I’ve just been using Sparx Enterprise Architect on a large development project. I have produced all my deliverables in UML.

  • If I want text, I write element notes.
  • If I want a list, I put elements in a package.
  • If I want a matrix, I create a relationship matrix.
  • If I want a slide, I create a diagram.
  • If I want a web site, Sparx will generate an excellent site in about 30 seconds.

If I change a name or delete something, UML instantly makes all my diagrams and lists consistent. I have no need for search and replace, and little need for search. I estimate I am achieving a 4-fold improvement in productivity compared to working in Word+Excel+PPT.

I can’t understand why Sparx market their product as a software development tool rather than as an Office killer.

Looking behind this, when was the last time you read a document more than one page long? (I didn’t ask you when you wrote such as document, I asked you when you last read one). The problem with long documents is that no-one will read them. The problem with short documents is that they cannot explain complex structures. By putting big documents into UML, we get a set of small linked, structured objects, thereby getting the advantages of both.

Disclosure – I haven’t got shares in Sparx, i just think it’s an excellent product. Of course, I would like to have a more excel-like level of power in the relationship matrix feature, and I would like to see the import/export feature handle stereorypes more easily, and .. and …