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

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Run-time State

At run-time, an Object instance can have specific values for its attributes, or exist in a particular state. To model the varying behavior of Objects at run-time, use instance values selected from the 'Select <Item>' dialog and run-time states or run-states.

Typically there is interest in the run-time behavior of Objects that already have a classifier set. You can select from the classifier's attribute list and apply specific values for your Object instance. If the classifier has a child StateMachine, its States propagate to a list where the run-time state for the Object can be defined.


This example defines run-time values for the listed variables, which are attributes of the AccountItem classifier for the instance.

An example UML Communication diagram showing Object elements with defined runstates.



Start > Desktop > Design > Properties, click on an Object in the diagram or Browser window > Run States

Design > Element > Editors > Properties, click on an Object in the diagram or Browser window > Run States

Context Menu

In a diagram or the Browser window, right-click on the 'Object | Features | Set Run State' option

Keyboard Shortcuts


Ctrl+2 > click on an Object in the diagram or Browser window > Run States

Add run-time state instance variables to an Object

On the Properties window, or the '<object name> : Features' dialog the 'Run States' page lists any variables inherited from the classifier of the Object element. These inherited variables initially have no values and are inactive. You can activate and define a run state for them, or you can right-click on the '<object name> : Features' dialog and select the 'Hide Inherited Variables' option to hide them from view.




In the 'Variable' field, either:

  • Overtype the New Variable text with the name of the new variable, or
  • Click on the name of an inherited variable to activate


In the 'Operator' field, click on the drop-down arrow and select the operator that will qualify the run state value. The operators include:

  • blank (no operator)
  • !=
  • <
  • <=
  • <>
  • =
  • =>
  • >


In the 'Value' field, type the value for the run state of the variable.


If necessary, type in some explanatory notes.


Click on or add the next variable, or click on the Close button to save the changes.

Delete a run-time state variable for an Object




In the 'Variable' field, right-click on the variable to delete and select the 'Delete' option.

(Alternatively, click on the variable and press Ctrl+Del.)


Click on the Close button.

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