Enterprise Architect Add-In Model

Return to Introduction  Previous page  Next page


Add-Ins enable you to add functionality to Enterprise Architect. The Enterprise Architect Add-In model builds on the features provided by the Automation Interface to enable you to extend the Enterprise Architect user interface.

Add-Ins are ActiveX COM objects that expose public Dispatch methods. They have several advantages over stand-alone automation clients:

·Add-Ins can define Enterprise Architect menus and sub-menus
·Add-Ins receive notifications about various Enterprise Architect user-interface events including menu clicks and file changes
·Add-Ins can (and should) be written as in-process (DLL) components.  This provides lower call overhead and better integration into the Enterprise Architect environment
·Because a current version of Enterprise Architect is already running there is no requirement to start a second copy of Enterprise Architect via the automation interface
·Because the Add-In receives object handles associated with the currently running copy of Enterprise Architect, more information is available about the current user's activity; for example, which diagram objects are selected
·You are not required to do anything other than to install the Add-In to make it usable; that is, you do not have to configure Add-Ins to run on your systems.

Because Enterprise Architect is constantly evolving in response to customer requests, the Add-In interface is flexible:

·The Add-In interface does not have its own version, rather it is identified by the version of Enterprise Architect it first appeared in; for example, the current version of the Enterprise Architect Add-In interface is version 2.1
·When creating your Add-In, you do not have to subscribe to a type-library

Note: At Enterprise Architect release 7.0 Add-Ins created before 2004 are no longer supported. If an Add-In subscribes to the Addn_Tmpl.tlb interface (2003 style), it will fail on load. In this event, contact the vendor or author of the Add-In and request an upgrade.

·Add-Ins do not have to implement methods that they never use.
·Add-Ins prompt users via context menus in the treeview and the diagram.
·Menu check and disable states can be controlled by the Add-In.

Add-Ins enhance the existing functionality of Enterprise Architect through a variety of mechanisms such as UML Profiles and the Automation Interface. Once an Add-In is registered, it can be managed using the Add-In Manager.

Create and Use Add-Ins

This topic of the help file covers the following information on Add-Ins: