User Interface – Ribbons
- The new UI from EA is at first somewhat used to, especially for connoisseurs of the EA. However, the change is not difficult. Many of the menu items can be found intuitively.
- A big highlight is that – as in many operating systems – it can also be searched for functions. With the function search you can also find the most hidden menu entries.
- One thing you should know however: Tools | Options is now called Preferences.
- The Ribbons interface now allows you to add your own extensions (add-ins) at any point in the menu structure. This greatly facilitates customization and user acceptance.
The EA is primarily a modeling tool. However, each version also brings a lot of improvements and innovations for project management. The focus of the project management functions in the EA is to have the models better under control. EA 13 brings many improvements to the existing Kanban view as well as some new model elements that can be used to communicate via models and to control them. With the new checklist element, user input can be monitored and enforced; New chart elements that dynamically show the content and status of the models aggregated in graphics.
The simulation possibilities in the EA have been extended. The SysML Parametrics diagram can now be integrated with Modellica.
The simulation of BPMN using BPSim has been improved.
Zero Configuration Client Support
Under this title, the new functionality is published, with which EA can be operated without a local installation. Unfortunately, this possibility has a major drawback. None of the numerous scripts and add-ins can be used.
The EA now offers an alternative HTML export. A package branch can now be exported directly to Joomla. It is still a static export. However, Joomla has its own interface to display and handle the exported data.
Linux and Mac Integration using WINE
The use of the EA on Linux and Max using WINE has been improved again. The known problems that some UI entries are not displayed correctly or truncated have been fixed. Graphing graphs has also been improved.
Time Aware Modeling
An interesting approach to modeling versions and variants is Time Aware Modeling. An existing diagram can be created as a new version. The contents of the existing diagram are displayed grayscale and can now be inserted into the new diagram as a copy of the existing element in order to be able to modify this in the new version. A link from the old to the new model element shows the context.
For simple changes to a model version, this is an interesting approach.
The release notes of version EA 13 fill again some pages. The individual extensions and improvements often do not seem very exciting.
However, if you upgrade 1-2 EA versions, you miss a lot of these small extensions. Here are some – at least from my point of view – worth mentioning highlights:
- Required Technologies: In an EA repository, you can now configure which MDG technologies must be present and activated in order to process the model. Unactivated technologies are activated automatically.
- Blacklist Technologies: It is also possible to configure which MDG technologies are not allowed to be used.
- Minimum EA version: You can configure in which EA version the repository can be opened in an EA repository. It can be prevented that an EA repository can be opened with older EA versions, which in principle would not be a problem. Information, which can only be seen in newer EA versions, but might not be seen.
- Encrypted Document Artifact: In the EA, external documents can already be embedded in some versions. Now these documents can also be stored encrypted in the EA database and can only be opened after entering a password.
- Space Evenly commands can now be used with structural elements (e.g. Ports): This is a long-awaited feature. The arrangement of structured elements up to EA 13 was only possible manually.
- C # 6, Java 8, C ++ 11, PHP 5.6, Ada 2012 Support.
- ElementImport and PackageImport relationships allow the use of all elements from the imported packages when generating behavior code.
- If TaggedValue types are defined in which model elements can be referenced (RefGUID), the element in the Project Browser can now be searched via the context menu of the TaggedValue (Find in Project Browser).
- In the relationship matrix, you can now highlight rows and columns that do not contain a relationship.
- New Audit Mode (Raw): In RAW mode, all changes in the DB are displayed and made visible, which makes it easy to find out WHAT DATA WHERE and HOW are stored in the EA.
- Assembly and delegate relationships can create information flows: this allows a simple and abstract representation of wiring of hardware and software models (Components and Parts, as well as SysML blocks and properties).