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Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is #1 ranked solution in top Architecture Management tools and #2 ranked solution in Business Process Design tools. PeerSpot users give Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect an average rating of 7.8 out of 10. Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is most commonly compared to Visual Paradigm: Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect vs Visual Paradigm. Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 70% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 16% of all views.
Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Buyer's Guide

Download the Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: September 2022

What is Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect?

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is an enterprise solution that helps streamline, accelerate, and integrate software, system, and business development. With this intuitive modeling and design solution, enterprises can stay in control of their workplaces, enable collaboration, support their teams and colleagues, and manage complex projects. Software architects, business analysts, project managers, developers, support staff, and testers can unite under a single repository. Through numerous view points and potential sub-systems, users are offered a unified view in a complex environment.

With Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, users are also offered a shared model option which can be accessed quickly and securely by in-office and remote team members through the Enterprise Architect’s Pro Cloud Server. Building a coherent, verifiable model can be done by connecting and integrating a variety of behavioral and structural information in visual form. As a result, Enterprise Architect offers high performance, flexibility, and the ability to model, manage, and trace every stage of the business development and modeling process.

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Features

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect assists in creating a unified and accessible vision in business development by offering a flexible platform with a unique set of rich features. These features include:

  • Test and debug - Streamline software development and visualize software with the simulation process. Users can test and confirm correct behavior, set and oversee test points, and debug and examine software.
  • Track tasks - Track, prioritize, and assign individual and group tasks to assist in the model’s development. Users can visually monitor their progress through the Gantt chart.
  • Open standards - Users can visualize and analyze running software with integrated custom tools. They can also run advanced simulations, team-based repositories, testing tools, and version control. In addition, the solution supports enterprise architecture frameworks such as UPDM and TOGAF.
  • Simulation - Create and debug embedded solutions by simulating behaviors and state models. Users can specify events, triggers, constraints, and more. Users can also specify extensive and complex structural systems and create custom domain-specific solutions.

Reviews from Real Users

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect merges high-end tools, online availability, a dedication to open standards, and accessible pricing so enterprises can stay in control of their workplaces, whether remote or in-office. Users particularly like the architectural frameworks and the scalability.

Marc L., a principal architecture enterprise solution adviser at Cronomagic Canada, notes, "The product offers very good support for all mainstream modeling notations and architectural frameworks."

An enterprise architect at a manufacturing company writes, "Scalable solution for modeling, project sharing, and collaboration. Support for it is good."

Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Customers

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Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect pricing:
  • "I use my own license. So, I just bought the professional version, which costs $800 or something like that. In the company where I am working, we have floating licenses. They are probably more expensive. Its licensing is affordable, but we are talking about a large organization, and there could be modelers or viewers of the models. We don't know how much that would cost us."
  • "The license for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is paid yearly, but I don't handle that area. It's good for its price, so I'm rating it a five out of five, but I'm not using it much. I also don't have information regarding additional costs apart from the standard licensing fees."
  • "Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is priced well. The price we pay is approximately $20 per month. Other solutions I have found to be much more expensive."
  • Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Reviews

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    Joshua Shoresh - PeerSpot reviewer
    Management Consultant & Architect at Contextual Focus Limited
    Consultant
    Top 10
    Great pricing with an easy initial setup and a comprehensive toolkit
    Pros and Cons
    • "For the most part, we find that it is remarkable how inexpensive it is."
    • "The presentation graphics need to be improved in future builds."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're doing enterprise architecture work primarily. In one case we're looking at enterprise data modeling. In another case is mostly business architecture.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We haven't used the solution long enough to make any observations in terms of the product improving our company's functions. It's too soon to tell.

    What is most valuable?

    For us, the solution is evolving still.

    I find it performs as well as other solutions that I've used, like QualiWare's Rational System Architect. It performs quite well.

    For the most part, we find that it is remarkable how inexpensive it is.

    Overall, the solution offers very good packages.

    The initial setup is easy.

    What needs improvement?

    The presentation graphics need to be improved in future builds. It's primarily an architecture tool. Therefore, it's using certain formulas, and they aren't really very useful in terms of presentation graphics for executives. It's an ongoing issue. You do some kind of diagram, you then have to convert it into a Microsoft PowerPoint in order to get a certain look and feel. Otherwise, the design is just too obscure for executives to understand.

