process4.biz 7.x Documentation

features description for Process4.biz

Repository

The repository is an SQL Server-based and highly customisable users database, in which all objects, their data content, and the diagrams are stored. The repository is a central basis component of process4.biz, without which the software cannot be run.

In the repository, all objects are placed in a hierarchical structure. This hierarchical (tree) structure allows both a view of the data and diagrams of a unit , as well as on the existing data and diagrams that are inherited from structurally higher or lower units. The data are grouped in classes, which provides a tabular view of assigned objects. Some classes are system classes with system property groups (e.g.: definition, description, help, administration, etc.) and therefore are automatically included in all hierarchical structures. The severity of existing system classes depends on the method that you want to use (RACI, BPMN, EPC, Catalyst or EAM or if you are also using reference models, as COBIT5, Dynamics AX/NAV, etc. or a proprietary method).

The visibility of objects and diagrams in the repository, can be controlled by Search, Filters and Unit Filters. The context menu for editing data objects or diagrams can be accessed anytime by right clicking on the respective item.

Repository Components

The navigation window contains the hierarchical tree structure and is used for navigation within the (company) structure, which you build or track with units and classes and their properties and diagrams.

If you select a class of a Unit, the window to the right lists the objects of this class and their properties in tabular form. The number of objects in a class of the selected unit is already pre-displayed in the navigation window - activity [53] therefore means that there are 53 properties in the class activity in the selected unit.

The number of diagrams in the selected Unit is displayed in a bracket behind the class diagram in the navigation window. If you select the class diagram in the navigation window, you can track in which order diagrams follow each other (top diagram, parent diagram, child diagram). In the diagram hierarchy tree are listed all the diagrams of the highest hierarchy level. Their respective branches can open like folders in Windows Explorer.

The diagram hierarchy is created, when you associate one parent diagram object with one or more subordinated diagrams; see: Linking Objects with Diagrams. If a diagram has several parent diagrams (i.e. there is a link to this diagram from objects of several diagrams), the following diagram is displayed in the tree under any parent diagrams.

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The navigation pane in the repository

Object Window

All objects of a selected class in the left navigation window appear in the right object window in tabular form along with their properties. They can be opened for editing by double-clicking or from the context menu (right click-> Properties). Data objects are represented by a green cube symbol , diagrams with a read diagram symbol .

  • If these symbols have an additional small red triangle in the top left, they are inherited objects from a higher hierarchical level. If the red triangle is in the bottom right, then the corresponding element is in a subordinate hierarchy level.
  • If one of the symbols is marked with a blue bar, it means that the object in question is linked to a file.
  • If one of the symbols is marked with an orange bar, it means that the object in question is synchronised with SharePoint.
  • If one of the symbols is supplemented with a small green lock, it is currently being edited by the current user.
  • If one of the symbols is supplemented with a small yellow lock, this object or diagram was just created or edited and the changes have not yet been stored in the database.
  • The symbol color is grey, if access is not given to the Unit.
  • The symbol is grey and has a small lock when an object is being edited by another user, so that the current user can not edit those objects at the moment. An administrator can unlock such diagrams or objects, when s/he right-clicks on it and unlocks the function under the context menu item. The diagram or object is then unlocked and made available to all users again.
  • Association Classes (see link types) appear in purple, association objects are colored in lila.
  • In addition, labels made of the approval management can be displayed as symbols of objects and/or diagrams on the bottom left.
View Settings
  • Large Icons: to enlarge the icons, no properties are displayed.
  • List: displays only the object names in list form.
  • Details: shows all attributes of the objects.
Manage columns in the object window

You can move the columns of the object window with the mouse via drag and drop. Process4.biz remembers the order of the columns, and the individual showing or hiding of existing columns. Each column in the table can be modified in the Database Designer; there you can create also new columns (=properties).

Move the cursor between the property columns to change the column width and tighten the limit mark in the desired direction. Right-click on the name of each column, so that you can manage, hide or show the columns.

