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A scenario is a real-world sequence of operations that describes how an element works in real-time. Scenarios can be applied to any element - although generally to Use Cases - to describe functional behavior, business workflows and end-to-end business processes. You create scenarios through the 'Scenarios' tab of the element 'Properties' dialog, which has two internal tabs:

  • The 'Description' tab, on which you can create scenarios and write a simple text description of each scenario or of the structure of each scenario
  • The 'Structured Specification' tab (the default) through which you can create scenarios or select those you have created elsewhere and, for each scenario:
         -  Create a series of steps for each part of the scenario
         -  Structure the scenario to show how the basic path diverges into alternate paths and exception paths
         -  Generate a number of types of diagram from the structure
         -  Generate the structured scenario from an Activity diagram
         -  Generate the structured scenario from text on the clipboard; this option has a variation in the 'Description'
            tab that you can use to translate scenario descriptions created prior to release 8.0 of Enterprise Architect,
            into structured scenarios in the latest release


On a diagram or in the Project Browser, select an element and:


Design > Element > Manage > Properties > Scenarios

Design > Element > Manage > Specific Properties Page > Scenarios

Context Menu

Right-click on element | Properties > Scenarios   or

Right-click on element | Properties Page | Scenarios

Keyboard Shortcuts

Alt+Enter : Scenarios



Double-click on Element : Scenarios

Using the Description tab



See also


Defaults to the name Basic Path. (You usually define the basic path of the scenario first.)

If necessary, type in a different name for the scenario (to work on an existing scenario, click on the drop-down arrow and select  the name from the list).


Defaults to Basic Path, for the direct steps of the scenario. For subsequent scenarios, click on the drop-down arrow and select either:

  • Alternate - an alternative set of steps, in parallel with part of the basic path
  • Exception - the path the scenario follows if a step of the basic path does not produce an appropriate result


Record a textual description of how the user uses the current element.

You can format the description text using the Notes toolbar at the top of the field.

As well as applying the Notes window facilities, you can also generate a structured specification from the text in this field; highlight the text, right-click on it and select the 'Create Structure from Notes' option.

The text is copied to the 'Structured Specification' tab for the current scenario, either as a new specification or as the continuation of an existing specification, with a new step created at each carriage return.

Subsequent changes to the text on the 'Structured Specification' tab are not reflected on the 'Description' tab.

Structured Specification Tab Note Tab Notes Toolbar


Click on this button to clear the data fields so that you can enter data in them to create a new scenario.


Click on this button to save a new scenario, or changes to an existing scenario.


This panel displays a list of the scenarios defined for this element, and the type of each scenario.


Click on this button to delete a scenario selected from the Scenarios panel.

(If you have two or more scenarios listed.) Click on a scenario in the Scenarios list and click on one of these buttons to move the scenario one position up or down in the list.


  • The 'Scenarios' tab does not prevent you from creating more than one basic path, but it would be unusual to define more than one
  • All the functions available on the 'Scenarios' tab are also available through the Scenarios & Requirements window; use the Browse Element icon in the window toolbar to list and select the scenarios for the element

Learn more