Introduction to Model Guardian

Model Guardian is an extension to Enterprise Architect designed to...

Simplify the task of setting up your modeling environment with a WSYWIG profile editor

As you enter object types, connector types, tag definitions, diagram types, toolboxes and their toolbox sections into the profile editor dialog, they become immediately available to be picked in combo boxes so that you can easily combine them to form your profile. The hierarchy of the metamodels simplifies maintenance by supporting the inheritance of tags and relationships, drastically reducing the items to be maintained. Putting your profile into action takes no longer that restarting Enterprise Architect so that it can read in the new version of the profile.

Take the concept of a profile even farther than what is built into Enterprise Architect

Users can be given modeling roles. Each role can be given a set of viewpoints, i.e. diagram types along with their associated toolbox. When working on a diagram in Enterprise Architect, you are free to change toolboxes and create any type of element or connector on the diagram. You can also add any existing element or connector to it. With Model Guardian, you can decide what element and connector types may be created on a diagram. You can even decide what types can be placed on a diagram. No longer will you end up with a mismatch of elements from different architectural views that have no business being together on the same diagram. Furthermore, you can indicate that modelers may only create or delete elements that are included in their viewpoints. Modelers can no long change things outside their area of expertise.

Provide Profile Driven Modeling that assists modelers as they perform various tasks

We refer to this as Profile Driven Modeling. For example, Model Guardian can list all of the types of relationships that are defined for the element in the profile. It can also provide a list of all of the model elements that can be on the other side of the connector. No more searching throughout the model for an appropriate element.

Another example is the Promotion of elements. Suppose you have finished working with a set of Proposed SBBs and want to promote them to SBBs. Model Guardian’s dialog will allow you to select the package where the elements reside, optionally including its subpackages. You choose one or more profile types (in this case Proposed SBB) that are to be promoted along with the target Profile type (SBB). You can filter the list by selecting the status of the elements, a date before or after which the elements must have been lasted updated, and the values of any of their tags. You can update the status and/or the tag values for the promotion process You then select the target package and click go.

Click the link below to download a 20 page description of all of the features that Model Guardian provides.

Model Guardian Features Guide

 

Highlights for Model Guardian, v7.0

The functionality for the latest version of Model Guardian is complete. It is compliant with Enterprise Architect v13 and includes a lot of new features. Some provide additional control over your corporate modeling environment. Others provide enhanced modeling capabilities that will make your modelers' job much easier and more consistent with your modeling standards. Here is a brief look at the major features and feature enhancements included in this release..

  • You can now place your profile in a shared location on disk, on a webite, even in Sharepoint, and have Model Guardian automatically download it to each user computer every time Enterprise Architect is run.
  • As with the profile, you can place the Model Guardian help files and your own custom help files in a shared location.
  • You can create groups and assign users to those groups. Next, you can assign a subset of the modling task menu items to the groups. This allows you to control who can perform each task. For example, you can limit synchronizing models to a group of advanced modelers or administrators..
  • When changing element and connector stereotypes, you are now presented with and allowed to select from a list of the elements or connectors to be updated. You can also select a set of elements in the browser or on a diagram and only change their stereotypes.
  • When synchronizing a model with a new version of your profile, you will be shown what elements and connectors will be updated. You will also be shown the list of elements and connectors that will have their tag names changed. In both cases you will be able to select the ones to be updated.
  • You can synchronize your profile with a model. In this case, stereotypes used in a model can be incorporated into your profile, including the tags on the elements and connectors. Again, you can select which stereotypes and which tags to be incorporated.
  • With a single dialog, you can select a set of elements and change their stereotypes, status, tagged values, and location in the project browser. We have alfa and beta customers, who requested this feature, using it to promote Proposed SBBs to SBB after they have been approved.
  • You can use a dialog to manage simple relationships, according to your profile. One tab shows the relationships the subject element already has. The other tab shows the relationships it can have and the model elements that can be on the other side of the relationship.. You can delete existing and create new relationships while in the dialog.
  • Building a hierarchy of elements in the project browser provides a powerful way to organize and show implicit parent/child relationships. Unfortunately, it is too easy for the elements to be moved around, breaking the implicit relationships. You can use MG's Nested Relationship Manager to manage these nested relationships. Once the hierarchy is set up properly, you can use the Manager to create nested relationships between each parent and child. With the nested connectors in place, should any of the elements get moved, the Manager can show you the connector based hierarchy. You can then use the Manager to reposition the elements properly in the browser according to the connector hiearchy.
  • Three way relationships can cause a lot of connectors on a diagram and the direct dependency between the elements on the far end of the relationship is lost. For example, suppose one or more Business Activities require a particular IS Service and that one or more Business Apps sujpply that service. Drawing from the Business Activity to the IS Service and then on to one of the Business Apps hides the implied relationship between the Business Activity and the Business App. Model Guardian's Tagged Relationship Manager handles this pattern for you. You assign the IS Services required by the Business Activity to the Business Actvity as tags. You assign the IS Services provided by the Business App to the Business App as tags. You then draw directly between the Business Activity and the Business App and place the IS Services that the Business Activity is getting from the target Business App on the connector as tags. That is a lot of work, but the Tagged Relationship Manager handles it all for you. It even shows you which Business Apps supply the IS Services required by the Business Activity. This elminates the need to search through the model to find the right Business App. You setup the endpoint types, the connector type, and the required tag types in the profile. This provides complete flexibility when determining the type of three way relationships you need.
  • The MG Utilities have been incorporated as an extra feature of the MG Runtime. This makes their features tightly bound to each other while presenting a more straight forward look and feel.
  • As the list of menu options have grown, the use of submenus has proliferated. Frankly, we found the need to move the mouse to the right to open submenus and then move down throught them to be a bit aggrevating. We have flattened the menu, placing the submenus into groups. This lets you click on the Model Guardian top level menu and then see the full list of options at the same time.
  • Moving elements within Enterprise Architect has never been easier. You can now use a dialog to move elements to a target package. You can select the elements to be moved from a diagram, from the project browser, or from a SQL query and have them all moved to the target package. You can also move numerous elements on a diagram to various locations simply by dragging each on top of their target package.

