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Topics - DMT

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General Board / Line Breaks in RTF Constraints
« on: August 08, 2003, 07:59:35 am »
I'm writing constraints in my domain model to document requirements on a per-attribute basis.

My problem is that the RTF documentation generator strips out all of the line breaks I'm using to make my text readable!  For example:

The calculation is:

Unit Cost = Total Cost / Quantity

Note: If Quantity is zero, the result will be zero.

Turns into:
The calculation is: Unit Cost = Total Cost / Quantity Note: If Quantity is zero, the result will be zero.

Needless to say, this is a bit more difficult to read.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. One problem is that I cannot find any documentation for using the RTF template feature!  I have no idea what the codes mean, so I don't know if I can just create a custom template for attributes to not strip out the line breaks.


General Board / Copy Attributes and Operations?
« on: July 16, 2003, 10:56:13 am »
Does anyone know if there's a way to copy attributes and operations between classes? I know you can copy entire classes, but being able to copy individual pieces of a class would be a big benefit to me.

General Board / Show Get-only Property in C# Class Diagram?
« on: July 16, 2003, 03:37:03 pm »
Does anyone know of any way to denote that a property is read-only in a class diagram for a C# class?  

It's great that I only need one operation for a property, but the problem is that I can't see what properties are read-only by looking at the diagram.  I have to remember to go to the Tags tab to figure it out, which sometimes results in problems that are only found once the code is generated.

General Board / Display Use Case Text in Sequence Diagram?
« on: May 22, 2003, 08:07:02 am »
We're using the ICONIX process, which includes the use case text down the left-hand side of the sequence digram. Is there any way to display this information besides copying and pasting the text into a note?

It would be great if there was some way to display this information in a way that wouldn't require me to tweak the text in two places if I had to make a change.

General Board / Weight in Scenario Type
« on: July 08, 2003, 02:23:56 pm »
Does anyone know what the "Weight" is used for that's part of each Scenario Type (Reference -> General Types -> Scenarios...)?

I would have expected it's used to sort the scenarios automatically in the UI and when generating RTF documentation, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

It's not a huge deal to reorder the scenarios manually, but I was just wondering what this field is used for?  

(I want to order my scenarios Basic Flow, Alternative Flows, Subflows, and Scenarios in the RTF documentation.)

General Board / Bug when using Realize link from class to table?
« on: June 30, 2003, 02:28:01 pm »
I like to draw realization links between my tables and the classes whose data gets persisted into the table. When I add one of those tables to a sequence diagram (so I can specify the stored procedures that get created), I get a list of all methods from the linked classes in the drop-down list.

It appears that EA thinks the table is derived from the linked classes, and is showing their operations!

Anyone else see this bug?

General Board / Communicating Your Design to Developers
« on: June 05, 2003, 07:05:51 am »
OK.  You've detailed the requirements. You've built the use case model, detailing all of the basic and alternative flows to realize those requirements. You've completed the mock-up of the UI, and written requirements and scenarios on reusable UI controls. You've created the sequence diagrams and designed all of your classes,  database tables, and stored procedures.

Now what?

I'm interested in hearing about the most effective ways other people have found to communicate all of the wonderful information in EA to the developers.

What I'm envisioning is that I'd create a project plan that would direct them in (generally) the right direction, as follows:

1. I make a project plan that outlines the use cases to be implemented as a deliverable.
2. For each of the use case "deliverables," it will include a list of the associated UI screens that are required (this is so the UI designer can be assigned the tasks of mocking them up) as well as general tasks such as "stored procedures," "UI controls," and "business classes."

This is all great.  What I'm trying to figure out is the best way to deliver this stuff.  I really like the HTML documentation, but there's no way to search!  How is my developer going to find the "Create Widget" use case buried down 2 package levels deep?  (Use cases\Widget Management or something like that)

Do I nix the HTML idea and just create RTF docs for each use case?  This is a pain, because the docs are created at the package level.

Basically, the problem I'm trying to solve is the developer starting work on a use case, and instantly being able to put his hands on all of the information he needs.

I wonder if the easiest way is to simply associate the use case with all of the classes, UI screens, and requirements. Then, the developer could just click on each hyperlink on the use case page to get to the associated information.

Anyhow, I'm not sure of what the right answer is, so I'd love to hear how others have "packaged up" the information the developer needs to implement a particular use case.

General Board / Stored Procedure Parameters
« on: June 10, 2003, 11:50:39 am »
I have some parameters passed to my stored procedures in some cases that don't correspond to columns in the table (for example, a parameter passed to an Update procedure that indicates the stored procedure should turn off multi-user concurrency checking).

It looks like EA doesn't allow me to add any "columns" as stored procedure parameters that aren't columns in the database.

Is there any way to work around this limitation, and have EA allow me to add parameters to my stored procedure that are not in the table as columns?

General Board / Making Sure Test Engineers Find Non-Use Case Fx
« on: June 17, 2003, 06:09:11 am »
Hey, all.  I'm working on creating the specs for a "smart client" (i.e., Windows client application), which involves a lot of standard functionality built into the control classes themselves. This is functionality I don't want to includes in the use cases, since it's very specific on a per-window basis, down to the individual field level.

I'd like to create some requirements on the control classes themselves. (Or, I may make a "User Interface Controls" formal requirements package, then link these external requirements to the control classes.)

