Creating and Editing Shapes

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Drawing shapes are supported in the data model window of the logical model and in physical models for all database platforms supported by ER/Studio Data Architect. You can also use shapes on the data lineage diagram window.

Drawing shapes have no fixed meaning in your diagrams, so you can determine how they are used and interpreted. There are three, primary uses for drawing shapes:

  • Unique Representation: Drawing shapes can represent schema objects in your model that are not commonly represented by regular ER notation. For example, using ER/Studio Data Architect's drawing shapes, you can add objects in a physical model to represent Java classes. Such objects can ultimately have crucial meaning to your database design.
  • Notation: The note drawing shape enables you to document special circumstances that exist in your diagrams. Because the contents of the note drawing shape are displayed in the Data Model Window, they are more easily seen than entity notes or table notes, which are buried in the entities and tables themselves.
  • Containment: Enabling containment embeds entities and tables within the drawing shapes, essentially locking the tables and entities to the drawing shapes. When you move the drawing shape, the entities and tables follow, maintaining their positions within the drawing shape. Containment is particularly useful when you want to isolate entities and tables, making those entities and tables more obvious. Similarly, you can use containment to keep objects together that share a certain importance so can you move these shared objects in unison when you move the drawing shape.

  1. On the Drawing Shapes toolbar, click the icon for the shape you want to insert.
    TB Drawing Shapes.gif
  2. On the Data Model Window or Data Lineage Window, click the mouse where you want to add the shape.
  3. Double-click the shape to launch the Shape Editor, where for example, you can add text and change the color of the shape.

Shape Text tab

You can adjust the text positioning choices either with the Horizontal Justification and Vertical Justification drop-down menus or by clicking one of the nine squares in the adjacent grid.

With Fit Shape selected, the shape is automatically resized to fit the shape text. With this option selected, Wrap Text is disabled, and the object cannot be resized by dragging its outline handles.

Colors and Fonts tab

Here you can change the shape type (e.g. oval to rectangle).

Attachment Bindings tab

Bind an external piece of information, or attachment to the shape. You can also remove an attachment from an object, override an attachment binding's default value, or change the position of a bound attachment. To override the value of the attachment you have moved to the Selected Attachments grid, double-click the Value field of the target attachment. ER/Studio Data Architect opens the Value Override Editor or a list depending on the attachment datatype. Attachments are created in the Attachments folder of the Data Dictionary. For more information, see Attaching External Documents to the Data Model.

See Also