    The product needs better tools for defining report templates. Sparx will generate automated reports based on whatever you select from the repository. It has this templating tool that's very flexible, however, I can't get the damn thing to work properly. It's just not very user-friendly. It's almost like a programming language. That's the thing that we keep coming back to tech support with to say, "What are we doing wrong?" If they offered a better report generating front end that will let someone quickly and easily configure what they want in their reports, that would be very useful.

    Buyer's Guide
    Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    635,513 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I'm pretty new to the solution. I've used the solution for a little under a year at this point. It's likely been ten or 11 months so far.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    While the solution has crashed a few times in the past year, I wouldn't describe it as unstable. There aren't really bugs or glitches on it. Mostly, it's fine.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I can't speak to the level of scalability of the product. The user community for our purposes is quite small. We haven't tested scaling it with larger user groups. However, it's not the type of tool you would role out to a larger community anyway. Therefore, from a performance scalability perspective, it's hard for me to comment.

    That said, from a functional scalability perspective, it's packed with all kinds of features. Your enterprise architecture approach could certainly scale up to accommodate more and more of the types of analysis you'd want to perform.

    We have two teams that use the solution. In one case, there are three people using it, and in another case there are seven.

    How are customer service and support?

    We've used technical support in the past.

    We've needed them for a few little obscure things and things just that are quite annoying to figure out. They've always been there and they're quite good.

    We're quite satisfied with the level of assistance we receive. I would rate them at a perfect ten out of ten.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Personally, I've used a lot of different solutions, and a lot of different kinds of case tools. However, in both my client environments that we are presently using, we presently implemented Sparx and they had nothing like this before. This is really an eye-opener to them and a new kind of field for them to go into.

    How was the initial setup?

    We found the initial setup to be very straightforward and simple. It's not complex at all. A company shouldn't have any trouble with the deployment process.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The pricing is excellent. It's very inexpensive.

    What other advice do I have?

    We're just a customer and an end-user.

    We're using the latest version of the solution.

    We use different deployment models, including cloud and on-premises.

    It's an excellent entry-level tool. I say entry level as case tools are typically a very expensive proposition to bring into a business, and not necessarily because of their licensing costs or their implementation costs. It is more the training costs of the individuals to start working and thinking in an architectural way and then using tools like this in a consistent and productive manner. You need a methodology investment and you need training investment, and then you need a setup investment for the actual enterprise architecture program or practice that you're going to work with.

    The tool itself is comparable to a bunch of others. However, it's not as expensive as most. It's in fact so cheap that last year, due to delays related to the COVID lockdown, I ended up buying a license for myself. It's that inexpensive. It cost less than Microsoft Word. It's an excellent way for a company to start or an organization to start using an enterprise architecture discipline. However, it's not an end-to-end solution. It could be an end-to-end solution. It just involves training of resources and change management for different processes and for governance and all this. A lot of companies just either don't realize that at all or aren't prepared to make the investment outside of the cheap license.

    I would rate the solution eight out of ten.

    It offers a comprehensive toolkit that it provides very good capabilities. The kinds of coverage that it gives to enterprise architecture tasks are great. The diagrammatic flexibility that it has, the methodological flexibility, and diagrammatic flexibility are also very helpful. It can support lots of different metamodels that will allow you to implement different enterprise architecture methods. It'll diagram them all. It does a very good job of allowing you to structure your environment so that you can support lots of different kinds of analysis across domains of enterprise architecture. It's very flexible in that sense. For these reasons, I give it fairly high marks.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Igor Malik - PeerSpot reviewer
    Senior Solutions Architect Lead at a wholesaler/distributor with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Good traversability, model-centric approach, and makes it easy to maintain documentation
    Pros and Cons
    • "Its traversability is most valuable. I can use ArchiMate, and I can create a UML model. ArchiMate is for logical enterprise architecture, UML is for software engineering, and BPMN is for business processes. I can build it to have multiple models, and they are also traversable, which is not something that every tool allows. If there is a huge organization, you can segment it and have separate models for business technology or internal resource management system. You don't need to keep them in one model, and you can decide to segregate them."
    • "From a practical point of view, we need speed and reliability for creating a model and doing some really meaningful tasks such as application landscape, refactoring, etc. These are two primary criteria. Sometimes, when you import something, it creates the object duplicates, or it allows you to do something that you're not supposed to do. For example, validation is missing. This could be frustrating because when you work at a high speed, you need to come back and start fixing things that the tool allowed you to go with, which is not quite good. So, there should probably be some internal mechanisms to advise you about what you're doing and what is probably not the best idea."

