Working Collaboratively with EA/Studio

By: Gregory Keller

Abstract: A white paper on team-based best practices using EA/Studio

EA/Studio – Working Collaboratively

By Karun Malhotra, EMEA Software Consultant

Version – 1.0

Last Updated – November 18 2008

    Pre-requisite Understanding

To devise best practices in working collaboratively with EA/Studio we must appreciate the following functionalities of the product:

  • A “Workspace” must be created on a user’s machine in order to model within EA/Studio
  • A “Workspace” can consist of the following hierarchy:
    • Project
      • Model
        • Diagram
          • Object
  • A “Workspace” can be opened more than once; however only the first instance of the “Workspace” will be fully active and other instances will be read-only
  • A “Workspace” can be compressed into a single file and distributed
  • Multiple instances of a “Workspace” with the same name cannot reside in the same folder
  • Projects & Models can be inserted into a “workspace” only if the “workspace’s” names match and as long as the Project or Model doesn’t already exist with the same name
  • Each Project has it’s own folder created within the “Workspace” file directory and an EXP file
  • Each Model has it’s own folder created within the Project file directory and an EXP file
  • The EXP file stores the information contained within that Project/Model

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Example Scenario

A bank would like its Business Analysts to work collaboratively with EA/Studio. They would like to model all the business processes and conceptual models within one workspace; so they may map them together.

Therefore, in order to create a best practices document we must place a Business Analyst in charge of administering the collaboration of efforts.

In the instructions below you will see how the Business Analyst 1 (BA1) (Collaborative Administrator) and the Business Analyst 2 (BA2) (User) work collaboratively on the same “Workspace” and collate the updates to one central “Workspace”.

Diagram 1 will be our example EA/Studio Workspace comprising of two Projects (Investment Banking & Retail Banking) of which they hold two BPMs (Stocks & ATM) and a Conceptual Model (CRM); each with its own Diagram.

    Instructions

Once the BA1 has step up the Workspace with its initial Projects, Models & Diagrams it can be exported in a compressed (single file) format to distribute to other BA’s.

    Exporting a Workspace

  1. Right-click the Workspace tree node in EA/Studio – “A_Bank”
  2. Click “Export…” near the bottom of the menu
  3. Save the “Compressed Workspace” (EXZ file) in a convenient location with an appropriate name
    N.B. Compressed Workspaces can be used as a source of version control (e.g. include a time/date stamp to the file name)

This Compressed Workspace can now be distributed among the other users of EA/Studio by your chosen delivery method. BA2 will import the workspace into their EA/Studio installation.

    Importing a Compressed Workspace

  1. There are two ways to import a Compressed Workspace
    1. Either selecting the option upon opening EA/Studio (see Diagram 2)

Diagram 2

  1. Or click File -> Import and select Workspace

Both will present you will Diagram 3:
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  1. Specify the location of the EXZ file and location where to install the Workspace files
  2. Click OK

Now that the Workspace has been distributed to other users, they can now begin working on their respective Conceptual/Business Process Diagram within that Workspace.

BA2 has the Conceptual Model contained within the “Retail Banking” project, Diagram 4, and is adding a “Product” business entity to this before submitting his changes to BA1 (to update the centrally held Workspace).
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Diagram 4

BA2 makes his changes, which results in Diagram 5.

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Diagram 5

BA2 will then save his/her change to their Workspace, ready to be distributed to BA1 or other users.

    Distributing Conceptual Diagram/Business Process Diagram

  1. Navigate to where the Workspace is saved on your computer (e.g. C:\A_bank\) using Windows Explorer
  2. You will see the following (Diagram 6) structure of folders and files which make up an EA/Studio Workspace:
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Diagram 6

  1. As BA2 has changed the Conceptual Diagram called “CRM” in the “Retail Banking” project, we need to navigate here first. We then navigate into the “CRM” folder, where we see the following (Diagram 7) files:
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Diagram 7

  1. Distribute the EXP file “meta-model” to BA1 (and other users as necessary)
  2. Steps 1-4 can be repeated for “Projects” as well as “Models” within EA/Studio

Now that the file “meta-model.exp” has been distributed to BA1, they can now collaborate this file into the centrally held Workspace for “A_Bank”. Ensure that you save that exp file where you can retrieve it from within EA/Studio (e.g. Desktop).

The following steps will illustrate how this process is done:

    Collaborating Diagrams

  1. BA1 opens the centrally held Workspace into EA/Studio
  2. Navigate to the “CRM” Model node and delete that node (this will remove all Diagrams and elements contained within this Model)
  3. You will be presented with Diagram 8, please select the option to delete all associated files
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Diagram 8      

  1. We now wish to insert the exp file distributed by BA2. Right-click on the “Retail Banking” project node
  2. Select “Insert Project/Model…”
  3. Navigate to where you have saved “meta-model.exp” on your computer (e.g. Desktop) and select Open
  4. You should now see the “CRM” Model distributed by BA2, Diagram 9
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Diagram 9

Ideally, you could have release deadlines in which all updates to the Workspace would need to be with BA1 to collaborate on the central Workspace copy. This could then be exported (Compressed) and distributed to all EA/Studio users to ensure they all have the latest release of the Workspace.

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