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Manage Structural Elements

In UML Modeling, you can define certain constructs and events with structural elements (also called Parts, Properties, interaction points or - in the case of Entry and Exit Points on a State element, connection points) that are added on to a parent element. For example, you can add Ports to a Class (as shown), Action Pins to an Action, or Activity Parameters to an Activity. Structural elements become a component of the parent element; certain structural elements (such as Parts and Properties) can exist independent of a parent, but do not have an independent role.

A UML Class diagram showing a Class element that owns a Port.

You manage structural elements through the Features window, managing Parts and Properties on the 'Parts / Properties' tab and Ports on the 'Interaction Points' tab. If the parent element is a State, its connection points are shown on the 'Connection Points' tab.  All three tabs have the same options, described here.

Access

Ribbon

Design > Element > Features > Interaction Points

Design > Element > Features > Parts / Properties

(For a State element, select one of the other options and then click on the 'Connection Points' tab)

Context Menu

Right-click on element in diagram | Features | Interaction Points

Right-click on element in diagram | Features | Parts / Properties

(For a State element, select one of the other options and then click on the 'Connection Points' tab)

Keyboard Shortcuts

Ctrl+5 > Interaction Points    (for Ports)

Ctrl+5 > Parts / Properties    (for Parts and Properties)

Ctrl+5 > Connection Points   (for State elements)

Review Structural Elements

Option

Action

See also

list of elements

Review the definition of each structural element currently associated with the selected parent element. If you select the 'Show Owned/Inherited' checkbox, the list will also include any structural elements from any classifiers that the parent element has.

If you want any structural element to be visible on the parent element on the current diagram, select the checkbox next to that element's name. Notice that the 'Visible' column in this panel then shows the value True against the selected element.

To hide the structural element on the diagram, clear the checkbox. The structural element still exists on the parent element, but is just not visible in the diagram.

In the 'Type' field, you can change the assigned type if necessary. Click on the Browse. icon and browse or search for and select the required type from the 'Select Type' dialog.

Select Dialog

All
None

Click on these buttons to select (All) or clear (None) the checkboxes against all listed elements.

Show Owned/Inherited

The tab lists the structural elements on the selected parent element. If you want to include inherited or owner properties from any classifier that the parent element might have, select this checkbox.

Context Menu options

The 'Parts/Properties' and 'Interaction Points' tabs have a context menu providing options that help you to further manage the structural elements on the parent element.

Option

Description

See also

Add New

Select this option to add a new structure element of the same kind (Port, Part or Property) to the parent element. The 'Insert New Embedded Element' dialog displays. In the:

  • Element Type field (if necessary) click on the drop-down arrow and select the appropriate type of element (Port or Property, for example)
  • Name field, type in an appropriate name for the element or, alternatively, click on the Auto button to apply the automatic naming/numbering system defined for the project
  • Stereotype field (if required) click on the drop-down arrow and select the required stereotype from the list
  • Type field, click on the Browse. icon and browse or search for and select the required type from the 'Select Type' dialog

Click on the OK button to add the structural element to the parent.

Redefine

Click on this option to create a clone of the structure element, that you can change the properties of.

Modify

Click on this option to edit the properties of the selected structure element in the 'Modify Embedded Element' dialog, which has the same fields as the 'Insert New Embedded Element' dialog described in the earlier Add New table entry.

Delete

Click on this option to immediately remove the structure element from the model.

Notes

  • The name of a structural element displays on the diagram as a label, which you can edit using the 'Labels' context menu

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