    What is our primary use case?

    My job is about helping the organization to create a functional solution. I build models for the organization at the business layer, application layer, etc. It also involves integration with other tools, such as erwin, for data modeling.

    What is most valuable?

    Its traversability is most valuable. I can use ArchiMate, and I can create a UML model. ArchiMate is for logical enterprise architecture, UML is for software engineering, and BPMN is for business processes. I can build it to have multiple models, and they are also traversable, which is not something that every tool allows. If there is a huge organization, you can segment it and have separate models for business technology or internal resource management system. You don't need to keep them in one model, and you can decide to segregate them.

    Its model-centric approach makes it very easy to create documentation based on a template. Every company says that maintaining documentation is a very tedious task, and it usually requires subject matter experts. That's why companies rarely maintain documentation, but when you maintain the model, and you have the right processes and the right roles assigned, it can be naturally maintained. You can just simply produce a document by selecting whatever you need and in a format that you need. It is a very powerful feature.

    What needs improvement?

    From a practical point of view, we need speed and reliability for creating a model and doing some really meaningful tasks such as application landscape, refactoring, etc. These are two primary criteria. Sometimes, when you import something, it creates the object duplicates, or it allows you to do something that you're not supposed to do. For example, validation is missing. This could be frustrating because when you work at a high speed, you need to come back and start fixing things that the tool allowed you to go with, which is not quite good. So, there should probably be some internal mechanisms to advise you about what you're doing and what is probably not the best idea.

    For example, you can do many things with ArchiMate, which is modeling language, but people can interpret many things incorrectly. They start modeling and then realize that it is not a good idea. So, it is not the tool itself. It is probably a combination of the modeling language and the tool that validates it. It would be very good if validation mechanics are embedded in the tool to, at least, advise people that a particular thing is allowed to be done in this way, but doing it would also mean something else that you may not want. The languages themselves are not perfect. In a large company, you have many people doing the modeling. If they interpret things differently and the tool allows them to do that, then you would have to do some rework.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been in and out. I have probably been using this solution for seven or eight years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    When I use it, it is stable. I do not have any problems. I really love the tool, and I have friends who work with this. They simply admire it. So, it is very popular in this area.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I didn't use their tech support much.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I tried to build a design with another solution two or three years ago, but there was something wrong and it was very slow. It was called Business Design. So, basically, I just said that I cannot use it for the scale of the task that I have. I simply cannot use that tool. They could maybe tune it up. I'm not blaming the tool itself, but my experience with it was really negative. I expect that the Sparx program will be faster.

    How was the initial setup?

    I am asking my IT to install version 15 on my laptop. I have submitted a request, and I want to have it set up and then try it. I will play with this a little bit and figure it out.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I use my own license. So, I just bought the professional version, which costs $800 or something like that. 

    In the company where I am working, we have floating licenses. They are probably more expensive. Its licensing is affordable, but we are talking about a large organization, and there could be modelers or viewers of the models. We don't know how much that would cost us.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Currently, I am using a different tool, which is open-source, because the company didn't want to pay. It looks like they have changed their mind, and I have now started looking into the tool. I will also be looking at other cloud-based tools, including Sparx. We haven't yet made a decision. We will compare all the options, and Sparx has very good chances. We are quite positive about it, but there is also competition.

    What other advice do I have?

    My task right now is to create a model for the entire organization with thousands of NMLs and tens of thousands of relationships. It is very big, so the speed of the process in it is very important. My superiors are thinking about a cloud version because they don't really want to maintain it. They're talking about something like DevOps so that in the development, they have the continuous promotion of the code, automated testing, etc. We are not building the executable code. If you look into a modeling language, it is a language. It is not a programming language, but it comes under the same category as the programming language. For many people, it is much easier to understand than Enterprise Architect. They try to stay away because of the complexity.

