The Discussions window has a 'Chat' tab that provides the facility of following and participating in quick conversations on a point of interest, with members of a selected user group. The user groups are those defined in User Security.
Each initial comment or response is a separate message, listed in date/time order, with the most recent message at the top of the list. The messages are independent of the currently selected model object and the full list displays whenever the user group is selected in the 'Chat' tab. As the messages are independent of any model object, they do not appear in the 'Discussions' tab (Manage Discussions) or 'Recently Discussed Elements' report (which are element-based).
You can filter the messages by the time interval prior to today, and you can set up a check to notify you when new messages are posted by members of one or more user groups.
This is an example of a Chat session:
Start > Today > Reviews > Chat
Construct > Project > Discussion > Chat
Specification - Specify > Element > Discuss > Chat
Select a User Group
Initially, the button at the top of the 'Chat' tab displays the name 'Select a Discusion Group'. Click on the button and on the name of the user group to send messages to. The name of the currently-selected user group then becomes the name of the button.
If you want to communicate with a different group, click on the button again and select the name of that group.
If you do not want to continue chatting, you can select 'Disconnect from current Discussion'.
Create a message
At the top of the 'Chat' tab, in the text field, type your message. You can right-click on the text and select from a number of editing context menu options, and you can create glossary terms and new elements from the text you are typing, or links to existing elements. You can also paste in copied text from the clipboard, by pressing .
If you want to create a paragraph break, press (the alone will submit the message).
When you have completed your message, click on the or press the . The message displays in the list underneath the text field.
If user security is enabled and you have selected to show avatars, all messages show an image representing the user who contributed that message. If a user does not have an avatar image, a default 'head and shoulders' silhouette displays as the avatar.
Once a message has been sent, it cannot be edited. However, if you want to re-use the text of a message item, you can copy the whole message to the clipboard by pressing , either before you save it or after you have posted it. You can then paste the text into a new chat item or into another document in Enterprise Architect.
You can also delete a message by right-clicking on it and selecting the 'Delete Message' option.
Messages sent by other people to the currently-selected User Group display in your screen immediately. Messages deleted by other users do not disappear immediately. To update your list, right-click on it and select the 'Reload Messages' option.
Monitor User Groups for Messages
You can set up a 'watch' on selected user groups to notify you when a member of one of those user groups posts a message, and the 'Chat' tab is either set to a different user group or not visible.
The notification is a that displays in the bottom right of the Status Bar when a message is posted from a selected user group. The button also displays if a message is posted in the thread you have been reading, and the 'Chat' tab is not visible. Click on the button to redisplay the 'Chat' tab with the message thread.
If you are monitoring more than one user group, the New Model Discussion button provides a menu to indicate which of the selected groups has posted a new and unread message. When you click on a group, the 'Chat' tab displays with the appropriate thread of messages.
To set up a watch for messages from a user group:
- Click on the 'Options' icon on the right of the <User Group> button, and select the 'Monitor Groups for new Messages' option.
- Select a user group to monitor. If you want to monitor more than one group, either:
- Do steps 1 and 2 again for each individual group to monitor, or
- Select the 'All' group to check for messages from any of the user groups
- Select the 'Monitor Groups for new Messages' option again, and click on the 'Check for new Messages Every' option. Click on the interval of time at which the system will check for new messages - every minute, or up to every ten minutes.
- If you want to cancel monitoring a specific group, repeat steps 1 and 2. Clicking on a selected group will deselect it.
- If you want to cancel monitoring any of the selected groups, perform step 1 and then click on the 'None' option.
Filter messages by age
The 'Options' icon provides the 'Message Visibility' option, to limit the display of messages to those posted within a certain number of days prior to today's date.
When you select this option, a menu displays from which you select to display only messages posted today (the default), or within the last 7, 30 or 90 days.
If you do not want to limit the display of messages to an interval you have set, you can cancel it by selecting the 'All' option.