I last used Enterprise Architect by Sparx Systems on 19th of June 2006. As our architecture was stable since then, there was hardly a need to update the architectural diagrams. And, frankly spoken, Enterprise Architect was not the best product at that time, so everyone was happy in case he needn’t touch it.
We’re now making a major refactoring so I copied the Enterprise Architect model from our old repository to the new location, then opened it. Although I am using version 9.1 now (I started with version 5.0 in 2005), the usability has not significantly improved. The first dialog I saw asked me to remove the read-only flag manually. While I can do that, it would definitely have been an option to provide a button labelled “Remove read-only flag and open”.
We’re simplifying the architecture, so for most parts I should remove existing parts. That should be as easy as pressing the Del key. As a warm-up task to become familiar with EA again, I identified something to remove, selected it and pressed the Del key. Nothing happens. No message, even not a notification in the status bar. What’s wrong?
In the Edit menu, I find my first mistake: items are not deleted using the Del key, they are deleted using Ctrl+D. How could I forget? But unfortunately the menu item is disabled, which means that I cannot delete it.
I remember that we had trouble accidentally modifying diagrams some years ago and there was a way to protect items against modification. That’s confirmed by doing a right-click on the item: there’s a context menu entry labelled “Lock Element…”.
Nothing happens. Wait, notice the text in the status bar, which says:
Current package and contained elements are checked in and may not be edited.
Alright, so there’s the old version control setting included somewhere and I should probably remove it. That should be a project-wide setting, right? EA is almost intuitive in this point. There’s a Version Control submenu of the Project menu. I see that there’s the old configuration. I can select it and press the Delete button. But Enterprise Architect cannot simply remove the version control settings from all those items for you, because it says
This configuration is being used by the following package(s): Building Block View, Runtime View, Concept View, Process View, … and may not be deleted.
Alright, that’s only a list of 16 packages. I should be able to remove version control settings from those packages manually. In the project browser I select one of the views and in its context menu I choose Package Control/Version Control Settings. It turns out that this is exactly the same dialog as on project level. Very confusing. Much like Enterprise Architect in 2005.
Luckily I tried Package Control/Configure… next. This dialog provides a checkbox to enable or disable the checkbox “Control Package”.
I went through all the 5 root views and removed the source control settings. But there need to be 11 more items under source control. How to find them?
There is a keyboard shortcut which expands all nodes of a treeview. And since Enterprise Architect didn’t modify that default behavior, just press the asterisk key to expand all nodes. The nodes under source control all have a yellow key on a dark background. Simply identify those and remove version control settings as well.
Whenever you think you have removed all items, go back to the project menu and try to delete the setting on project level. Finally, I reached my goal: removing source control settings from Enterprise Architect.
No, wait – the original goal was to remove an item from a diagram…