    I would rate Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect an eight out of 10. My experience is a little bit outdated, but I was very pleased with it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect
    September 2022
    Learn what your peers think about Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: September 2022.
    635,513 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    User at a non-profit with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Easy to set up and had no issues with stability, but it's not a very friendly tool, and its database modeling and entity-relationship modeling functions need improvement
    Pros and Cons
    • "Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect was easy to set up and it took just twenty minutes."
    • "One room for improvement in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is that it's not very friendly. Another room for improvement in the tool is that it doesn't enable you to import the metadata from a database very easily, so reverse engineering of a database was very difficult. Its database modeling and entity-relationship modeling functions need improvement."

    What is our primary use case?

    My company uses Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect for data modeling, but it's not being used very much because it's not a suitable tool. It's a UML-based toolset, and my company was looking to do entity-relationship modeling, so Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is not as suitable. My only involvement with Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect was to try and do some data modeling on a MySQL database based on AWS.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect didn't improve my company. I'd rather use Visio to do my diagramming because it's a tool that's easier to use.

    What is most valuable?

    I didn't find any valuable features in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect because you cannot use it for re-engineering. I wanted to re-engineer the database, and it was almost impossible. I couldn't find a way.

    I didn't have any problems in terms of the stability of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. I also found the tool easy to set up.

    What needs improvement?

    One room for improvement in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is that it's not very friendly. Another room for improvement in the tool is that it doesn't enable you to import the metadata from a database very easily, so reverse engineering of a database was very difficult. Its database modeling and entity-relationship modeling functions need improvement.

    An additional feature I'd like to see in the next release of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is the re-engineering of databases into logical models, if that feature's not yet there, because I haven't checked.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect on and off for about two years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The stability of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is fine. I've never had any trouble with it breaking down.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I never tried to scale Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, so I'm unable to comment on its scalability. I'm a single user only.

    How are customer service and support?

    I never contacted the technical support for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I used ER/Studio and erwin Data Modeler in the past, and I had stopped using them and instead used Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect because I moved companies. erwin Data Modeler and ER/Studio were very expensive tools, and their costs couldn't be justified.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect was okay. I downloaded it from the internet, and I had to put a key in. The tool was really easy to set up. On a scale of one to five, the initial setup is a five for me, particularly once I got the key in. Deployment took twenty minutes once I got the key.

    What about the implementation team?

    Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect was deployed through a reseller.

    What was our ROI?

    I have not seen ROI from using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The license for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is paid yearly, but I don't handle that area. It's good for its price, so I'm rating it a five out of five, but I'm not using it much. I also don't have information regarding additional costs apart from the standard licensing fees.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I didn't evaluate other options because Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect was imposed on me. It was what my company was using when I joined.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm not sure about which version of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect I'm using. My company has a corporate license, and I get updates, but I don't know which version I have at the moment.

    I currently have a desktop version of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect, but there are two or three other people who have the server version, and a repository was supposed to be set up for sharing among myself and the others, but there isn't much success with that. I believe the tool is deployed on-premises, but I don't know what the repository is, because I have a standalone version that runs on my Windows desktop.

    There are five users of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect in my company, and they're into enterprise architecture. For deployment and maintenance of the tool, only one person is required because of the small volume of users. Personally, I don't have plans of increasing usage of Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect because it's not the tool for me. I'm not a person who likes UML, but I do know that my company is looking to build a server-based version of the tool and extend its use. My company is looking at other tools as well, such as LeanIX, Visio, and Lucidchart.

    My advice to others looking into using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is to make sure it meets all their requirements, and that it has all the capabilities they need. I would recommend looking at some training, because the tool is not very intuitive for data modeling.

    My rating for Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is a five out of ten. It's an average solution, so it's a five for me. It's in the middle. What would make it a ten out of ten for me is if they improve their data modeling capability because I do data modeling and Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is not a very good data modeling tool.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Roland Kossow - PeerSpot reviewer
    Entrepreneur-Consultant-Developer-Freelance at Dipl.-Ök. Roland Kossow
    User
    Top 10
    Great integrated scripting framework for automation, scalable, and integrates data well
    Pros and Cons
    • "The best thing about the tool is that its database is open."
    • "The automatic creation of reports based on the model elements could be improved."

