The Enterprise Architect Application Workspace consists of a number of windows, menus and toolbars as described below. Together these elements provide a simple and flexible software engineering environment.
In concept the Application Workspace is similar to programs such as Microsoft Outlook and the Microsoft Visual Studio application suite; if you have used these applications you should find the Enterprise Architect interface quite familiar.
Enterprise Architect in Action
A demonstration of Enterprise Architect in use is provided on the Sparx Systems website.
This section outlines the components of the Enterprise Architect Application Workspace. To obtain further information on specific features, follow the hyperlinks in each description.
Main Menu and Toolbars
Throughout Enterprise Architect, if you right-click on work areas, lists and objects, Enterprise Architect displays a menu of options specific to the work context. For examples, see:
- Package Context Menu (Project Browser)
- Diagram Context Menu (Project Browser)
- Element Context Menu (Project Browser)
- Diagram Context Menu (Diagram)
- Element Context Menu (Diagram).
Many main menu and context menu options have alternative key combinations to perform the same operation. Instead of displaying a menu and selecting the required option, you can press the key combination. See Keyboard Shortcuts for a full list of key combinations and their functions, or display the Help Keyboard dialog (select the Help | Keyboard Accelerator Map menu option). You can also customize these function keys.
The Enterprise Architect Diagram Toolbox is an Outlook-style toolbar from which you can select model elements and relationships to add to your modeling diagrams. This is an important feature of Enterprise Architect, as it provides all the components and connectors that you use to create your models in whatever diagrams are appropriate.
The large central area of the Enterprise Architect display is the Diagram View. This is where you can arrange new model elements and set their characteristics in a model diagram. Note that when you first open Enterprise Architect there is no active diagram; you must create and/or open the required diagram.
The Project Browser is used to navigate your project. Double-click on package icons to open them and display the diagrams and elements they contain. Similarly, double-click on elements to open them, and on diagrams to display them in the Diagram View. You can drag elements from the Project Browser to add them to diagrams.
You can set up tailored views of your model, containing sections or organizations of your model that are of particular relevance to you or your team. Model Views are stored in the model and are visible to all users. You can set up Favorites folders to give you easy access (hyperlinks) to commonly-used packages and elements. You also have a My Views model stored locally on your machine and only visible to you, and Technology-defined views that are read only and stored with MDG technologies. You can associate each view with a query-built search that you can run by either double-clicking or expanding it.
You can configure the look and feel of Enterprise Architect to suit your working environment. Options range from a classic windows application to an enhanced XP appearance.
You can rearrange windows and some menus to adapt the screen space to your work habits. You can:
- Dock windows against any edge of the workspace, or move them freely (float them) as you work; for a list of dockable windows, see Standard Windows
- Autohide windows so that they display only when you are actually using them.