Converter BizzDesign to Sparx Enterprise Architect


For modelling Enterprise Architectures organisations can choose for multiple tools. In the Netherlands numerous organisations use BizzDesign as modelling tool. However license costs are relatively high and therefore some of the EAxpertise customers are considering to migrate to Sparx. 

The functionality offered by both tools overlap to a great extend and especially in data modelling Sparx has more functionality than BizzDesign. For one of our customers we did a research on the migration options, there are three models in the enterprise architecture:

  • Enterprise Architecture modelled in ArchiMate 3 models. This can be migrated very well with the Model Exchange Format standard in the ArchiMate 3 definition.
  • Business processes modelled in BPMN models This can be migrated with the BPMN exchange format 
  • Data  Models modelled in the Enterprise Data Model. For this part of the model there is no exchange format so we had to develop  something for this.

For the last part of the enterprise model we had to develop an extension. The rest of this article described this extension.

Migration extension

We first tried to develop a solution based on a script but we needed a simple user interface to control the steps so we decided to extend the IDEA DLL with this functionality. In the image you get an idea of the functionality

In the screenshot you see the following functionalities:

  • Options to load the data from an excel file. BizzDesign has the possibility to define excel files for the entities that can not be exported by the stanrd XML formats like MEF and BPMN. This applies to the EDM entities
  • Migrating the Entities data from the excel file to the repository of Sparx
  • Migrating the Associations from the excel file to the repository of Sparx
  • The transfer of the Attributes to Sparx
  • The last option needs a little explanation. BizzDesign has the option, just like Sparx to add hyperlinks in the notes that link to other elements in the repository. However they use a different internal format for these hyperlinks. This functionality transforms the format of the hyperlinks to the Sparx format.

An extra remark is needed for the counter under the load data button. This is used for loading the worksheet with that ordinal position in the workbook file.

Open Source AddOn

This converter from BizzDesign to Sparx is added to the IDEA AddOn. This AddOn has a number of functionalities where this is a logical extension:

  • ArchimAID helper screen to combine searching in diagrams with toolbox functionality
  • Scripts for creating Conceptual, Logical and Physical Data Models and integrate them
  • Mapper functionality between data entities
  • EA Assistant functions for deduplication, HTML generating and more.

When interested please go the IDEA AddON page on the EAxpertise website. When you want support on using the AddOn please feel free to contact me via