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

Operations Dialog - General

The Operations dialog has five tabs:

The General tab of the Operations dialog enables you to define new operations and set the most common properties, including name, access type and return.


The General tab can vary according to the type of element you are adding an operation to. If defining operations for a data modeling table, see the Index, Trigger, Check Constraint topic. The following illustrations are for the operations of an Object element and a State element.




Use to


Display the selected operation name.


Display the parameter list. See Parameters Dialog for information regarding what this string can contain.

Edit Parameters

Open the Parameters dialog.

Return Type

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)

Display the data type returned by the operation.

The type can be defined by the code language (data type) or by a classifier element. When you click on the drop-down arrow, the set of values in the list provides the appropriate data types.

To select or define possible classifiers, either click on the Select Type option in the list, or click on the [ ... ] (Select) button to display the Select <Item> dialog.

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

[ ... ] (Return Type Browse button)

Open the Select <Item> dialog to select the operation return type.

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)


Define the action of the operation: do, exit or entry.

(For State or State Machine elements.)


Select Public/Protected/Private/Package.


Specify an optional stereotype for this operation.


Set the concurrency of the operation.


Define an optional alias for the operation.


Enter free text notes. You can format this text if necessary, using the Notes toolbar at the top of the field.


If the operation's language is set to C++, map to the C++ Virtual keyword. Otherwise this option is Abstract, pertaining to an abstract function.

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)

Return Array

Indicate that the return value is an array.

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)


Specify a code engineering flag that relates to multi threading in Java.

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)


Indicate that the operation is a static member.

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)


Indicate that the return type of this method is constant.

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)


Indicate that C++ is pure virtual syntax - for example:

virtual void myFunction( ) = 0;

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)


Indicate that this method does not modify the object.

(Not shown for State or State Machine elements.)


List the defined operations.

Up/Down Buttons

Change the order of operations in the list.


Create a new operation.


Copy the currently selected operation.


Save a new operation, or save modified details for existing operation.


Delete the currently selected operation.


  • If you make changes and do not save them, the Cancel button prompts you to confirm or cancel the changes, whilst the Close button closes the dialog immediately and does not save the changes.
  • If you are creating many operations, go to the Attribute/Operations page of the Options dialog (Tools | Options | Source Code Engineering | Attribute/Operations) and select the After save, re-select edited item checkbox. Now, when you create an operation and click on the Save button, the dialog fields clear ready for you to enter the details of the next operation. This helps you when you want to create operations quickly and might not necessarily want to fully define each one as you create it.