Some examples to illustrate what I'm trying to do:

Entity Name Text Box
- Limited to 64 characters
- Automatically capitalizes the entry when the focus leaves the text box

State Text Box
- Limited to 5 characters
- Characters forced to uppercase as they're typed

My question is: How do I make sure my QA people "find" this information, since it won't be directly included in the use cases, and won't be directly included in the object model for the user interface? (This is because the behavior will be linked to the control classes, as opposed to instances of the controls.)

Do I create test cases for each? Do I just make sure that the QA team is pointed to the "User Interface Controls" requirements, which would include information on which control classes realize those requirements?

Or, do any of you have an entirely different suggestion on how to handle this?

General Board / C# Properties - How to Tell if Read-only
« on: June 04, 2003, 04:56:30 am »
When I create a property for a private attribute, it gives me the opportunity to check the read and/or write boxes in the property dialog. However, there doesn't appear to be any way to tell by looking at the operation that gets created whether or not it's read-only, read/write, etc.

Is there any way to determine this? If I open the property dialog from the attribute, it always shows both the read and write boxes checked, even if I made the property read-only when I created it.

Also, if I create an operation with the property stereotype that isn't tied to an attribute, I'd like to be able to specify that it's a read-only property. (For example, a property that returns a bool based upon the state of several member variables.)

General Board / Generate DDL to Store Comments in SQL Server?
« on: June 09, 2003, 10:46:14 am »
I have started using the DDL generation support to generate tables.  I was all excited to see support for generating comments, but then I realized that all it does is place the comments in the generated text file!  

It doesn't do what I expected, which was generate the appropriate SQL to add the comments into the database, so they'd be viewable in Enterprise Manager when I go view the table design. Once the table is generated, no one is going to be looking at the script--they'll be looking directly at the database.

Does anyone know if this is possible?  And if not, if there are any plans to add this support in some form or fashion?

General Board / Visibility of Implemented Interface in Class Headr
« on: June 03, 2003, 05:48:24 pm »
I noticed that when I decided to change one of my classes to an interface, it no longer appears at the top right of a class on a different diagram that formerly was derived from the class, and now implements the interface.

It would be helpful to show the base class AND interface(s) in the class "header" in the diagram, so I can see the interfaces the class implements. Is there any way to make interfaces visible, other than not making them interfaces in the model?

General Board / "Let's skip design & go straight to code!
« on: May 27, 2003, 06:25:45 am »
What do you folks think about the discussion in this Joel On Software forum thread?  I think it's a buch of crap, myself (except for the post from "Dave," which I wrote  8) )

How can you build a system effectively by just diving in without a design? I've lived that method--it doesn't work for a system of any substance.

General Board / Set Instance Classifier - List comes from...?
« on: May 27, 2003, 12:01:48 pm »
I want to start putting together my UI prototype in the form of object instances in a "User Interface Object Model" view. I want to do this knowing when I do the detailed design of the UI classes, I can come back to the objects and set their associated classes from which they're instantiated.

When I right-click the object and click "Set Instance Classifier," however, it just shows two entries--<none> and the name of the object I just created. It doesn't show the test class I created in another package.

I also saw this issue when I was creating a sequence diagram using boundary and entity objects; the instance classifier dialog only showed me the objects in that sequence diagram.

Anyone have any idea on how I can associate a class with an object in one of these two locations after the fact? I'd hate to find out that I can't do it, because that will cost me a lot of time right now trying to figure out the actual classes for my UI instead of letting me focus on assembling the mock-ups.

General Board / How to capture user clicking drop-down menu?
« on: May 15, 2003, 02:03:04 pm »
In the books I've read about writing use cases, there seem to be several themes:

1. Keep your use cases generally disconnected from the UI, including only the UI-related information that's pertinent to making the reader understand the use case. I.e., "User selects a transaction type, then clicks a button to continue," as opposed to something like, "User selects a transaction type from the combo box labeled 'Transaction Type.' User then clicks on the OK button or presses ENTER on the keyboard to trigger the OK button."
2. A use case should not "know" how it was initiated.
3. Use cases should be atomic, but not so small that you can explain what happens in just one short sentence.

Now, I'm confused a little bit about exactly how to write use cases to capture something along the lines of the following theoretical example:

- There is a menu item under the File menu called "Open Company Database." If the user triggers this option, the system displays a dialog, allowing the user to select a company database.
- There is an "open document"-looking button on the toolbar that triggers the same action. It looks like a blank page, just like the New Document toolbar button in MS Word.
- The File menu lists the 4 most recently used (MRU) company databases. If the user triggers one of these options, it just opens the company database.

Now, what I want to capture are the use cases that describe the behavior. I think the right way to document the actual use cases that happen once the menu item is clicked are the following:

- Open Company from Dialog - Describes opening a company from the dialog. Doesn't know how it was triggered, simply starts with "System displays the Open Company Dialog..." Includes the Open Company use case to actually perform the operations to open the company.
- Open Company - Describes the process of accessing the database to get the company information and displaying the information on-screen. Again, doesn't know how it was triggered. Starts with something like "System retrieves the information for the specified company, then displays the Main Information screen for the company database."

My question is, if these use cases aren't supposed to "know" how they got triggered, what use cases do I write to "fire" these use cases?  I could write something like, "Click File | Open Company Database Menu Option," but that seems too "small" for a use case.

An alternative I thought of is writing a "Click Menu Option or Toolbar Button" use case, which describes each option available to the user on both the toolbar and the menu, and describes each use case that gets invoked.  This would sort of be a "switch statement" use case.

Anyone have any words of wisdom here? I'm trying to go by the "Capture ALL functionality of your system through use cases" idea and for some reason I'm just struggling with this particular issue.

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