The Entity Diagram controls

A basic list outlining the different controls and things you can do on the Entity Diagram.

The menus

The Entity digram has three main control areas, with the editing canvas in the middle:

Build diagram control areas
  • 1: The sidebar. This is where you can view what is in your diagram and add new elements to it.
  • 2: The ‘check for errors’ button. This is where you can validate your diagrams before you build. Clicking here also shows you outstanding validation issues on your diagram.
  • 3: The map controls. Here you can zoom in and out on the map or use the minimap to change the focused location.

The canvas has drag and drop controls so you can re-arrange the elements on it.

The sidebar

The main menu on the left changes depending on the page you are currently on. When you are in the Entity diagram, you have three options available: overview, items, and templates.

  • Overview is where you can see a list of all of the entities and enums in the diagram, along with the attributes and literals which are assigned to them. Using the search input at the top, you can search for entities and enums by their name. Clicking on an entity or enum in the list will select it in the canvas.
  • Items is how you can add new entities, enums, and snippets into the diagram. You can choose to either add in blank elements, or to add one of the pre-constructed elements we provide, which are based on common patterns used in apps.
  • Templates are a more complex form of snippets, closer to the structure of an entire app, rather than just a small piece. These are very helpful when you are going through the initial setup phase of building.
  • Saved is how you access your saved custom snippets throughout your diagrams, it will appear after you make your first custom snippet.

The canvas menus

Once you have an element on the canvas, further menus become available for you to work with based on the what you currently have selected.

  • A pop-up toolbar appears directly above the selected element. This allows you to add in attributes, extensions, literals or validators, depending on what is selected. Clicking on an option opens a sub-menu where you choose what you want to add.
  • The properties panel down the right-hand side is where you can manage the properties of the selected element or delete it. You can do things like name an entity, choose which attribute it sorts by, or give it a description to make documenting easier.

How to

  • Add an entity

    • Go to Items sidebar
    • Under the Entities header, select the ‘Blank’ element.
    • A blank entity will appear on the canvas
  • Add an attribute

    • Select an entity on the canvas
    • Clicking on the Attribute option in the pop-up toolbar
    • Select the type of attribute you want
    • An attribute of that type will appear at the bottom of the currently selected entity
  • Add a relationship

    • Hover around the edge of one entity until an opaque green border appears
    • Click on the border and hold your mouse down.
    • Still holding your mouse down, move your cursor to the edge of the other entity
    • Once a green border appears, release your mouse
    • Select the relationship type you want to use.
    • A relationship arrow will appear between the two.
    • Note: relationships are directional, so pay attention to which entity you start and finish with
  • Include an enum and literals

    • Go to the Items sidebar and select a blank enum element
    • On the canvas, select the new enum
    • In the enum’s pop-up toolbar, click on the “Literal” option (add as many times as you need)
    • Go to the entity which you want to add the enum to and select it
    • Use the pop-up toolbar to add an enum type attribute to it
    • Drag a relationship between that attribute and the enum element (note: the border will be blue in this situation)
  • Add an extension

    • Select the entity you want to use
    • Click on the “Extension” option in the pop-up toolbar
    • Select the extension you want to use
  • Delete any element using the “Delete” button at the bottom of the properties panel
  • Multi-select entities and enums by clicking and dragging a box around them

    • After selection, you can hold down the shift key to add or remove elements
    • A list of the selected elements will appear in the properties panel

      • Click on an element to be moved to it in the canvas window
      • Click on the delete button in the top right of the properties panel to delete all selected elements