Introduction to Graphical Modeling Interface
The graphical interface provides three different entry points for modelling:
- Editor - main window (by default taking the most prominent space on
the screen) allowing to edit the most common information of a given element.
This is the window which opens when double-clicking on an element in the Model
- Properties - Information which does not fit in the editor or would make
the editor unreadable is generally to be found and edited in the properties view.
Properties should information about the currently selected element.
Therefore, to see the properties of a given element, you should first click on it
in the editor or in the model navigator.
The properties view should always be present, if not type "Properties" in the
Quick Access entry of the tool bar.
- Annotations - Similar to properties but also presents information of
the children of the selected element. Annotations allow to have a quick overview of
similar information along the hierarchy. For instance, instead of seeing
the name of the currently selected element only, you can also see in a convenient
table the name of all the children of the selected element.
In the following, the different ways and the associated views will be
described based on the simple component architecture shown below.
The example is based, for the sake of simplicity, on a restricted version of AutoFOCUS containing only
the so-called "component architecture plugin". It should therefore not come as a surprise if your
version of AutoFOCUS allows more specification, more properties or more annotations than showed in
The main editor allows to describe models through diagrams as in this example, through text (e.g.,
for code specifications), through tables/trees (e.g., data dictionary), or through forms (e.g.,
requirements). In diagram or tree editors, the models can be edited by drag and dropping elements
from the Model Elements pane, or by right-clicking the elements in the model navigator.
In the example, Component1 contains two model elements:
The Properties View provides a local view on all properties of the currently
selected component. The following screenshot illustrates the properties of Component1.
The following properties are available (in the General tab) for any
model element type:
Note that name and comment are available for most elements in AutoFOCUS.
- Strongly causal
- Verification behavior
The Internal is of no use for the standard user.
The Annotation View provides a global view on all model elements annotations within
the current project root element (e.g., within a Component Architecture or a
In the Annotation View, each model element is represented as a row.
The row for the model element that is currently selected in the associated model
diagram editor is highlighted with a green background.
The view's columns represent the annotations that are associated with the
respective model element. Here, the following three cases can be distinguished:
- White cell - the model element contains the respective annotation that is
editable by the user.
- Grey cell - the model element does not contain the respective annotation.
- Blue cell - the model element contains the respective annotation. However, its
value is the result of a calculation (and hence the cell is read-only).
Like the Properties View, the Annotation View provides the following
two annotations for any model element.
In fact, the Name and Comment annotations provide an alternative way to access the
Annotation View Filters
At the bottom, the Annotation View provides a number of row and column filters.
Here, the following row filters can be used to restrict the set of model elements that is shown in the view:
- Filter model element name: only model elements are shown whose name matches the filter string.
- Filter model element type: if checked, only model elements are shown that have the same type
as the model element that is selected in the associated model diagram editor.
- Filter model element hierarchy level: Filters the set of model elements based on the model structure. The following options are available:
- Show all levels: Any model element beneath the currently selected project root element is shown.
- Show current level: Only model elements are shown that have the same hierarchy level as the currently selected model element.
- Show selected sub-model: The currently selected sub-model and its entire offspring is shown.
The following column filters can be used to restrict the set of annotations that is shown in the view:
- Filter annotations name: only annotations are shown whose name matches the filter string.
- Filter annotation type: either all annotation types, or only annotations of the selected type are shown.