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The EVA Netmodeler Visual Modeling Interface

Visual Modeling Interface overview

The EVA Netmodeler Visual Modeling Interface facility provides a mechanism to store diagrams created in various diagramming tools into the EVA Netmodeler repository. The elements that make up the diagrams are also stored in the repository in the same way as other repository content. This enables the diagram elements to be reused consistently across numerous diagrams, and to be used by all the reporting and analysis facilities of EVA Netmodeler. Diagrams are referred to as Models in the EVA Netmodeler environment. 

Note that this feature is an alternative to the built-in EVA Netmodeler graphical modeling capability. Refer to the Graphical Modeler Interface section for a discussion of the EVA Netmodeler graphical modeling capability.

The AGMCGI Interface can be used on its own, or together with the Archi Requestor DLL, written in Visual Basic 6, depending on the level of abstraction required.

Please note that in this section the original "Archi" brand name has been retained in some cases as it is often used in technical context.


The illustration above shows a complete architectural overview of the Archi Visual Modeling interface. The diagram illustrates where the two main components (viz. AGMCGI and Archi Requestor) fit into the architecture and the functions performed by each component.


This component is part of the Archi server program, it receives CGI requests and returns information as an XML file.


Archi Requester

This is a VB dll and can be viewed as a service agent facilitating the use of the AGMCGI by COM-enabled applications such as Microsoft Office and Visio. Applications that cannot handle COM can interface directly with the AGMCGI via HTTP requests, but they will have to re-create the functionality offered by Archi Requester.


Visio implementation of the EVA Netmodeler Visual Modeling Interface

This section describes how to use the EVA Netmodeler Visual Modeling Interface using Microsoft Visio as the visual modeling client. Note that it is also possible to implement similar functions in other third party tools, although this requires a fair degree of technical skill and a knowledge of the tool used. Refer to the Visual Modeler Developer Help section for more technical details and guidance on how to do this.

The Visio implementation of the EVA Netmodeler Visual Modeling Interface has the following main elements:

  • 1. A copy of Visio 2003 on the client workstation
  • 2. A Visio stencil. The Stencil contains the shapes that represent the EVA Netmodeler node types in the Visio diagrams
  • 3. A set of VBA macros. The macros provide the user interface to the EVA Netmodeler Visual Modeling Interface and manage the communication between Visio and the ARCHIREQUESTER middleware
  • 4. The ARCHIREQUESTER middleware component installed on the client workstation
  • 5 & 6. The EVA Netmodeler server and AGMCGI component that is accessible from the client workstation
  • 7. An EVA Netmodeler repository containing various elements related to visual models:
    • An EVA Netmodeler model type
      • Holds the definition of a type of model expressed in XML. The model type maps symbols in the visual model to types within the repository, and relationships or links in the visual model to relationship types in the repository.
    • An EVA Netmodeler model
      • A representation of something in the real world or a conceptual plan. It is used to link items which are viewed or represented together. Items can participate in multiple models. Information about placement, size etc. of items with respect to a model is held on a Model Item info node. Models are of a designated type and there is an associated Model Type which provides a mapping from semantic model in repository to visual model in external tools (eg. Visio)
    • Model elements - EVA Netmodeler node types and relationship types that correspond to the elements described in the model type
    • An EVA Netmodeler user with access to:
      • Types used to build and store models: Model Type, Model, Model Item
      • Model content types: whatever node types are included in the Model Types with which the user is going to work
    • Visio VBA Requester Code
      • Holds one or more versions of the VBA macros. EVA Netmodeler uses this code to update Visio diagram files with the latest version of the macro code
    • Archi Requester Release
      • Holds one or more packages containing Visual Modeling Interface code, documentation and examples that have been tested, packaged and released together

Additional help for this facility can be found in the following sections: