Show Details of Model Elements in Tabular Form January 11, 2012

When the default attributes do not suffice to describe your model elements, you can add your own custom ones by using tagged values. These custom attributes can be added to model elements in various diagrams, such as an actor in use case diagram.

So if you are looking at model elements in a diagram, just how do you show their tagged values? This tutorial will show you how.

As an example, we will walk you through how to show tagged values associated with devices in an ArchiMate diagram.

What we are using in the examples

The below examples are all referring to the sample ArchiMate diagram below, which is composed of several devices (i.e. Firewall, Application Server). The software tool is called Visual Paradigm for UML (VP-UML).

Download the sample project file

01 - sample ArchiMate diagram

01 – sample ArchiMate diagram

Example 1: View tagged values of a model element

Let’s say we want to look at the tagged values for the device called Firewall in the diagram.

  1. Right click on Firewall and select Open Specification…

    02 - right click on Firewall and select Open Specification

    02 – right click on Firewall and select Open Specification

  2. In the dialog box opened, select the Tagged Values tab.
    Under it, you will see a tag called IP (value = 192.168.1.100) and another one called Setup Time (value= 5, July 2011).
    Since we were viewing only (without any changes), click Cancel to close the dialog box.

    03 - view the tagged values of the device (Firewall)

    03 – view the tagged values of the device (Firewall)

Example 2: View tagged values of multiple model elements without repeatedly opening the dialog box

Let’s say we are now interested in viewing tagged values for all devices in the diagram. So based on what we’ve just seen above, does it mean we must right click on every single device and repeatedly open and close the dialog box?

Well, that’s one way. Here’s a better way:

  1. To begin, (just like before) right click on any of the devices and select Open Specification…
  2. Open the Tagged Values tab and you’ll see the tagged values of the device currently being selected.
  3. (Different steps) Do not click Cancel to close the dialog box yet. Instead, go to the upper right corner to click the Pin button.

    04 - click the Pin button in the dialog box

    04 – click the Pin button in the dialog box

  4. Once you’ve clicked the Pin button, the button below it (with the tooltip saying “Auto open specification when select“) should be enabled. Click on it.

    05 - click to Auto Open Specification When Select

    05 – click to Auto Open Specification When Select

  5. Select another device (i.e. Application Server) and you’ll see that the tagged values in the dialog box are updated to Application Server’s. The dialog box continues to show tagged values of the model element currently being selected.

Example 3: View tagged values of model elements in tabular form

To view all tagged values across model elements in the same diagram, we will next create a grid and then populate it with those tagged values.

  1. From the main toolbar, select Diagrams > Grid Diagram.

    07 - select to create a Grid diagram

    07 – select to create a Grid diagram

  2. In the new Grid, click the down arrow next to Model Element to select Device. (Note: if Device is not listed initially, click More… at the bottom of the list and Device should show up then.)
    08 - click More to list Device for selection

    08 – click More to list Device for selection

    Select Device.

    09 - select Device in the list for Model Element

    09 – select Device in the list for Model Element

    The grid is now populated with all devices from the diagram.

    10 - all devices listed in the grid

    10 – all devices listed in the grid

  3. Click Configure columns…

    11 - click the Configure columns button

    11 – click the Configure columns button

  4. In the dialog box opened, you will see the two default columns given initially – Name and Documentation.
    As we don’t need the Documentation column, select it and click the left green arrow for removal.

    12 - remove the Documentation column

    12 – remove the Documentation column

  5. In the dialog box, click the Tagged Values tab. Select IP and then click the right green arrow to insert that column.

    13 - add the IP column

    13 – add the IP column

  6. Repeat similar steps above to add the Setup Time column. The dialog box should look something like this after you are done. Click OK.

    14 - dialog box after adding the IP and Setup Time columns

    14 – dialog box after adding the IP and Setup Time columns

  7. Upon closing the dialog box above, the grid will display the tagged values for all devices in the diagram.

    15 - the final grid displaying tagged values for all devices in the diagram

    15 – the final grid displaying tagged values for all devices in the diagram

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