Anchor points represent the possible locations for docking a link on an object container. Several flows, even of different types, can be connected to the same anchor point. Anchor points become visible when using the Link tool in the Edit Toolbar: the anchors appear as green points when the mouse cursor is passed over the border of a container.
Attributes are additional data items that can be added to characterize types. Similarly to types, attributes are managed in the Rules and can be filtered in Filters. There are several attribute types, for instance boolean, text, integer, date and file. Attribute values are a part of the project data and they are defined via the Internal Block Diagram or object properties. Attributes and their values can sometimes be visible in the Internal Block Diagram (this is controlled in the meta-model).
Bidirectional flows are abstract kinds of flows whose direction (producer → consumer) is not clearly defined or flows that can contain elements moving in the two directions. For instance, interfaces, boundaries or symmetric links could be defined as bidirectional flows.
The collapse functionality permits to hide the child objects of an expanded object in the Internal Block Diagram.
A consumer is an object containing a child object defined as a consumed flow.
The Contain Flows functionality is a flow filter that can be applied to an object type in Rules or in Filters. Contain Flows only permits to filter out flows: in Rules, it can be used to hide certain types of child flows for a given object type. In Filters, Contain Flows is used in a similar manner but its scope is limited to the chosen filter. However, it should be noted that Contain Flows does not work for first-level links (i.e. flow instances that are direct children of the filtering object).
A container is the graphical representation of an object in a diagram. The name of the object is displayed on the container; the name might only be partially visible if the size of the container is insufficient to display the entire name. The containers of different types can have different shapes, colors and text fonts; the appearance of containers is controlled in the meta-model. However, if the type has been defined as flexible, it is possible to control the appearance of each individual container from the object graphical properties (Graphical Properties item in the right-click menu).
Types that have been defined as flows are often represented as links; however, first-level flows (the children of the focus object) are represented as containers with an outgoing or an incoming link and its port.
The expand functionality permits to display the child objects of a chosen parent object in the Internal Block Diagram. The expanded object is displayed as a rectangle with rounded corners. The action can be undone with the collapse command.
A filter permits to choose which rules of the project are to be used as a basis for a projection; only the object instances corresponding to these rules are displayed in the treeview and the Internal Block Diagram. Each filter creates one projection and, inversely, each projection is created by a corresponding filter (there is a one-to-one correspondence). Both the filter and its projection share the same name.
Filters define a set of customizable views, or projections, on a project. Rules along with Filters constitute the meta-model of a project.
A flow is a specific kind of object relation: the instances of the child type are either produced or consumed by their parent object. The definition of relations as flows is controlled in the meta-model.
The flow mark is a graphical display indicating that an object container represents a flow in a diagram. The flow mark is displayed as a small white circle on the flow container next to the incoming or outgoing link.
Internal Block Diagram
The Internal Block Diagram is a graphical view representing a part of the modeled system. The Internal Block Diagram is focused on one object at a time; it displays the first-level child objects of the focus object as well as the flows between them. The Internal Block Diagram could thus be called a horizontal view of the system.
A label is a text field displaying the name of a flow. It is usually displayed next to the link; however, it can also be hidden.
A link is a graphical display. A link between two objects represents one or more flows between these objects. The names of the flows are displayed on the link label. If too many flows go through a link, only the first flow identifiers are displayed on the label and a "..." is added at the end of the list. In this case, it is necessary to double-click on the link to display the extended list of flows associated to it.
The meta-model can be seen as a set of rules governing the way in which it is possible to work with project data. The meta-model defines the types of objects and the rules managing their relationships, as well as the properties of filters. The meta-model along with the project data and variants are an essential part of an
An object is a particular instance of a type. Objects can be visualized in the treeview and/or in the Internal Block Diagram.
An option is a value of an object branch; an option provides a concrete value for an option category. An option is related to one and only one option category whereas an option category can contain several options. A given option can be compatible with one or more variants. In order to be able to filter the project for a variant, it is necessary to define the values of options for the concerned object instances in the object properties. See Working with Variants / Phases and Options for more information.
An option category is a branch in the object structure. Option categories permit to model different object branches simultaneously within the scope of one single project. Option categories can be organized into folders and an option category can contain one or more options. See Working with Variants / Phases and Options for more information.
Phases are filters that permit to choose between different life cylces of objects. See Working with Variants / Phases and Options for more information.
In the Internal Block Diagram, a port is a graphical element representing the point where a link enters or exits the focus object.
A producer is an object containing a child object defined as a produced flow.
A project is the basic work unit in
The project data is a collection of object instances along with their attributes values and the defined choice values related to variants. The project data also includes graphical information on the positions of objects, object container sizes, flow positions etc. The project data can be visualized in the treeview as well as in the Internal Block Diagram and in the special views. See Working with Project Data for more information.
Besides the project data, an
A projection is created by a filter on the rules of the project. It displays only object instances, flows and attributes corresponding to the rules selected in the filter. Besides the treeview, the chosen filter is also applied to the Internal Block Diagram; the created projection can thus be explored through both these representations.
In a hierarchical typing system like
- An element relation, the child type being a simple component of its parent.
- A generic flow, either an input or an output (but not both).
- A bidirectional flow, both an input and an output.
See Types and Type Relations for more information.
Relation Block Diagram
The Relation Block Diagram represents the focus object along with its flows and related objects. It is a sub-set of the Internal Block Diagram of the focus object's parent.
A Revision is the state at a point of time of the entire project. One revision can be recoverable and two revisions can be compared, if you want, respectively, to restore a project before it undergoes modifications or analyze differences between two revisions.
The root object symbolizes the project. All the other project components (the types in Rules, the filters and the objects in the treeview) are placed under the root. See Object Hierarchy for more information.
A rule links a child type to a parent type in the meta-model. See Rules for more information.
Ribbon (new starting from v4.4.x)
Ribbon is the main GUI of the
Rules could be compared to a class diagram: it describes the meta-model structure on which an
The Extended Tabular View is a table-form representation of the children of the focus object. The attributes of the children are also represented.
A template is an existing meta-model that is used as a basis for the creation of project data. The meta-model of any project located within the same workspace can be used as a template.
A toolbar is a graphical object grouping a set of buttons, lists, menus and other GUI elements. The elements in the toolbar permit the user to access various functionalities in
The treeview is a hierarchical representation of all the objects present in the context of a given projection. The treeview is thus a vertical view of the system, starting from the root object and descending via parent objects to children and to more distant descendants.
A type may be seen as a set of objects having the same structure and the same attributes (the same properties). In programming and in mathematics, the type Integer is the type of all integers. More generally, a class is a type. A type has a name, a set of attributes, is the child of another type or a child of the root type, and may be the parent of other types.
In Rules, types are organized in a hierarchical manner via defined rules. See Types and Type Relations for more information.
Variants are filters that permit to choose between different branches of objects. These branches are often used to represent different technological solutions in the project. In practice, the filtering is done based on the values of options defined in the concerned objects; these choices are associated to given variants. See Working with Variants / Phases and Options for more information.
A view is a graphical representation of a limited part of the modeled system. Besides the Internal Block Diagram,
A workspace is a storage and a classification element containing one or several projects. The workspace could be compared to a folder whereas projects would represent files stored in this folder. Each project is located in one and only one workspace.