Please note : This help page is not for the latest version of Enterprise Architect. The latest help can be found here.

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Perspectives

Enterprise Architect is used by a wide range of teams, from executives and business architects who model organizational change and strategic direction at the highest level, down to technology architects who model infrastructure and implementation at the lowest level, with a large number of other disciplines in between. Some of these additional disciplines include business, process and requirements analysts; information, data, application and security architects; system and product engineers; testers; scrum masters and many more. 

Enterprise Architect has a formidable compass of available features supporting these disciplines that, when seen together, could be quite overwhelming. To ensure a modeler can remain focused and concentrate on the role they are performing at a particular time, Perspectives have been created to bundle the features - including modeling languages and example patterns - into sets. This allows a person to effectively change roles and focus simply by switching to another Perspective - almost like putting on a different hat.  When a Perspective is selected the tool instantly changes to hide the irrelevant features and only display the ones defined for that Perspective. Some modelers might select or be assigned a single Perspective for the lifetime of a role or project, whilst others might switch Perspectives five or six times a day.

The Perspectives are completely configurable, allowing fine grain inclusion (and thus exclusion) of language constructs and tool features; this can be done at a whole-model level, security group level or personal level.

Perspectives:

  • Are selections of Technologies - some specific to one of the many modeling languages - and their model and diagram Patterns
  • Are tailored to domain-specific modeling scenarios; when you work in a specific domain, you can apply a Perspective to expose appropriate facilities and hide all others
  • Remove the significant distraction of having to identify and assess multiple technologies before proceeding with your work
  • Help you to select and apply an environment of particular modeling languages or Technologies, enabling you to work effectively and efficiently on the task at hand
  • Help you to switch easily and quickly between tools when your modeling focus changes; you simply select another Perspective from the list of Perspective Sets (which identify the domain they support) and Enterprise Architect then hides the features of the previous Technologies and applies the new environment

Initially you can select from the thirteen built-in Perspective Sets and the more than 80 Perspectives they provide. As your experience in modeling with Enterprise Architect develops and your work becomes more specific, you can create custom Perspectives either just for yourself or for all users of the model. This helps you work within a Technology that you might have recently imported and activated, or apply a combination of Technologies that are not associated in the built-in sets.

Overview

You select and switch to the required Perspective through the 'Perspective' option at the top right of the screen, or through the 'Design > Model > Perspectives > Single Perspective' ribbon option, or directly through the Perspective Portal in the Portals window.

Selecting a built-in Perspective automatically brings up the Model Wizard, which provides a rich set of new model patterns and guidance notes, filtered to narrow down the available patterns, technologies, diagram types and other modeling constructs to the precise set required, with similar actions on the Diagram Toolbox pages and dialogs. This helps you to quickly build accurate, focused models with minimal 'noise' and maximum fidelity.

Applying a Perspective mainly takes effect through the Model Wizard, 'New Diagram' dialog, Diagram Toolbox and 'Stereotypes' dialog, for creating model structures. The windows and dialogs also allow for swapping Perspectives instantly, making it easy to find and change to the exact modeling tools required.

As a huge boost to modeling encompassing several disciplines and modeling domains, selecting a Perspective provides its Technology as an available development tool, whilst all existing model structures that make use of the hidden Technologies still render and work as normal.  If you have a model that contains, say, a BPMN View and a SysML View, you might apply a Perspective to support the creation of BPMN structures and see only BPMN templates and Toolbox items in your BPMN development. But if you open a SysML diagram during this work, you will still see the SysML Toolbox pages, Properties pages and options that enable you to properly examine that diagram.

To further enhance your modeling experience, you can also use the Perspective Sets window to filter the Perspectives, hiding complete Perspective sets or individual Perspectives. This enables you to reduce the list of Perspectives offered for selection to just those you are likely to use.  As an example, in the illustration the 'Strategy' set does not show a 'Risk Analysis' Perspective - this has been selectively hidden.

Additionally, the model administrator can tailor the Perspectives and/or ribbons available to each User Security Group, as a Perspective Setting or Ribbon Set for each group. This filters the Perspectives available to a user according to their security group, rather than their personal choice. See the Perspectives for Security Groups Help topic.

Regardless of which Perspective you select, all of the coding languages, templates, RTF templates and images remain immediately available.

For specific instructions on using Perspectives, see the Using Perspectives Help topic.

System Perspectives

Enterprise Architect provides a rich set of more than 80 Perspectives built directly into the application, which have been crafted to align with the multitude of roles that modelers perform; these Perspectives are grouped into Sets that make finding the right Perspective quick and easy, and include:

  • Business sets for Strategy, BPMN, Business Analysis and more, helping the business user focus on their current task
  • SysML, MBSE, Software, Simulation and others, for the Systems Engineer and Software Engineer
  • ArchiMate, TOGAF, Zachman Framework and GRA-UML, version-specific sets that provide the most common tools for the needs of Enterprise Architects
  • SPEM, Process Guidance and MDG Technology Builder for Project Managers

Each set contains a number of relevant and useful Perspectives. This diagram shows an example of three Perspective Sets, each of which contains a number of Perspectives.

Showing the first three perspective sets in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

For a more comprehensive description of the built-in Perspectives, see the Types of Perspective Help topic.

Custom Perspectives

In addition to the built-in Perspectives, you can create any number of your own Perspectives on the 'Model-Based Sets' or 'Personal Sets' tabs. While the built-in, or system, Perspectives typically contain a single language or technology - for example the BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) Perspective allows you to focus on just BPMN  - custom Perspectives allow you to open a number of technologies at the same time. For example, if you regularly create prototypes you might want to create a 'Prototyping' Perspective that groups the technologies and modeling languages you use in that work.

Creating a personal perspective in Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect.

Custom Perspectives do not automatically open the Model Wizard.

These custom Perspectives can be created, modified and deleted as the roles you perform change over time. For information on creating custom Perspectives, see the Customizing Perspectives Help topic.

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