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

External and Internal Requirements

Enterprise Architect can support any type of requirement process and allows requirements to be defined as elements in the model - these are called External Requirements but the tool also allows requirements to be defined for a specific element which are called Internal Requirements. An analyst who wants to define a user requirement such as the 'The system must allow bus schedules to be updated' would use an external requirement. A modeler wanting to describe how a component should behave would use an internal requirement for the Component such as 'The editor must support Unicode'. There is often contention between analysts and developers as to whether a requirement should be internal or external and Enterprise Architect provides a facility to move internal requirements to be external to the element and analogously external requirements can be moved to be internal. When they are moved they are still retained in the original element but a copy of them is made as a requirements element. The internal and external requirements are synchronized and changing one will change the other.

Creating External Requirements

Requirement analysts typically come from varied backgrounds and often have predilections about how they want to work so Enterprise Architect provides a wide range of ways of creating and managing requirements. External Requirements are Requirements that will appear in the Project Browser and can be added to diagrams and viewed as separate elements with their own properties.

Methods for creating external requirements



Using the Specification Manager

Using the context menu and selecting 'Add New Element' will result in a new element being created in the grid ready for details to be added

Dragging a Toolbox item onto the current diagram

Dragging and dropping an item from a displayed toolbox page onto the current diagram will result in the element being added to the diagram.

Directly in the Project Browser

In the Project Browser, choose the location for the element to be inserted and select the 'New Element' toolbar option or 'Add Element' from the context menu.

Directly in a Package List

Display the context menu by right-clicking in the body of the window and select 'New Element'; the element will be added to the list.

Directly in a Diagram List

Display the context menu by right-clicking in the body of the widow and select 'New Element'; the element will be added to the list.

Importing from a variety of sources

Enterprise Architect supports a wide range of ways of importing requirements from external sources.

Moving an internal requirement external

Requirements that are defined inside an element can be moved external to a location specified by modeler thus creating a new element.

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Displaying Properties on a Diagram


An Internal Requirement will not be displayed on a diagram by default, to ensure it is displayed you must set the compartment as visible either for the individual element or for all elements on the diagram.

Creating Internal Requirements

Internal Requirements can be created in one of two ways, by creating the Requirement from an element's property sheet or by moving an External Requirement inside an element. This section describes how to create a Requirement directly inside an element.

Creating internal requirements




Select the element you wish to house the Internal Requirement and open the Property window for the element.


Select the Requirement section, the Requirement panel will be displayed.


Enter the name of the Requirement in the 'Requirement' field and any details into the notes field. Other properties such as Status and Priority can be added.


Select Save to save the Requirement. The Requirement will be added to the element and will be displayed in the bottom section of the Window. Repeat the steps above to enter another Requirement.