eaUtils - Sparx Enterprise Architect add-in

Utilities for your EA models: sort elements, generate alias, diagram breadcrumb navigation

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Section 1. Sort elements from a Package or an Element: introduction, tree position information, settings

eaUtils add'in lets you sort elements from a package or an element either by the Alias, Stereotype, Name, Tagged Value, or Object ID. This feature can be executed by selecting the package or element to process from the project browser.

This help article covers the following topics:

Tree position update

eaUtils sorting features let you update all elements by changing their “Tree Position” value. Enterprise Architect default sorting order is by type and by element name, having all elements’ “Tree Position” values set to null.

The example below illustrates Enterprise Architect default sorting order.

project browser elements treepos default

Enterprise Architect project browser's toolbar provides a way to move these elements up or down resulting in a custom sorting order within the modified package or element. Once the corresponding green arrow buttons have been used (see below), the elements “TreePosition” are populated with values starting from 1.

Below is the updated tree position values after the custom order has been applied.

project browser elements treepos custom

Notes:

  • Elements that aren’t displayed in the Project Browser, such as Notes, Constraints, don’t have their tree position value updated.
  • By default, elements are still grouped by type i.e. eaUtils won't achieve the following order in the browser: Class2, Interface2, Class1, Interface3…
    • EA project browser options include a "Allow Free Sorting" which can be defined on each EA client.
  • Once a custom sorting order is set within a package, the default order can be re-applied with Enterprise Architect via a right click > Contents > Reset Sort Order. However as this is not available for an element (e.g. a use case that contains activities), eaUtils provides this feature via a right click > Extensions > eaUtils > Project Browser : apply default order (help section).

A simple example to start with

The following example illustrates a package that contains 10 classes with the default order i.e. by name (note that Class10 is considered before Class2 as Enterprise Architect sorts names based on the string value).

eautils sort by alias enterprise architect sparx example

  • Select the package Classes from the project browser.
  • Right click and select Extensions > eaUtils > Project Browser: sort elements.

eautils sparx sorting addin enterprise architect

  • In the popup window, select the Alias sorting option and run the sorting.

sort elements by alias in sparx enterprise architect addin

Result: elements in the project browser are sorted by the alias value (note: the order shown in the diagram has been manually modified to show the expected order based on the Alias values).

sort by alias result sparx ea project browser

eaUtils Sort By Settings

eaUtils settings include a tab dedicated to the Sort By features. Open eaUtils settings from the menu Extensions > eaUtils > eaUtils Settings, and select the Sort By tab:

eaUtils Sort By Settings

Further information about eaUtils settings is available here.

Combination of sorting settings

eaUtils sort by settings provide a number of options which can be combined. The table below clarifies the sorting results associated with most of the allowed combinations.

The table is organised by :

  • the sorted element type i.e. Alias, Tagged Value, Stereotype or Name,
  • having the element Alias, Tagged Value, Stereotype or name empty,
  • having eaUtils Case Sensitive sorting setting enabled or disabled,
  • and having eaUtils extract integer values from string sorting setting enabled or disabled.

Legend:

  • A: Enterprise Architect default sorting order i.e. by name string value, case sensitive (for identical values, elements are sorted by the created date/time)
  • B: sorted by name string value, case insensitive
  • C: sorted by name string value (case sensitive) or by the extracted integer/numeric value when present
  • D: sorted by name string value (case insensitive) or by the extracted integer/numeric value when present
  • E: sorted by Alias, Stereotype, or Tagged Value string value (case sensitive) or by the extracted integer/numeric value when present
  • F: sorted by Alias, Stereotype, or Tagged Value string value (case insensitive) or by the extracted integer/numeric value when present
  • G: sorted by Alias, Stereotype, or Tagged Value string value (case sensitive)
  • H: sorted by Alias, Stereotype, or Tagged Value string value (case insensitive)
  • I: sorted by the element created date/time (oldest to most recent)
  • CS 1/0: "Case sensitive values" setting enabled or disabled
  • ExtractInt 1/0: "Identify and sort integers within string values" setting enabled or disabled

eautils sparx addin sorting settings options

eautils sparx addin sorting settings options

Note: the Object ID sorting option is not covered.

Example

The following diagram shows the example used to illustrate each type of sorting alternative available. As regards it combines element types (class, use case, interface, actor), alias values, names, stereotype values, and tagged values.

eautils sorting example

Note that the element "Use Case0" is composite i.e. it has a diagram and elements, so that sorting elements within an element can be illustrated.

composite use case in project browser

Last modified on Monday, 12 February 2018 21:38