Tutorials: Diagram Navigation and Aesthetics

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To assist with the creation of presentation-quality diagrams that are easy to navigate and are aesthetically pleasing, ER/Studio Data Architect offers progressive diagram Auto Layout and Navigation utilities that also help you to clean up complex diagrams. Modelers should spend time solving complex database or business data model problems, not forcing boxes and lines to look a certain way.

Navigating the Diagram

To demonstrate some of ER/Studio Data Architect’s layout and navigation utilities, we will import a sample SQL script provided with ER/Studio Data Architect.

  1. Close any files you have open.
  2. Choose File > New.
  3. Select Import Model From: and then in the import list, choose SQL File, then click Import.
    Notepad blue icon 2.pngNote: The ERX File choice enables you to import ERwin 3.5.2 ERX files. Selecting From External Metadata launches the MetaWizard to import from alternative sources.
    The Import Database SQL File dialog appears:
  4. To the right of Select a Database SQL File click the folder icon, click Sample DDL (DB2 7.x for OS390).SQL, and then click Open.
    • The full path to this file is C:\Program Files\IDERA\ERStudio Data Architect 16.0\SQLCode .
  5. In the Select the target database platform list, click IBM DB2 UDB for OS /390 9.x.
  6. Click OK.

Finished! Once the SQL Script is finished importing (as depicted below) the following items will assist you in leveraging a variety of Auto Layout and Navigation Features.

Layout and Navigation.gif

  • Layout and Alignment Toolbar: Use any of the four Auto Layout styles to change the layout of the diagram with the click of a button. The auto layout styles are all entirely customizable styles. You can also customize the diagram layout via the Layout Properties pages that can be launched by clicking Layout > Layout Properties. In addition, you can have multiple layout styles in a model. Select some object and then choose the layout style. If you don’t have any objects selected when you click the layout button, the layout style chosen will be applied to the entire model.
  • Data Model Explorer: Click on any object in the Data Model explorer and it will automatically be selected in the diagram and focused in both the Zoom Window and Overview window.
  • Overview Window: Use this window as a thumbnail of your model to pan the entire model or zoom in and out. It can also pan and zoom the diagram if grabbed or sized. If the Overview window is not already visible, press F9 to activate it.
  • Zoom Window: Use this window as a magnifying glass to enlarge any diagram objects under your mouse cursor. You can also press SHIFT+F8 to freeze the zoom window to keep a single object frozen while you continue to pan around the diagram. If the Zoom window is not already visible, press F8 to activate it.

Diagram Aesthetics

One of the tremendous benefits of building data models is the wide range of audiences that can realize value from them. Part of this relies on what information is displayed in the diagram. Depending on the audience you may want to limit or expand what is displayed. For example, developers may benefit from looking at a model that displays data type, null option, and unique and non-unique index information, while business analysts may just need the entity name and the definition. ER/Studio Data Architect offers many display properties that can be customized exactly for this purpose.

Continuing with the previous section, we will use the DB2 model that was built to demonstrate some of the ways to customize the appearance of the model.

We will use the Diagram and Object Display Options dialog on the Diagram toolbar to further customize the view of the logical and physical models.

  • You can use the Colors & Fonts tool to customize the look and feel further of each model.

Setting the Logical Model Display

  1. Select the logical model and then on the Diagram Toolbar, click the Diagram and Object Display Options tool.
  2. In the Diagram and Object Display Options dialog, click the Entity tab, and then in the Display Level area, select Entity.
  3. Click OK.

Notepad blue icon 2.pngNote: Only entity names are displayed for each entity. You may also want to re-layout the diagram since the entity sizes have changed.

Setting the Physical Model Display

  1. Select the physical model and then choose View > Diagram and Object Display Options.
  2. In the Diagram And Object Display Options dialog, click the Table tab.
  3. In the Display Level area, select Physical Attribute Ordering.
  4. In the Available Options area, select the specific properties you want to display.
  5. Click OK.

The model should now display more details for the physical model, as seen below.


Notepad blue icon 2.pngNote: Since the sizes of the objects changed, you may want to change the model layout using one of the ER/Studio Data Architect advanced layout engines. You can also customize the default display properties for new models by choosing Tools > Options, and then selecting the desired options on the Display tab.


In this session, you have learned how to:

  • Import an SQL file and allow ER/Studio Data Architect to automatically create a diagram.
  • Use a variety of auto layout and navigation tools to enhance the aesthetic experience of the diagram and to improve the data model navigability.
  • Customize the display of both the logical and physical models.

Thank you for completing the tutorials section. Please visit the User Guide for more examples and information on using ER/Studio Data Architect.

See Also