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Annotation. An Annotation is a piece of information attached to a certain region of a text document. Annotations are attached to documents via their annotation model and may be displayed in text editors and views.

API. Abbreviation of application program interface, a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. A good API makes it easier to develop a program by providing all the building blocks. A programmer puts the blocks together.

Most operating environments, such as MS-Windows, provide an API so that programmers can write applications consistent with the operating environment. Although APIs are designed for programmers, they are ultimately good for users because they guarantee that all programs using a common API will have similar interfaces. This makes it easier for users to learn new programs.

Applications. Applications allow you to designate places in your diagram where an application has influence on your process. You can link it wherever you like you can with Stewards and Business Units and later do an Impact Analysis on it to determine when an Application has been used.

Assign Time. An Assignment may have an AssignTime setting. If the Object is an activity (Task, Sub-Process, or Process), then the Assignment must have an AssignTime. A value of Start means that the assignment shall occur at the start of the activity. This can be used to assign the higher-level (global) Properties of the Process to the (local) Properties of the activity as an input to the activity. A value of End means that the assignment shall occur at the end of the activity. This can be used to assign the (local) Properties of the activity to the higher-level (global) Properties of the Process as an output to the activity.

Association - Conceptual Modeling. An Association shows the relationship between two things representing a loose coupling.

Association - Business Process Modeling. An Association is used to associate information and artifacts with events and activities.

Black Box Pool. A Black Box Pool hides all activity detailed within the Pool.

Business Attribute. Used in Conceptual Modeling. This is a property of a business entity. An example is "Customer Name".

Business Entity. Used in Conceptual Modeling. A "thing" of the business/organization containing other business entities or elements. An example of an entity is "Customer".

Business Process Diagram (BPD). A Business Process Diagram (BPD) uses a flowcharting technique which is tailored for creating graphical models of business process operations. A Business Process Model is a network of graphical elements, which track the flow of activities and their order of performance.

Business Process Management System (BPMS). Refers to activities performed by businesses to optimize and adapt their processes.

Business Process Modeling Language (BPML). The Business Process Modeling Language (BPML) is a meta-language for the modeling of business processes, just as XML is a meta-language for the modeling of business data. BPML provides an abstracted execution model for collaborative and transactional business processes based on the concept of a transactional finite-state machine.

Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN). A Business Process Diagram is made up of a set of graphical elements. These elements enable the development of simple diagrams.

Business Process Query Language (BPQL). The Business Process Query Language (BPQL) is a management interface to a business process management infrastructure that includes a process execution facility (Process Server) and a process deployment facility (Process Repository).

The BPQL interface to a Process Server enables business analysts to query the state and control the execution of process instances managed by the Process Server. This interface is based on the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP).

Business Rules System. An automated system where the "rules" are separated and shared across data stores, user interfaces and applications. A rule is a formal expression of knowledge or preference which steers behavior in a desired direction.

Business Unit. Part of an organization treated for any purpose as a separate entity within the parent organization. Examples include a department or distribution center.

Choreography. Choreographies help you to see the Participants that are necessary to complete a task.

Compensation. Compensation is when activities are invoked that undo an undesirable outcome

Complex Decision. This expression determines which output flow is taken from multiple Sequence Flow names.

Complex Merge. You specify a complex flow condition referencing incoming Sequence Flow names or process data coming into a gateway. This expression determines when the task starts.

Conceptual Modeling. High level models used to explain entities related to the business/organization. This maps to the higher level Subject Area model and to the lower level Logical Data model.

Conversation. Conversations are simplified versions of a Collaboration diagram that show communication between pools, usually black box pools meaning there is nothing in the pools.

Data-based XOR decision. A data-based XOR decision is the most common XOR gateway used. A data token traverses the Process Flow and arrives at the XOR gateway. The path it chooses is based on condition expressions for each gate. It is restricted to only one flow.

Data Objects. Data objects provide information about how documents, data, and other objects are used and updated in a Process. They represent data so are defined by a combination of entities or classes.

