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Generating Interactive Websites From Enterprise Architect Models

Model-driven documentation
  • Robert Pagel
    Robert Pagel
    Friday, February 22, 2013
An illusration of how we use our model engineering toolkit to generate websites from Enterprise Architect models

Learn How to Create an Interactive Website From Your Enterprise Architect Model And Thus Make it Available to a Wide Audience

As I explained in my last post on model-driven documentation, we often find that our customers want to make their EA model available to a wider audience – not just those who are experts in modeling and in using EA but also to the domain experts who need the information in the model.
Our solution to this is to automatically generate user-friendly documents and websites from such models. This approach provides several advantages:
  • The Enterprise Architect modeling software is no longer necessary to view the model. All a user needs is a modern browser, which nowadays nearly everybody can access.
  • To support users without modeling knowledge, the website is extensible. New custom views can be added in several places. For example, a customisable infobox can be shown, when certain elements are clicked on and display attributes of the element or links to further information.
  • The generator ensures that the website is always consistent with the model. You can start it from the EA Tools menu to update the website automatically. Even with a large model this only takes a couple of seconds. If you generate reports from your model, the generator can do this work as well and create links on the website.
To illustrate this process I have created a small video. The video demonstrates how to use a model to update the website and how to navigate using the tree view, the search field and custom links in the infobox.
The technology we use for this is quite straightforward:
  • The website is an extensible application to view the model in a browser (implemented using HTML5 and Javascript for navigation and interaction. SVG for the diagrams and JSON to store the model data)
  • For the generator, we use an in-house-developed application, that transforms the model into JSON datafiles readable by the viewer application
Please let me know if you need more detailed information on our approach.
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