The User Interface

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The Enterprise Architect Application Workspace consists of a number of windows, as described below. Together these elements provide a simple and flexible software engineering environment. In concept the Application Workspace is similar to programs such as Microsoft Outlook and the Microsoft Visual Studio application suite; if you have used these applications you should find the Enterprise Architect interface quite familiar.

Enterprise Architect in Action

A demonstration of Enterprise Architect in use is provided on the Sparx Systems website. To run this demonstration, click on this link:

Workspace Components

This section outlines the components of the Enterprise Architect Application Workspace. To obtain further information on specific features, follow the links in each description.

Main Menu and Toolbars

At the top of the workspace are the Main Menu and Toolbars. The Main Menu provides access to further submenus. There are several toolbars, which you can hide or display as necessary.

Context Menus

Throughout Enterprise Architect, if you right-click on work areas, lists and objects, Enterprise Architect displays a menu of options specific to the work context. For examples, see:

Key Combinations

Many main menu and context menu options have alternative key combinations to perform the same operation. Instead of displaying a menu and selecting the required option, you can press the key combination. See Keyboard Shortcuts for a full list of key combinations and their functions, or display the Help Keyboard dialog (select the Help | Keyboard Accelerator Map menu option). You can also customize these function keys.

Enterprise Architect UML Toolbox

The Enterprise Architect UML Toolbox is an Outlook-style toolbar from which you can select model elements and relationships to add to your modeling diagrams. This is an important feature of Enterprise Architect, as it provides all the components and links that you use to create your models in whatever diagrams are appropriate.

Diagram View

The large central area of the Enterprise Architect display is the Diagram View. This is where you can arrange new model elements and set their characteristics in a model diagram. Note that when you first open Enterprise Architect there is no active diagram; you must create and/or open the required diagram.

Project Browser Window

The Project Browser window is used to navigate your project. Double-click on package icons to open them and display the diagrams and elements they contain. Similarly,  double-click on elements to open them, and on diagrams to display them in the Diagram View. You can drag elements from the Project Browser to add them to diagrams.

Visual Style

You can configure the look and feel of Enterprise Architect to suit your working environment. Options range from a classic windows application to an enhanced XP appearance.

Arranging Windows

You can rearrange windows and some menus to adapt the screen space to your work habits. You can:

·Fix, or dock windows against any edge of the workspace, or move them freely (float them) as you work; for a list of dockable windows, see Dockable Windows
·Autohide windows so that they display only when you are actually using them
·Tear off submenus so that they stay open in a convenient (docked) location.