has default settings for ports, authentication levels etc. The Cloud Services Administrator does have a very useful use guide which provides details of the configuration files. An overview of this configuration is :-

  1. Firstly, edit this file to set the port number for HTTP / HTTPS and the authentication strategies
  2. Secondly modify your firewall settings to allow access via these ports
  3. Then using the Cloud Services Administrator, (as shown above) Add database connections, and then Configure each database connection to Accept Queries (or to set Read Only Access).

You can also use Server Options to set the Logging level and set the Administrator Password

The above MUST be performed before using any other Cloud Service functionality

The Cloud Services Administrator is illustrated below:

cloud services administrator

 

OSLC

OSLC is an exchange standard based upon XML and Web Services and is designed to allow interoperability between modelling tools and is illustrated below:

OSLC

OSLC Support in EA Version 11

Currently, EA version 11 only supports the import and export of Requirement elements and the data that can be exchanged is pre-defined in a specification known as a Resource Shape. This can be viewed by entering the following into a browser

http://server-name:port/repository-name/oslc/rs/

Using a similar syntax, enquiries to retrieve Requirements data can be executed from a Browser (where the results will be displayed in XML, or from a client application, which can interpret the XML and display the results accordingly

Example OSLC GET enquiries is shown below:

http://server-name:port/repository-name/oslc/qc/

http://server-name:port/repository-name/oslc/qc/?oslc.where=ss:type=“Functional”

http://server-name:port/repository-name/oslc/qc/?oslc.select=dcterms:title

http://server-name:port/repository-name/oslc/qc/?oslc.where=ss:type=“Functional” & oslc.select=dcterms:title

Using the OSLC query

http://server-name:port/repository-name/oslc/qc/?oslc.where=ss:type=“Functional”

The results from executing the GET query from a Browser and a Windows Console Application are illustrated below:

GET Query

With regards to creating a Requirement in an EA Repository using an OSCL client a POST query with the appropriate Requirements data (referred to as RDF XML) must be used, the syntax for the POST query is

http://server-name:port/repository-name/oslc/cf/

POST queries can only be executed via an OSLC client and not from a Browser.

Reusable Asset Service

This is a special form of a EA Repository located on a DBMS server and accessed via Cloud Services (that is HTTP or HTTPS)

The structure of the RAS is illustrated below:

reuseable asset service

This functionality is most suited to project teams who are working in a distributed environment, that is, each modeller has their own repository populated from a central repository of shareable resources (the library). As new resources are created by these modellers, they need to be added to the central library.

The RAS seeks to provide a framework for this creation and sharing these resources (model shown above), and is essentially a wrapper for XMI import/export and baselines

The first step is to create an empty repository on a DBMS sever, this repository will become the RAS

The second next step is to connect to a repository which represents the library

Then Storages are created in the RAS and these Storages are then populated with Asset Packages

Each Storage is protected with two passwords – one for full access, the other for read-only access

The process of using the RAS is illustrated below.

Creating a Storage in a RAS

RAS - create storage

 

Adding an Asset with no Dependencies

add asset no dependency

  1. You MUST click Check Dependencies before an asset can be registered, the status changes to Ready and then you can click Register
  2. For the first asset you will be prompted for the Full Access password

 

Adding an Asset with Dependencies

asset with dependency

  1. Begin as before by selecting a View / Package in the Project Browser, and click Check Dependency
  2. When the dialog (similar to above) displays, select the Immediate Parent and click OK, these will be added to the Asset dialog with a Status of Pending
  3. For each Pending package, click check dependencies
  4. Repeat until all asset packages have a status of Ready
  5. Click Register to add the Selected Package and its dependencies to the Storage

 

Importing an Asset from the RAS with no dependencies

Importing an Asset from the RAS with no dependencies

 

  1. Open a Repository into which Assets are to be imported
  2. Connect to the RAS
  3. Select Parent (Root / View / Package) in Project Browser
  4. Select the Storage and the Package within the Storage
  5. Check its Dependencies, if none, Click Import and select Import as Package from Menu (enter the Read Only Password)
  6. The entire contents of the Asset will be imported into the Repository, you will receive a warning that any existing matching items will be deleted (as per standard XMI import)

Importing an Asset from the RAS with Dependencies

Importing an Asset from the RAS with Dependencies

  1. Open a Repository into which Assets are to be imported
  2. Connect to the RAS
  3. Select Parent (Root / View / Package) in Project Browser
  4. Select the Storage and the Package within the Storage
  5. Check its Dependencies, if none, Click Import and select Import as Package and Dependents from Menu (enter the Read Only Password)
  6. The entire contents of the Asset and all its dependent Assets will be imported into the Repository, you will receive a warning that any existing matching items will be deleted (as per standard XMI import)

 

Conclusion

In this newsletter we have provided an overview of the new functionality provided with EA version 11 collectively known as Cloud Services.

More detailed explanations of the topics covered in this newsletter can be found in the extensive on-line help accessible via the Help menu.

 

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