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Trying to understand Enterprise Architecture in PowerDesigner

I’ve got decades of experience with data modeling and process modeling in PD, but EA is new to me.

Getting started, it is a bit daunting.  Which diagrams to start with?  What are the differences and purposes of each diagram?  What are the different symbols and why would I use each one?  The PD Help is just as useful as you would expect, much more about which buttons to click on, and much less about why you would do it.

So, I’m trying to understand the tool.

It makes sense to start with the business side, so I do the org chart.  This is fun to begin with, but gets cumbersome very quickly.  I’m trying to link the people that are associated with the project, but they are scattered across the enterprise.  I have lots of org structure gaps.  It would be really nice if I could import my organization from SAP or Outlook.  Let me specify a starting person and load their structure.

Now, what are you thinking the Organization Unit is?  I’m assuming department or work team.  I have a symbol to put on the diagram, but it doesn’t have a way to reflect who is in the unit.  It would be nice to be able to draw a link from the person to the org unit, or something like that.  Not intuitive, or I’m missing something.

What about Sites?  It would make sense to be able to show the people who are in each site, because I have the metadata showing who is in which site.  So, why no site symbol for the org diagram?  I’m not sure what to do with that.

Now, getting to Roles, it is cumbersome to assign people to roles.  I double-click the person, click the Roles tab, click the New button, click the appropriate checkbox, save that dialog box, then save the person dialog box.  That is the only way I could figure out how to do it.  Am I missing something?  I’d like to see a way to “drag-and-drop” roles to people (from the list of roles dialog box to the person symbol, or to the list of people), or people to roles, or org units to roles, or people to org units.  It seems that similar functionality exists elsewhere in the tool, so why not here?

OK, that’s enough for my first post.  I’m just asking questions and making initial observations here.  But, if you know me, you know that I’ll keep on digging into the tool.  🙂

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    • Dude, you are my new hero!

      That is an awesome feature, and I’m disappointed that I was unaware of it.  I’ve spent too many years away from the tool.  Thanks a million.  This addresses the ease of use issue, and I will certainly make an extension file for EA that we can use as a company.  Perfect!


        • This is really cool stuff.  The PD help is pretty useful for this.  Just search for Dependency Matrices and you will get all you need.

          Basically, for my purposes, I have already extended my EA model, so have an extension file.

          I edited it in PD, right-clicked “Profile”, and selected “Add Dependency Matrix”.  In the “General” tab, I named it “Person Role” for my first one.  I selected “Person” for the row and “Role” for the column.  I set the cells to “Roles”, which is what links person to role.

          Now, I clicked “View”, then “Diagram”, then “Add Diagram”, then selected the “Person Role” matrix.  I get a new tab in my interface with the People down the side and Roles across the top.  In the field, I just arrow around, hitting “V” or “space” to toggle the person to the selected role.  I love being able to filter the rows and columns.  Very cool.

    • OK, I like the matrices, but the UI needs a little tweak.  When you are in a cell, the row/column headers should highlight.  In a busy matrix, it gets hard to see which object I’m affecting.  Something as simple as a yellow background on the vertical and horizontal from the current cell would be great, and if the row/col header were bold or something, that would be icing.  🙂