    What is our primary use case?

    I use Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect (EA) in many situations where I need to structure thoughts. Primarily, it is an EA tool. I use it when I have projects where I am in the Architect role. Modeling systems in EA is far superior to doing it in Excel or Word documents. Especially in Software Development projects, it is a neat feature that you can create code from UML-Models and that you can import source code and EA creates classes from the code.

    I use it on a fast Workstation in diverse modeling situations within Enterprise Architecture, but also Software Architecture projects. 

    How has it helped my organization?

    Sparx EA is a good tool to model any system on. It is based on UML, but it provides the ability to create your own metamodels, so you can implement/model anything.

    The tool comes in the Ultimate version with tons of predefined perspectives which are suited for plain UML, Strategy, Structured Analysis, Requirements, Database, and Enterprise Architecture Modelling to name just a few.

    It is possible to mind map and wireframe and also to create roadmap diagrams. That said, to be honest, some of these diagrams could be improved.

    What is most valuable?

    The best thing about the tool is that its database is open. It provides an integrated scripting framework for automation and it can be automated via COM with Delphi, Visual Basic, C++, or any other programming language capable to do COM automation. It is also possible to develop your own add-ons, so the tool is very well suited as a basis for your company-wide Enterprise Architecture tooling. You can integrate data from web applications or specialized FAT clients which you develop for Enterprise Architecture Management requirements.

    What needs improvement?

    The tool is, to some extent, clumsy and in some areas slow (especially on mid or low-performance workstations). 

    Quite a lot of data entry would be very tedious if you could not develop your own automation or data entry tooling (or have it developed for you).

    The automatic creation of reports based on the model elements could be improved and overall the diagrams could be more beautiful (or more visually appealing content could be added) to the toolbox. The wireframing support could also be improved and the roadmap capability is not ideal.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We've used the solution for approximately 5 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    DB connections can hang, however, that might not be the product's fault. The product was developed ages ago and it rarely has a hickup. Almost never.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is fair. If you are a mega-corporation (like worldwide and hundreds of thousands of configuration items), it boils down to the sizing of the DBserver on which the model is hosted. I've already worked with quite big model repositories and at some point, you might need to partition into different repositories and consolidate whatever you need a unified view on, but if you are willing to treat Sparx EA as the focal tool within a partly self-developed framework of architecture tools you are good to go.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I know some of the other web-based solutions - but not as good as Sparx EA. For UML modeling, I used (since 2000) Modelmaker which could create C# and Delphi code (which was sadly discontinued). First, I moved to Sparx because Modelmaker was discontinued, but as my projects shifted more and more from Software Development to Enterprise Architecture, it was a better-suited tool for the challenges I faced. 

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is not really easy. Especially if you use the cloud server. You need to set up a licensed server, and, if you work on a relational database (which is recommended for large repositories and necessary if you want to collaborate on models), you need to have some DB knowledge (DBMS Based Repositories For Enterprise Architect | Sparx Systems)

    What about the implementation team?

    We handled everything in-house. 

    What was our ROI?

    I cannot really tell if we've seen an ROI. It is more that the quality of my work is much better and that I have a more pleasant experience working with it. It would take much effort to really calculate an ROI on this. It really is pretty cheap and you only pay the maintenance renewal, so it is worth every dime.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The tool has a lot of "bang for your buck" - especially if you can develop extensions yourself it has an unmatched price/performance ratio. That said, beware that you really need to become an expert in the tool or hire one to leverage the benefits of the tool.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I did not evaluate other solutions. I heard of Sparx EA to be one of the best - even though it is a challenging tool - and that is why I took it.

    What other advice do I have?

    Go for it. Whichever team in your company that will integrate the tool into your Enterprise Architecture Management toolchain should read the books from Thomas Kilian (leanpub.com)

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Hybrid Cloud
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    AllanKowalski - PeerSpot reviewer
    Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Provides a centralized, self-regulating standardized repository of architectural artifacts which can take in or spit out a custom selected subset of these artifacts

    What is our primary use case?

