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Customizing Perspectives

Whilst Enterprise Architect boasts a wide range of system (built-in) Perspectives, as users and teams gain more experience with the formidable range of technologies and features in the tool, or their roles change, they might want to create their own personal or model based Perspectives more specifically tailored to their area of work, or to expose Technologies they have recently imported. Enterprise Architect provides the ability for Perspectives to be completely customized down to the level of the items that appear on a technology Toolbox page, and these definitions can be created once and then reused by different team members or even across different repositories.

Before starting, review the Technologies available to you in Enterprise Architect and identify and enable those you want to apply in a Perspective, either individually or in combination. This is particularly important for any custom Technologies you have, as selecting a Perspective makes available only those Technologies it specifically contains and hides all others - including your custom Technologies.

You can create custom Perspectives for your own personal use, or for all model users, and move or copy individual Perspectives between the two levels. You can also publish custom Perspectives, exporting them as a set from one model and importing them as a set into other models.

The procedures for working with personal custom Perspectives and model-level custom Perspectives are the same, except where specifically stated in this topic.

If you have User Security enabled on a model or project, as an administrator you can also set up Perspective Settings that identify the Perspectives available to users in each of the defined security groups. See the Perspectives for Security Groups Help topic.

Access

These access options display the 'Perspective Sets' dialog, through which you can create customized Perspectives.

Showing the table in which personal custom perspectives are created in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

Ribbon

Design > Model > Perspectives > Manage Perspectives > Personal    or

Design > Model > Perspectives > Manage Perspectives > Model

Other

(Top right corner of screen) > Choose perspective button. > Manage > Customize > Personal    or

(Top right corner of screen) > Choose perspective button. > Manage > Customize > Model

Create Custom Perspective

Step

Action

See also

1

Click on the New button. The 'Create Perspective' dialog displays, prompting you for the name of the new Perspective. Type in the Perspective name.

In your Perspective, you can restrict the creation of constructs (types of diagram, element, connector and Pattern) from within other Technologies. (See the Restrict Custom Perspective section later in this topic.) If you want to do this, select the 'Strict' checkbox.

Click on the OK button. The name is added to the 'Perspective' panel.

If you have selected the 'Strict' checkbox for a Perspective, the word 'Yes' displays in the 'Strict' column and the Restrict button is enabled.

2

Click on the Perspective name, and then on the button. The 'Select MDG Technologies' dialog displays.

Selecting MDG Technologies while creating custom perspectives in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

3

Select the 'Add' checkbox against each MDG Technology to include in the Perspective Set.

You can click on the All button and then deselect the checkbox against each Technology to omit, or click on the None button to clear all selected checkboxes and then re-select those against Technologies you want to keep.

If you want to group your selections by Technology, click on the 'Group Categories by Technology' checkbox.

4

When you have added the necessary Technologies to the Perspective, click on the OK button. The Technologies in the new custom Perspective are listed in the 'Technologies' panel in alphanumerical order.

5

If you prefer to:

  • List the Technologies in the Perspective in a different sequence, click on each Technology name in turn and use the Up Hand button or Down Hand button to move the Technology name to the correct position in the sequence
  • Remove a Technology from the Perspective, click on the Perspective name and click on the red X button to redisplay the 'Select MDG Technologies' dialog, listing just the Technologies that are in the Perspective; clear the 'Add' checkbox against each Technology to be removed, and click on the OK button
  • Add another Technology to the Perspective, click on the button to redisplay the 'Select MDG Technologies' dialog, listing the Technologies that are not already in the set; select the 'Add' checkbox against the required Technology, and click on the OK button

You can also edit the Perspective name, and clear or select the 'Strict' checkbox; right-click on the Perspective name and select the 'Edit' option. The 'Edit Perspective' dialog displays, on which you can overtype the name and/or alter the checkbox selection. Then click on the OK button.

6

Click on the Save button and, if you have finished setting up or changing a Perspective, click on the Close button.

Restrict a Custom Perspective

Enterprise Architect is a tool for all seasons and is used to create models for initiatives of all sizes, from small endeavors such as a website for a small retail store right up to highly complex systems used in aerospace missions. Many of the supported languages and technologies also have this dimension, defining mechanisms for simple grammars through to extremely complex mechanisms for modeling large real-time systems.

Enterprise Architect provides the Strict Perspectives as a mechanism to restrict users to just the subset of the technology and the tool that they need to undertake their modeling tasks. For example, there might be a group of strategic modelers who just need to model straight-through processing. They only need access to the basic BPMN modeling palette such as Activities and Control Flows, and are not concerned about Pools, Lanes Gateways and Message Flows, for example, and certainly don't want to see Choreography diagrams. The librarian could set up a Strict Perspective restricted to just these modeling elements, connectors and diagrams.

To set a custom Perspective to 'Strict', click on the Perspective name and click on the Restrict button. The 'Modeling Permissions/Restrictions' dialog displays, listing the constructs (diagram, element, connector and Pattern) of each Technology in the Perspective.

Click on the type of construct for each Technology in turn, and in the lists in the right-hand panel select the checkbox against each type of element, relationship, diagram, link rule or Pattern to allow in the Perspective. If it makes the process easier, use the All button or None button to select all checkboxes or clear all checkboxes before checking or clearing individual entries.

When you have finished setting the allowed constructs, click on the OK button to return to the 'Perspective Sets' dialog.

Publish Custom Perspectives

If you have custom Perspectives in one model, you can publish them by exporting them as a set to file and importing them into other models.

  1. On the appropriate tab ('Model' or 'Personal'), click on the Publish button to display the 'Publish Perspectives' dialog.
  2. In the 'File Path' field, type in or browse for the location of the external file:
         -  From which to import previously-captured custom Perspectives, or
         -  Into which to export the current set of custom Perspectives
  3. Select the appropriate radio button for the import or export operation you are performing.
  4. If you are importing Perspectives from the file, and they might clash with existing Perspectives in your model, select the 'Generate new perspective id' checkbox to give each imported Perspective a different ID.
  5. Click on the OK button.  The exported Perspectives are copied to the specified file. Imported Perspectives are listed on the 'Perspective' panel of the 'Model' or 'Personal tab', as appropriate.

Move or Copy Custom Perspectives

If you have created a Perspective in either the 'Model' tab or the 'Personal' tab, you can move or copy that Perspective from its source tab to the other. You might move a Perspective to make yours available to other users, or to restrict a model Perspective to your own use, or copy the Perspective and edit it to create a variant for general or personal use.

Right-click on the selected Perspective to move or copy that Perspective, or click in the white space of the 'Perspective' panel to move or copy all Perspectives in the list. A short menu provides options to move or copy the Perspective to the alternative group - 'Model' or 'Personal'. Click on the appropriate option; the move or copy takes place immediately and the Perspective name is displayed in the target panel.

Delete a Custom Perspective

If you no longer want to use a custom Perspective, you can delete it from the list of those available.

On the 'Model' or 'Personal' tab of the 'Perspective Sets' dialog, click on the custom Perspective name and then on the Delete button.

In response to the confirmation prompt, click on the Yes button.

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