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About Sparx Systems

Sparx Systems Global Partner ProgramSparx Systems specializes in high performance and scalable visual modelling tools for the planning, design and construction of software intensive systems.

With customers in industries ranging from aerospace and automotive engineering to finance, defence, government, entertainment and telecommunications, Sparx Systems is a leading vendor of innovative solutions based on the Unified Modelling Language (UML) and its related specifications. A Contributing Member of the Object Management Group (OMG), Sparx Systems is committed to realizing the potential of model-driven development based on open standards.

The company’s flagship product, Enterprise Architect, has received numerous accolades since its commercial release in August, 2000. Enterprise Architect is the design tool of choice for 300,000 registered users world-wide.

Enterprise Architect Version 12; Release Highlights

Software. Business. Systems.

Specification Manager

Simplify the process of editing and maintaining model elements using the new Specification Manager in Enterprise Architect 12. Every element in a package is displayed in a simple document view, making it easier to scan, edit and read model elements. Model elements can be edited using a simple and convenient interface that is similar to editing a document in a word processor. This makes it much easier for key stakeholders and business users to contribute and maintain model elements.

Toggle the filter bar to rapidly find model elements. Enterprise Architect provides simple highlights to easily identify which element is being edited. Indicator icons help link to project resources, relationships and linked documents. Access rich model data with a few simple mouse clicks. The Specification Manager can rapidly create detailed, structured documents that provide full traceability, which is ideal for gathering and maintaining requirements.

Charts and Dashboards

Enterprise Architect 12 provides the ability to dynamically generate charts based on model data. Help bring your model data to life using pie charts, 2D and 3D bar charts. Each chart can be easily added to a report or included as part of a dashboard to aid decision making. By displaying information as a chart or a graph, you can easily communicate model information that traditionally sits outside of a diagram. For example, you can display a chart that provides an overview of each element status throughout the entire model, allowing you to determine how much of your project is complete, approved or still under review.

Enhanced Documentation

Enterprise Architect 12 provides updated document templates that improve report quality and streamline document production. The improved “Generate Documentation” dialog provides convenient options to insert a cover page, a table of contents and select specific style sheets that can be applied to instantly change the look of a document. Create custom cover pages containing your company logo, professional headings, a legal disclaimer and copyright information. You can either create a generic cover page for use in all reports, or produce report specific pages.

When linking a document artifact to a package (see the new place package on diagram functionality), Enterprise Architect will save all your document settings. This means you create the content once, and can generate it many times. Settings include element filters, table of contents, style sheets, cover pages and output formats. This is a fantastic feature when used in conjunction with the Specification Manager for report creation.

Team Based Modelling

Security Enhancements

Enterprise Architect 12 benefits from numerous security enhancements, including the ability to lock Team Review items and provide superior encryption for user security passwords. Enterprise Architect also supports the addition of thousands of Security Groups, which helps to accommodate large enterprise teams that engage in Team Based Modeling.

Model Mail Enhancements

Enjoy the benefits of trusted, focused communication with members of your team, without having to leave the modeling environment. Find messages quickly using filters on both your inbox and sent items. Interact with your model while reading project correspondence, helping you to more effectively respond to project issues as they arise.

Element Discussions

Any team member can initiate discussions on a per element basis, using the new Element Discussions window. Element Discussions can help improve the design of model elements and facilitate collaboration. Identify problems with an element early in the development cycle and discuss meaningful solutions. Discuss testing, implementation and project management issues before committing funds to the project. View a detailed history for each model element quickly, to better understand why decisions have been made. Update the Discussion Status to identify any discussion topics awaiting review.

Bulk Assignment of Resources to a Task

When working on large enterprise projects, it is common practice for project managers to assign and manage multiple resources on specific initiatives. For example an update to an online based application may need input from both Business and IT. Enterprise Architect 12 now makes managing these multi-tiered resources easier with the ability to bulk assign resources to tasks via the project management view. Each resource becomes its own entity in the project Gantt view, meaning they can be individually controlled to ensure a successful project.

