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Using Information Flows

When you drag an Information Flow connector between two elements on a diagram, Enterprise Architect automatically prompts you to identify the Information items conveyed.

You can also create an Information Flow automatically whilst directly defining Information Flow realization, as you might do on a Message on a Sequence diagram.

If you tend to create, populate and realize Information Flows immediately in one work session, between Classifiers and between Ports and/or Parts, you will appreciate the fact that you can now set up the Information Flow quickly and completely just on the 'Information Items Conveyed' dialog, using the 'Add Realizing Relationship' checkbox.

Create and realize Information Flows

Step

Action

See also

1

Open a diagram and add two elements (for example, Nodes on a Deployment diagram).

2

Click on the Information Flow connector in the 'Common' page of the Toolbox and drag the cursor between the two elements.

The 'Information Items Conveyed' dialog displays.

Convey Information on a Flow

3

Add the classifier or Information Item element(s) to the Information Flow. If you cannot complete this now, you can return to the Information Flow and add the remaining Information items later. 

Convey Information on a Flow

4

If you are creating an Information Flow between two Classifier elements (such as Class, Component or Use Case), or between Ports and/or Parts, the 'Add Realizing Relationship' checkbox  is enabled (although not for other combinations of elements). 

If you have finished assigning information items to the flow, select this checkbox and click on the OK button:

  • For a relationship between two Classifiers, a new Association connector is automatically created between the two elements, realizing the Information Flow
  • For a relationship between Ports and/or Parts, a new Connector-type connector is automatically created between the two elements, realizing the Information Flow

In these two cases, refer to the illustration in step 7.

Otherwise, click on the OK button to close the dialog. The diagram now resembles this example:

UML Deployment diagram showing an information flow between two Node elements.

5

If you have finished assigning Information Items to the flow, add another connector between the same two elements (for example, a Communication Path connector).

If you have not finished assigning information items you can return to the realization at a later time, either using the 'Information Flows Realized' dialog or - for flows between classifiers and between Ports and/or Parts - returning to the 'Information Items Conveyed' dialog and selecting the 'Add Realizing Relationship' checkbox.

6

Right-click on the connector and select the 'Advanced | Information Flows Realized' option.

The 'Information Flows Realized' dialog displays.

Realize an Information Flow

7

Tick the checkbox against each required information item in the realized flow and click on the OK button.

The connector now resembles this example, where the black triangle indicates the presence and direction of the Information Flow connector:

UML Deployment diagram showing the information flow between two Node elements being realized by a Communication Path.

Notes

  • Once the Information Flow is realized, you cannot access the 'Information Items Conveyed' dialog directly; to add or delete information items on the connector, you 'unrealize' the connector on the 'Information Items Realized' dialog
  • If you have more than one Information Flow connector between the elements, they form part of the same combined connector; you can again work on them separately through the 'Information Items Realized' dialog
  • If you have information flows in a diagram that you use as the source for a Pattern, the 'Information Items Conveyed' and 'Information Flows Realized' data is not copied into the Pattern
  • You can locate, in the Browser window, the classifier or information item element(s) conveyed on the Information Flow connector, using the 'Find Items Conveyed' context menu option on the connector

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