I had the opportunity to model a geodatabase using Enterprise Architect with the Extension for ArcGIS. Base on this experience, I wish to share my thoughts on the product:
- Provides capability to abstract object, which is great to define common attributes but comes with some limitation (see Cons)
- Drag-and-drop fields from one object/feature class to the other
- Copy-Paste package/dataset/object/feature class within, or between, EA project
- No schema validation tool. Some error or not event detectable by ArcGIS Diagrammer or X-Ray for ArcCatalog) (Recommendation: Use Save project copy, and test importing schema in a geodatabase... often)
- Although the abstraction is convenient, it as the following limitation:
- The attribute in the feature class are grouped by the abstraction
- Field with domain on the feature class must be added to each subtype
- Can’t define a custom spatial domain in the spatial reference
- Can’t create attribute indexes (i.e. import fail)
- Can’t store field’s description in the ArcGIS tag
Only for EA 9 and below...
- Although the HazM and HasZ are set to false in EA, the XML export has them set to true (Solution: Perform a find-and-replace in Notepad).
- Field data type definition are not converted automatically (e.g. string with length of 0, doesn’t become 255). This seem to be problematic when loading into ArcSDE geodatabase (Solution: Import XML in file geodatabase first, then export new XML file).
I didn’t have a need to design topology or network classes in EA, so I won’t comment on those.
Overall I had to follow the following steps for designing a geodatabase:
- Design in EA, with the extension for ArcGIS
- Save project copy, repetitively
- Export to XML
- Import to geodatabase using ArcCatalog (to ensure the schema is valid)
- Export final XML
- Find-and-Replace HazM and HasZ from true to false, in text editor [Only for EA 9 and below]
- Import to file geodatabase using ArcCatalog
- Add attribute indexes with geoprocessing tool
- If using abstarct objects on an ArcGIS 10.2 geodatabase:
- Export to XML from file geodatabase
- Order fields in ArcGIS Diagrammer
Please share your finding in the comments below.