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

Action Notation


When you drag the Action icon from the Activity page of the Toolbox onto your diagram, a selection list displays showing the commonest types of Action to create. (If this list does not display, press ( Ctrl ) as you drag the icon.)


When you click on one of the specific types, that type of Action element displays on diagram. If you click on the Other option, the New Action dialog displays. You can again select to create a normal (Atomic) Action element, a CallOperation or a CallBehavior, or you can select the Other radio button and click on the drop-down arrow in the blank field to select the Action type from an extensive list.

If you later decide that the Action type is not appropriate, you can change it by right-clicking on the Action and selecting the Properties context menu option, and then selecting the Advanced  page of the Properties dialog. Set the Action type by selecting a value from the Kind drop-down list. For a Value Specification Action, you also set the value on this page.

Action Kind Notation

Action Kind


See Also


Action - AcceptEvent

AcceptEvent Actions


Action - AcceptEventTimer



Action - CallBehaviour



Action - CallOperation



Action - SendSignal

SendSignal Action & BroadcastSignal Action

AcceptEvent Actions:

For an Accept Event Action element, the Properties dialog contains a Triggers tab on which you define one or more triggers to denote the type of events accepted by the Action, as defined in the following table:



See also


Specify the name of the trigger



Specify the type of trigger: Call, Change, Signal or Time

  • Call - specifies that the event is a CallEvent, which sends a message to the associated object by invoking an operation
  • Change - specifies that the event is a ChangeEvent, which indicates that the transition is the result of a change in value of an attribute
  • Signal - specifies that the event is a SignalEvent, which corresponds to the receipt of an asynchronous signal instance
  • Time - corresponds to a TimeEvent; which specifies a moment in time

Code generation for State Machines currently supports Change and Time trigger events only, and expects a specification value



Specify the event instigating the Transition


SendSignal Action & BroadcastSignal Action:

For a SendSignal or BroadcastSignal Action element, you can model the signal to be sent and the associated arguments to be conveyed, using the Signal tab of the element Properties dialog.

To model the signal to be sent and the associated arguments to be conveyed, follow the steps below:




In the Signal field, click on the (  ...  ) button and select the required signal from the Select Signal dialog


In the Attribute field, click on the drop-down arrow and select the attribute (as previously created in the Signal element) with which the arguments are to be associated


In the Value field, type the appropriate value for the attribute


Identify the arguments (as ActionPins) for the Signal; click on the Add button under the Arguments panel, and select the appropriate Pins from the Select Pin dialog

To assign more than one Pin, press ( Ctrl )  whilst you select each Pin


Click on the Save button

Structural Feature Actions:

Enterprise Architect supports the following types of Structural Feature Actions:

  • AddStructuralFeatureValue
  • ClearStructuralFeature
  • ReadStructuralFeature
  • RemoveStructuralFeatureValue
  • WriteStructuralFeature

These actions can take Ports, Parts or Attributes as the target structural feature.

To set the appropriate target structure feature, follow the steps below:




Right-click on the Action element in the diagram, and select the Advanced | Set Structural Feature context menu option

The Set Structural Feature dialog displays


To locate the structural feature, click on the Add button

The Select Property dialog displays (a variant of the Select <Item> dialog)


Browse or search for the appropriate structural feature, and double-click on it

The feature name and location displays in the structuralFeature field of the Set Structural Feature dialog


Click on the OK button to save the setting