New and Enhanced Profiles

A new standard of modeling

With enhancements and improvements to BPMN and SysML, Enterprise Architect also has updates and inclusions of new and existing profiles like NIEM, GML and ArchiMate2!


The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), is an XML based information exchange framework that is designed to effectively and efficiently share critical information at key decision points throughout the US based Department of Justice, Public Safety, Emergency and Disaster Management, Intelligence and Homeland Security. NIEM is designed to develop, disseminate and support enterprise-wide information exchange standards and processes that will enable jurisdictions to automate information sharing. The NIEM profile in Enterprise Architect comes with the element profiles and model transformations necessary to develop your own platform independent to platform specific models, giving you all the tools you need at your fingertips. If you are looking to get started with NIEM modeling, then Enterprise Architect is a good place to start.


GML serves as a modeling language and open interchange format for geographic systems and transactions. The ability to integrate all forms of geographic Information is key to GML.

Enterprise Architect 12 has built on its GML offering by adding GML 3.3 support as well as including improvements to the GML exporter to support ISO 19136_2007 METCE extensions.


Expand the way you use Enterprise Architect for ArcGIS modeling. Enterprise Architect now supports Topology Rules (and the import of them). Model validation has been added to ensure a correct model before deployment. Additionally the Vertical Coordinates System support has been added as well as the ability to generate partial schemas.

Enhanced UI

Team Review

Collaborate and discuss project issues using the new look Team Review, featuring stylish new icons and enhanced security options. Review project documents and insert comments on selected paragraphs to aid the drafting process. Use a password lock to prevent inadvertent editing or deletion. Elicit feedback from your team to improve your reports and documentation, prior to publication.

Relationship Matrix

Improvements to the Relationship Matrix now include the ability to create new elements inline. Need an extra requirement to link to a Use Case? Simply add the new Requirement with the click of a button. Other improvements include optimizations around connector creation and the addition of new context menus.

Element Browser

Enterprise Architect 12 has seen major usability enhancements come to the Element Browser, turning it into a one-stop-shop for working with elements. Adding to the visual improvements is the expansion of the context menu. The context menu now gives you the power to add and edit the element. From maintenance and testing entries, to tagged values, attributes and operations the Element browser is now your central location and viewer for all the element’s attributes.

Coding and Scripting

State Machine Code Generation

Enterprise Architect 12 has seen industry leading improvements to its code generation from State Machine diagrams. The code that is generated is clean and compliable, removing the need to handwrite the source, potentially saving hours of time and reducing ‘typos’. The code generation supports advanced UML constructs like deep history and with C++ there is full support for all UML constructs like parallel regions. All code is fully compatible with Enterprise Architect’s Visual Execution Analyzer, allowing you to trace executing code to the visual model. The Enterprise Architect Debugger highlights state transitions diagrammatically during code execution.

Roundtripping of RC Files

Version 12 provides the capability to round trip RC files. Create your applications dialogs with Enterprise Architect’s Win32 dialog editor, then generate out the required code to instantiate them. Import your existing RC files to make changes to dialogs on the fly, run usability tests with Enterprise Architect’s Simulation Engine then forward engineer your optimized dialogs back out.

Automation Interface

The Automation Interface has been expanded to allow the following calls:

  • Enable CallBehaviorAction to use parameters and produce results
  • Enable SendSignalAction to set its signal into none
  • Enable UIBroadcastSignal to support to call Signal EAGUID
  • Basic API request for zipped xml documents
  • API: Package.ApplyLock recursion
  • Automation Support to Simulation BroadcastSignal

Profiling Grammars

Enterprise Architect 12 now combines the power of its Profiler with Grammars. The profiler allows developers to measure and record memory usage, code timing frequency and analyze the duration of calls for the purposes of optimization. Grammars are sets of rules used to define custom programming languages. Combining these two features will allow you to profile your own languages, giving you the tools to optimize your code, even if it is not supported ‘out of the box’.


