Batch Generation

Using eaDocX you can define and then generate a whole family of documents for different users from a single EA model.

One interesting side-effect of using EA and eaDocX is that you no longer need to put all the information about your project into a single document. If your EA model is correct and consistent, then you can generate as many documents from it as you need - one for each different type of reader. So long as you can lock your EA model whilst the generation is happening, then your documents will all be consistent.
The Word, EA and eaDocX features which make this possible are:
  1. Word:
  • Assuming that you need to make all your Word documents follow the same style, it's sensible to use a Word Template for all the documents. We've found a good way to do this is to practice on a single document.
  • Make it an eaDocX document, and include in it the main kinds of EA content: tables, inline text and some diagrams.
  • Then, experiment with the Word document styles, so that the generated content looks the way you want. Remember, you can invent new Word styles for the generated text, if you want to change how this looks. (See Using Word Styles )
  • Now organise the formatting of the content which will appear in each document. Here you have a choice. You might want, say, use case elements to look the same in all the documents, in which case get them looking the way that you want in this first document. Or you may want use cases to appear differently formatted in different documents, because different people will read them. In this case, copy the initial document, and re-format each document separately.
  1. EA:
  • We've found it best to organise EA so that the model is easy to read, rather than optimising EA to suit a particular kind of document. Having said that, if you only have one document to generate, making the EA model follow the structure of that document is a huge time-saver. Just let document headings follow the EA package structure.
  • If the documents have very different structures (as opposed to just formatting the same information in a slightly different way) then you'll probably have to create some additional diagrams which create the extra relationships. Remember to hide these diagrams, so they don't appear in any document.
  1. eaDocX
  • Now you now have a set of documents, all using the same Word styles and formatting, and sharing any eaDocX formatting that you want to make common.
  • You can now organise each document with the different EA content, and different eaDocX formatting that you need. Remember, you can use element reports to create lists of EA elements (which can have their own formatting, different from that in the rest of the document), and also matrix reports where you have two groups of related elements.

When you're ready to generate the documents, make sure you have exclusive access to the model (if it's a shared one). You could then open each document in turn and generate it.  Alternatively, you can select a set of eaDocX Word documents and generate them all at the same time.