process4.biz 7.x Documentation

features description for Process4.biz

Graphical Visio Modeler

Through the Graphical Visio Modeler you can model diagrams with the known functions and user interface of Microsoft Visio. Here you are directly connected to the database.

By default, the Graphical Visio Modeler is comprised of a repository window (“Little Repository”), an open template (= Stencil) and the shapes contained therein, with which you can work on this diagram. Stencils and their shapes are freely definable and determine your specific modelling method = the notation with which you build a model. See: Shapes, Stencils & Templates

The Graphical Visio Modeler contains one or more open diagrams for the editing which can be simultaneously open. Similarly to other Microsoft Office applications, you can select this window via the “Window” menu.

The symbols “Next Diagram” or “Previous Diagram” enable you to navigate through the diagrams and switch between open ones. 

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The context menu of the opened diagram supports you in the orientation and navigation within the model  structure. Right-clicking on an empty area of the drawing sheet displays the hierarchy in the predecessor diagrams (Parents) or the successor diagrams (Children). Selecting a diagram from the list opens the diagram in Graphical Visio Modeler and this can then be edited as an active drawing sheet.

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View of an open chart in the Graphical Visio Modeler

Smart tags

Smart tags are displayed on the diagrams of the objects and result from links between objects and diagrams or Files, or have been created by adding a link to an object. They are also used to navigate between diagrams in the Graphical Visio Modeler: clicking on the (or one of the) elements stored in a smart tag opens the corresponding item.

The relationship between the individual diagrams in the hierarchical tree structure (see Repository) is displayed in the Smart Tags by small arrows.

  • An arrow pointing upwards marks a hierarchically superordinate diagram (parent diagram).
  • A horizontal line marks equal hierarchical level or a lack of a hierarchical relationship.
  • An arrow pointing downwards marks a hierarchically subordinate chart (Child-diagram).

Little Repository

You can use the small Repository window at the bottom left for the search for existing objects that have already been created in the database. These existing objects can then be brought onto the drawing sheet through drag & drop from the Little repository and thus be used repeatedly. This functionality displays the basis of the redundancy-free modelling enabled through process4.biz.

By reusing existing objects you can not only model more quickly, because you save the repeated occurrence of the same object, but also changes made to the properties of an object are passed to diagrams in which the modified object is used. You can follow in the Unit column in which unit was created the object originally.

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Functions of little repository

  • Click the button  329584 to update the information displayed in Little repository.
  • The Filter button ( 329406 ) facilitates the search for objects either through the restriction to a class from a class list or a selected unit or by text-searching part of the name of an object across all classes.
  • By activating the heredity filter ( 329412 ) all inherited objects in the small Repository that do not have their origin in the same unit of the currently open diagram can be hidden. Also, it is possible to hide objects from parallel unit, but when this filter is disabled the hide objects from parent units and hide objects from child units will be disabled too.  Moreover, you can also hide classes without objects, as well as those classes to which no master shapes in the stencils have been assigned. Hidden objects can be displayed through the option “Show hidden items” in Little repository. 
  • Through the buttons  329418 , you can open the hierarchy tree in Little repository (in order to see all objects) and close it (so that only the classes are visible).
  • Clicking on the column header name, sorts objects in ascending or descending order within each class
  • By default, the column name and unit are displayed in the small Repository. You can also show all other property columns for objects in the small Repository. Right-click on the column and select Show Column. You can hide displayed columns again as well.
  • Using the option “Show: All Classes” you can display only a selected category in the repository. When a class is selected, you can show class-specific column properties by right-clicking on the column (as described in the previous point) and selecting Show Column from the menu. 
  • With the option “Show only used objects”, the object display in Little repository can be regulated so that only those objects that are used in the currently open diagram are shown.
  • You can select all object-related functions in the Little repository via the context menu for objects.
  • On the bottom right you can see the number of objects in the folded class(es).

 ### Properties Explorer

Through the properties Explorer window, the properties of the diagram, or the objects used in this diagram can be viewed and edited directly.

If your mouse is on the diagram, a window opens after activating this button, in which the diagram properties can be edited. Clicking on the “Info” tab, shows names, units and classes of all objects used on the diagram. Clicking on an object in the “Info” tab, opens its properties, clicking on the column headers Name, Unit or Class, sorts all elements according to the corresponding criterion in alphabetical order.

If instead of the diagram a specific object is selected on the chart, all its properties are displayed in the Properties Explorer window and can be edited there also. The “Info” tab shows in this case the objects linked with the selected objects and the use of the object on other diagrams. Clicking on these entries opens the corresponding properties window or diagram.

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The properties Explorer in Graphical Visio Modeler

Edit properties

If an entry or a change in properties explorer has to be confirmed and stored in the properties, confirm the changes by pressing the Enter key. To discard applied changes, press Escape. You can edit changes in the properties explorer window through the Undo and Redo buttons (Visio).

Diagram Info

The diagram information window tracks to which other diagrams the opened diagram has hierarchical relationships. That is, you can see their parent and child diagrams in tree view and switch between these diagrams by double-clicking. The diagram info window displays all diagrams from the Unit of the open diagram and that is the difference to the “Open Diagram” button - this function shows the entire diagram hierarchy of your model in a tree structure and therefore may be somewhat less clear.

Context Menu Items

By right-clicking on an object on a diagram, you access the context menu, where the basic functionalities of Visio and the process4.biz functions are available. In this way new diagrams linked directly to an object can be created or Object Properties can be displayed.

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The diagram information window

Cut, Copy & Paste

You can cut, copy and paste objects of a diagram or multiple diagrams within a database and between different databases via the cache.

  • Graphic copy of the same object
    If you want to display the same object repeatedly on a diagram, use the <Ctrl + Drag & Drop>. This creates a new graphical representation of an existing object in the diagram.
  • Graphic copy with a new object
    If you want to create a new object with the very same shape (= object of the same class) on a diagram, use <Ctrl + C> to copy and press <Ctrl + V> to paste, or the corresponding context menu items.

See also: When a shape is pasted to a diagram (Database settings)

Delete

Through the Delete function in the context menu, a dialog box for the selected object opens whereby you can decide whether the object should be removed only from the diagram or be deleted from the database too. This dialogue also appears when you use the Delete key. If the object has references with other objects or diagrams, another dialog box appears providing information on the existing links.

See also: When a shape is deleted from a diagram (Database settings)

Ghost Shapes

When a shape on a diagram exists no longer in the database (e.g. because it was deleted), it is a ghost shape with missing object reference. Therefore it is marked with a red exclamation mark, offering the possibility to repair this ghost shape. You can either delete the selected ghost shape in the dialog box (or even also all such shapes), or remove only the exclamation tag and leave the shape on the diagram. Alternatively, you can also select a suitable object from the repository to be newly connected to the ghost shape on the diagram.

Replace objects

It is possible to replace an object (and optionally also all its instances) on a diagram with another object. This feature is accessed via the entry “Select a process4.biz object …” from the context menu for objects:

In the opened window an object can be selected with which the existing object is to be replaced.

Optionally, all instances of the selected object on the opened diagram can be replaced in a single step.

Visio function Undo/Redo

Similar to Visio, you can use the functions Undo and Redo in process4.biz diagrams. The Undo function deletes objects from the database, the Redo function restores them. It is no longer possible to undo changes after saving the diagram or updating the database (e.g. with the Update button in Little repository).

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