Objects, Actions, and Parameters

Enterprise Architect’s Simulation capabilities have been improved to support objects. Pass complex information items through simulation, invoke object operations and retrieve the results, control the flow of object lifetime management. New Action Kinds, Activity Parameters and Structured Activity simulation support has been added, as well as improved API support for simulations.

API Support for Simulation

Simulation can now be controlled with model scripts. The following new interfaces have also been added:

  • BroadcastSignal()
  • Speed()

Structured Activity Simulation

Structured Activity support for simulation has been added allowing you to define Conditional Nodes and Loop Nodes in your model and have the simulator execute them. These are useful for modeling ‘If-then-else’, ‘While’, ‘Repeat’ and ‘For’ loops.

Variable Actions

Variable Actions have an association variable in the form of the Tagged Value variable with the value of the name of an object in run-time. They provide the variable not only as an object but also as a property (such as an attribute or Port) of an object. Added Actions include:

  • ReadVariable
  • WriteVariable
  • ClearVariable
  • AddVariableValue
  • RemoveVariable

Visual Execution Analysis

Enterprise Architect’s Visual Execution Analysis has been improved making it easier to debug and profile your code.

The Function Line Report shows the number of times each line of the function was executed. The line report is particularly useful for functions that perform loops containing conditional branching; the coverage can provide a picture of the most frequently and least frequently executed portions of code within a single method.

Dynamically switch between debugging and profiling. Useful for targeting a specific point to enable the profiler, allowing you to gain a greater understanding of the section of code. When your profiling is complete, switch back to the debugger to continue debugging the rest of the application.

Nested Recording markers for Java and .NET allow you to target specific areas of your application to record and trace as each marker is activated and deactivated.

Ability to set the stack height when recording execution to filter out common calls that may not be relevant to the specific calls of interest.

Debugging and Profiling of 64-bit applications for Java, .NET and Native languages.

Limit on the maximum number of profiler process threads removed.

New Deployment Options

Cloud Services

Seamlessly access model information from anywhere in the world via Cloud Services. Simplified administration makes it easy to create and manage shared models on the fly, without the complexity of installing DBMS client drivers. Experience high performance remote access, with the added advantage of secure encrypted links and higher latency WAN optimizations.

Cloud Services also help to facilitate standards based model sharing, including the Reusable Asset Service (RAS) and Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)

Reusable Asset Service (RAS)

The Reusable Asset Service (RAS) is the perfect solution for standards development organizations. Share and distribute reusable model packages in an open, uniform and timely manner using the Enterprise Architect Reusable Asset Service. Store supporting document artifacts in line with model packages. Check current model packages against the server to manage dependencies and versions. User security provides write and read only capability for server management and to help maintain model information integrity.

Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC)

Enterprise Architect 12 now supports Open Services for Lifecycle Collaboration (OSLC), with the intention of making it easier for different tools to work together. Create, Read, Update and Delete model information like requirements through the OSLC protocol. Tie Enterprise Architect elements into OSLC client tools to access information on the fly without the need to open the Enterprise Architect UI.

Firebird Repository

Firebird is a high performance, open source database solution for local or remote Enterprise Architect database repositories. Now users have the choice if they want to use the traditional Jet database or the new Firebird database locally. Taking advantage of the Sparx Cloud Service, system administrators can create remote Firebird repositories at the click of a button for rapid team based collaborative modeling.


Diagram Themes

Diagram Themes provide a contemporary new look that can be easily applied to all diagrams. Create rich, modern and engaging diagrams that can be tailored to suit personal tastes or conform to an existing corporate style guide. Choose from a range of ready made diagram themes, including accents that work well with the Windows 8 Operating System. Create high contrast themes that facilitate accessibility and improve readability. Modify font, color and gradient settings with a few keystrokes. Work with tiles and gradients to help bring your diagrams to life.