Design. The part of software development process whose primary purpose is to decide how the system will be implemented. During design, strategic and tactical decisions are made to meet the required functional and quality requirements of a system.

Design Area. The area in the Diagram window where you create your designs.

Diagram. A graphical presentation of a collection of model elements often rendered as connected graph of arcs and vertices. UML supports the following diagrams: class diagram, object diagram, use case diagram, sequence diagram, collaboration diagram, state diagram, activity diagram, component diagram, and deployment diagram.

End Event. Ends a process flow. Additional result types are available on the palette, from the shortcut menu, and in the property view.

End Kill Event. The process has encountered a fatal error and all activities in the process should be immediately ended. The process is ended without compensation or event handling.

Enumeration. A list of named values used as the range of a particular attribute type. For example, RGBColor = {red, green, blue}. Boolean is a predefined enumeration with values from the set {false, true}.

Event. Happens during the course of a process flow.

Exception. Error messages generated.

Execution. The running of a dynamic model.

Exclusive Merge (XOR). The most common gateways used. A data token traverses the Process Flow arriving at the gateway. It can only go out on one flow. This control type is represented by either a blank diamond shape or a diamond with an “x” in the middle.

Expression. Enter the expression that defines the relationship between one InputSet and one OutputSet. That is, if the activity is instantiated with a specified InputSet, then the output of the activity MUST produce the specified OutputSet. Zero or more IORules may be entered.

Final Node. Final node that stops all flows in an activity. An activity may have more than one final node.

Flow Final. Final node that terminates a flow. A flow final destroys all tokens that arrive at it.

Gateways. The gateway symbol models decisions, merges, forks and joins in the process flow. A gateway is a questions that is asked at a point in the process flow with alternative answers.

Generated Name. The generated name is a code-friendly name that you may not want to see in the Model View tree or the diagram. For example, you may want to display a multibyte name (name), and have a code friendly single byte generated name. Or you may want a user-friendly name (e.g My First Task), but a generated name like "MY_FIRST_TASK". You can edit this name.

Grid Editor. This is a table-like editor which is an alternative to the Model View. Content in the Grid Editor can be printed or exported as a report.

IDEF. Integrated Computer-aided Manufacturing (ICAM) Definition. 16 different IDEF methods. Key methods are listed below. The three core models are: IDEF0, IDEF1X, and IDEF3.

  • IDEF0 Business Process Diagram (Integration Definition Language 0) (functional modeling)
  • IDEF1X Data Modeling
  • IDEF2 Simulation
  • IDEF3 Workflow or Process Diagramming
  • IDEF4 Object oriented Design
  • IDEF8 User-interface Design
  • IDEF12 Organization Modeling

Impact Analysis Diagram. Opens a new diagram which graphically displays all links associated with the object. Links connect to objects that cannot be visualized on a diagram are not included.

Impact Analysis Report. Opens the Impact Analysis tab in the property view, which shows the interrelationships between elements in the Model View tree.

Inclusive OR Decision. One or more of the outgoing Sequence Flows may be taken. A default flow must be specified at this point, there cannot be zero output flows.

Inclusive OR Merge. A process flow continues when it receives the first input signal from the input Sequence Flows. If other signals arrive after that, they are not used.

Inheritance. Used in Conceptual modeling. It is the relationship between two things where one is created from the other.

Interaction. Used in Conceptual modeling. It is a relationship between two things representing an action, process, or transaction.

Intermediate Event. Happens during the course of a process event. Additional trigger types are available on the palette, from the shortcut menu, and in the property view.

Iterative. In the context of the software development lifecycle, a process that involves managing a stream of executable releases.

Lane. A lane is a container or package. They are children of pools. Lanes can represent different parts of an organization.

Local History. Local history of a file is maintained when you create or modify a file. Each time you edit and save a file, a copy of it is saved. This allows you to compare your current file state to a previous state, or replace the file with a previous state. Each state in the local history is identified by the date and time the file was saved.

Location. The placement of a component on a node.

