How can I find out where an element or one of its specialized elements is used on a diagram in Enteprise Architect?

With this SQL search you can answer that question immediately and in a useful way.

Hierarchical usage search regults

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 The model

Suppose we have modeled an inheritance hierarchy of animals as such

Animals Hierarchy

And our animals are being used as the classifier of Activity partitions in various Activity diagrams



And on the occasional Sequence diagram


Even with a simple example like this one it is not trivial to find all diagrams that use a rodent, or a bird.… Read more

One of the major benefits of using a tool such as Enterprise Architect is that you create traceability. You store the relations between different model elements in your model.

The tricky part is to effectively use that traceability for your impact analyses. Following these instructions you can create SQL Searches in EA that instantly show the impact a certain element has on the rest of the model and present them in a clear and useful way.


The meta model

In order to do impact analysis you have to know, and preferable document, your meta model.… Read more


Use Associations for Classes and Attributes for DataTypes


Make an informed choice between Attributes and Associations when modeling a relation between two Classifiers.


When modeling the structure of your system there are basically two ways to express a structural relationship between two Classifiers. You could use an Association between the two Classifiers, or you could create an Attribute owned by one Classifier with it’s type set to the other Classifier.

Both ways, Association or Attribute are pretty much equivalent.… Read more

What makes a UML Composition different from an Aggregation or a regular Association?

The concepts of Association, Aggregation and Composition exist in UML since the first published versions, but the exact meaning of these concepts, especially the Aggregation still leads to heated debates among UML experts.

But before we go into the details, let’s have a look at how these concepts are defined in UML. I guess every UML user is familiar with the graphical notation, but how do these concepts look like in the UML (v 2.5) meta model?… Read more