    Creating a repository than everyone can work on for an entire enterprise and then creating a custom fit set of concepts, tools and process.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It provides a centralized, self-regulating (like a spreadsheet is self regulating) standardized repository of architectural artifacts which can take in or spit out a custom selected subset of these artifacts in a wide variety of forms including diagrams, spreadsheets, MS Word documents, tables, xml, JSON, etc. By allowing extreme customizability, it has drastically reduced learning and ramp up time for new uses.

    What is most valuable?

    Automated reporting saves me a kazillion hours a week of cutting, pasting and editing.

    Profiles and Stereotypes allows me to reduce the learning curve for newbies by 95%

    The automated charts and graphs hold great appeal for business types and its ability to connect with so many other tools (DevOPs, Jira, etc) make it a great enterprise level hub.

    What needs improvement?

    Their business model does not include consulting services but this can be a strength in some cases.

    Companies that include or even highlight the consulting arm of their companies can easily create a situation in which the on site staff become dependent on the vendor consultants and are unable to progress without them.

    Knowing which button to select or which icon to click on is one thing but understanding how a tools like this fits in to the overall methodology takes an in company investment in integrating the tools and software process.

    I've worked for most of the big name vendors and I know first hand that the only real way to learn is to roll up your sleeves and start using the tool on a regular basis.

    Training and instruction are very available for Sparx via webinars, videos, pdfs, whitepapers and email support which I have always found to be first rate.

    In addition to the huge number of manuals, videos, webinars and forums available, just googling a Sparx issues is likely to provide with a huge number of hits to find just what you are looking for.

    It's huge user base (750 K) is a big advantage.

    Yes one must invest a little time in learning how to use the tool.  Using the cup o soup paradigm, "just add hot water" will not work. If you want that , stick with Visio,

    For how long have I used the solution?

    12 years

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Perfect - never had any problems.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Perfect - never had any problems.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Though only available by e-mail they really know their stuff and respond very quickly.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Visio - it's like comparing crayons and paper to a spreadsheet.

    BizzDesign - a very polished tool but much less flexible and customizable than Sparx EA. Also much more expensive.

    How was the initial setup?

    No - install, run and if you want a repository run a db script.

    YOu need to know how to run a database script.

    What about the implementation team?

    In house ( myself)

    What was our ROI?

    I can conservatively estimate that expert users double their production and novice users gain 10% The more you use it for the more savings you will see.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    The savings in license fees more than allows you to invest in a little training but get someone good.

    The biggest challenge you will have with Sparx EA ( or any other modelling tool) is fully leveraging all the features it has to offer.

    Too often, companies don't invest a little time in training  and it ends up being used as a drawing tool which is like using a smartphone only as a calculator.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Yes, but for the combination of price and value, no one beats them. Now if you want to pay a million dollars there's a lot to choose from.

    While I've often heard the large million dollar tools tout how much more powerful they are I have yet to see anything they offer that Sparx EA doesn't.

    What other advice do I have?

    Watch out for fraudulent consultants who spout jargon but know nothing about modeling. Make someone show you the real stuff they have done.

    Look for someone who can explain modern modeling techniques and concepts in a very understandable and intuitive way. If someone spouts too much jargon, watch out.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Senior Design Leader at Koninklijke Bam Groep N.v.
    Real User
    Top 5
    A scalable, reliable, and flexible solution that can do a lot
    Pros and Cons
    • "It is a very flexible product. It can do a lot. It is also a reliable product."
    • "I would like it to be less of a general tool. Currently, it is not a Swiss army knife that can do everything. It is not specialized for our purposes. We are a civil engineering company. We build things. We work mostly in what is known as Infra world in the Netherlands, which comprises objects such as bridges, locks, and water management. We would like to see more focus on such types of projects. It would be nice if it has more specializations. At the moment, it is very generic, and you have to create everything yourself. Our focus is more on user requirement management, which is currently very basic. I would like to see a lot more functionality in this area. Its basic functions for adding user requirements are perfect, but we need more features. Currently, it has limited possibilities for our requirements. I would also like to see better contract management and have it managed in a certain way."

    What is our primary use case?

    We're still investigating it on the structural side. Our primary focus is on CCML and UML, the creation of documents, and requirement management. After that, we will teach our company about how we're going to use the product. I am using its latest version. It is deployed on-premises on the company cloud.