Loop Type. LoopType is an attribute and is by default None, but may be set to Standard or Multi Instance. If so, the Loop marker shall be placed at the bottom center of the activity shape.

Message Flow. Helps you order the processes between organizations or departments (i.e., between pools).

Message Numbers. Message numbers illustrate the ordering of messages on Sequence and Collaboration diagrams.

Metaclass. A class whose instances are classes. Metaclasses are typically used to construct metamodels.

Meta-metamodel. A model that defines the language for expressing a metamodel. The relationship between a meta-metamodel and a metamodel is analogous to the relationship between a metamodel and model.

Metamodel. A model that defines the language for expressing a model.

Metaobject. A generic term for all meta-entities in a metamodeling language. For example, metatypes, metaclasses, metaattributes, and metaassociations.

Model. A Model is a specific collection of diagrams and elements related to the Business Process Modeling Notation. For example, a banking industry BPMN model would contain those elements associated with the banking business process. The Model contains Business Process Diagrams which are graphical representations of all the elements of the process.

Model Business Events. In business process modeling, events are modeled that happen in the business and how they affect process flows. An event can kick off a process flow, it can happen during a process flow, 0or it can end a process flow.

Model Elaboration. The process of generating a repository type from a published model. Includes the generation of interfaces and implementations which allows repositories to be instantiated and populated based on, and in compliance with, the model elaborated.

Model Element. An element that is an abstraction drawn from the system being modeled.

Model Library. A stereotyped package that contains model elements that are intended to be reused by other packages. A model library differs from a profile in that a model library does not extend the metamodel using stereotypes and tagged definitions. A model library is analogous to a class library in some programming languages.

Multi-Drop State. This is the default setting in ER/Studio BA that allows you to drop multiple elements in the diagram design area.

Name. A string used to identify a model element.

Namespace. A part of the model in which the names may be defined and use. Within a namespace, each name has a unique meaning.

Nature. Project natures allow a plug-in to tag a project as a specific kind of project. For example, the Java development tools (JDT) use a "Java nature" to add Java-specific behavior to projects. Project natures are defined by plug-ins, and are typically added or removed per-project when the user performs some action defined by the plug-in.

Object. An entity with a well-defined boundary and identity that encapsulates state and behavior. State is represented by attributes and relationships, behavior is represented by operations, methods, and state machines. An object is an instance of a class.

Object Constraint Language. A formal language used to express side effect-free constraints.

Objects and Instances. Object is an abstraction representing some component of a system, and can be used to represent the components of any system. When the actual component occurs, it is an instance of that object. Often, the object is said to have been instantiated, or created in a system. In software systems, objects represent run-time instances of some type of processing, and the values used to accomplish this processing. In this documentation, object is used in the broadest sense -- it is not restricted to objects as defined in object-oriented design theory.

Palette. Palettes contain icons representing all the symbols you need for a particular methodology model, such as the Class Diagram notation. When laying out your design, you use these symbols to represent different symbols and their relationships with each other. Every time you open a new diagram, the palette with the diagram's associated symbols appears in the left side of the Diagram window.

Parallel Forking (AND). All sequence flows out of this gateway are taken.

Parallel Joining (AND). This gate must receive input signals from all input Sequence Flows. The process flow does not continue until it receives all signals.

Parameter. The specification of a variable that can be changed, passed, or returned. A parameter may include a name, type, and direction. Parameters are used for operations, messages, and events.

Parameterized Element. The descriptor for a class with one or more unbound parameters.

Parent. In a generalization relationship, the generalization of another element, the child.

Participant. You must define the Participant for a Pool. The Participant can be either a Role or an Entity. This defines the role that a particular Entity or Role the Pool will play in a Diagram that includes collaboration.

Participate. The connection of a model element to a relationship or to a relationship. For example, a class participates in an association, an actor participates in an use case.


  • Activity graphs. A portion of an activity graphs that organizes the responsibilities for actions.
  • Architecture. A set of related classifiers or packages at the same level of abstraction or across layers in a layered architecture. A partition represents a vertical slice through an architecture, whereas a layer represents a horizontal slice.

