Discussions in WebEA
Enterprise Architect has a Discussion facility through which users can post short messages to have informal discussions with other users on a specific element or Package. As a WebEA user, if the model has been configured to allow discussions to be viewed and added, you can also read and participate in these discussions. The facility is very useful in informal reviews, as you can comment or respond immediately on a specific point as you come across it, without having to collate a list of comments and compose a relatively long document or email, or schedule a telephone call.
In WebEA the Discussion feature is presented as the last panel in the 'Properties' view for an element or Package.
Note that if you are joined to a formal review, you can read existing discussion points but you cannot respond to them or add new topics.
The input area shows as a blank field and a 'Discussion' button to save the entered text; if there has already been some discussion on the element, the comments of each discussion display above the input field.
There are two types of discussion messages, an initial message (usually called a discussion) and replies. Replies are responses to an initial message, and are displayed as child items.
In Enterprise Architect there is an application option for the current users that controls if avatars of security users are displayed with each discussion item. In WebEA this option is defined for a model in the configuration file; see the option use_avatars.
When a model has been configured to 'use avatars' and the model has security enabled, then instead of displaying generic blue speech bubbles the author's avatar is displayed, as shown here:
Starting a discussion
To start a discussion on a new point, simply start typing in the blank field. If you want to have separate paragraphs, press the to start each new line.
Note: WebEA does not support editing (or deleting) discussions, therefore you should take care to type messages in clearly the first time, and double check before submitting.
Depending on how the WebEA model is configured, you might connect to it using your personal user ID, or as a single generic User that is shared by multiple people ('Web User' in the first illustration). In the second case, Sparx Systems recommends that each user identifies themselves in each message, either at the beginning or at the end.
When you have finished typing your message, submit it by clicking on this button:
Replying to a discussion
If you are reading an existing discussion and want to respond to either the opening point or a reply to that point, click or tap on the appropriate message. A blank field and button underneath the conversation thread will display; type in your message and click or tap on this button:
Your reply is added to the end of the thread.
Note: Currently the discussion threads are only read from the database when the page is loaded, which means if other users make additional comments these won't be displayed until the page is reloaded or refreshed.
Status and Priority
If you are adding comments to a discussion, at any point you can return to a posted topic or reply and add or change its status and priority.
To the right of the discussion text are two icons. The first is the 'Status' icon, and the second is the 'Priority' icon. The appearance of the icons depends on the current setting for status and priority. To set a Status or Priority, simply click on the appropriate icon and select from the listed options. These are:
This can be done for various reasons but the most common is that an inaccuracy was found in a message.