  • Hide the column X: You can hide the selected column (all columns except the column “Name”). It is hidden, not deleted, and can be restored any time.
  • Show hidden column: With this menu item you have the chance to show single or via “Show all columns” all previously hidden columns again.
  • Column selection Manager: You can move all columns (properties), that you want to hide, to the column selection manager.
  • Fix the layout: Select one of the options described below in this context menu item by right-clicking on a column in the object window before making changes to the column. This changes the view settings depending on the selected option to apply to all classes of this unit, to a certain class in all units or to the selected class in the selected Unit.
  • Fix the current layout for all classes in Unit X: You can only select this option, if a Unit or Data is selected in the left tree structure. The column changes are saved for all classes of the selected unit.
  • Fix the current layout for class A in all units: Activate this option, when the column changes for a specific class on all units within the inheritance hierarchy.
  • Fix the current layout for class A in Unit XY: Activate this option, if you want to display column changes for a specific class only in the selected unit.
  • Save the layout: Once you have made all the column changes, you can save the layout as ”* .xml” file.
  • Loading a Layout: The saved layout can then be loaded for another database, unit or class through this command. All data stored in the layout settings will be applied here.
  • Reset the layout: This option restores all the columns to the default status, if for example the order of the columns was changed using drag & drop or individual columns have been hidden.

Object Explorer

In Object Explorer, you can follow different links, after selecting an object or diagram: dependencies, file links and object links.

  1. Show dependencies of an object
    You can keep track which objects are linked with which other objects through which link type. This option is only available for objects. In Object Explorer, you can see all of the objects linked with the selected object, sorted by the assigned link-type. The greyed symbols for linked objects show in the Object Explorer that the link was created automatically and cannot be deleted. For manually linked objects green symbols are used.

  2. Show File links
    In this tab you can keep track which objects or diagrams are linked to which files or with which objects or diagrams the files uploaded in the database are linked. (See: Upload & Link Files).

  3. Object links
    When you select an object in the repository, it displays with which diagrams it is linked. Clicking the ”+” sign next to the diagram, will show you which objects are used on this diagram and which diagrams are linked with these objects. 
    If you select a diagram, it shows which objects are used on this diagram and to what other diagrams these objects are linked.

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The Object Explorer in the repository

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The Attribute Information Sheet

Property Sheet

You can edit the properties of objects and diagrams with the help of the property sheet: edit work here functions exactly as in a normal properties window.

Repository Functions

Create/edit an object

Objects and diagrams can be created and/or edited either on the toolbar or from the context menu. Use the button Properties to edit or the button New to create a new design element in the toolbar or the context menu.

See also:   Creating a new object in the repository

Multiple selection

If multiple objects are selected in the repository, for all these objects existing properties can be edited via the Properties window.

For different (=for all selected objects) property values, the place holder ”<Multiple Selection>” appears instead of the property value. Now, if a certain value is set, this will apply to all selected objects.

Working with the multiple selection is possible only via the properties window in the repository. The properties explorer as well as the property sheet can display the attributes of multiple selected objects, but do not allow processing.

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Cut, Copy & Paste

See: Cut, Copy, Paste & Special

Edit with F2

You can edit the names of objects in the tree in the repository using the F2 key, or clicking twice (not double). Prerequisites for this are 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:

Database Update

If multiple users are simultaneously in the model database, we recommend updating the database contents on a regular basis:

The upgrade process in the repository functions as follows:

  • When you select a class in the repository and click Update, only objects of that class are updated.
  • If you select a diagram and click Update, all diagrams of this Unit are updated.
  • If you select a unit and click Update, all objects and diagrams of this Unit will be updated.
  • If you select Top Unit and click Update, all objects and diagrams are updated in the repository.

Deleting an object in the repository

If you want to delete an object in the repository, proceed as follows:

  1. Mark the object with the left mouse button.
  2. Select the Delete icon on the toolbar, or open the context menu with the right mouse button and select the function Delete.

When the object to be deleted is already used on a diagram or has object links, a corresponding warning message appears. If you confirm the deletion, all references in this window or links to the object are automatically removed. The deleted object remains in the diagrams at the moment known as Ghost Shape (marked with a red exclamation ”!”).

Show object use in diagrams

With this function from the context menu, you can check in which diagrams the selected object is used. In each case, it automatically opens the first diagram-page sheet with a click on the listed diagram(s), on which the object is used.