Enterprise Architect 12 Diagram Theme

Enterprise Architect 12 has a new default look and feel for diagrams, which allows you to easily identify element types on any diagram. This improved design provides high impact visuals for diagrams and reports, helping to enhance communication with stakeholders.

Background Tiles

Create rich and visually appealing diagrams with Enterprise Architect’s support for background tiles on diagrams. Select from one of the included gradients or create your own unique designs!

Package Driven Modeling

When placing a package onto a diagram, Enterprise Architect gives you a set of display options on how this package is to be treated. You can choose from the traditional functionality of ‘Package element’, or the three new options which include ‘Document artifact linked to package’, ‘Graph based on package contents’, and ‘Matrix profile’.

Document Artifact linked to a package

When you link a document artifact to a package, Enterprise Architect will save the resulting generated document to a Linked Document on the package. Now whenever you generate your reports, they will be automatically stored in the model – available to the team. All settings for the generation from element filters to the type of style sheet used will also be saved, ensuring consistent, good looking reports each and every time from Enterprise Architect.

Graph based on package contents

The graph based on package contents option creates a graph element on the diagram. Chart elements are useful for creating dashboards of your enterprise based on the specific contents of the package. Enterprise Architect gives you the option of configuring the packages further with filters, chart types, and different datatypes (Package, Customer SQL and CSV).

Matrix Profile

Matrix profiles allow you to recall a view of element relationships in your model. Profiles are stored with the artifact and are accessible by the context menu or double clicking the diagram element.

Support for Transparent Images

Dress up your diagrams with support for transparent high resolution images. Support for transparent images enable you to produce high quality diagrams, reports and presentations. Easily add transparent images using drag and drop or adding them via the alternate images window.

Improved Element Shadows

Enterprise Architect has significantly improved the appearance of shadows, which is particularly evident when elements overlap or interact with connectors. Produce high quality diagrams with greater impact.

Repository Based File storage

Sharing your documents, files, videos, and sound bites with your team has never been easier with Enterprise Architect’s repository based file storage. Never lose a linked report or important project file again. Store all of your reports inline with the rest of the model. Share and edit documents and files over WAN links – keep everyone on the same page, regardless of where they are located in the world. Storing a file in the repository is as easy as dragging it from the desktop and placing it onto a diagram. To open the file, simply double click the appropriate icon.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect v.12 is a high performance modelling, visualization and design platform based on the UML 2.5 standard.

With complete traceability from mind mapping, through requirements to business and software design and deployment , Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect v.12 provides the kind of robust and efficient visualization and collaboration required in today’s large and demanding modelling environments.

A truly agile modelling solution, Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect v.12 provides a low installation overhead, sparkling performance and an intuitive interface.

Keep your entire team on the same page with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect v.12, a tool priced for team deployment and designed for real-world situations.


Highly Capable – High End features at a sensible price. Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is a comprehensive UML analysis and design tool, covering software development from requirements gathering, through to the analysis stages, design models, testing and maintenance. Enterprise Architect is a multi-user, Windows based, graphical tool designed to help you build robust and maintainable software. It features flexible and high quality documentation output. The user manual is available online.

High Value, End-To-End Modelling

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect provides full life cycle modelling for:

  • Business and IT systems
  • Software and Systems Engineering
  • Real-time and embedded development

With built-in requirements management capabilities, Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect helps you trace high-level specifications to analysis, design, implementation, test and maintenance models using UMLSysMLBPMN and other open standards.

Enterprise Architect is a multi-user, graphical tool designed to help your teams build robust and maintainable systems.

And using high quality, built-in reporting and documentation, you can deliver a truly shared vision easily and accurately!

Speed, Stability and Performance

Fast! Enterprise Architect users agree – Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is a spectacularly fast performer, loading extremely large models in seconds.

Featuring a high-performance model repository, Enterprise Architect easily accommodates large teams sharing the same view of the enterprise.

With tightly integrated version control capabilities, Enterprise Architect also allows globally distributed teams to collaborate effectively on shared projects.

