User Interface, Tools and Productivity Boosters

Part of the "Enterprise Architect in 30 minutes" tour

Enterprise Architect's user interface consists of a range of high-impact windows, menus and toolbars that you can arrange to suit your work methods.

User Interface Tools

The Project Browser

The Project Browser displays the model hierarchy of your project and facilitates adding, selecting, reorganizing or deleting packages, diagrams and elements.

The Diagram Toolbox

The Diagram Toolbox, which is context-sensitive to the diagram being edited, and provides an efficient means of creating appropriate model elements or connectors.

The Diagram View

The Diagram View, which brings the model to life visually:

  • Stylize and color connectors and elements for enhanced presentation and identification
  • Display diagrams in 'Hand-drawn' and 'Whiteboard' styles to denote draft status and encourage feedback
  • Edit multiple views concurrently, easily transferring elements between several open diagrams
  • View elements in tabular or list format, browse search results, trace seamlessly between visual representations and underlying source code, and more...

Context Menus

Context menus provide options specific to the type of object and its environment.

Floating diagram and docking views

It is often useful to see multiple views simultaneously for comparisons, editing of related diagrams or referring to downstream representations of a given model. Enterprise Architect allows you to open several diagrams at once and dock these anywhere on screen.

You can do the same for other views, such as:

  • Model Search
  • Linked Document Editor
  • Source Code Editor
  • State Table
  • Element List

This means, for example, you can edit a diagram with all its related views immediately visible. Easily move or copy elements between open diagrams and can take advantage of large or multiple monitors. Maintain context and continuity between editing sessions simply by saving your window layouts and open views to a Working Set in Enterprise Architect.

User Interface Tools in Enterprise Architect
Click to enlarge

In-line editing of diagram elements

Enterprise Architect enables fast editing of element properties directly from the diagram. Using in-place edit commands, you can rapidly add and update element features such as attributes, operations and parameters, all without leaving the Diagram View. Rapid editing of diagram elements is further enhanced by numerous keyboard shortcuts for creating and connecting elements.

  • Export diagrams to a range of image formats (.bmp, .jpg, .png, .gif, .emf and .wmf)
  • Swimlanes enable logical partitioning of diagrams
  • Pan and Zoom window provides a preview and easy navigation of complex diagrams
  • Diagram Filters dynamically compare 'as-is' and 'to-be' architectures or highlight changes
  • Compare and merge diagram baselines visually and roll-back changes between revisions
  • Locks on diagrams prevent accidental modification
  • Shape Scripts customize rendering of elements and support alternative modeling notations
  • Alternative Images can be superimposed on elements, to replace the standard image.

Model and application patterns

Enterprise Architect ships with a number of predefined model and application patterns to assist in the creation of new projects and models. Each pattern contains useful notes, references and starter elements that together provide a framework on which you can build your model. For example, Enterprise Architect includes Java and .Net application patterns that get you started with a basic implementation model, generated code and appropriate scripts to build, run and debug your application.

Model validation

Model validation checks UML and SysML models against known rules from the specification, as well as any constraints defined within the model using the Object Constraint Language (OCL). You can perform model validation against a single UML element, a diagram or an entire package. The Model validation capability is therefore a powerful tool during your model review review process.