    What is most valuable?

    It is a very flexible product. It can do a lot. It is also a reliable product. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like it to be less of a general tool. Currently, it is not a Swiss army knife that can do everything. It is not specialized for our purposes. We are a civil engineering company. We build things. We work mostly in what is known as Infra world in the Netherlands, which comprises objects such as bridges, locks, and water management. We would like to see more focus on such types of projects. It would be nice if it has more specializations. At the moment, it is very generic, and you have to create everything yourself. 

    Our focus is more on user requirement management, which is currently very basic. I would like to see a lot more functionality in this area. Its basic functions for adding user requirements are perfect, but we need more features. Currently, it has limited possibilities for our requirements. I would also like to see better contract management and have it managed in a certain way. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for a year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. I've had no problems or issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I'm using a database-based client of Enterprise Architect, and it is very scalable. 

    We are testing it at the moment. I am working with four or five people in that area. After we have enough confidence in the product and we have a new project, we would most likely roll it out to a hundred plus people. There are two projects that are currently using Enterprise Architect within the company. One of them already has more than 100 users. The company I work for has 30,000 employees. It will be used by quite a lot of people.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    In the Netherlands, the support for this solution is very limited. You have to rely on some consultants, but at the moment, the knowledge of these consultants is also quite limited. They quote a quite high price for their knowledge, but the impression that we get is that they're learning on the job. They call themselves specialists, but they're not really specialists. When I look at other countries, particularly the United States, the consultants are a lot more knowledgeable, and they know more about the product. We don't have that in the Netherlands.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    I have tried different packages. VCL is a very well-known package, which can also generate code to a certain extent and create documents, but it is limited. I have used a number of open-source tools, such as Star UML. There are a lot of different packages that are good in a certain area, but you can't combine things very easily. They require a lot of work and a lot of people to collect the information by using Excel tables or databases.

    What other advice do I have?

    We are also looking at another tool that is very much focused on CCML, which makes it limited. It is certainly not as flexible as Enterprise Architect. We also have to look at the knowledge of the engineers working on the project, and most of them are not software engineers. They have a background in civil engineering. Enterprise Architect is certainly a product with potential, and we would like to introduce it, but it is very difficult to implement it in our project. Most likely, a few users will use Enterprise Architect. The remaining users would continue to use Word or Office products to create their documents, and a few will add the required information to the model.

    Overall, I would rate Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect an eight out of ten. If I was rating it specifically for our business, I would rate it a five out of ten. It is very difficult to use it in our company. It is a good product, but it is difficult to implement in a non-software company.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Sr. Solutions Architect at a insurance company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Flexible, light on resources, but portfolio planning could improve
    Pros and Cons
    • "Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is very flexible and it is simple to define the metamodel. Additionally, it is lightweight on resources."
    • "In a future release, they should improve portfolio planning."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our customers are using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect for enterprise architecture modeling, where interrelationship among different enterprise entities.

    What is most valuable?

    Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is very flexible and it is simple to define the metamodel. Additionally, it is lightweight on resources.

    What needs improvement?

    The solution could improve by having more aggressive working sessions with other product vendors. It would be a benefit to have demo sessions where users of the solution can ask questions to product experts and receive answers. For example, people who are struggling with the initial setup.

    The team setup is very crucial for the success of a tool like this. I don't know if we looked into it properly. However, if some part of it, such as user setup can be automated, then it would be great for adoption.

    In a future release, they should improve portfolio planning.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect for approximately eight years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The solution is stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability is fairly good. However, I do not have, for example, 100 users to be able to fully determine the scalability.

    In my organization, we have the chief, enterprise, architect, infrastructure, and security architect that are supposed to use the solution. However, only one or two people are using it at this time.

    We are pushing for evolving tools but I am not sure if we are going to increase the usage.

    How are customer service and support?

    I have never used technical support.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using other solutions and we switched to Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect because it is lightweight, simple to use, and inexpensive.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is easy to do. However, with the implementation, people struggle with how multiple people can work in a collaborative structure. That doesn't come easily. You have to define many things. There is room for improvement because people do not understand the solution.

    The solution is not fully deployed but individual people are using it. The beauty of enterprise modeling tools is to collaborate into a single workspace. A single workspace means a single model where everything is interrelated. People have traceability.

