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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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Define Properties of Operations

You create operations for an element on the 'Operations' page of the Features window, and provide a basic set of properties. You can simply create a number of operation names if you want to create operations quickly and not necessarily fully define them as you create them. You provide the more detailed properties of the operations using the operation 'Properties' dialog.

Operations of State elements are managed differently - there are three operations (Enter, Do and Exit) that are defined on the 'Behavior' tab of the Features window. This tab displays only when the selected element is a State. Similarly, if the element is a Database Table, the 'Operations' tab is replaced by a 'Constraints/Indexes' tab.


Click on an operation in the Browser window or a diagram.


Design > Element > Editors > Features > Operations

Design > Element > Editors > Element > Properties Dialog

Context Menu

Right-click on the parent element | Features | Operations or

(Browser window) Right-click on the operation| Properties | Properties

(Diagram) Right-click on the operation | View Properties

Keyboard Shortcuts


Create and define Operations ('Operations' tab, Features window)



See also


Overtype the New Operation... text to create a new operation, or click on the name to edit an existing operation.


Lists the parameters that have been defined for this operation on the 'Parameters' tab of the 'Properties' dialog for the operation.

Define Parameters

Return Type

Defaults to 'void'. To change this, overtype the field or click on the drop-down arrow and click on:

  • The required data type returned by the operation, as defined by the code language (data type), or
  • '<none>' for no type (or you can type in a value manually if you prefer), or
  • 'Select Type' and browse for the appropriate operation classifier (you can add a new one if there are no classifiers that suit)

To add new code language data types that can be displayed in this list, see the Data Types topic.

Data Types Select Dialog


Click on the drop-down arrow and select one of:

  • Public
  • Protected
  • Private
  • Package


(Optional) Define one or more stereotypes for the operation; either:

  • Type a stereotype name, or
  • Click on the Browse. button and select the stereotype from the 'Stereotypes for <object name>' dialog

If you select multiple stereotypes, they are listed on separate lines of the 'Stereotype' field.

Stereotype Selector


(Optional) Type an alternative name or reference for the operation.

Context Menu options

Right-click on the 'Operations' tab of the Features window.



See also

Add New

Add a new operation to the list, with default values in the dialog fields.

Shortcut: Ctrl+N


On the 'Behavior' tab for a State element, opens the 'Operation' dialog to add the details of the selected behavior operation.

Properties Window for Operations

Copy as New

Copy a selected operation as a new operation. Provide a new name for the operation and click on the OK button.

Shortcut: Ctrl+C


Display the 'Properties' dialog for a selected operation.

The 'Operation' tab of the 'Properties' dialog has the same fields as the Properties window for operations.

Properties Window

Display the Properties window for a selected operation.

Shortcut: Ctrl+2

Properties Window for Operations

Restore Sort Order

If you have used the column header arrows to reorganize the sequence in which the operations are displayed, click on this option to redisplay them in the default sequence (alphabetical by name).

Move up

Move the selected operation one row up the list.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Up Arrow

Move down

Move the selected operation one row down the list.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Down Arrow

Field Chooser

Display the 'Field Chooser' dialog, which contains any column headings not currently applied to the page.

Drag a column heading from the 'Field Chooser' into the preferred position in the row of column headings. You can also drag the column headings into a different sequence.

To return a column heading to the 'Field Chooser', drag it out of the heading row.

List Header

Enable Group Box

Show or hide the Group Box, in which you reorganize the list sequence of the operations according to one or more characteristics.

Toggle Filter Bar

Show or hide the Filter Bar, in which you type text strings that the data in the corresponding column must match in order to be listed.


Immediately delete the selected operation from the element.

Shortcut: Ctrl+Del


Display the Help topic pertinent to the current tab.

Learn more