Path Variable. Path variables specify locations on the file system. The location of linked resources may be specified relative to these path variables. They allow you to avoid references to a fixed location on your file system. By using a path variable, you can share projects containing linked resources with team members without requiring the exact same directory structure as on your file system.

Pinning One element can be selected and pinned, allowing you to select other elements will still being able to document the pinned element.

Pools. Pools denote who is performing a process. A pool can be partitioned into lanes. A pool represents an organization and a lane is a department within that organization, functions, application or systems.

Presentation Element. Elements displayed in the Model View tree are represented by an icon only with no associated meta-data. If an element is a presentation element, it is indicated by a small white box with a directional arrow attached to the element.

Process. A Process is a collection of flow objects that reside in a pool connected by flows that is executed in a sequence (usually depicted on a diagram). In ER/Studio BA, all processes are contained by a pool. A pool contains only one process, but you can have multiple pools in a diagram which can then collaborate via message links.

In the Business Process Modeling Notation Specification, all Business Process Diagrams must contain at least one pool. In ER/Studio BA, when you create a new diagram, a pool and lane with an invisible boundary are created as well. In ER/Studio BA, when you place an object in the diagram, that object is placed in the lane.

Project. A project is used to create a collection of user-created data models or subprojects. Data sources and reference objects also exist as their own projects within the workspace. A Project is a collection of items including models, model elements, documents, business rules, etc. For example, a "Human Resources" project might contain a business process model describing the main functions of the Human Resources department, and a data model describing the data structures used by these processes, and business rules describing prescribed behavior of the organization. You can also create nested projects where a project is a parent of another project.

Qualifier. An association attribute whose values partition the set of objects related to an object across an association.

RCP. Rich Client Platform. A platform for building client applications with rich functionality.

RDBMS. Short for relational database management system and pronounced as separate letters, a type of database management system (DBMS) that stores data in the form of related tables. Relational databases are powerful because they require few assumptions about how data is related or how it will be extracted from the database. As a result, the same database can be viewed in many different ways.

An important feature of relational systems is that a single database can be spread across several tables. This differs from flat-file databases, in which each database is self-contained in a single table.

Almost all full-scale database systems are RDBMS's. Small database systems, however, use other designs that provide less flexibility in posing queries.

Receive Task. A simple Task that is designed to wait for a message to arrive from an external participant. Once the message has been received, the Task is completed.

Run Time. The period of time during which a computer program executes.

Scenario. A specific sequence of actions that illustrates behaviors. A scenario may be used to illustrate an interaction or the execution of a use case instance.

Script Task. A Script Task is executed by a business process engine. The modeler or implementer defines a script in a language that the engine can interpret. When the Task is ready to start, the engine executes the script. When the script is completed, the Task is also completed.

Semantic Symbols. When designing interaction diagrams before creating the class diagrams if a symbol with no class assigned is assigned to a class that does not exist, ER/Studio BA asks if you want it to create a corresponding class. If you instruct ER/Studio BA to create the class, ER/Studio BA creates a semantic (non-displayed) class and places it in the ER/Studio BA System Tree as well as the Navigator window. ER/Studio BA populates the class with defined attributes and operations corresponding to the incoming messages and creates all of the internal linkage necessary to support subsequent consistency and diagram synchronization. You can drag these classes (including their associated attributes and operations) onto any class diagram.

Semantic Variation Point. A point of variation in the semantics of a metamodel. It provides an intentional degree of freedom for the interpretation of the metamodel semantics.

Send Message. The passing of a stimulus from a sender instance to a receiver instance.

Send Task. A simple Task that is designed to send a message to an external participant. Once the message has been sent, the Task is completed.

Sequence Flow. This is used to show the sequence of processes in an organization or department. If you have pools or lanes in your diagram, you can use Sequence Flow lines to connect events, processes and gateways placed within the pools or lanes.

Service Task. A Service Task is a Task that provides some sort of service, which could be a Web service or an automated application. This is the default setting.

Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT). A widget toolkit for Java designed to provide efficient, portable access to the user-interface facilities of the operating systems on which it is implemented.

Start Message. A start message comes from a participant and triggers the start of the process. Or it can continue the process in the case of an intermediate event.

Start Event. Starts a process flow

Start Timer. A specific time-date or a specific cycle (e.g., every Friday at 10:00 a.m.) is set that triggers the start of the Process.

Start Link. A mechanism for connecting the end of one Process to the start (or trigger) of another.

Start Message. A message arrives from a participant and triggers the start of the Process.

Start Rule. This type of event is triggered when the conditions for a rule become true.

Subject Area Modeling. Extremely high-level model of "things" related in the business/organization. This maps to the lower-level Conceptual Model.

Subject Area. Used in Conceptual modeling. Element is a container for other subject areas or business entities.

Sub-process. A process drawn on a ‘child’ diagram is called a sub-process.

Swim Lanes. You can group primary modeling elements by using swimlanes which consist of pools and lanes. A Pool represents a participant in a process. It also acts as a graphical container for partitioning a set of activities from other Pools, usually in the context of Business-to-Business (B2B) situations. A Lane is a subpartition within a Pool and extends the entire length of the Pool. Lanes are used to organize and categorize activities.

Symbol. In this documentation, symbol refers to a model element.

Systems A system, is a set or arrangement of things that form a whole. A system also embodies a set of rules and guidelines that specify a given plan or method of doing something. In accordance with this definition, a software system is comprised of a collection of software programs that a accomplish a computer-based task. Some examples of these software systems are an Automated Teller System, an Inventory System, and a Flight Reservation System.

System. A top-level subsystem in a model.

Task. This is an activity that is performed within a business process.

Time. A value representing an absolute or relative moment.

Time Event. An event that denotes the time elapsed since the current state was entered.

Time Expression. An expression that resolves to an absolute or relative value of time.

Timing Constraint. A semantic statement about the relative or absolute value of time or duration.

Timing Mark. A denotation for the time at which an event occurs.

Trigger. Events (Start, Intermediate and End) can have triggers that indicate the purpose of the event. Triggers include: Cancel, Compensate, Error, Message, Timer, Rule, Link, Multiple, or Terminate.

Type Expression. An expression that evaluates to a reference to one or more types.

Unified Modeling Language (UML). A language for visualizing, specifying, constructing, and documenting the artifacts of a software-intensive system.

Usage (CRUD) Reports. Usage (CRUD) Reports are designed to show how a process affects given data objects, specifically whether objects are Created, Read, Updated, or Deleted.

User Task. A typical "workflow" task where a human performer performs the Task with the assistance of a software application and is scheduled through a task list manager of some sort.

Value. An element of a type domain.

View. A projection of a model, which is seen from a given perspective or vantage point and omits entities that are not relevant to this perspective.

View Element. A view element is a textual and/or graphical projection of a collection of model elements.

View Projection. A projection of model elements onto view elements. A view projection provides a location and a style for each view element.

Visibility. An enumeration whose value (public, protected, or private) denotes how the model element to which it refers may be seen outside its enclosing namespace.

Visitor Behavioral Pattern. Represent an operation to be performed on the elements of an object structure. Visitor lets you define a new operation without changing the classes of the elements on which it operates.

Workspace. A workspace is a unit of storage used for any collection of data modeling projects, reference objects, and data source projects. In ER/Studio BA you can only open and work with one workspace at a time, but you can collect any number of projects in a single workspace.

XOR Gateway. XOR gates can model either data-based or event-based decisions.

XSLT. Short for Extensible Style Language Transformation, the language used in XSL style sheets to transform XML documents into other XML documents. An XSL processor reads the XML document and follows the instructions in the XSL style sheet, then it outputs a new XML document or XML-document fragment. This is extremely useful in e-commerce, where the same data need to be converted into different representations of XML. Not all companies use the exact same programs, applications and computer systems. XSLT Recommendation was written and developed by the XSL Working Group and became ratified by the W3C on November 16, 1999.