    If you are using Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect as an individual contributor, then it's not a great choice. It's not implemented in the current organization effectively. If Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect can provide demonstrations or a checklist it would be very useful.

    What about the implementation team?

    We do not have a separate team that manages the solution. We all manage the solution.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect is priced well. The price we pay is approximately $20 per month. Other solutions I have found to be much more expensive.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated other solutions before choosing Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect. Most of the other solutions had very big footprints and were very heavy tools. Our use cases were mostly related to EA modeling. For that, this tool was good.

    What other advice do I have?

    The customer that is using this solution has not implemented it in the right way, but they are expected to. It's not fully utilized. If you start putting the model together, it's definitely a great thing to improve the overall ecosystem. If you put tools, such as Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect everything is always up to date.

    If we will have this fully implemented, our productivity will increase. Since I work as an architect, most of the time we spend understanding as-is state and current state. If somebody is utilizing this solution, you don't need to spend a lot of time. You will always have an up-to-date depiction of the current state.

    I rate Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect a seven out of ten.

    There are other use cases that cover enterprise architecture, which is not part of the tools. This tool does what it is built for, which is modeling the enterprise architecture. I gave the seven ratings based on the overall ecosystem which is required.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Flag as inappropriate
    PeerSpot user
    Jean-François Houzeaux - PeerSpot reviewer
    Enterprise Architect at a consumer goods company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Affordable, easy to set up, and offers a variety of diagrams
    Pros and Cons
    • "We have found the stability to be very reliable."
    • "The user interface is not so good. It's not easy for someone to use it at first. The product takes some getting used to."

    What is our primary use case?

    Mostly, we are using the solution around the IT department. We use it for functional analysis. That said, I have also tried for two years to use it more in business cases.

    What is most valuable?

    The variety of diagrams available is excellent. 

    You are able to combine different diagrams together and to use a UML component in a different diagram, for example. It's quite flexible. 

    The initial setup was pretty easy.

    The solution is scalable. 

    We have found the stability to be very reliable.

    The solution is affordable. 

    What needs improvement?

    The user interface is not so good. It's not easy for someone to use it at first. The product takes some getting used to.

    In the next update, I would like to see more integration with databases in the cloud. For example, Amazon. I'd like that mostly to plug the Sparx tool above any Azure database or Amazon database in the cloud. 

    You do need to set up something separate in order to broadcast or share information. That's not so easy to do with the product itself. 

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used the solution for 14 years at this point. It's been well over a decade. 

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    While we have had performance issues in the past, it was mostly due to the database we had chosen a few years ago. We've since moved over to another one and now it's really good.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have 25 people in our company that directly deal with this product.

    The solution is very easy to scale. It's no problem at all. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so.

    How are customer service and support?

    I used technical support maybe two years ago for the first time. Mostly, I look online and all around for discussion articles. I have to say that Sparx has a lot of documentation and articles and user groups that users can just dig into and find information. I just asked a question a few years ago about a possible feature that I wanted to see in the next version. It wasn't really for troubleshooting.

    How was the initial setup?

    The first setup was 14 years ago, and therefore it has been a long time. However, it is very easy and not overly difficult. 

    The maintenance involved is all about the database. We moved from an old database to a newer one. However, that's it. There is no maintenance, events, or tasks to schedule regularly.

    What about the implementation team?

    We did not need a vendor to assist us. We did not use a consultant or integrator. We implemented the solution ourselves and we were able to configure it in-house as well. 

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    I'm just a customer and an end-user. 

    The pricing is reasonable. It's not overly expensive. The price to quality ratio is very good. 

    Extra costs are mostly related to the training part. The tool is not very user-friendly. Most of my time is around training new users around UML and organizing the information. There are too many ways to use the tool and to organize, and a couple of guidelines are very essential to keep the value up. Training is very important and useful.

    I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

    What other advice do I have?

    I'm currently using the latest version of the solution at this time. I can't speak to the exact version number, however.

    I would definitively recommend the solution to any IT department as it's very cheap and very powerful. However, it is not very user-friendly. It's a modeling tool, and modeling is not very popular typically. That said, you can scale it to fit the requisite departments.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: September 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.