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Getting Started

Main Concepts

The web modeler is a generic modeling tool. This means, you can use one and the same tool to apply several different domain specific languages. At the core of the tool there are four main concepts:

Concept Purpose
Element Every model element that you create is an ‘Element’. The meaning of an ‘Element’ depends on the domain specific language that you use. It could for instance be a database entity, an application or a service. Elements can be linked to each other.
Module A ‘Module’ is a container for elements. It helps you organize your model elements. An ‘Element’ is owned by a ‘Module’ and cannot exist without it. It can be moved from one module to another, though.
Model A ‘Model’ is a container for modules. All modules that are assigned to a model and all modules that are related to those modules through their module dependency trees belong to a model.

Model serves also another purpose: When you work in different teams on different projects, you can create one model for every team/project. This way you can separate the model elements for each team. The web modeler lets you select a “model context”, which hides model elements from you that are not related to the selected model context (e.g. in search results).
Generation Input A ‘Generation Input’ determines the input for code generators. You have to assign exactly one model to a generation input. In addition to this, you can assign some elements and some modules. These special assignments mean selected elements or selected modules. A code generator knows about these selections and can process the generation input accordingly.

Note

Each of the above concepts can be used as input for code generators. If, from a starting model element, you can reach all relevant elements through links between them, it is sufficient to provide an element id as input for a code generator. In other, more complex models, it might be necessary to create a model instance and provide this as input for the generation. And finally, if you need the semantics of “selected elements” in a code generator, you have to use ‘Generator Input’ as input for it.

The following picture shows the relations between these concepts:

Main Concepts

Note

Deleting a module deletes all of its elements if those are not used somewhere else. Deleting a model doesn’t delete any of the assigned modules. Deleting a generation input doesn’t delete any of the assigned models, modules or elements.

Options

Every element can have options. The following option types exist:

  • Enumerated
  • Number
  • Floating Point Number
  • Text
  • Multiline Text
  • Boolean
  • File

An option can have a single or multiple values. Options are edited in the Element Wizard View.

Every element can be linked to other elements. Certain element types are owned by other elements through certain links. Owned means that when you delete the owner, the owned element gets deleted, too. And you can only created the owned element when there exists an owner.

A single link is unidirectional by nature. Not only elements but also links can have options set. Links are edited in the Element Wizard View.

Note

A link from element A to B and a link from element B to A can be defined to belong to each other, to be bi-directional (according to the datastructures to store models). This functionality is as of the writing of this documentation not yet implemented in the web modeler.