Conceptual Model Update from ER/Studio DA

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If you are working on an ER model, you can frequently update your associated EA conceptual model, if that ER/Studio BA model was initially created by importing the ER model. The ER model changes can include entity name changes, adding and removing new attributes, adding and removing relationships, binding and unbinding existing domains, etc. Because updates are based on an object’s unique identity rather than its name, you have ability to re-import just the changes, or the entire ER model, and the existing ER/Studio BA Conceptual Model is updated. All existing relationships are maintained, and renamed elements are updated properly.

Note: You can import several different ER models into a single Conceptual Model, and update this model when required.
Caution: Only the elements that were originally created by importing the ER model are updated. Any elements that are created in ER/Studio BA are not updated with information imported from the ER model. For example, you have created an entity named “EntityOne” in ER/Studio BA. If you import an ER model with an entity with the same name containing attributes and descriptions, those attributes and descriptions are not added to the existing ER/Studio BA entity.

The following rules are implemented when updating a Conceptual Model from ER/Studio DA:

Element Rules

Subject Areas

If you import several ER models into the same Conceptual Model, a unique identifier is stored with each submodel in a hidden attribute.

  You can rename submodels, move entities between other submodels, and subject area mappings are updated.


Along with existing properties, a unique identifier is stored in a hidden attribute on the entity which includes the ER model name. When an ER update occurs, each ER entity unique identifier is matched with ER/Studio BA’s entities to determine the match. This allows any property of the ER/Studio BA’s entity to be change (including name), without breaking the ‘link’ to the existing ER entity.


As new attributes are added, removed, renamed, or reordered in the ER entity, the information is properly updated in the ER/Studio BA model, because each attribute has a unique identifier stored in a hidden attribute.

Entity Relationships

Each relationship that is imported will include a unique identifier in a hidden attribute to identify it and match it with the corresponding relationship in the ER model.

When updating elements with relationships:

You only need to pick one node connected in a relationship. The import discovers the other end of the relationship, and leaves the relationship connected. If Entities with the same name already exist in the Conceptual Model, a new unique name is created.

Bound Domain Relationships

You have option to import domains as business elements or domains, or both. When updating entities: If a bound domain is renamed, the import detects this situation and renames the associated business element or domain, depending on how the ER domains are imported. If the override properties of a domain are changed, the import changes the same override properties in ER/Studio BA. When an ER model is imported that has a domain with the same name as an existing business element/domain, a new business element/domain is created. When an existing entity’s attribute is bound to a new domain, and you import only the entity, the new binding is detected and includes the new domain as well. (This assumes you have not excluded it during the import.) If an existing entity’s attribute is disassociated with a domain the binding is broken in ER/Studio BA.

Updating from ER/Studio DA

1 Right-click a Conceptual Model in the Model View tree and select Import > From ER/Studio Data Architect > Update Existing Conceptual Objects.
2 In the Update Conceptual Objects > Source Name and Location dialog select the location of the ER/Studio DA diagram that contains the source of the conceptual objects you want updated. You can browse to the location of the .dm1 file.
3 In the workspace tree, select the target model you want updated.
4 You can select the “Delete objects in model that aren’t contained in source file.” If you enable this option, any objects in the target model that no longer exists in the ER model are deleted. If this option is not selected, (it is not selected by default), none of the objects in the target model are deleted.
Note: This option does not work with domains. Since Business Elements/Domains are shared objects that can be bound to objects completely outside the scope of the update, they can not be deleted.
5 Click Next and the Object Selection dialog opens. From the list of Available entities, select the objects you want to export and click ICON ADD ARROW.PNG. You can select multiple objects by holding down the Ctrl key and clicking individual objects. You can also import the entire list by clicking ICON ADD ALL ARROW.PNG. All the selected entities are moved to the Selected Entities tree.
6 After you have made your selections on the Entities tab, click the Domains tab and all domains in the ER/Studio DA model are listed.
Note: For updates, domains are preselected based on what bound entities are picked.
Caution: If you do not include all the elements that are connected with relationships, the existing relationships will be severed because the “connected” element was not included in the update.
7 Click Finish and the following happens:
  • The selected objects are compared with objects in the selected target model.
  • Existing target objects that match a corresponding source object will have all of the properties updated with those properties in the source objects.
  • If an element in an ER model is renamed, and the conceptual model is updated, the old entity is replaced with a new entity of the same name.
  • Source objects that do not match any existing target objects will be created in the target model/diagrams.
  • If a partial model is updated, any relationships that existed are lost if the other end of the relationship was not selected in the update wizard.
  • Relationships are matched by how their nodes are matched. Once a match is determined, all relationship properties, including its name, are updated.
  • If you have selected the “Delete objects in model that aren’t contained in source file” option on the previous page of the wizard, existing target objects will get deleted if they do not match any object in the ER model.
Caution: For diagrams, relationship bend points and connection points are not imported and/or updated. They will be auto-routed using the default routing algorithms.
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