Using the 'Discuss' tab of the dockable Collaborate window, you can select an individual element or diagram and develop an informal discussion that is directly associated with that object. This makes it easy to locate, view and contribute to a discussion, or more than one discussion, on the selected object.
You can participate in discussions on different elements and diagrams simply by clicking on each object in turn; the Collaborate window immediately switches to the discussion of the new selected object, identified by name underneath the window option bar.
As a discussion develops, the number of responses is shown below the original post; therefore you can see when a discussion has a new reply without having to expand and work through the thread. You can apply a priority and status to a discussion, which helps you to indicate the importance of the discussion and to resolve and close off the points raised in the discussion so that they do not continue indefinitely. You can also delete the whole posting or specific replies, to balance retaining discussion history with removing irrelevant information.
Three further facilities of the Collaborate window are the:
- 'Review' tab, which you use to attach formal discussions on one or more elements and/or diagrams to a review session, encapsulated in a Review element; see the Formal Review Elements Help topic
- 'Chat' tab and text box, which you can use to follow and participate in quick conversations on a point of interest, not necessarily connected with the selected element; see the Model Chat Help topic
- 'Journal' tab, on which you jot down any notes, comments, reminders or references that you want to write down during the day; see the Introducing the Journal Help topic
The discussion comments pertinent to an element can be displayed in that element on a diagram, in the 'Discussion' compartment of the element.
Select an element or diagram, then open the Collaborate window using one of these methods:
Start > Collaborate > Discussions > Discuss
Browser window > Right-click on object > Collaborate > Discuss
On diagram > Right-click on element > Collaborate > Discuss
Operations in Discussions
Create a discussion
The window displays the message Create new Discussion. Double-click on this message and type your posting as continuous text (no carriage returns). The text automatically wraps at the border of the Collaborate window. You can also paste copied text from the clipboard into the discussion item, by pressing .
If you do need to break your text into paragraphs, press at the point at which to break the text.
When you have finished typing, click off the text or press the .
You can also right-click on the window and select the 'Create new Discussion' menu option. All new discussions are added below existing discussion threads.
If user security is enabled and you have selected to show avatars, the discussion icon is replaced by an image representing the user who contributed that item. If a user does not have an avatar image, a default 'head and shoulders' silhouette displays as the avatar.
|Set User Avatar
(This facility is available on repositories connected through the Cloud Server.)
Once a discussion has been started on an element, you can set a flag to notify you whenever a response is posted to the thread. To set the flag, click on the element name in the Browser window and select the 'Collaborate > Monitor Discussions' option. The flag then operates for your user ID.
When a response is posted in a monitored discussion, this prompt displays in the bottom right-hand corner of the Enterprise Architect workspace:
If you want to remove a discussion flag - or all discussion flags you have set - on the 'Discuss' tab of the Collaborate window click on the element name header and select the 'Manage Monitored Discussions' option. The 'Manage Monitored Discussions' dialog displays, showing the monitored element names and their type, author and last-modified date.
Add a response
Double-click on the 'Post Reply' message and type your response as continuous text.
When you have finished typing, click off the text or press the .
You can also right-click on a post and select the 'Post Reply' menu option. All new replies are added underneath the discussion thread they are in response to.
Whilst you are typing a message, the editor automatically checks the spelling and underlines possible spelling errors in red. You can backspace or move the cursor to the errors to correct them. You can also move the cursor anywhere in the message body and add or delete text (press the ).
Once you have posted a message, you can delete the whole message but you cannot edit it.
Copy discussion text
If you want to re-use some or all of the text of a discussion item, you can copy it to the clipboard by selecting the text and pressing before you save it. You can then paste the text into a new discussion item or into another document in Enterprise Architect.
Set discussion status
The icon against a new discussion indicates that the discussion has the status of 'Open'. To change the status, right-click on the discussion item and select either:
If the discussion already has one of these statuses, you can also select the 'Open' option to return the discussion to 'Open' status.
When you review the discussions in the Collaborate window, you might want to include discussions that have the status of 'Closed', or you might prefer to hide them. To toggle the inclusion of closed discussions, right-click on the body of the window and click on the 'Show Closed Topics' option.
Set discussion priority
As part of the discussion, you might want to identify the priority of a point being raised. It might be very important to act on the point, or it might be agreed that the point discusses a 'nice to have' feature that could be addressed at a later date. To set the priority, right-click on the discussion topic and select one of the options:
Alternatively, if you decide that an item does not need to be prioritized, select the 'Priority | <none>' option. This leaves the item icon as .
Delete a discussion or reply
Right-click on the discussion or a reply, and select the 'Delete Selected' menu option. A prompt displays to confirm the deletion. Click on the .
If you delete a discussion, all replies associated with that discussion will be deleted as well.
Review Discussion History
In each case, select the 'Discussion History' option.
The Discussions window displays, listing all existing discussion items on elements. You can right-click on the:
|Customizing the Search View
- The Discussions facility is available in the Corporate, Unified and Ultimate editions of Enterprise Architect
- If the editor does not highlight spelling errors, select the 'Start > Desktop > Preferences > Preferences > Objects' ribbon option and deselect the 'Disable Spelling' checkbox
- A standard report is available for locating elements that have recently been the subject of discussions; select the 'Start > Collaborate > Discussions > Recently Discussed Elements' ribbon option