The new Native XEA data exchange format enables faster data exchange of large packages between EA repositories and thus represents a more efficient alternative to the XMI and XML format.
The Native XEA is an EA-specific file format for the model exchange between different EA repositories and is mainly used for round-tripping models (i.e. the implementation of transfers from Enterprise Architect to Enterprise Architect). Compared to XMI 1.1 / 2.1, this file format has a structure that is very similar to the EA repository, so that exporting to the native file format is considerably faster than exporting to XMI 1.1 / 2.1.
By default, when importing an XMI 1.1/2.1 file over an existing Package, all information in the current Package is deleted from the model before the data is imported from the XMI file. With a Native file import, the existing Package will not be deleted from the model, but will instead be updated with data from the Native file. Therefore, importing a Native file will also be considerably faster than importing from XMI 1.1/2.1.
When exporting a Package to Native file format, the Package being exported will become the root Package in the file. The children of the Package being exported (that is, its elements, diagrams, connectors and so on) will be exported under the root Package in the file. When importing this file into a model, the Native File Importer will check if:
- the root Package in file exists in the model
- any of the children of the root Package in file exist in the model.
If the target model does not contain the root Package in file or its children, then the contents of the file will be created as new items in the model.
If the target model contains the root Package in Native file and its children, then the existing items in the model will be updated with the contents of the Native file.
- Enterprise Architect Online Help: Native File Formats » Sparx HQ