End-to-End Traceability

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect provides complete traceability from requirements, analysis and design models, through to implementation and deployment.

Effective verification, validation and immediate impact analysis are possible across the entire life cycle, using such capabilities as Enterprise Architect’s Relationship Matrix and Hierarchy View.

Combined with built-in task and resource allocation, Project managers and QA teams are equipped with the right information to help deliver projects successfully.

Model, Manage and Trace Requirements

Capture and trace formal requirements to design, build, deployment and beyond.

Use impact analysis to trace proposed changes to original requirements. Build the right system.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect’s built-in requirements management features can be used to:

  • Define an organized, hierarchical requirements model
  • Trace the implementation of system requirements to model elements
  • Search and report on requirements
  • Perform impact analysis of proposed changes to requirements

Manage Complexity

Enterprise Architect helps individuals, groups and large organizations model and manage complex information.

By integrating and connecting a wide range of structural and behavioural information in visual form, you can build a coherent, verifiable model of what-is or what-will-be.

Tools built into Enterprise Architect that help you manage complexity include:

  • Diagrams for modelling strategic and business level concepts
  • Domain-specific profiles and reusable model patterns
  • Baseline and version management for tracking and integrating changes
  • Role-based security to help the right people contribute in the right way

Powerful Document Generation

Enterprise Architect provides powerful document generation and reporting tools with a full WYSIWYG template editor.

Generate detailed reports with the information you need in the format your company or client demands!

At the click of a button automatically produce HTML versions of your model for easy distribution over the Internet or your organization’s intranet.

Generation and Reverse Engineering of Source Code

Enterprise Architect supports generation and reverse engineering of source code for many popular languages, including:

  • ActionScript
  • Ada
  • C and C++
  • C#
  • Java
  • Delphi
  • Verilog
  • PHP
  • VHDL
  • Python
  • System C
  • VB.Net
  • Visual Basic

The built-in source code editor lets you quickly navigate from model directly to source code in the same environment.

Tight integrations for Eclipse and Visual Studio .NET, provide developers with direct access to blueprints and modelling capabilities right inside the IDE.

Code generation templates let you customize generated source code according to your company specifications.

Visualize your Applications

Enterprise Architect helps you visualize your applications by supporting reverse engineering of a wide range of software development languages and database repository schema.

Bring in complete frameworks and legacy systems from source code, jar files or even .Net binary assemblies!

By importing frameworks and library code, you can maximize re-use and understanding of your existing investment.

Advanced Model Driven Architecture

Enterprise Architect supports advanced Model Driven Architecture (MDA) transformations using easy to edit transform templates.

With built-in transformations for:

  • C#
  • DDL
  • EJB
  • Java
  • JUnit
  • NUnit
  • WSDL
  • XSD

You can quickly develop detailed solutions from abstract models.

A single platform independent model (PIM) can drive generation of multiple platform-specific target solutions – providing a significant productivity boost!

Debugging, Compiling and Visualizing Executing Code

Enterprise Architect enables you to build, test, debug, run and execute deployment scripts, all from within the Enterprise Architect development environment.

With the ability to generate NUnit and JUnit test classes from source classes using MDA Transformations and integrate the test process directly into the Enterprise Architect IDE, you can now integrate UML and modelling into the build/test/execute/deploy process.

In addition to build/test and execute functionality, Enterprise Architect includes debugging capabilities for Java, .NET and Microsoft Native (C++, C and VB).

The debuggers built into Enterprise Architect are specifically designed to enable a developer or tester to capture stack trace information as they ‘walk through’ the executing code, performing runtime inspection of suspended threads.

They can then use the final stack trace history to generate Sequence diagrams within Enterprise Architect, converting the actual code execution and calls into visual diagrams.

Automation – Harness the Power

The Automation Interface lets you access the internals of Enterprise Architect models.

