The Database Designer sets Units, classes, properties and property groups and manages all link technologies and types and validation scripts and tags. This means that the Database Designer provides and manages in this way the database structure for the repository.
The navigation structure in the Designer window is similar to the navigation in the repository. The left navigation window shows the unit hierarchy tree. If a unit is selected there, the corresponding property groups appear listed in the right window. When clicking in the left window on a class, there are two ways to show the contents of the class, which can be set with the filter option “List the contents”:
Auto: In the right window, the properties of the selected class groups are displayed.
Properties: In the right window appear always all the properties, when you click on data, classes, property groups. This feature therefore enables you to look at all the properties of the entire database without dividing them into classes or property groups. This helps you e.g. to determine if there are duplicates.
At the top of the navigation window, all units and some other design elements are listed that are relevant for all units:
- System classes
These classes are shown in orange and are valid for the entire database. If you edit such a class (e.g. add a property), changes apply to all objects of the database. If, for example, property groups or properties of the class “diagram” are created in the upper unit, then they are automatically visible in all diagram classes of all units. The inheritance functionality for the structures of the design elements is kept similarly to the inheritance of objects in the repository maintained.
- Tag classes
Under the item tag classes, you can extend the system class tag to property groups or properties or create new tag classes. See: Tags
- Color Settings
Here you can create new rules governing the display colors of attributes in the repository; see: Coloring data fields
- Linking rules
Here a table shows which link types are used for the links of which classes and which link technology is activated. You can also create a new link between two classes here.
- Query classes
Here you can create classes for the Query Builder, rename or delete them.
At the bottom of the navigation window, you will see the following elements grouped per Unit:
All objects of a unit are assigned to the data-branch of this Unit. They each contain property groups and each property group contains the corresponding properties. User-created classes, property groups and properties are displayed in blue.
Here diagram classes are listed with their property groups and properties.
System classes are created by the system and can be processed limitedly. The two system classes Diagram General and General object are available in each unit and can be changed only for the unit. In the General object class you can e.g. create a property group or property which will be visible as a system entry in all other classes of this unit (and its Child Units). Such property groups and properties can also be created for the class General Diagram.
Under the item validation scripts freely definable rules for the validation of diagrams can be created. These scripts can, depending on the method used in each unit, be unit-specific.
The available link types can be defined and managed here. These apply to the entire database (not unit specific) and describe the relationships between objects of two classes. Therefore, specifying a link type is mandatory when choosing the link technology. See: links
The display window in Designer is maintained similarly to the object window in the Repository. For a more detailed description see: Repository object window.
The Database Designer
List of link rules
Creating/editing a design element
Design elements can be created and/or edited either on the toolbar or from the context menu. To edit the properties use the button Properties and to create a new design element the button New in the toolbar or the context menu.
Cut, Copy & Paste
Just as repository objects, design elements (classes, property groups and properties) can be cut, copied and pasted within units, between units and even between databases. The special functions Copy To, Move To, Copy Special and Paste Special, can be used as in the repository. If you want to move a class to another unit, objects of this class will also be automatically moved. It is also possible to cut Units or to copy and then paste them to any place of the unit hierarchy structure (only the top unit cannot be replaced or moved). All objects and diagrams are copied or moved too.
For further details on this topic, see: Cut, Copy, Paste & Special
Edit with F2
You can edit the names of classes and property groups in the tree in the designer using the F2 key, or by clicking 2 times again (not double). Prerequisite for this is that the Units were previously locked or the option “Allow edit without locking (the designer)” is enabled (see: Database settings) and that you have Edit and design rights for each Unit. The following names can be edited:
Design elements lock & unlock
Delete Design Elements
If you want to delete an existing design element in the designer, proceed as follows:
- Use the left mouse button to select the object in the right window table (optional: select multiple consecutive objects holding the Shift key or select individual objects with the Ctrl key).
- Click the Delete function, either in the context menu or on the toolbar.
- You can only delete those design elements for which this function is made available by the system.
- In the case of design elements that were already in use in diagrams and therefore have entries in the repository, a warning message listing these objects appears. You can confirm or reject the deletion (including the removal of all object references).
- In the case of design elements that are already in use and which also have links between objects of different design elements, a warning message appears before deletion so you can reverse it..