EA User Group Event 2013

The Event & Venue

This year’s meeting of the European EA User Group was a full day event comprising of a keynote speaker and three tracks each of four sessions held either side of lunch.

This format provided an opportunity for those attending to focus on their interests and widen the appeal of the meeting. All speakers are internationally recognised experts in Enterprise Architect and to have such an assembly of EA experts was truly a highlight of the day.

The meeting attracted over 100 delegates representing 8 different countries and provided a valuable opportunity to network with fellow EA users, exchange ideas and gain from the collective experience.

The range of organisations represented was very broad covering virtually every domain from finance to defence, both large and small.

The venue was very kindly donated by TfL and was located at their Lillie Bridge depot very close to Earls Court in London. Having negotiated the depot, the delegates were surprised to find themselves in an extremely pleasant and relaxing environment with a large open area where delegates could sit, relax, and chat with each other.

The presentation areas were excellent with a main theatre and smaller breakout rooms for presenting the track sessions.

Delegates could choose the track sessions they wish to attend and all sessions attracted equally good numbers. The track session groups were:

  • Track 1 : Setting up projects for success with EA
  • Track 2 : Project delivery with EA
  • Track 3 : Implementation & Lessons Learnt

The Speakers

Doug Rosenberg

Doug, the keynote speaker, needs no introduction, as he is an internationally recognised expert on UML and SysML who has published extensively and is author of the ICONIX methodology.

The meeting was very privileged to have Doug present his topic “Modelling Software Intensive Systems” as the keynote speech.

In his presentation, Doug presented the case for the integration of UML and SysML as opposed to the normal use of SysML followed by UML.

During his presentation, Doug provided a description of SWISSML (a unification of UML and SysML) and emphasised the importance of Design Driven Testing.

Thought provoking and inspiring to all those who attended.

Paul Hewitt

Paul presented the first session (“Requirements alone don’t fly!”) in the track “Setting up projects for success with EA”.

Paul was representing Visure, a company new to many delegates, and used his session to emphasise the benefits of modelling requirements graphically as well as textually. All projects start with and relate to requirements so it was no surprise that this session was popular.

Paul supported his presentation with references to Visure’s Requirements management software, which provides full requirements management, requirements modelling, application lifecycle workflow management, reporting and bi-directional integration to Enterprise Architect.

Watch this space!

Phil Chudley

Phil a Principal Consultant at Dunstan Thomas Holdings Ltd, presented two track sessions;

  • BPMN 2.0 (first session of the “Project delivery with EA” Track)
  • MDG Profiles & Toolboxes (third session of the “Setting up projects for success with EA” track)

Phil is well known to the EA community having presented many training courses (some of his trainees were attending as delegates), provided EA consultancy and is a regular contributor to Enterprise Architect forums including the forum hosted by Sparx Systems.

Phil presented both his sessions entirely using EA using examples and live demonstrations. The BPMN 2.0 session demonstrated the power of BPMN in Business Modelling and Phil used the session to illustrate best modelling practices using abstraction and the creation of libraries of re-usable elements. Phil also highlighted some of the pitfalls and “gotchas” when using EA for BPMN 2.0.

In his MDG Profiles and Toolboxes session Phil created an MDG from scratch in front of the delegates, unknown to them, he made a common mistake. By revealing and correcting this mistake, those who wish to create their own MDGs could then avoid this common pitfall.

Phil demonstrated that the creation of an MDG is not a “black-art” in Enterprise Architect and inspired delegates to “have a go” and create one for themselves.

Phil’s animated, enthusiastic and engaging style ensured there was never a dull moment in these well-attended sessions!

Peter Doomen

Peter, best known for his e-book “Fifty Enterprise Architect Tips”, presented the first session in the track “Implementation & lessons learnt”. Peter’s session provided delegates with an opportunity to learn from the master and hear about those features hidden away in the depths of EA, but once unearthed enhance the EA experience.

The most common comment heard from delegates leaving Peter’s session was something like “if only I knew that a couple of months ago!”

