On this purpose, we work in the view "3.1 Define functional architecture". We can access this view through a drop-down list in the main toolbar (see figure 1).
Figure 1. Drop-down list to access the view 3.1
Figure 2. External Functional Architecture
1. You can use the palette (see figure 3). Drag and drop a Data or a Physical Flow from the palette on a selected object. A pop-up window opens asking you to "Enter object name". Then, a flow appears. This flow comes out of the Object (producer): its beginning is on the Object and its end is, for instance, an interrogation mark. You can now right-click on its end and put it on a second object to which the flow enters (consumer).
2. Right-click on an object (an Enabling System for example) and then, select "Add new Object" to select (see figure 4). A pop-up window opens to "Enter object name". Then, you can put the flow on its consumer object by right-clicking on the end of the flow.
3. You can select a port on an object and draw a flow to another: first object will be the producer and second one the consumer (see figure 5): click on an anchor point on the producer object ("Mouse") and finally click on a anchor point on the consumer object ("LapTop").
It opens a window proposing two available flow types: "Data flow" and "Physical flow". Choose the first one (see figure 6).
Figure 6. Pop-up window to determine the type of the new Flow
Once you have selected the type, a new window appears asking for the flow name. Enter the desired name, in our case "Position of the mouse" (see figure 7).
Figure 7. Pop-up window to give a name to the new Flow
After validating, it creates the flow between the concerned objects. Figure 8 shows the result in the case of our example.
You can use one of these methods to create all external flows. To complete our example, we define some other flows (see figure 9):
- "220 V supply", Physical flow, between "Office" and "LapTop",
- "220 V supply for screen", Physical flow, between "Office" and "Screen",
- "Graphical data", Data flow, between "LapTop" and "Screen",
- "Graphical connection response", Data flow, between "Screen" and "LapTop",
- "Internet Wi-Fi connection", Physical flow, between "Rooter" and "LapTop",
- "Internet cabled connection", Physical flow, between "Rooter" and "LapTop".
Once we defined the external functional exchanges, we can define the system's functions and internal flows. On this purpose, we will enter the system by double-clicking on it. You will see all inputs and outputs we defined before (incoming or outgoing Data flows and Physical flows (see figure 10).
Figure 10. Internal Flows defined within the System
In our example, we define a function called "Capture Internet signals" (see figure 11).
Figure 11. Example of Function definition
To move objects (flows or other objects) you can right-click and drag and drop. In our example, we move these two flows in the function (see figure 12).
Figure 12. Allocate Flows to a Function
You will then see flows as functions' inputs (see figure 13).
Figure 13. Result of drag and drop of the Flows in the Function
In our example, we define three sub-functions in the function "Capture Internet signals": "Capture the WiFi signal", "Capture the cabled Internet connection signal", and "Interpret Internet signals". Using the expand feature on this function, you can see its sub-functions (see figure 14).
Figure 14. Example of Sub-functions definition
We now allocate flows to the concerned sub-functions. As we moved flows from the system to a function, we will move the two flows "Internet cabled connection" and "Internet WiFi connection" from the function "Capture Internet signals" to the functions "Capture the cabled Internet connection signal" for the first and "Capture the WiFi signal" for the second. Figure 15 shows the result.
Figure 15. Allocate Flows to corresponding Sub-function
- "Captured WiFi signal" between "Capture the WiFi signal" and "Interpret Internet signals",
- "Captured cabled Internet connection signal" between "Capture the cabled Internet connection signal" and "Interpret Internet signals"
Figure 16 shows the results.
Figure 16. Internal Physical Flows definition
- Data flows allocations:
- "Internet settings" from "Interpret internet signals" to "Process data and compute",
- "ON-OFF" from "Manage power" (under "Process data and compute") to "Supply the LapTop",
- "Graphical info" from "Compute MMI information" (under "Process data and compute") to "Manage graphical data",
- "external info" from "Manage external entries" to "Compute internal information" (under "Process data and compute"),
- "Internet settings" from "Interpret internet signals" to "Compute internal information" (under "Process data and compute") and "Store data",
- "processed data" from "Compute internal information" (under "Process data and compute") to "Store data".
Figure 17 shows the results after adding all of these functions and allocate the external and data flows to them.
In functional views, objects have some attributes you can fill (objects' attributes are displayed in the table of properties).
Table 1 of properties of functions contains the following attributes:
Table 1. Table of Attributes of Functions
Data Flows Attributes
Table 2 of properties of flows contains:
- the same attributes as those of the functions (see table 1),
- and another attribute called VP name (MEMO) which is an attribute to fill the flow's name for validation plan.
Physical Flows Attributes
Table 3 of properties of flows contains:
- the same attributes as those of the functions (see table 2),
- and another attribute called Flow detailed type (ENUM) which is a drop down list to specify the flow type. Possible values are: control, electric, electromagnetic, material, mechanic, and thermic).
Tabular View of the View 3.1.
Figure 18 shows the tabular view of the view 3.1. which is accessible through the button Project Tools in the main toolbar: Image Removed. Image Added
Figure 18. Tabular View of the View 3.1. in Project Tools
When we click on "Define Functions and Flows", a table appears (see table 4) with two sheets wherein you can define 1) Functions and 2) Flows.
Using the last one (Append Line) you can add a new row to create a new Function/Flow (see figure 19).
Figure 19. Add a new Object in Tabular view 3.1
By right click on the ID of each existing Function/Flow, you can replace it either by another existing Function/Flow or by a new Function/Flow. In the same way, you can insert or remove a row (see figure 20).
Figure 20. Modify the Content of the table in Tabular view 3.1