Introduction to Model Guardian

Announcement - Enterprise Architect version 13

Sparx Systems changed the API for Enterprise Architect in version 13, which has caused some of the features of Model Guardian to break. We are working to make the necessary changes and will let you know when Model Guardian is certified for EA, v13.

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.