Roman Bretz

Those EA users who model using SysML often struggle to justify where there are using SysML rather than the more familiar UML. In addition, using a productive and consistent approach is a daily challenge.

Roman, from LieberLieber in Austria, used his session (“SysML”) to share vast SysML experience with the assembled delegates.

His justifications for the use of SysML were exceptionally lucid, insightful, and very much appreciated by the delegates.

All who attended this session went away ready to apply what they had heard and raise the standard of their use of SysML in their own projects.

Geert Bellekens

Geert took time off from his prolific posting on the Sparx EA Forum to provide the delegates with two sessions;

  • User Story; EA usage at ACV
  • EA Navigator

User Stories are always popular and this session was no exception. Geert shares his in depth knowledge and experience with EA with the delegates and proved EA can work within a large organisation for modelling the entire System Development Life-Cycle.

Geert also shared his experiences on SQL Server 2012 and TFS 2010 and the way these products work with EA. He concluded his first session by highlighting what can be achieved with Extensions to EA.

In his second session, Geert extended his EA Extensions theme through a description and demonstration of his own EA Extension, the “EA Navigator”

The EA Navigator is a “pet project” of Geert and is available as open source via the Sparx Community site. Briefly, this invaluable Extension provides all the searching and live reporting that you could wish for in EA!

Those who attended left with no doubt in their mind as to the usefulness of this tool and agreeing that all users of EA should download and install this “must have” extension.

Daniel Siegl

Daniel, from LieberLieber Austria, used his session to share his extensive in depth technical knowledge of Enterprise Architect to describe the less known powerful features, known collectively as the Analyser Workbench.

Using this set of features Daniel demonstrated the not only can Enterprise Architect generate and reverse engineer code, but a modeller could also compile and execute code. If this was not enough, he then demonstrated that it is also possible to profile code and generate sequence diagrams from executing code.

A very technical, but informative session, which left delegates saying, “I never knew Enterprise Architect could do that!”

Knut Paulsen

Knut, from Norway, has extensive experience in software analysis, design, development and training and has a special interest in requirements management.

Requirements management, the process around requirements is fundamental to all software projects and hence this session proved to be justifiably popular.

Knut delivered a thought provoking and informative session demonstrating that Enterprise Architect is more than capable of being an industry strength requirements management tool, especially when using extensions to extend the functionality of Enterprise Architect.

Ian Mitchell

Ian, from Ability Engineering, more commonly associated with the eaDocX documentation extension for Enterprise Architect, but this time Ian presented two sessions drawing upon his modelling experiences, these were:

  • Writing Use Cases in EA
  • User Story : How to do less work, have more fun and become (a bit) famous doing it

Ian first confirmed what Use Cases are all about and why they are fundamental to modelling, he then went on to describe and demonstrate how to maximise the potential of Enterprise Architect when modelling Use Cases.

The techniques he shared included quick methods for created the scenarios, and linking Use Cases to requirements and test cases.

All delegates who attended this session left with something to inspire them.

Ian’s second session related that is possible to use Enterprise Architect for modelling everything during a project’s system development life cycle. This session, based on an actual customer project, and including capturing User Interfaces, releases, risks, issues and actions alongside the more familiar modelling artefacts.

Jackie Mitchell

The most common users of Enterprise Architect are Business Analysts, Solution Architects, Software Architects and Developers. Project Managers do not use Enterprise Architect even though there is project management functionality within.

Jackie, from Ability Engineering, used her session to redress this imbalance and drew on her experience to describe how Project Managers could gain by using Enterprise Architect.

She supported her discussions with case study examples from the Aerospace and Telecoms industries and convinced the delegates that Project Managers can use Enterprise Architect to speed up project delivery, raise quality and reduce workload.

Conclusion

Another European EA User Group completed and all who attended, either as a delegate or present were in total agreement of its resounding success. If you would like any further information on any of the sessions, or on the European EA User Group itself, then please contact us.

Initial planning for next year’s event is already underway!

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