    Model Guardian, v7.3.4_Apr-17-2016

 

What is Model Guardian?

The Model Guardian suite of add-ins for Enterprise Architect, by Sparx Systems, provides a level of control over your modeling environment that Enterprise Architect alone cannot deliver. Enterprise Architect is one of the best UML design tools on the market. However, like UML it is good for most any purpose but specific to none. Creating a Profile for your modeling environment fills this gap. A well designed Profile provides just the right tools necessary for modeling the task at hand.

If you are not familiar with the concept of modeling Profiles, read our Introduction to and Analogy for Profiles. You can also view our presentation on using Model Guardian to attain Profile and Model Assisted Design.

Creating Profiles the Old Way

Up until now, creating a Profile (Object and Connector Types for the toolboxes, Quicklinks, Diagram Types and the like), has been a time consuming and rather complex process. It required diagramming a metamodel with stereotyped elements and metaclasses and creating countless diagrams to set up the toolbox sections, toolboxes, and diagram types. Furthermore, if changes were made to a framework after models had been created using a previous version, those models became obsolete.

Creating Profiles the New Way

Model Guardian provides an easy, intuitive way to create Profiles for Enterprise Architect. Its user interface lets you easily build the metamodel of the Profile. It provides list boxes populated with the elements of the metamodel so you can easily add them to the toolboxes. Tag definitions created in the UI are also available to be assigned to the Object and Connector Types. Changes, like reassigning an Object Type's parent in the metamodel hiearchy is as simple as clicking on the new parent.

Model Guardian Framework Editor

Managing Profiles and Models

Managing Profiles goes well beyond their initial creation. Model Guardian provides automatic archival and retrieval of Profile versions. Models can be automatically synchronized with changes to a Profile to ensure they do not become obsolete. Existing models can even be brought under Profile control.

Model Guardian Suite of Products

The Model Guardian suite of products work together to provide the model environment you envision. There are editions for creating and managing profiles and a runtime edition that leverages your profile to provide additional features not available with Enterprise Architect Alone. You can read more about the edtions on the Model Guardian Editions page.

Profile Editors

The Profile Editor provides the tools needed to develop and maintain your frameworks. It is typically used by the lead architects on your team that develop the architectural and design standards for your modelers. All Model Guardian editions come with the (EA)2 Enterprise Architecture Modeling Framework pre-installed. You can use it as a starting point for you own frameworks or simply as guide to creating your own.

MG Runtime

The MG Runtime edition (MGR) interprets the profiles you have setup and integrates them into Enterprise Architect. It also managed your models, letting you synchronize framework changes with existing models so they do not become obsolete. The MG Runtime (SFR) is a lower cost version that works with the frameworks developed by OAD and its partners. It is for those who do not have the need to create or customize the commerically available frameworks. These editions are typically used by those who need to create models according to the architectural standards established by the lead architects by working with the frameworks they design.

MG Utilities

The MG Utilities edition (MGU) is our newest edition that provides general modeling capabilities you wish Enterprise Architect had. It includes extended capabilties in working with model elements, connectors, and diagrams. This edition can be used by anyone who uses Enterprise Architect. It works as a "floating" control panel givin you instant access to search for and copy diagram (including un-selectable elements), change numerous properties for multiple connectors on a diagram with a single command, list all of the relationships on which information items are conveyed and easily find the source, target, and information objects involved, update elements' and connector's stereotypes and tag names model wide, and much more.

Check Them Out

Check the Downloads page for the documents, presentations, and evaluation copies of the editions that you are free to download.