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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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Operations are features of a Class or other element that represent the behavior or services an element supports. For example, in a Customer Class, 'UpdateCustomerName' and 'GetCustomerAddress' can be operations. Operations have several important characteristics, such as type, visibility (scope), static, abstract and notes.



Design > Element > Editors > Features > Operations

Context Menu

Right-click element in diagram or Browser window | Features | Operations or

Right-click operation in Browser window | Properties | Properties ('Operation' dialog)

Keyboard Shortcuts



On a diagram, double-click on an operation ('Operation' dialog)

In the 'Project' tab of the Browser window, double-click on an operation to locate and highlight the parent element in a diagram

Create and Modify Operations

You can create the operations of an element on the 'Operations' tab of the Features window, and modify the basic properties. You use the Properties window or 'Properties' dialog for operations to provide more detailed properties of the operations you need for an element.

Appearance on diagram

In diagrams, elements with operations (typically Classes) list the operations in a properties compartment, in colored text, as shown.

A UML Class element with a variety of owned Operations.

The text color can be defined on the 'Standard Colors' page of the 'Preferences' dialog. Some characteristics modify the display; for example, static operations display underlined, whilst abstract operations are italicized.

Appearance in Browser Window

In the Browser window, operations are listed underneath their parent element name, each preceded by a pink box.

A screenshot from Sparx Systems Enterprise Architect showing how a UML Class element with owned Operations appears in the Project Browser.


  • If the parent element provides source or target roles for a connector, the connector can be attached to a specific operation
  • You can also drag, copy or move existing operations between elements; this facility is only available if the target element supports operations

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