Some examples of tasks you could perform via the Automation Interface:

  • Automatically generate and publish a daily HTML report to your local intranet
  • Script repetitive tasks, such as property update common to all model elements
  • Generate code from a state machine or diagram
  • Produce custom reports
  • Execute ad hoc queries against the model

Any development environment capable of generating ActiveX Com clients can be used to connect to Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect’s Automation Interface.

Powerful Database Modelling

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect’s built-in Data Modelling profile extends UML to provide an intuitive mapping from the database concepts of tables and relationships onto the UML concepts of classes and associations.

These extensions also enable you to model database keys, triggers, constraints, RI and other relational database features.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect supports modelling of database schema and automatic generation of DDL scripts for eleven DBMS targets out-of-the-box:

  • DB2
  • InterBase
  • Informix
  • Ingres
  • MS Access
  • MySQL
  • MS SQL Server
  • Oracle
  • PostgreSQL
  • Sybase ASE, ASA
  • Firebird

Systems Engineering and Simulation

Integrating many high-end features for Systems Engineers, the Ultimate and Systems Engineering editions of Enterprise Architect provide built-in support for:

  • SysML 1.3
  • Parametric model simulation
  • Executable code generation
  • Model to code transformations for Hardware Description Languages and ADA 2005

Business Process Modelling

There are many approaches to Business Process Modelling (BPM) using UML as the base modelling language.

In particular, Activity diagrams, Object Diagrams and custom Profiles provide powerful modelling approaches for Business Analysts.

Enterprise Architect complements UML 2.5 with BPMN support and extension elements for analysis, requirements management and process management (such as change, feature and issue elements).

Enterprise Architect’s Business Process Modelling capabilities let you:

  • Visualize business process with a UML profile for BPMN
  • Generate executable BPEL scripts from BPMN models
  • Validate the correctness of BPMN models

Build upon UML 2.5

Enterprise Architect’s foundations are built upon the UML 2 specification – but it doesn’t stop there!

Use UML Profiles to extend the modelling domain, while Model Validation ensures integrity.

Combine Business Processes, Information and Work Flows in the one model using our free extensions for BPMN and the Eriksson-Penker profile.

Effective Project Management

Project managers can use Enterprise Architect to:

  • Assign resources to elements
  • Measure risk and effort
  • Estimate project size and complexity
  • Implement change control and maintenance procedures

Enterprise Architect’s Use Case Metrics capability makes it easy to assess relative project complexity, based on the number and type of use cases within the model, the type of project and capabilities of the development environment.

With experience, use case metrics provide a great way to quickly assess the scope of a project.

Note: Actual features depend on edition purchased. Please ensure you purchase the right edition for your needs.


Please follow this link to learn more about the Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Keystore.





MDA Transformation and Code Generation

Our EA code framework allows us to generate intelligent C# classes and SQL Server DDL & DSL. In conjunction with this code generation we have developed a persistence framework which allows us to use the generated C# entities to seamlessly retrieve and persist data to our database. The framework also provides context tracking of objects, this context can be passed between application layers with the related objects, this makes the development of stateless application layers incredibly simple.

Some of the advantages of taking an MDA approach include the ability to make architectural changes across the system with very little effort. For example, if we wanted to implement auditing on various database entities across the system, we would merely need to alter the UML profile for our entities to include a tagged value specifying whether or not the entity requires auditing and then to modify the MDA engine to produce auditing SQL and logic for the entities where auditing is required. This provides a single point of maintenance for any changes to the auditing logic & ensures a consistent approach across the system.

The Imago Back Office pensions platform is built on this framework.

Document Templates

When regulatory standards or internal processes are imposed, you are required to generate documents in the appropriate format from EA. Working with EA’s document templates is not a trivial task – that’s where we come in. With our extensive knowledge of EA’s document templates, we can have you generating professional, standards-driven documents very quickly.

Join the EA User Group

Dunstan Thomas Consulting is part of the steering group for the European Enterprise Architect User Group. The EAUG aims to deliver quality events showcasing Enteprise Architect & its use within the EA Community. Keep an eye on our EA User group events page for more details.