A meta-model is just an EA diagram which shows which elements types & stereotypes and connectors you use in a part of your model. It’s a useful indication of the complexity of the model, and also of it’s consistency.
If you’re about to start managing the quality of your models, then its a good idea to start by looking at the meta-models of different parts of your model.
Creating a Snapshot meta-model
A snapshot meta-model is the meta-model of a single EA package (and all its sub-packages), taken at a point in time.
Open MX2 Examples.EAPX
Find the package ‘Example 1’ :
This package has some EA diagrams in it.
They are a mixture of UML, BPMN and Archimate model elements, but this is just an example.
Have a look at the diagrams to see what kind of modeling we have done.
Right-click on the Example 1 package (the ‘Source model’) and choose Specialize / Model Expert / Create snapshot meta-model
For ‘where to put the results’ choose the ‘Scratch’ package
You will see a diagram of the meta-model, like this:
all the types and stereotypes in the ‘Source Model’
how those types are related
which EA attributes have been used
You can get lots of useful insight into your model just by looking at this meta-model.
Note that the meta-model diagram created by Model Expert is a snapshot, so it doesn’t automatically update when you make changes to your model.
Understanding a snapshot meta-model
A snapshot meta-model contains information about the element types, attributes and connectors in a single EA package. It shows:
One of these is created for each unique element type/stereotype in your package. For example:
Count – number of examples of the type+stereotype in the package
Type (and stereotype, if there is one)
These are the ‘properties’ of elements, provided by EA.
This shows which ones are used, and the percentage usage.
For example, in this package there were 3 UseCases, and all had a name, but only 33% of them (1 use case) had a non-default value of ‘phase’
This shows which tagged values are present in the elements, and how often they are used
This shows how the following are used:
Scenarios, Constraints, Element requirements, Element Issues, Element metrics, Element files etc
The number indicates the ratio. So, for Element Requirements, there are an average 1.33 Element requirements for each Use Case.
Each pair of element type+stereotype which are linked (within the package) creates a connector in the snapshot meta-model diagram. For example (attributes not shown in this EA diagram):
This says that:
Use Cases are linked to other Use Cases using a <<include>>UseCase type connectors
Actors are linked to UseCases using an Association link.